Posts Tagged ‘space’

nova_hunting_the_edge_of_spaceWGBY will air “At the Edge of Space” on Wednesday, November 20, at 8:00pm.  This NOVA episode takes viewers on a spectacular exploration of the earth-space boundary zone, home to some of nature’s most puzzling and alluring phenomena:  the shimmering aurora, streaking meteors, and fleeting flashes that shoot upwards from thunderclouds, known as sprites that flicker into existence for a mere split-second — 40 times faster than an eye blink.

NOVA rides with scientists in a high-flying weather observation plane as they hunt for sprites and finally succeed in snaring them in 3D video, gaining vital clues to unravel their mystery. NOVA also combines advanced video technology with stunning sequences shot from the International Space Station.  Preview.

NOVA’s Beta site offers many related links, including stunning images galleries.   And at PBS LearningMedia you’ll find nearly 2000 digital resources for space — videos, lesson plans, interactives and more — for grades 6-12 (and younger).  With easy to use search filters for grade, specific content and standards, you can explore, save and file favorites for teaching and learning about this infinite subject.

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Host Brian Greene takes viewers on an exciting and in-depth exploration of a groundbreaking new theory: one of the most ambitious and exciting scientific theories ever posed — one that may be the long sought “Theory of Everything”. The presentation is offered in two segments:

  • The Elegant Universe discusses the string theory, one of the most revolutionary theories in physics today.
  • The second segment, The Fabric of the Cosmos, is a mind-blowing exploration of space, time, and the very nature of reality.

Borrow Space, Time and the Universe (I.D. 2328), an album of 4 DVD’s for a month– with option to extend the loan period — by clicking here.

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Photo Source: NASA

Today, we salute a great educator who we lost last week.   

“(Sally Ride) made history when she rode the space shuttle Challenger into orbit in 1983, but she was also a NASA adviser, a lifelong educator, and a founder of Sally Ride Science, a venture dedicated to inspiring and teaching young people, especially girls, about science and space.”

Read more about Ride’s accomplishments here.

Teachers: your class can build their own space ship today with this Design Squad Nation DIY Touchdown project.

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Especially for teachers and students, time can seem to pass far more quickly in summer.  So it may be particularly appropriate that from NOVA’s summer programming comes The Fabric of the Cosmos: The Illusion of Time, airing July 18 at 9pm on WGBY.  As well as learning and teaching about the realities of time with this great program, you can discover classroom resources at NOVA’s teacher site such as:

Deep Time, a NOVA approved site, provides a multimedia exploration of 4 billion years of life on Earth with major transformations, geological changes, and extinction episodes. An Evolution Library for teachers and students is also available.

Deciphering Maya:  A Time Line  is another multimedia resource that allows students to trace discoveries in the effort to understand the Maya script.

Among audio stories on time and/or space by physicists:

Max Tegmark says that time is still one of the biggest mysteries in physics.

 Janna Levin talks about how Einstein and Newton had very different ideas about what space and time really are.

Sean Carroll says there’s no such thing as past or future in the elementary laws of physics.

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In The Fabric of the Cosmos, physicist Brian Greene offers a mind blowing new exploration of space, time, and the very nature of reality as he delves into such issues as defining space, examining the illusion of time, taking viewers on a quantum leap and questioning if we live in a universe or a multiverse. Four hours on two DVDs: I.D. 2191 click here to order the video from our lending library.  Check out this video for a preview:

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Solar panels

New Ways to Catch Rays from NOVA

If you were up later than usual when many schools were recently closed down due to power outages and snow, you may have seen Tavis Smiley’s PBS interview of distinguished Harvard physicist Lisa Randall.  Part of their discussion focused on the concern that “our students are not being drawn like a magnet to math and science.”

Perhaps like Prof. Randall, you’ve noticed “that people are almost embarrassed to talk about scientific measurements or scientific facts.”   NOVA’s Educator Site, a free digital library tied to teaching standards. can be one antidote, drawing students to science,  math and more by bringing such subjects to life in educational settings.

Clicking on Science and Society, you’ll find News Ways to Catch Rays, an interactive activity where students learn about eight of the latest solar technologies and how, in the face of global climate change, scientists and engineers are actively developing new ways to harness the Sun as an alternative to fossil fuels.  (Included are photos, an illustration, and text to investigate how these technologies can provide environmentally friendly solutions.)

On the Technology link, the video segment Brain Tumor teaches students about concussions — a common type of traumatic brain injury — where both a young athlete describes his personal experience and a neurosurgeon/ international expert explains why concussions are difficult to diagnose and how a new tool can help assess brain injury.

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Coming November 2 to WGBY, Nova’s Fabric of the Cosmos takes us to the frontiers of physics to see how scientists are piecing together the most complete picture yet of space, time and the universe, revealing that beneath the surface of our everyday experience lies a world that is far stranger and more wondrous than anyone expected.

This four-part miniseries hosted is hosted by physicist and acclaimed author Brian Greene.  Thinking about tackling the mind-boggling limits of space with your high-school students?  check out the Educator Resources for this program on the Nova website.

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