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Teacher’s questions for Black Hole Mysteries

SCIENCE

Before reading:

  1. List everything you know about black holes.
  2. How does gravity affect you?

During reading:

  1. Is a black hole really a hole?
  2. Why can’t anything escape a black hole?
  3. What happens the closer you get to a black hole?
  4. Explain the term “spaghettification.”
  5. What is an event horizon?
  6. How are mass and gravity related?
  7. Describe what happens if a star strays too close to a black hole.
  8. Explain the differences between stellar-mass, supermassive and ultramassive black holes.
  9. What lies at the center of every galaxy?
  10. Why is NGC 1277 so unusual?

After reading:

Teacher’s Questions for Blending In

SCIENCE

Before reading:

1. What are some advantages to visually blending in with your surroundings? What are some disadvantages to blending in?

2. Give some examples of ways that people try to blend in with their surroundings.

3. Give some examples of ways that animals try to blend in with their surroundings.

During reading:

1. Describe three things about cuttlefish. Also, what other types of animals are they related to? How are they different from some of those animals?

2. What body part do scientists think might not be involved — surprisingly — in cuttlefish camouflage?

Teacher’s Questions for Concussion: More than ‘getting your bell rung’

SCIENCE

Before reading:

1. Explain what you know about a concussion.

2. Have you ever had a concussion? If so, how did it happen? What symptoms did you experience?

During reading:

1. What is a concussion?

2. List five symptoms of a concussion. How long can symptoms last?

3. After how many concussions is a person at risk of developing life-long problems?

4. How common are concussions?

5. Describe a neuron and axon and what they do.

6. Explain two ways in which the body protects the brain from concussions.

7. Describe two ways in which a brain and its components can be damaged by a concussion.

8. When do symptoms of axon damage show up?

Teacher’s Questions for When the Nose No Longer Knows

SCIENCE

Before reading:

1. Do you think fish have a strong sense of smell? Explain your answer. What types of things do you think fish use their sense of smell for?

During reading:

1. How do baby fish find their homes around islands like Kimbe?

2. List four things that fish use their sense of smell for.

3. Why is the chemistry of lakes and rivers changing? Why is the chemistry of the ocean changing?

4. Explain how a fish detects a scent.

5. How is copper getting into rivers?

6. What is Schreckstoff? How is it released? What does it signal to fish?

7. When fish are exposed to copper, how do they react to Schreckstoff in the water?

Goodbye SNK, hello Science News for Students

Fall marks the beginning of a new school year — and some big changes for a publication you’ve come to trust. After more than a decade, Science News for Kids has a new name: Science News for Students. That change reflects our site’s increasing commitment to developing resources that mesh with the curricula and the needs of today’s schools. The website has also undergone a visual transformation as it moves into a shared online space with its parent publication, Science News, and its parent organization, Society for Science & the Public.

Building blocks of the future

Any child who has played with blocks knows why they're so useful. Kids can build almost anything from them — a plane, a castle, even a racecar. And if part of a creation comes apart or breaks, the builder doesn't have to start from scratch. She can just replace the missing blocks. And what's true for kids’ play is also true for adult projects. Here’s one new example, and it doesn’t even look like a “block.”

Questions for How Earth’s Surface Morphs

SCIENCE

Before reading:

1. Explain why some parts of the world are mountainous, others are flat and still others are covered by oceans.

2. Describe what you know about plate tectonics.

During reading:

1. How many major plates cover Earth’s surface? How wide are some of them?

2. How thick are the plates, on average? Is this thick or thin, compared with the rest of Earth’s layers?

3. What is the name of the Earth layer above which tectonic plates move? How hot is this layer beneath the plates?

4. What is Earth’s core like? Describe both its outer and inner regions.

Teacher’s questions for Animals under Antarctic ice

SCIENCE

Before reading

  1. Describe what you know about Antarctica and its climate.
  2. What types of plants, animals or other organisms would you expect to find there?

During reading

  1. Describe at least four things about Lake Vostok that contribute to making it special.
  2. Scientists have just found evidence for what kinds of living things there? Name at least five types of organisms in this group.
  3. Describe how scientists have turned up evidence for these species.
  4. Why had scientists expected the life in Vostok’s waters to all be microbes?
  5. Some scientists think evidence for animals in Lake Vostok may be due to contamination.

Teacher’s questions for some dirt won’t hurt

SCIENCE

Before reading:

  1. Do you or does anyone you know suffer from allergies? What conditions make them flare up?
  2. Can you list some ways microbes play a role in the foods that we eat?

2.

 During reading:

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