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Teacher’s Questions for Germy Clouds

SCIENCE

Before reading:

1. If microbes live underground and underwater, do you think they also live above us, in the air? Why or why not?

During reading:

1. Explain how Donald Barber’s images became flecked with germs.

2. Was Barber’s theory about where the germs came from correct? Where, in fact, were the germs coming from, and how were they transported?

3. Describe how Kimberly Prather’s onboard air-testing device works. Name three kinds of particles it commonly detects while sucking in air from clouds.

4. How far have some of the particles detected by Prather traveled?

5. Describe two ways other than winds that germs are transported into the air.

Teacher’s Questions for Explosive pursuits

SCIENCE

Before reading:

1. Explosions may cause harm. They may also be useful. Can you name some examples of each?

During reading:

1. Flowers are sometimes said to “explode in bloom.” Can they really?

2. Explain why the video camera that snapped 1,000 frames per second wasn’t able to capture a bunchberry dogwood as it blossomed.

3. How did Edwards discover what triggers the flower to explode?

4. What is the advantage of the bunchberry dogwood’s being pollinated by bees instead of ants?

5. Why would a device that can concentrate TNT molecules in the air make them easier to detect?

6. Name the property of zeolite that made it useful for Yan’s work.

Teacher’s Questions for Watching Our Seas Rise

SCIENCE

Before reading:

  1. Does sea level hold steady, or does it rise and fall? In the past few hundred years, do you think it has risen overall, or fallen overall?
  2. Can you think of a few reasons why sea level would rise or fall over hundreds of years?

During reading:

Teacher’s Questions for Science Champs

SCIENCE

Before reading:

1. Imagine your state’s science fair is coming up soon. How would you come up with a winning idea for a science project?

During reading:

1. Why did focusing the radio signals broadcast by his wireless router help David Li connect to the Internet?

2. Describe how a parabola works to focus radio, light or sound waves.

3. What do you think the pictures Paige Gentry captured of skunks visiting the bowls of bait revealed about their preferences?

4. How could a skunk’s taste for chicken help reduce rabies in these wild animals?

Teacher’s Questions for Old Germs

SCIENCE

Before reading:

  1. What is the longest-lived organism you can think of, and how old can it grow to be?
  2. Describe a few ways in which living things differ from dead things.

During reading:

Teacher’s Questions for Icy Inns

SCIENCE

Before reading:

  1. Describe what you know about icebergs.
  2. What sort of life would you expect to find in, on, under or around an iceberg?

During reading:

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