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Science News for Students 's Articles

  • Questions for Cool Jobs: A whale of a time

    SCIENCE

    Before reading

    1.    Explain what you know about marine mammals. How many species can you name?

    2.    What threats do whales face? List as many as you can.

    During reading

    1.    How much can a humpback whale weigh?

    2.    What are cetaceans?

    3.    Why is sound more useful than light in exploring the ocean?

    4.    What happens to the pulses of sound that Kelly Benoit-Bird sends into the water? What can those pulses reveal?

    5.    How did the spinner dolphin get its name?

  • Questions for Owww! The science of pain

    SCIENCE

    Before reading

    1. Have you ever felt an intense pain? What was its source? How long did it last?
    2. List some ways pain can cause you to change your behavior.

    During reading

    1. What happens to people born with no ability to feel pain?
    2. How does pain protect us?
  • Questions for Fossil hunting can start as child’s play

    SCIENCE

    Before reading

    1.    Have you or has someone you know ever found a fossil? What did it look like?

    2.    The fossil dinosaurs that you see displayed in museums are usually all bones and no flesh. Why do you think that is?

    During reading

    1.    Why did Paul Taylor’s father describe as “thunderbolts” the belemnite fossils that he found?

    2.    Define “invertebrate.”

    3.    What is paleontology?

    4.    Why can anyone participate in the study of paleontology?

  • Questions for A library of tweets (and howls and grunts)

    SCIENCE

    Before reading

    1)    List as many of the sounds that dogs or cats make as you can. Next to each sound, provide a description of why and when you think the animal makes that sound.

    2)    Different animals might use sound, sight, smell, taste or touch to communicate. What are some of the advantages of sound over the other communication methods?

    During reading

    1)    Where did the Kauai Oo live, and why is it no longer found there?

    2)    Describe the collections held by the Macaulay Library.

    3)    What is ornithology?

    4)    List several of the reasons why animals use sound.

    5)    Why don’t splendid fairy-wrens stay silent when a butcherbird is around?

  • Questions for Digital lighting goes organic

    SCIENCE

    Before reading:

    1.    A 13-watt compact fluorescent light bulb provides the same amount of light as a traditional 60-watt incandescent light bulb. How much less energy does a compact fluorescent bulb use, expressed as a percentage?

    2.    Turn on a lamp fitted with a traditional incandescent light bulb. Hold your hand over the bulb. (Be very careful not to touch the actual bulb.) What do you feel? Does that suggest that kind of bulb is efficient or wasteful?

    During reading:

    1.    Detail some of the drawbacks to incandescent and fluorescent lighting.

  • Questions for Fossils in a flash

    SCIENCE

    Before reading:

    1. Have you ever handled a fossil? In what sort of environment or under what sorts of conditions do you think the animal’s remains became fossilized?
       
    2. Now picture a fossil fish, bird or snake. Create two lists that detail 1) what body parts you would expect to find preserved in the fossil and 2) what body parts you would not.

    During reading:

    1. Why do the bluish-gray rocks described in the first paragraph resemble fish?
       
    2. Explain why David Martill used an acid bath instead of a power saw to reveal contents of his Brazilian rocks.
       
    3. Other than bones, what else did Martill discover inside the rocks?
  • Questions for Electricity: Cutting the cords

    SCIENCE

    Before reading:

    1.    Create a tally of all the electronic devices you use on a daily or weekly basis that need plugging in to recharge.

    2.    Wind, water and steam are all used to spin turbines and produce electricity. Research the basic components of a turbine.

    During reading:

    1.    Provide two examples of wireless recharging technologies now in use.

    2.    Describe why worrying and the waiting can accompany owning an electric vehicle.

    3.    What is energy harvesting?

  • Questions for Arctic sends weird weather south

    SCIENCE

    Before reading:

    1.    Why are accurate weather predictions so important for farmers?

    2.    Imagine the area where you live started receiving just half as much precipitation each year as it does now. What sorts of changes would that bring?

    During reading:

    1.    What has happened to global temperatures since 1880?

    2.    How have Arctic temperatures changed since then?

    3.    What are the mid-latitude regions of Earth?

    4.    Explain what satellite measurements of Arctic sea ice have revealed since 1979.

  • Questions for Thirst for tears

    Before reading:

    1. Why do the eyes produce tears — and what’s in those wet secretions?
    2. Name three bugs and where you think each gets its food and drink in the environment.

    During reading:

    1. What about the caiman surprised Carlos de la Rosa?
    2. What is lachryphagy?
    3. Where did Hans Bänziger first encounter tear-sipping bees?
    4. What kind of bait did his team set out to see what bees might eat?
    5. What is a proboscis and how did the bees use it on Bänziger?
    6. What are pheromones?
    7. What are two reasons that scientists have proposed as reasons that insects might go after tears?
    8. Name two types of diseases that have been spread by eye-visiting insects.
    9. N
  • Questions for Ghosts in your head

    SCIENCE

    Before reading:

    1. Have you ever felt, smelled, tasted, heard or seen something that wasn’t there? Describe your experience.

    During reading:

    1. What is a hallucination?

    2. Why has our understanding of phantom senses improved in recent years?

    3. What is a “phantom limb?”

    4. Define fMRI and explain why the technology is useful.

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