Nature’s Miniature Miracles airs on WSKG TV on November 22, 2017 at 8pm
Great things come in small packages, and animals are no exception to the rule. From a tiny sengi, the “cheetah” of the shrew world, to a hummingbird who travels thousands of miles north each year, from a small shark that walks on land, to an army of baby turtles instinctively racing to the safety of the open ocean. We will travel across the world, through the vast savannah to the rocky plateau, and down to the depths of the seas, to shine a light on these tiny survivors of the animal kingdom. It is a great big world out there, but for these animals, size does not matter.
Beyond A Year in Space airs on WSKG TV November 15, 2017 at 8pm
Beyond A Year in Space introduces viewers to the next generation of astronauts training to leave Earth’s orbit and travel into deep space. A Year in Space follows astronaut Scott Kellys 12-month mission on the International Space Station, from launch to landing, as NASA charts the effects of long-duration spaceflight by comparing him to his identical twin on Earth, astronaut Mark Kelly. Beyond A Year in Space introduces viewers to the next generation of astronauts training to leave Earth’s orbit and travel into deep space. https://youtu.be/It801fiqrvk
The first installment of A Year in Space, which tracks Scott Kelly’s mission from training and launch, through his 12 months aboard the International Space Station, right up through his descent and landing is scheduled to air on PBS on March 2, timed within a day of Scott’s planned return to Earth. Despite the technological “comforts” of the ISS, a year in space – the longest space mission in American history – has been described as the epitome of extreme, with extraordinarily high physical stakes.
Check out this spooky science collection on PBS Learning Media, bringing media into your classroom. Halloween dates back thousands of years to the Celtic people of ancient Europe, who recognized October 31 as the last day of autumn and had festivals to celebrate. This was the time that the regular world and spirit world were thought to be closest, so people wore masks and costumes to fend off roaming ghosts. Over time, the holiday evolved into a secular and community-based event known for activities like trick-or-treating and bobbing for apples that we love today. Halloween is a time to celebrate superstition and changing seasons, and this collection aims to do just that.
As the sociologist-in-residence at Pittsburgh’s ScareHouse, Margee Kerr has observed hundreds of Halloween thrill-seekers in scary situations. Her takeaway? For many people, a good scare can be an enjoyable, empowering experience. Kerr and neuroscientist Greg Siegle recently set up shop at ScareHouse to discover why. Listen to this segment of Science Friday here.
NOVA | Secrets of the Forbidden City airs on WSKG TV October 18, 2017 at 9pm
The Forbidden City is the world’s biggest and most extravagant palace complex ever built. For five centuries, it was the power center of imperial China and survived wars, revolution, fires, and earthquakes. How did the Ming Emperor’s workforce construct its sprawling array of nearly 1,000 buildings and dozens of temples in a little over a decade? How were stupendous 250-ton marble blocks moved across many miles to reach the site? And how did fantastically intricate woodwork, all fastened without nails or glue, enable the palaces to survive hundreds of earthquakes, including recent ones that obliterated nearby modern structures? To find answers, NOVA joins a team of master craftsmen who build a scale model of a typical palace in a seismic lab, then subject it to simulated earthquakes to shake out the secrets of how the Forbidden City has withstood centuries of violent tremors.
Are you a secret geology groupie? Do you have a rock collection on your window sill, in your garden or under your bed? We won’t judge you, we have one too. We love rocks! WSKG has such an affinity for them, our Director of Science has a collection on her desk, in her house, and is known to ask her friends to add them to their suitcases when traveling due to her’s being overweight and full of ……wait for it…. rocks.
NOVA | Ghosts of Stonehenge airs on WSKG TV October 11, 2017 at 9pm
Was Stonehenge an ancient cathedral? Or perhaps a Stone Age observatory? Over the last decade, fresh answers have come from an ambitious program of research, including the first scientific study of human remains buried at the site 5,000 years ago. Remnants of huge feasts at the site have come to light, and revelers traveled from across the British Isles to raise the stones and celebrate the winter solstice. Yet Stonehenge’s place as a centerpiece of an ancient culture did not last. NOVA reveals intimate details of the Stonehenge people and why their power began to fade soon after they raised the mighty stones.
Nature | Fox Tales airs on WSKG TV October 11, 2017 at 8pm
Most people assume they need to head to more remote areas, like state and national parks, to see a Red fox, but according to several experts, many individuals need to look no further than their own neighborhoods. These adaptable and intelligent canids can make their home along the cliffs of Newfoundland and the Arctic tundra. Over the last century, they have also been slowly populating urban centers. According to Wildlife Specialist Dr. David Drake of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, “There’s not a lot of urban Red fox research going on in North America…But I would be very, very surprised if there are not Red fox in most, if not, all North American cities.”
The program follows scientists in Madison and Bristol, England, tracking the movement of Red foxes into cities; follows a Red fox family raising young pups along the Newfoundland coast; accompanies a biologist to the Arctic studying the movement of Red fox heading to a new habitat; and presents rare footage and behavior of newborns inside the den chronicling their attempts to become the dominant pup. Motion-sensitive, infrared cameras capture the never-before broadcast behavior of newborn pups and their mother in a natal den during the first weeks after birth. Animal Behaviorist Dr. Sandra Alvarez-Betancourt of the University of Bristol, who has analyzed thousands of hours of fox behavior underground, explains that as soon as Red fox pups can walk, they start fighting to establish their social hierarchy.
Science Friday offers educational resources for your science classroom. The following is sample of a lesson plan for 6-12th grade students. Find more information here.
WARNING Graphic Content: The videos and images below contain graphic documentation of real life, rotting human and animal corpses that may be disturbing to a younger audience. A forensic scientist enters a crime scene and sees some flies, maggots, and a few beetles on and around a dead body. She immediately begins collecting them.