Deep Geothermal drill site

Heat Without Fire: Deep Geothermal in the Northeastern U.S.

Heat Without Fire: Deep Geothermal in the Northeastern U.S.
December 15 7pm ET 
Deep geothermal heat  could transform how energy is provided to communities in the future. 

Geothermal is not something often considered in the Northeast due to the depth required to find heat. We, as a society, face the challenges of weaning off of fossil fuels and switching to sources that do not add greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere. Electricity production from alternative energy sources, like wind and solar power can help, but what can be done to replace over 30% of New York State’s energy consumption that is used to heat our homes and offices? Cornell University researchers and staff may have that answer. They are exploring how the heat deep below our feet – geothermal energy – can fill this need anywhere, using Cornell’s Ithaca campus as a demonstration site. 

Join the discussion on how a 10,000 foot deep geothermal observation borehole was installed at Cornell over the summer of 2022, what this means for reducing fossil fuel energy for the University, and how the approach might be applied to energy transitions nationally. 
RSVP YOUR SEAT TO SCIENCE
Guests:
Teresa ‘Terry’ Jordan J. Preston Levis Professor of Engineering Emerita Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University

Terry Jordan is a geologist, recently retired from nearly 40 years of teaching at Cornell, yet still continuing as a researcher.

Science at the Farm | Family Event

Come spend a morning with your family exploring Woods Ravine Farm in Norwich, NY. Discover PBS KIDS Get Outdoors, pond critters, bird habitats, and take a walk in the woods at this spring’s ‘Science at the Farm’ event. Saturday June 4, 2022 

Check-In 9:30 am     Activities run 9:45 am – 12:30 pm 

9:45 am & 10:45 am Bird Habitat Walk
9:45 am & 10:45 am Amphibian Dip Netting by Beaver Pond
(Waterproof shoes or boots recommended) 

Morning Snacks & Lunch Provided By: NYFOA

Location: Woods Ravine Farm, 363 County Rd 33 Norwich, NY 

This event is designed to encourage multi-generational science learning and gives parents and caregivers an opportunity to learn alongside their children through a combination of hands-on activities and walking tours. 

Please dress for the weather – this event will take place rain or shine and participants will be near water.  

Event is FREE, but RSVP is required. 
Space is Limited.  

This event is supported by NBT Bank – Thank you to our partners: Binghamton University Hua Lab, Audubon Society, NYFOA, WSKG Public Media, NSF, CIWS and our hosts Woods Ravine Farm

 

Going Wild with Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant | Science Pub

Going Wild with Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant

Journey deep into the heart of the world’s most remote jungles, savannas, tundras, mountains, and deserts to meet wild animals in their natural habitats. From lemurs in Madagascar to an unlikely tale of giraffes and poachers in Africa, you never know where the stories will take us. 

 Rae Wynn-Grant, PhD, hosts a popular PBS Nature podcast that transports listeners to the animal kingdom’s hidden worlds and through action-packed adventures of the wildlife conservationists who track them. This is a story not only about the animals, but also about Rae’s journey to becoming a celebrated wildlife ecologist. For many young women, her career isn’t something they’ve even considered. Yet insights pulled from her  personal journey are inspiring the next generation of scientists and conservationists.

Science Educator Survey – Give Us Your Feedback!

WSKG is creating a virtual science field trip video series for K-13+ students and we want YOUR input. Videos will show unique locations, experts and scientists and what work is being done there. Videos will be tied to educational standards and will come with viewing guides. They will become part of the free digital educator library on PBS LearningMedia. 

Example – a video focused on Earth Science on the waterfalls in Ithaca, how were they created, what do scientists find in the shale layers and why is this information important? 

Would these videos be useful in your teaching? What content should we cover?

Sounding the Alarm: Milestones in Fire Science | Science Pub

Science Pub Guest Speakers:
Assistant Fire Chief Richard J. Allen Jr.
Filmmaker Brian Frey

Why are today’s house fires so dangerous? Construction is nearly airtight, homes are filled with plastics, and real wood furnishings are less common. The result is a fire that burns hotter and faster than decades ago, producing smoke that’s highly toxic to firefighters. Join us as we compare past fires and firefighting to the technology of today. We will view clips from the WSKG documentary “The Devil’s Fire” and a discussion with local expert, Assistant Fire Chief Rick Allen.

Ka-Boom! Crash! Shiver! How paleontologists are unraveling the extinction that killed the dinosaurs

Ka-Boom! Crash! Shiver! How paleontologists are unraveling the extinction that killed the dinosaurs

Science Pub Guest Speakers: Corinne Myers, PhD and Carlie Pietsch, PhD

Just like dinosaurs, countless ocean creatures went extinct under somewhat perplexing conditions when a giant meteorite struck Earth about 66 million years ago. Yet excellent fossil records of their shells remain, helping us understand what happened ecologically, why some organisms survived, and why others didn’t.

Daring to Dig: Women in Paleontology

Daring to Dig: Women in Paleontology Live Panel

The field of paleontology has been greatly shaped by women despite encountering resistance at every level required for success in the profession. The work of achieving equity in paleontology is still ongoing, but in the 21st century, paleontology is becoming a more welcoming science for everyone, regardless of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, class, or ability. Our panel of eminent women paleontologists shared their experiences, challenges and inspiration for the next generation of girls to pursue careers in science and paleontology. This discussion was geared towards middle and high school girls, their families and educators. 

Watch the archived discussion below, this was recorded on October 26, 2021. https://youtu.be/igvsh2Fbayg

This panel is a complement to the exhibit Daring to Dig: Women in American Paleontology, on display at the Museum of the Earth in Ithaca, NY until December 2021 and available online at DaringtoDig.org.

Life in the Trees: Discovering the Eighth Continent | Science Pub

Life in the Trees
Discovering the Eighth Continent 

Guest Speaker: Dr. Margaret “Canopy Meg” Lowman
Science Pub was recorded on September 14, 2021. https://youtu.be/jpaF7-vBQi0

Did you know that more than 50 percent of the world’s land-based creatures live in treetops? Yet scientists have classified less than 10 percent of this biodiversity. Come hear stories that will inspire us to think more urgently about forest conservation, help save big trees, and ultimately, keep our planet healthy. Dr. Margaret “Canopy Meg” Lowman shared tales from her adventurous childhood as a collector of wildflowers, nests, snake skins, and other natural collectibles, which led her to becoming one of the world’s first arbornauts.

Women in STEM

Each day, women are making strides across fields in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Historically, these Women in STEM have gone unrecognized, preventing young women from having access to role models who look like them. To change that, we have to start creating that representation. https://youtu.be/DqHO97LkVHU

Young women should be able to see someone who looks like them succeeding in the professional world. This creates STEM identity, which is the power of representation and sense of belonging creating purpose and sense of worth in associated fields.  This can benefit future generations as more people feel comfortable to explore their interests.  The Women in STEM project aims to demonstrate that there is no one “face of STEM”, it is ambiguous.

Women In STEM – Engineering

The Women in STEM project explores engineering and the vast opportunities that are available,  even a brief glance of the engineering world – demonstrates this.  The Women in STEM Engineering spotlight is composed of quality, software, mechanical, and electrical engineers, as well as women involved in environmental and fluid mechanics and management.  The many achievements of each of these women provide an example of the intricacies of engineering and the potential for success throughout this branch of STEM.  The work done by Mativetsky, Hamilton, Adler, Wang, Bryant, and Nucci demonstrate the incredible possibilities for Women in Engineering, and Women in STEM.  To learn more about our six Women in Engineering, read their individual summaries below, follow us at @WSKGScience on Instagram or on Twitter @NancyCoddington @JulD22 for more inspiring #WomenInSTEM.  

Hadassah Mativetsky
Hadassah Mativetsky is currently a Quality Engineer at Universal Instruments where she manages product quality for the high-tech assembly equipment used to populate circuit boards; which are used in devices we use every day, such as: phones, tablets, fitness trackers, and more. Currently she serves in local leadership for American Society for Quality and Toastmasters International. In 2019, she received the Paul A Robert Award from the Binghamton Section of the American Society for Quality, Division Director of the Year Award from District 65 of Toastmasters International, and was a finalist for the Engineering HYPE award from the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce. 

Hadassah holds a BA in Math with a minor in Russian and Eastern European Studies and a MS in Systems Science, both from Binghamton University. She regularly volunteers with many Binghamton University programs including supporting Harpur Edge, Fleishman Career Development Center, Watson School, Undergraduate Admissions, and Emerging Leaders Program.

Women In STEM – Technology

Technology, the second section of STEM, is home to a wide variety of careers  This category is one that is expanding rapidly each day, as advancements are facilitated by communication.  Continuing with the Women in STEM project, impressive careers of six women were examined.  The Women in STEM Technology section consists of architects, leaders in information technology, and aerospace technology.  The highlights of these women demonstrate the incredible range technology covers in the professional world.  The work done by Morgan, Lin, Wojcicki, Rometty, and Drs. Arney and Horton showcase the potential magnitude of success of Women in Technology, and Women in STEM.  To learn more about our six Women in Science, read their individual summaries below, follow us at @WSKGScience on Instagram or on Twitter @NancyCoddington @JulD22 for more inspiring #WomenInSTEM. Julia Morgan
Julia Morgan was an architect who took a unique path to her eventual career.  She received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering because the University of California in which she enrolled did not have an architectural program.  She then attended a prestigious architecture program in France where she was awarded a certificate in architecture.  With this, Morgan returned to the United States and became the first woman to earn an architecture license in California.  She later contributed to the “University of California Master Plan”, designing buildings for the Berkley campus.  Another architectural achievement of Julia Morgan’s was the design of Hearst Castle in California, demonstrating the capabilities of her talent in design. Maya Lin
Maya Lin is an architect known best for her design of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  This design was produced while she was still working toward her bachelor’s degree.  It was created as part of a public design competition.  Lin described her creation as symbolic of the pain caused by war.  This design was controversial; however, Lin persevered and even defended her work in front of the US Congress.  Today, Maya Lin owns her own studio where she continues to design projects.  One such project is titled “What is Missing?” which serves as a memorial for Earth, displaying an incredible amount of information concerning the many species of the planet.   

Susan Wojcicki
Susan Wojcicki has been involved in the technology industry for over two decades.  In her past, she contributed to the advertising and commerce at Google while it was developing.  As a Google employee, Wojcicki was also an integral part of the acquisition of YouTube which occurred in 2006.  In 2014 Susan Wojcicki became the CEO of YouTube.  This change for YouTube was followed by many positive changes.  These include the expansion of the user base of the platform, an increase in the number of female employees, and the development and introduction of YouTube Premium.  Aside from her work in business administration, Wojcicki works to promote female interest in computer science in education. 

Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty is best known for her past roles as Chairman, President, and CEO of IBM.  Rometty retired from IBM this past December but left quite an impact on the company during her time as a leader.  Some notable contributions to information technology by Rometty include the creation of a multi-billion-dollar hybrid cloud business, significant advancements in AI capabilities, and the establishment and promotion of technology ethics.  While a leader of IBM, Rometty also pushed for diversity, working to establish opportunities for disadvantaged populations.  Today, she serves on the Board of Directors of JPMorgan Chase and the Singapore Economic Development Board International Advisory Council.  

Giada Arney
Dr. Giada Arney is a research space scientist at NASA.  She currently works in the Planetary Systems Lab at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.  In her past she worked as a planetarium coordinator at the University of Washington.  Arney’s current research concerns three unique topics.  The first focuses on establishing means of distinguishing types of organic haze on exoplanets, which Arney believes to be a route toward understanding exoplanet atmospheres.  She is also involved with the LUVOIR telescope, having developed components of the scope.  In addition to these subtopics, Dr. Arney is also interested in the impact of photochemical processes on the atmospheric and environmental compositions of exoplanets.   

Renee Horton
Dr. Renee Horton is the Space Launch Systems Quality Engineer in the NASA Residential Management Office at Michoud Assembly Facility.  Before achieving this position, Dr. Horton obtained a Ph.D. in Material Science with a concentration in Physics.  This made her the first African American to obtain this degree combination from the University of Alabama.  After graduating in 2011, she began her career at NASA.  Dr. Horton’s background in physics has led her to be involved in many physics-based organizations.  In 2016 she served as the president of the National Society of Black Physicists and she was also honored with the title of fellow in the same organization.  Dr. Horton has also authored children’s books aimed at educating and inspiring creativity.   

Produced by Julia Diana, Science Intern
Nancy Coddington, Director of Science  Content

Women in STEM – The Sciences

There are an abundance of paths that can be pursued with a degree in the sciences.  As part of our Women in STEM project, the careers of six women were explored.  The sheer number of jobs related to science lend themselves to a list of women in distinct areas of the discipline.  The Women in STEM Science category comprises educators, researchers, a chemist, an astrophysicist, an anthropologist, and a sociologist.  This variety showcases just a small portion of the ever-growing domain of the sciences.  The outstanding work done by Drs. Light, Hua, Wagaw, Weaver, Chatterji, and Cooper demonstrate the capabilities of women in science, and Women in STEM.  To learn more about our six Women in Science, check out their individual summaries below, follow us at @WSKGScience on Instagram or on Twitter @NancyCoddington @JulD22 for more inspiring #WomenInSTEM. 

Dr. Caitlin Light
Dr. Caitlin Light is a Research Assistant Professor of the First-Year Research Immersion (FRI) Program at Binghamton University.  Over a three-semester period, Dr. Light educates students in microbiology with a focus on biofilms.  Biofilms are bacterial colonies encased in a matrix that adheres to a surface.  These bacteria have significance in human health because the matrix supplies the colonies with extreme resistance to treatment, allowing biofilm infections to persist in hosts.  Work from the Light Lab is rooted in the establishment of a higher understanding of biofilm biology to better target biofilm-based problems. 

Dr. Jessica Hua
Dr. Jessica Hua is an Associate Professor at Binghamton University.  She was also recently given the position of Director at the university’s Center for Integrated Watershed Studies.  Aside from these roles, Dr. Hua is an ecological researcher.  Studies done by the Hua Lab have found that some frogs have tolerance to a parasite constantly, whereas other frogs are only tolerant when they must be.  This difference can be attributed to the benefits of biodiversity.  Upcoming work for this lab focuses on how contaminants impact the way organisms feed.  Frogs are being studied in this work to observe the effects of microplastics on tadpole populations in relation to parasite interactions. Dr. Seble Wagaw
Dr. Seble Wagaw is an organic chemist.  While earning her Ph. D she worked with varying palladium-containing molecules, called palladium complexes, to create carbon-nitrogen bonds on aryl rings.  Her background in chemistry allowed her to obtain a position at the biopharmaceutical company AbbVie.  Upon graduation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dr. Wagaw secured the position of Director in the Pharmaceutical Development department of the company.  She was later promoted to Senior Director  for Process Research and R&D which she continues to serve as currently.  In addition to these accomplishments, Dr. Wagaw is also on the advisory board for Asymchem which is a company that provides R&D and production services to pharmaceutical companies.   

Dr. Kim Weaver
Dr. Kim Weaver is an astrophysicist for NASA.  She works in the X-Ray astrophysics lab at the Goddard Space Flight Center.  She was also an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University.  Past work of hers includes research conducted with the Chandra X-Ray Telescope.  Work with this massive telescope enabled Dr. Weaver to identify and observe black holes, leading to increased understanding of the ability of these astronomical objects to trap objects in orbits around them.  Today, Dr. Weaver continues to work for NASA as a member of the X-ray astrophysics lab.  

 

Dr. Angana Chatterji
Dr. Angana Chatterji is a Research Anthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley. Also at the university, Dr. Chatterji founded and serves as Co-Chair of the Political Conflict, Gender, and People’s Rights Initiative.

Celebrating Women In STEM

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science falls on February 11th.  To celebrate this, over the next two weeks WSKG will be highlighting women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in the Women in STEM project!  This spotlight will start with women involved in the sciences and continue to shift through each letter of STEM.  Each day women achieve greatness in their fields, and it is important to acknowledge that.  Showcasing the work of 24 women of varying backgrounds and ages demonstrates this capability and serves as a means of increasing the female presence in STEM history. 

Young women should be able to see someone who looks like them succeeding in the professional world. This creates STEM identity, which is the power of representation and sense of belonging creating purpose and sense of worth in associated fields.  This can benefit future generations as more people feel comfortable to explore their interests.  The Women in STEM project aims to demonstrate that there is no one “face of STEM”, it is ambiguous. Each of the branches of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math are expansive. Within this project spanning the next two weeks we will traverse through STEM exploring the works of many women in a variety of fields.  The Science section of Women in STEM will be populated by microbiology, ecology, organic chemistry, astrophysics, and social sciences.  Following Science is the Technology portion.  This consists of women working in architecture, information technology, and aerospace.  After this, the Engineering section will showcase the work of civil, software, mechanical, environmental, and electrical engineers.  Women in STEM will close with a look into the achievements of women in Mathematics.  This includes statisticians, programmers, operational researchers, and actuaries. The power of representation in education cannot be understated.  It is so significant for young women to understand that people like them have done great things.  Representation allows for a girl to feel like she belongs, whether it be in the classroom learning math or in the lab experimenting with microscopes.  There are many barriers to success for women including race, religion and societal preference toward their male colleagues.  There are men who have done and will do great things for STEM fields, but there are also women whom history has hidden.  These standards in society need to be actively combatted, and this is what the Women in STEM project seeks to do.  By increasing the visibility of both current and past women achieving greatness in STEM, young women can feel confident in their capabilities and know they belong.

Science Pub | The Skin You’re In

The Skin You’re In
Better Understanding the Body’s Largest Organ
Guy German, PhD

Learn about the complex chemical and biological structures that protect our skin from cosmetics, sunlight, bacteria, and a host of environmental hazards. See how biomimicry helps scientists design products that alleviate pesky skin issues. Explore amazing breakthroughs like “DNA sunscreens” that boost protection the longer we’re in the sun. 

Dr. German is Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Binghamton University. His research focuses on understanding “soft matter” for use in biomedical applications. His team studies how skin protects us while allowing essential compounds in.

Science Pub Returns This Fall

Science Pub returns this fall from the comfort of your home, please join us for these exciting virtual experiences. The Science of Sex: Beyond Binary
Exploring Gender Through an Anthropological Lens
Speaker: Aviva Friedman

Biological sex is often thought of as a binary: male/female. Though many of us realize that gender identity can be quite expansive, we sometimes get lost in the weeds of what’s “based in biology.” This talk will explore the biological components that make up physical sex and examine how they relate to gender identity across cultures. Aviva Friedman is Community Educator at Family Planning of South Central New York.

Science Pub BING presents Ticks in our Town: What every Northeasterner Needs to Know

Here is the recorded Science Pub from June 9th
Ticks in our Town: What every Northeasterner Needs to Know

 

Join Dr. Amanda Roome, Bassett Research Institute, for a conversation and Q &A on ticks and how to prepare for summer. 

Everyone’s ready to get outside –– especially this year. If the spread of tick-borne disease has you worried, you’re not alone. But before you miss the beauty of the great Northeast in spring, let’s turn to science to explore:

Tick-borne diseases in our area
Seasonal hazards of exposure
Risk factors of Lyme disease
How to work safely outdoors
The role that deer and opossums play

Enjoy this science pub from the comfort of your home. RSVP HERE. 

Guest Speaker:

Dr. Amanda Roome is a Research Scientist at the Bassett Research Institute in Cooperstown, NY.  She has performed extensive field and laboratory research on tick-borne diseases in New York State since 2012, and has recently begun expanding her research throughout the Northeast.  Her research explores the risk of exposure to Lyme and other tick-borne pathogens, risk factors associated with Lyme infection, quality of life changes resulting from acute or chronic Lyme infection, and the occupational hazards of tick-borne disease exposure in forestry workers.

Getting Lost in “The Great Pause” Online Discussion

Getting Lost in “The Great Pause” Online Discussion

This event took place on Thursday April 30 at 7pm. Watch a recording of the event below.

We’re experiencing the coronavirus outbreak as one, yet we all have different coping styles. Are you focused on logistics? Struggling to stay motivated in a strangely isolated world? Are you unable to concentrate? Or confused about your sudden jumble of new roles?

The Gene: An Intimate History

Join WSKG for an online screening  April 9th at 7 pm 

RSVP Here

Scientific genetics, little more than a century old, holds at once the promise of eradicating disease and the threat of altering the very essence of what it means to be human. “The Gene: An Intimate History” traces the dizzying evolution of this new science as researchers race to identify treatments for genetic diseases, such as cancer and sickle cell anemia, and to perfect tools for rewriting DNA. Guest Speakers:

Chris Durrance
Filmmaker

Dr. Maria Garcia-Garcia
Cornell University Associate Professor Molecular Biology and Genetics

Dr. Cedric Feschotte
Cornell University Professor Molecular Biology & Genetics

“The Gene: An Intimate History” brings vividly to life the story of today’s revolution in medical science through present-day tales of patients and doctors at the forefront of the search for genetic treatments, interwoven with a compelling history of the discoveries that made this possible and the ethical challenges raised by the ability to edit DNA with precision.  
The series uses science, social history and personal stories to weave together a historical biography of the human genome while also exploring the stunning breakthroughs in understanding the impact genes play on heredity, disease and behavior. From the story of the remarkable achievements of the earliest gene hunters and the bitterly fought race to read the entire human genome, to the unparalleled ethical challenges of gene editing, the documentary is a journey through key genetics discoveries that are some of the greatest achievements in the history of science.

What is hiding in the Chenango River and how can you assist scientists in finding out?

By Science Intern, Ethan Campbell

The Chenango River is home to a number of macroinvertebrates, in this case: juvenile insect species. These species hatch in the water column and live the early stages of their lives in said aquatic ecosystems. For some of these species, the majority of their existence is spent as juveniles in the water. The Missouri Department of Conservation states that Dobsonflies may live as juveniles in the water column for 2-3 years, while only living as adults for weeks. In our brief sample, we found nymphs of caddisflies, stoneflies, mayflies, and dobsonflies. According to Dr. Julian Shepherd Professor at Binghamton University, these species serve as the basis of many food chains.

Science Communication Storytelling Class at Cornell University

Communicating science to the public is a skillset many scientists require, but few are professionally trained in. There is a disconnect between learning science and being an effective communicator of it. Through a collaboration with Cornell University, TST BOCES, Engaged Cornell and WSKG, a new science communication class was born focused on storytelling and relating content to the general public. This unique partnership has led to Cornell University being the first collegiate student reporting lab for the PBS NewsHour. Through mentorship and skill building, students learn the art of how to storyboard, film, interview and edit, creating their own science stories. 

‘Two E-Birds with one Stone: an app helps Birders & Scientists’

 

 

Robotics

What does it take to create, design and make a robot that competes with other bots?

WSKG Science Intern Highlight: Ethan Campbell

WSKG welcomes Ethan Campbell, a Binghamton University student, into the education/science department for the fall of 2019. He will be learning science communication and the role of public media in our community. Below is an excerpt from Mr. Campbell. I am currently a senior at Binghamton University, double majoring in economics and environmental studies. With my education, I hope to work on fighting climate change and environmental degradation.

How Are You Celebrating National Pollinator Week?

What do bees, butterflies, flies and hummingbirds all have in common? If you answered that they are all pollinators – you are correct and we are celebrating them during the week of June 23-27th , National Pollinator Week. Pollinators contribute substantially to the New York State’s environment and economy. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pollinators provide approximately $344 million worth of pollination services to New York and add $29 billion in value to crop production nationally each year. New York’s ability to produce crops such as apples, grapes, cherries, onions, pumpkins, and cauliflower relies heavily on the presence of pollinators, according to the New York State Department of Conservation.

SciGirls Strategies Live Stream

Wednesday June 12pm 2pm ET

The SciGirls approach is rooted in research about how to engage girls in STEM. A quarter of a century of studies have converged on a set of common strategies that work, and they have become the framework for SciGirls. SciGirls conducted a literature review, funded by the National Science Foundation, to update the strategies with the latest gender equitable and culturally responsive research. Be among the first to learn the latest tips on how to engage girls in STEM. Register here: SciGirls Strategies Live Stream

Webinar from PBS Learning Media on Teaching Climate Impacts and Sustainability

Teaching about Climate Impacts and Sustainability
Drought Stories and Solutions

New Digital Resources on PBS LearningMedia – Grades 9-12

Thursday, March 28, 2019 7:00:00 PM EDT

Webinar Objectives:

Learn about the new collection of free digital resources, Climate Change Impacts and Solutions: Drought on PBS LearningMedia™
Hear from an expert in climate education and a classroom science teacher
Leave with new ideas and NGSS-aligned resources to engage your students in the real-world impacts of climate change

Today’s students need to understand how their world is changing due to climate change, as well as the impacts that those changes could have on their local community. The resources and instructional experience that we will address in this webinar help shift the classroom conversation about climate change to focus on solutions that communities are developing right now to build resilience in the face of drought, one of many climate change impacts. We will take a tour of the resources; which include news videos of communities facing serious water shortages, climate data from NOAA and NASA, and everyday solutions. You will leave with ideas and strategies for incorporating materials into your classroom instruction and hear from a teacher about his experience with the resources. The collection, Climate Change Impacts and Solutions: Drought helps students learn about impacts of drought through news videos of communities facing serious water shortages, analyzing drought data and models, and doing research on and evaluating potential solutions.

Science Communication Workshop Aims to Engage STEM Researchers Across New York

By: Jason Chang and Andy Sanchez

In just over a decade, the United States went from laughing at Stephen Colbert’s “truthiness” to fighting over Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts.” Scientific evidence is a necessary resource in this contentious environment, but to utilize that resource, scientists need to build effective communication skills. ComSciCon-Cornell helps scientists do exactly that, bringing together graduate and postdoctoral researchers from across the Central and Western New York region to learn about and engage in scientific communication. This past July, a team of six Cornell University graduate students and postdoctoral fellows organized ComSciCon-Cornell 2018 for 40 STEM researchers. The two-day event explored modern digital communication, with special focus on storytelling, socially sensitive topics, and public engagement.

Southern Tier Scholastic Science Fair

The Southern Tier Scholastic Science Fair is coming to SUNY Broome on Saturday March 23, 2019. Are you in 5th-12th grades and have an idea to enter? There are over $2000 in prizes that will be awarded. Registration opens in February 2019. Those that register before March 12th will receive an official STSSF T-Shirt.

Why do Leaves Change Color in the Fall?

This time of year the trees seem to come alive bursting with colors of orange, reds and copper, but why does this happen? Our friends from EarthSky share how this process works each year. Throughout the spring and summer, the deep green color of chlorophyll, which helps plants absorb life-giving sunlight, hides any other colors present in the leaves of trees. The vivid yellows and oranges of fall leaves are there, but hidden. In the fall, trees break down the green pigments and nutrients stored in their leaves.

Southern Tier Science Conference

Join us after school for a FREE Science conference providing teachers with opportunities to learn and present exemplar lessons, content, teaching techniques and use of technology in the classroom. Network with colleagues from across the region, enter raffles and learn more about professional science organizations like STANYS (Science Teachers Association of NYS). October 4th
4:30pm – 7:30pm (includes dinner)
Chenango Valley High School
221 Chenango Bridge Rd. Binghamton, NY

Outcomes:
Teachers will be presenting on a variety of topics including:
– Innovative instructional strategies
– New Science standards
– Use of technology in the Science classroom
– Science content

Registration & coffee 4:30-4:45
Group 1 4:50-5:50
Dinner 5:50-6:30
Group 2 6:30-7:30

Raffles from BioCorp, Breakout EDU, Pocket Lab, and more! Register HERE. 

This conference is being co-sponsored by BT BOCES, FOSS, Southern Section STANYS, NYS Master Teacher Program and WSKG.

Lending an Ear to STEM

The absence of images in podcasts seems to be a source of their creative potential. Without visuals, listeners are required to fill the gaps-and when these listeners are children, the results can be powerful. Studies have found that children between the ages of 7-13 respond more creatively to radio stories than to stories shown on television. Audio stories prompted kids to draw more novel pictures, think up more unique questions, and solve problems in a more imaginative way than did TV tales. Here are just a few STEM related podcasts for kids:

Wow in the World: NPR’s first show for kids discusses the latest news in science and technology in a way that’s enjoyable for kids and informative for grown-ups. Brains On: Each episode of this science podcast is co-hosted by a different kid, tackling their questions with interviews, fun segments, and the occasional musical number.

E-Styles LED Bracelet Workshop

Parent/child workshop:
Hey families, are you gearing up for the LUMA festival in Binghamton? Work alongside your child as they explore STEAM concepts making their very own LED light up bracelet. This workshop is appropriate for students 11 years old and up. 
Use conductive thread, felt, and LEDs to create soft circuits with e-textiles. Your child will learn about simple circuits, e-textiles and how LEDs work. Workshop will take place in the Uncorked Creations lofts located at 205 State Street, Binghamton.

Yellow-Spotted Salamander Migration

Yellow-Spotted Salamander photo: Nancy Coddington

When the spring temperatures begin to rise and the snow recedes, the first warm rainy night of spring brings a chorus of spring peepers, wood frogs and mole salamanders. The spring migration happens sometime between mid March and April when evening temperatures rise above 40ºF as the amphibians move from the upland wooded areas to vernal pools and ponds to find suitable mates. Spotted salamanders are usually a secretive critter living under rocks, in seeps or underground in small damp burrows, so this is the night to be able to see them in large numbers. https://youtu.be/X9b02qycESc

This migration of yellow-spotted salamanders, Ambystoma maculatum, is a right of passage for some Binghamton University students. Devin DiGiacopo is a third year Phd student in Jessica Hua’s lab at Binghamton University and is researching how road salt affects spotted salamanders.

A Geneticist’s Growing Season

What does a maize geneticist do? Explore the growing season of maize, and how scientists study the plant’s genetic diversity and connect it to the phenotypes they observe. Maize needs lots of sun and warm weather to grow. Seeds are usually planted in spring, in marked rows to identify each plant by its pedigree and genotype. In the mid-summer, when the plants are ready, scientists begin crossing the varieties of maize.

Maize Genetics

There is a tremendous amount of genetic diversity in maize. Much of the maize you have seen may look the same, but across the world there are tens of thousands of  varieties of maize that are different colors, sizes, have different growing times, nutritional content, etc. Scientists at Cornell University are studying the diversity of maize, trying to connect two things: phenotype and genotype. A phenotype is any physical attribute that can be measured (also known as a “trait”). It can be something you can see like how tall the plant is, what color the kernels are, or when the plant flowers.

Maize: Feeding the World

Maize—or “corn”—has a history dating back to the beginning of agriculture, and today is used for everything from livestock feed and human consumption, to the production of starch, sweeteners, corn oil, beverage and industrial alcohol, fuel ethanol, and plastics. Maize is grown on every continent save Antarctica, and is the most widely grown grain in the world. Maize is also one of the most genetically diverse crops, allowing for selection from an incredible array of grain qualities and environmental adaptations. Maize is an excellent example of domestication—evolution in action—and researchers compare current varieties of maize with its wild ancestor, teosinte, to illustrate this principle. Maize was first domesticated from teosinte approximately 9,000-10,000 years ago.

Nature’s Miniature Miracles

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

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 Kelly’s 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
Part One
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.

Spooky Science on PBS Learning Media

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.

Science Friday | A Haunted House Turned Scientists’ Lab

Science Friday airs on WSQX Fridays from 2-4pm

 

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.

Secrets of the Forbidden City

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.

Science Friday #NeatRock Challenge

Science Friday airs on WSQX Fridays 2-4pm

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.

Ghosts of Stonehenge

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.

Fox Tales

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.

Smell That? It’s Forensic Entomology At The Body Farm

Science Friday airs weekly on WSQX Fridays 2-4pm

by Jennifer O’Brien, on September 29, 2017

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.

Naledi: One Little Elephant

Naure | Naledi: One Little Elephant airs on WSKG TV October 4, 2017 at 8pm

Kiti, a gentle elephant in Botswana, was in her 661st day of pregnancy, a normal gestation period, when she finally gave birth to a baby girl. For nearly two weeks, the staff of Abu Camp, a halfway house for orphaned and former zoo and circus elephants, had been passing the time by coming up with a list of possible names for Kiti’s offspring. Perhaps because the calf was born at night, they called her Naledi, which means star in the local language. Naledi was an instant hit with the Abu Camp caretakers including elephant manager Wellington (“Wellie”) Jana who compared her arrival to getting a new daughter in the family. Wildlife biologist and Botswana native Dr. Mike Chase, who is also tasked with looking after Naledi’s herd, hopes she will have the option to be reunited with her extended family.

Climate Conversations: A Series for Middle & High School Educators

Climate Conversations will offer educators tools and resources to teach climate change concepts. PBS LearningMedia is hosting a 3-part virtual professional development series focused around climate change. This series of virtual PD will introduce educators to high-quality, media-based climate change educational materials and allow educators to engage in conversation with scientists, film producers, and other educators. One portion of the series will focus specifically on using the tools in PBS LearningMedia to build a lesson or unit using the materials introduced during the other two events. You must register for each part of the series separately.

What is a Fogbow?

Fogbows are rainbows’ cousins – made in much the same process – but with the small water droplets inside a fog instead of larger raindrops.

Irma Turns Caribbean Islands Brown

The British and U.S. Virgin Islands, before and after Hurricane Irma (The white spots are clouds.) Image via NASA Earth Observatory. By Kathryn Hansen/NASA Earth Observatory

Hurricane Irma churned across the Atlantic Ocean in September 2017, battering several Caribbean islands before moving on to the Florida Keys and the U.S. mainland. As the clouds cleared over places like the Virgin Islands, the destruction became obvious even from space. These natural-color images, captured by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite, show some of Irma’s effect on the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. The views were acquired on August 25 and September 10, 2017, before and after the storm passed.

Death Dive to Saturn

NOVA Death Dive to Saturn airs on WSKG TV on September 13, 2017 at  9pm

Almost everything we know about Saturn comes from Cassini, the NASA mission that launched in 1997. As the mission approaches its final days in 2017, the spacecraft will attempt one last set of daring maneuvers—diving between the innermost ring and the top of Saturn’s atmosphere. Join NASA engineers for the tense and triumphant moments as they find out if their gambit has paid off, and discover the wonders that Cassini has revealed over the years.

How Antibiotics Beefed Up The Chicken Industry

Modern Chicken Farm. photo: shutterstock

Science Friday airs on WSQX Fridays 2-4pm. Before the 1940s, chicken was rarely seen on the dinner table. “Birds for eating were byproducts of egg production of ‘spent’ hens,” writes journalist Maryn McKenna in her book Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats. McKenna traces how the use of antibiotics not only turned poultry into everyday meals, but how it has contributed to the current antibiotic resistance crisis.

Hurricane Irma Blasts Past Puerto Rico With 180-MPH Winds; Risk Rises For Florida

An aerial photograph released by the Dutch Department of Defense shows the damage of Hurricane Irma in Philipsburg, on the Dutch portion of the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten. Photo: Gerben Van Es/AFP/Getty Images

By Bill Chappell

Hurricane Irma is bringing death and destruction to the Caribbean and raising alarm in Florida, where the chance of a direct impact continues to rise. The storm is blamed for at least 10 deaths; thousands of people are being told to get out of its way. Irma brought strong winds and flooding to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands last night. Its dangerous eye passed north of Puerto Rico’s main island — possibly sparing the area from the worst of the 185-mph winds that wreaked horrible destruction in Saint Martin, Anguilla, and Barbuda on Wednesday.

'American Space Ninja' Back On Earth After Record-Breaking Flight

Astronaut Peggy Whitson smiles after landing in Kazakhstan, wrapping up a record 665 days in space for an American. Photo: Sergei Ilnitsky/AP

By Amy Held/NPR
Imagine more than 600 days in space; that’s 21 months cruising the cosmos, or close to two years without flush toilets or pizza. On Saturday, Astronaut Peggy Whitson touched down in Kazakhstan at 9:21 p.m. EDT alongside a fellow American and a Russian in their Soyuz capsule, wrapping up a record-breaking mission. Whitson spent 288 days — more than nine months — on this latest mission aboard the International Space Station. But over the course of her career, she has been away from earth for three long-duration missions, an accumulation of 665 days — longer than any American ever and more time than any woman worldwide.

‘American Space Ninja’ Back On Earth After Record-Breaking Flight

Astronaut Peggy Whitson smiles after landing in Kazakhstan, wrapping up a record 665 days in space for an American. Photo: Sergei Ilnitsky/AP

By Amy Held/NPR
Imagine more than 600 days in space; that’s 21 months cruising the cosmos, or close to two years without flush toilets or pizza. On Saturday, Astronaut Peggy Whitson touched down in Kazakhstan at 9:21 p.m. EDT alongside a fellow American and a Russian in their Soyuz capsule, wrapping up a record-breaking mission. Whitson spent 288 days — more than nine months — on this latest mission aboard the International Space Station. But over the course of her career, she has been away from earth for three long-duration missions, an accumulation of 665 days — longer than any American ever and more time than any woman worldwide.

September's Full Moon Just Around The Corner

Harvest Moon with Century Saguaro (over 100 years old) against the Santa Catalina Mountains of southern Arizona, via Randall Kayfes. By EarthSky: 

The moon turns precisely full on September 6 at 3:03 a.m. EDT, 2:03 a.m. CDT, 1:03 a.m. MDT and 12:03 PDT. That’s why we say the full moon falls on the night of September 5, for the Americas. Is this September full moon the Harvest Moon? Not precisely, but it’ll act like one.

September’s Full Moon Just Around The Corner

Harvest Moon with Century Saguaro (over 100 years old) against the Santa Catalina Mountains of southern Arizona, via Randall Kayfes. By EarthSky: 

The moon turns precisely full on September 6 at 3:03 a.m. EDT, 2:03 a.m. CDT, 1:03 a.m. MDT and 12:03 PDT. That’s why we say the full moon falls on the night of September 5, for the Americas. Is this September full moon the Harvest Moon? Not precisely, but it’ll act like one.

How Mosquitoes Use Six Needles to Suck Your Blood | Deep Look

The common house mosquito in California (Culex pipiens) can transmit West Nile virus by biting infected birds, then biting humans. (Josh Cassidy/KQED)

Seen up close, the anatomy of a mosquito bite is terrifying. The most dangerous animal in the world uses six needle-like mouthparts to saw into our skin, tap a blood vessel and sometimes leave a dangerous parting gift. https://youtu.be/rD8SmacBUcU

Scientists have discovered that the mosquito’s mouth, called a proboscis isn’t just one tiny spear. It’s a sophisticated system of thin needles, each of which pierces the skin, finds blood vessels and makes it easy for mosquitoes to suck blood out of them. Male mosquitoes don’t bite us, but when a female mosquito pierces the skin, a flexible lip-like sheath called the labium scrolls up and stays outside as she pushes in six needle-like parts that scientists refer to as stylets.

Earth's Natural Wonders | Extreme Wonders

Earth’s Natural Wonders airs on WSKG-TV on August 30, 2017 at 8pm

 

Visit extreme locales — from the highest mountain to the greatest canyon — and learn how these places test their inhabitants to the limit. On Mount Everest, a Sherpa has to rope a route across the notorious Khumbu Icefall in time for the hundreds of foreign mountaineers who will arrive for climbing season. In the Grand Canyon, conservationists desperately try to ensure the survival of one of America’s few surviving condor chicks. And, on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, farmers fight pitched battles with elephants in the dead of night. https://youtu.be/EVKpixVieAQ

The “Earth’s Natural Wonders” series tells the stories of some of our planet’s most spectacular places and how they have shaped the lives of those who live there.

Not A Total Eclipse, But New York Had A Special Day Nonetheless

Ampersand Mountain Summit. photo credits: Nancy Coddington 

​New Yorkers who stayed in-state didn’t see the total eclipse of the sun on Monday. But that didn’t stop people from enjoying the moment. People gathered from all over the state to watch the solar eclipse happen in a variety of places. As Director of Science at WSKG, I had a personal interest in watching the eclipse from a unique vantage point.

Colleges Have Increased Women Computer Science Majors: What Can Google Learn?

Harvey Mudd College students Ellen Seidel and Christine Chen work on a summer research project in computer science. Photo: Harvey Mudd College

By Laura Sydell, NPR

A Google engineer who got fired over a controversial memo that criticized the company’s diversity policies said that there might be biological reasons there are fewer women engineers. But top computer science schools have proven that a few cultural changes can increase the number of women in the field. In 2006, only about 10 percent of computer science majors at Harvey Mudd College were women. That’s pretty low since Harvey Mudd is a school for students who are interested in science, math and technology.

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to … Interactive Biodegradable Funerary Urns?

The Bios Urn mixes cremains with soil and seedlings. It automatically waters and cares for the memorial sapling, sending updates to a smartphone app. Bios Urn

By Glenn McDonald, NPR

Earlier this summer, a modest little startup in Barcelona, Spain, unveiled its newest product — a biodegradable, Internet-connected funeral urn that turns the ashes of departed loved ones into an indoor tree. Just mix the cremains with soil and seedlings, and the digital-age urn will automatically water and care for your memorial sapling, sending constant updates to an app on your smartphone. At first glance, the concept seems gimmicky — evidently, we’re running out of ideas for smart appliances. But the Bios Incubesystem can also be seen as the latest example of a gradual transformation in modern culture.

Why Do Fireflies Light Up?

Photo via Fiona M. Donnelly in Smiths Falls, Ontario. Story by EarthSky. Fireflies are sometimes called lightning bugs. Many a child has spent a summer evening chasing them. And maybe you’ve wondered – how and why are these insects able to light up?

NASA Needs Your Help During the August eclipse

NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured a solar eclipse. photo courtesy: NASA

 

On August 21, a shadow will fall across North America. Towns along the eclipse path of totality are eagerly making plans to accommodate the thousands of visitors expected to trek out for the celestial marvel. NASA scientists are searching for people who are making plans to watch the eclipse, either at home or traveling.   All of North America will experience at least a partial eclipse,  this is where you can become a NASA citizen scientist.

Rare | Creatures of the Photo Ark

Rare Creatures of the Photo Ark airs on WSKG-TV on August 1, 2017 at 9pm

In his 25 years as a National Geographic photographer, Joel Sartore has learned to never ignore the smaller creatures in our midst. Joel gets us up close with colorful and charismatic insects with faces and features usually found in sci-fi flicks, because “they help make the world go ‘round.”

Joel also goes in search of larger animals. In the Czech Republic and in one of the series’ most poignant moments, Joel boards the rarest rhinoceros in the world onto the Photo Ark. Nabiré is one of only five of northern white rhinos left on the planet and it may be too late for her kind. Joel’s got one more hike-he’d-rather-not-hike in him, this time in New Zealand where he tags along on a Rowi kiwi egg rescue.

RARE|Creatures of the Photo Ark

RARE Creatures of the Photo Ark airs on WSKG July 18, 2017 at 9pm. Joel started the Photo Ark in his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, over a decade ago. Since then, he has visited over 40 countries and completed portraits of more than 6,500 species in his quest to create a photo archive of global biodiversity, which will feature portraits of an estimated 12,000 species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries. As part of Joel’s deeper collaboration with National Geographic, the project is now called the National Geographic Photo Ark. No matter its size, each animal is treated with the same amount of affection and respect.

Chasing Coral, and Climate Solutions, in New Documentary

Side by side comparison of a coral reef, before and after bleaching. Credit: Chasing Coral

Science Friday: Coral bleaching occurs when warmer-than-normal waters stress corals and cause them to expel the colorful algae that live symbiotically in their cells. A bleached coral is still alive, but is likely to die if the stress lasts too long. An estimated 30 percent of the world’s monitored reef formations have already perished as the climate has heated up. [This hybrid coral withstands climate change better than its relatives.]

As reefs around the world have suffered bleaching events—including several that are still affecting large portions of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef—one group of filmmakers worked for nearly three years to document the devastation in real time and share it with the public.

New York DEC Awards Grants to Restore Chesapeake Bay Watershed

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today awarded three grants totaling nearly $1 million for programs in New York’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Funding for the grants is provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. DEC’s Chesapeake Bay Watershed Program administers the grants. “Riparian buffers are critical to New York’s continued effort to reduce nutrients and sediment in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. New York, along with six other jurisdictions, are working together to restore the Chesapeake Bay,” said DEC Commissioner Seggos. “Riparian buffers have the added benefit of reducing flood impacts, creating wildlife habitat, and providing shade to streams. These land acquisitions and conservation easements will permanently protect these riparian areas and help improve and sustain water quality and habitat.”

What Causes Frogs to Have More Than Four Legs?

Frogs across the United States are showing up with something very odd- extra legs.  Scientists have been studying these frogs to find out what is causing this strange phenomenon.  They have identified the parasite (Ribeiroia ondatrae) infection linked to amphibian malformations in the western United States:

Science Behind Kids and Marshmallows

German and Cameroonian kids were part of an experiment based on the classic “marshmallow test”: Put a single treat before a child but tell the child if he or she waits, say, 10 minutes, a second treat will be given.  

by Michaeleen Doucleff, NPR 

In the the 1960s, a Stanford psychologist ran an experiment to study children’s self-control. It’s called the marshmallow test. And it’s super simple. Kids ages 3 to 5 choose a treat — an Oreo cookie, a pretzel stick or a marshmallow.

Big Pacific | Voracious

Big Pacific airs on WSKG TV Wednesday July 5, 2017 at 8pm

During this episode of Big Pacific explore how animals survive, thrive or become someone else’s meal.  There is plenty of food in the Pacific Ocean, but it is the challenge of finding that food that drives all life in the Pacific. In the voracious Pacific we meet a destructive army of mouths, a killer with a hundred mouths and the biggest mouth in the ocean.The Pacific Ocean covers one third of the Earth’s surface. It is larger than all Earth’s land combined, holds half of our world’s water, and hides the deepest place on our planet. It is a place where huge and iconic, rare and dazzling creatures live – and where creatures yet to be discovered lurk.

Polar Bear Witness on Science Friday

Science Friday airs on WSQX Fridays from 2-4pm

by Luke Groskin, Emily Driscoll,

For USGS wildlife biologist Karyn Rode, tracking and tranquilizing polar bears from a helicopter are just the first thrilling steps in her research. After acquiring various samples from sleeping bears, Dr. Rode’s unique understanding of what they eat and how quickly they metabolize nutrients allows her to determine the condition of each bear. Working with a team of scientists from the US Fish and Wildlife Service for nearly a decade, Dr. Rode’s monitoring of polar bear health has helped reveal how well populations are adapting to the rapidly warming Arctic. https://youtu.be/eWJT7BuRsWw

Great Yellowstone Thaw

View at a vivid grand canyon of the Yellowstone and Yellowstone River. Credit: Filip Fuxa/Shutterstock

 

Great Yellowstone Thaw airs on WSKG-TV on Wednesday June 28, 2017 at 9pm

Greater Yellowstone is a unique place. Nestling high up in the Rocky Mountains in North West America, this ecosystem is one of the world’s greatest wildernesses. But it’s a place of extremes, and the wildlife must deal with one of the toughest springs on Earth. To understand how, this series is following a number of iconic wildlife families – including wolves, grizzlies, Great Gray Owls and beavers.

Chesapeake Bay’s ‘Dead Zone’ Expected to be Bigger Than Average This Summer

Scientists predict the Chesapeake Bay will have a larger than average ‘dead zone’ this summer, where oxygen levels in the water are so low fish and crabs will leave the area, if they can. Photo: Bay Journal

According to the Bay Journal, a year after experiencing its best water quality in decades, the Chesapeake Bay is expected to have a larger than average “dead zone” this summer, where fish, crabs and shellfish will struggle to breathe. Researchers with the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) and the University of Michigan are forecasting that the volume of oxygen-starved water in the Bay will grow to 1.9 cubic miles, enough to nearly fill 3.2 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. A “dead zone” is a popular term for water that’s low in oxygen, or hypoxic. Fish often leave such areas; if they’re trapped — or immobile, like shellfish — they can suffocate.

Greenland's Thinning Ice

According to NASA, the ice sheets in Greenland are reducing at an alarming rate. With temperatures around the world climbing, melt waters from the continental ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are raising sea levels. Those ice sheets are melting from both above and below. Much of the ice lost from ice sheets comes from a process called calving where ice erodes, breaks off, and flows rapidly into the ocean. A large volume of ice is also lost from ice sheets melting on their surfaces. https://youtu.be/Rl7mPdZCRKg

To determine to what extent Greenland’s glaciers are being melted from underneath, NASA recently began a 5-year airborne and ship-based mission called Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG).

Why Sharks Attack

NOVA Why Sharks Attacks airs on WSKG-TV on June 14, 2017 at 9pm

In recent years, an unusual spate of deadly shark attacks has gripped Australia, resulting in five deaths in ten months. At the same time, great white sharks have begun appearing in growing numbers off the beaches of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, not far from the waters where Steven Spielberg filmed the ultimate shark fright film, Jaws. What’s behind the mysterious arrival of this apex predator in an area where they’ve rarely been seen for hundreds of years? Are deadly encounters with tourists inevitable? To separate fact from fear, NOVA teams up with leading shark experts in Australia and the United States to discover the science behind the great white’s hunting instincts.

June's Full Moon will Appear Smaller

At right, the April 2007 smallest full moon of the year. At left, the October 2007 supermoon, or largest full moon of the year. Image via Wikimedia Commons. According to Earth & Sky, this June full moon will be the smallest full moon of 2017. Like all June full moons, it’ll ride low in the sky from the Northern Hemisphere and high in the sky from the Southern Hemisphere.

How Involved is Science with Forensics?

photo credit: Missouri Department of Public Safety

Science Friday airs on WSQX weekly Fridays from 2-4pm

In 2009, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine published a harsh critique of forensic science: Many of the techniques long relied upon, such as matching bite marks or hair samples, or even crime scene fingerprints, to suspected criminals, are actually unreliable and lack any basis in scientific research. In 2015, the FBI admitted that its analyses of hair samples tilted unfairly in favor of the prosecution in 95 percent of reviewed cases. The end of April saw the expiration of the multidisciplinary National Commission on Forensic Science, created by President Obama to establish standards and bring rigor to forensic science. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said that the Department of Justice will conduct an internal review on how to move forward on reforming forensic science, and will perhaps lean more heavily on law enforcement than did Obama’s commission, which included independent scientists, lab directors, attorneys, and more. [Forensic entomologists hunt down insects to help catch criminals.]

One of those independent scientists, West Virginia University forensic chemistry professor Suzanne Bell, joins Ira to explain the impact of losing the commission, the ongoing lack of consistent scientific rigor in forensics investigations, and how to improve forensic science.

Pennsylvania Students Seek to Make the Hellbender State Amphibian

The hellbender is North America’s largest amphibian. (Dave Harp)

According to the Bay Journal,  the Eastern Hellbender won’t win any beauty contests. It’s picked up such unflattering nicknames as “snot otter” and “old lasagna sides.”

But because the rarely seen giant salamander can only live in the most pristine of streams, a small group of Pennsylvania high school students thinks Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis should be named the official state amphibian, as a sort of clean water mascot. By calling attention to the existence — and decline —of hellbenders, the students hope to foster awareness in Pennsylvania of the need to restore the health of its rivers and streams.

“We want hellbenders to become a household name,” said River Sferlazza, 16, a member of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Student Leadership Council in Pennsylvania. “If it’s the state amphibian, hellbenders will become harder for people to forget.”

The student leadership council is an experiential learning program for young advocates for clean water in the Bay watershed.

Delicious Science | Food on the Brain

Delicious Science airs on Wednesday May 17, 2017 at 10pm

Food – Delicious Science is the scientific story of the food on your plate. Michael Mosley and James Wong present a celebration of the physics, chemistry and biology that lies hidden inside every bite. Together they travel the world and take over the UK’s leading food lab as they deconstruct our favorite meals, taking us inside the food, right down to the molecular level. In this first episode, Michael and James explore the effect of “Food on the Brain.” The brain is one of the greediest organs in the body in terms of the energy it needs to run. The way it influences our diet is, in the main, by generating the cravings we all experience.

Plants Behaving Badly | Sex & Lies

Plants Behaving Badly airs on WSKG TV May 10, 2017 at 10pm

Join us as we conclude Plants Behaving Badly with in depth look at orchids, whose exotic flowers are shaped to attract pollinators. Many use sex as a lure, impersonating a female bee or wasp. Darwin’s book “On the Origin of Species” shook the scientific world and far beyond. Yet it was his next book, devoted entirely to orchids, which filled in gaps and firmed up his revolutionary ideas. Orchids have an ethereal beauty, whether growing hundreds of feet up in a misty rainforest or along the verges of busy suburban roads.

Enter the 'Funky Nests in Funky Places' Photography Contest

photo by: Donna Santarossa Windsor, ON, Canada, Morning Dove 

Cornell Lab of Ornithology, located in Ithaca NY, announces the launch of their annual ‘Funky Nests in Funky Places’ contest. This popular contest focuses on the quirky places birds sometimes build their nests. Participants have found nests on tiny skyscraper ledges, in barbecue grills, traffic lights, wind chimes, flower pots, an old motorcycle helmet, or just about anywhere. Go outside this spring and check out store signs, streetlights, balconies, traffic lights, gutters, downspouts, rooftops, stadium lights, light fixtures, grills, utility poles, potted plants and more! You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find, and be sure to share your discoveries. The contest is geared towards the general public, they are not looking for professional photographers,  just looking for interesting stories. They  hope that people of all ages will participate, and will accept diverse types of entries like poems or videos.

Bring Science Friday Into Your Classroom

Science Friday Spoonfuls are doses of current science, technology, and engineering stories ready for the classroom. Each Spoonful contains a short piece of media (article, video, radio interview), a transcript (for video and radio), student questions, and activity suggestions for extending student exploration into the science behind the story. Introduce your students to the circadian rhythm of microbes, the astronomer who pinned down the elusive Planet Nine, or even the researchers who created a 3D-printed glove that can give you different fingerprints! With brand new stories each week, you can find one that aligns to a concept you’re getting ready to teach or you can simply use them to bring more STEM news into the classroom. How do I find Spoonfuls?

Plants Behaving Badly | Murder & Mayhem

photo: Intermediate sundew; in cultivation. Terra Mater/Parthenon Entertainment/Steve Nicholls

 

Plants Behaving Badly airs on WSKG TV May 3, 2017 at 10pm

Two groups of plants exhibit such intriguing behavior that a century and a half ago they attracted the attention of Charles Darwin. These same plants, the orchids and the carnivorous plants, still fascinate scientists today. In two one-hour films, “Plants Behaving Badly” reveals a world of deceit and treachery worthy of any fictional thriller. Charles Darwin was fascinated by the extraordinary behavior of carnivorous plants, and we now know that he barely knew the half of it. Recently scientists have shown that many more plants are carnivorous than we ever thought.

Wild Weather

Wild Weather airs on WSKG-TV April 26, 2017 at 10pm

The best way to truly understand weather is to get inside it. Wild Weather introduces a global group of experts who risk their lives to demonstrate the power of wind, water and temperature, taking these simple “ingredients” and transforming them into something spectacular and powerful for everyone to understand.

The Fish On My Plate

FRONTLINE The Fish On My Plate airs on WSKG TV Tuesday April 25, 2017 at 10pm

“What fish should I eat that’s good for me and good for the planet?” Bestselling author and lifelong fisherman Paul Greenberg (“Four Fish”; “American Catch”) sets out to answer that question in “The Fish on My Plate,” a 90-minute FRONTLINE special. As part of his quest to investigate the health of the ocean — and his own — Greenberg spends a year eating seafood at breakfast, lunch and dinner. With people worldwide consuming more seafood than ever, Greenberg also explores questions of sustainability and overfishing, traveling to Norway, where modern fish farming was invented; Peru to witness the world’s largest wild fishery; Alaska, where 200 million salmon can be caught each year; and Connecticut to visit a sustainable ocean farming pioneer who is trying to transform the fishing industry. https://youtu.be/X6fxrBZqoGg

Holocaust Escape Tunnel

NOVA Holocaust Escape Tunnel airs on WSKG-TV April 19, 2017 at 9pm

For centuries, the Lithuanian city of Vilna was one of the most important Jewish centers in the world, earning the title “Jerusalem of the North” until World War II, when the Nazis murdered about 95% of its Jewish population and reduced its synagogues and cultural institutions to ruins. The Soviets finished the job, paving over the remnants of Vilna’s famous Great Synagogue so thoroughly that few today know it ever existed. Now, an international team of archaeologists is trying to rediscover this forgotten world, excavating the remains of its Great Synagogue and searching for proof of one of Vilna’s greatest secrets: a lost escape tunnel dug by Jewish prisoners inside a horrific Nazi execution site.

March for Science

On April 22, 2017, people from across the country will walk showing their support for science. The main walk will take place on Saturday in Washington, D.C.

The March for Science is the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments, according to march the organizers. Wan to join them? Find out where the local marches are taking place in Binghamton, Corning, Ithaca, and Schoharie areas on the March for Science website. The March for Science is a celebration of science.

Science Friday is on the Hunt for Desert Bees

Wild bee burrowing into a barrel cactus bloom. Photo by Christopher Intagliata. by Christopher Intagliata, on April 4, 2017

During our recent Science Friday segment about springtime wildflower blooms, UC Riverside bee biologist Hollis Woodard talked about the wild desert bees that profit from this year’s abundant flowers. While she was on, she shared some awesome bee lore: like the fact that deserts are actually bee biodiversity hotspots; that the majority of bees are solitary and live underground; and that one desert-dwelling bee, Centris rhodopus, has a really weird diet: it collects oil from the fuschia flowers of the Krameria bicolor bush to feed its larvae. That unusual relationship between the Centris bees and Krameria was first characterized in the 1970s by a couple of bee science giants, the husband-and-wife team of Jack Neff and Beryl Simpson.

Viva Puerto Rico

El Yunque National Forest, La Mina Falls. Photo: Nancy Coddington 

Nature Viva Puerto Rico airs on WSKG-TV April 12, 2017 at 8pm

Viva Peurto Rico follows the work of three conservationists and the ways in which each is trying to restore populations of the island’s most endangered species: the Puerto Rican Amazon parrot, Leatherback turtle, and manatee. There are important conservation efforts underway in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to protect its endangered native wildlife from extinction on land and sea. Once home to ancient rainforests that covered the Caribbean island when Columbus first landed in 1493, centuries of development have impacted Puerto Rico’s rich natural resources. By 1900, only five percent of its rainforests remained, causing a major loss of habitat.

In The Dark Woods Of New England, Shedding Light On A Public Health Crisis

Ixodes scapularis, a blacklegged tick known to spread lyme disease in the northeastern regions of the United States. Photo by Macroscopic Solutions/flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

 

Tune in for Science Friday today between 2-4pm to hear how scientists are racing the clock to learn more about the bacterium carried by the blacklegged tick. If you live in some of the more bucolic areas of New England or the upper Midwest you probably know that the price of living so close to nature is ticks carrying Lyme Disease. States like New York, Connecticut, Minnesota, Massachusetts are ground zero for a Lyme Disease epidemic that has been in full swing for several decades now. And despite the fact that tick borne disease is so familiar to people who live in these areas, most of us don’t know as much as we think we do about the nature of Lyme Disease.

The Crowd & The Cloud | Even Big Data Starts Small

The Crowd & The Cloud, Even Big Data Starts Small airs on WSKG-TV April 5, 2017 at 11pm

Are you interested in birds, fish, the oceans or streams in your community? Are you concerned about fracking, air quality, extreme weather, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, Zika or other epidemics? Now you can do more than read about these issues. You can be part of the solution. Smartphones, computers and mobile technology are enabling regular citizens to become part of a 21st century way of doing science.

Leonardo, The Man Who Saved Science

Leonardo, The Man Who Saved Science airs on WSKG-TV Wednesday April 5, 2017 at 10pm. Leonardo da Vinci is well known for his inventions as well as his art. But new evidence shows that many of his ideas were realized long before he sketched them out in his notebooks — some even 1,700 years before. Was Leonardo a copycat? Leonardo da Vinci is, of course, best known as one of the world’s greatest artists.

Jane Goodall Celebrates her 83rd Birthday

Jane Goodall with a young chimpanzee. Photo source: nationalgeographic.com

From the Writers Almanac

Today is the birthday of Dr. Jane Goodall (books by this author) (1934), famed British primatologist who revealed the previously unknown social behaviors of chimpanzees by living for years among them. Goodall was born in London to a businessman father and novelist mother, who noted her love of animals from a very young age. One day when they could not find her, Jane’s parents frantically called the police to report their daughter missing. A few hours later, they discovered that she had been staked out in the family’s backyard chicken coop to watch a hen lay an egg.

Climate Change Skeptic Group Seeks to Influence 200,000 Teachers

The Heartland Institute says it will send the book “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming” to every public school science teacher in the nation. (Brenna Verre, FRONTLINE)

by Katie Worth, FRONTLINE/Columbia Journalism School Fellowships

Twenty-five thousand science teachers opened their mailboxes this month and found a package from the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank that rejects the scientific consensus on climate change. It contained the organization’s book “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming,” as well as a DVD rejecting the human role in climate change and arguing instead that rising temperatures have been caused primarily by natural phenomena. The material will be sent to an additional 25,000 teachers every two weeks until every public-school science teacher in the nation has a copy, Heartland president and CEO Joseph Bast said in an interview last week. If so, the campaign would reach more than 200,000 K-12 science teachers.

Use PBS Learning Media in Your Classroom to Discuss Seafood Sustainbility

Check out this PBS Learning Media resource discussing seafood sustainability. Did you know that the decisions we make when ordering seafood can impact the health of the ocean? Asking the right questions can help us make more sustainable choices. This video is part of a larger unit within the California Academy of Sciences’ Flipside Science series: Healthy Oceans

Ezra, Beloved Red-Tail At Cornell, Is Dead

Photo by Karel & BOGette. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the Red-tail Hawk we have to come love named Ezra has died. As some of you may know, Ezra has not been seen on the Cornell Hawks cam or on the Cornell campus for the past several days, and worries have been mounting. We are extremely sad to have to share the news with you that we learned this evening that Ezra has died. On Saturday, March 18, the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center received an injured Red-tailed Hawk who we now know was Ezra, and who had been found near the A. D. White House on campus.

Want To Eat Green For St. Patrick's Day? Do It The Irish Way — With Seaweed

Sea algae at low tide along the Irish coast. Seaweed was long a part of Irish cuisine. Nutrient-rich, it helped some survive the Great Famine. Irish cooks reviving the practice say it’s not just good for you – it’s a zap of flavor from the sea.   AdventurePicture/Getty Images/iStockphoto

By Deena Prichep, NPR 

Speak of the Emerald Isle, and you picture verdant rolling hillsides.

The Story of Cats | Asia to Africa

The Story of Cats: Asia to Africa airs on WSKG-TV Wednesday March 15, 2017 at 9:30pm

 

Cats are among the most feared and revered creatures on the planet.  Their power, strength, and enigmatic nature have fascinated us for centuries.  They’ve dominated human culture since the dawn of civilization.  Go from the rainforests, to the savannah, to the mountain peaks all the way into the comfort of our homes.  Get an in-depth look at this unique species and the evolutionary tricks and adaptations that truly make a cat, a cat. n the first episode of The Story of Cats, we discover how the first cats arose in the forests of Asia, how they spread across the continent, and later came to conquer Africa.  We reveal how they evolved flexible limbs to climb, giant bodies to survive in the cold, and super senses to catch prey.  Ultimately we discover how becoming social made the lion, king of the savannah.  Also featured in this episode are other larger cats such as the clouded, snow and African leopards, the Bengal and Siberian tigers, and the cheetah.  However, the introductions of smaller and lesser-known species like the serval, the caracal, and the fishing, Pallas’s and sand cats are just as fascinating.

Tech Savvy Cortland-Ithaca

Did you know that women make up 48% of the US labor force, but only 29% of employees in STEM fields? Join the Cortland and Ithaca chapters of the American Association University of Women for  “Tech Savvy”, a day full of hands on workshops and challenges include Spinning a Web Page, Brain Hacking, Building Bridges, Googling with Paper Airplanes. “Savvy Skills” workshops cover important topics such as Technical Communication, Safety Online, and Public Speaking. Adult sessions help parents and advisors learn more about STEM education and careers, college planning, and financial aid. A STEM Fair with activities for girls and adults will be a new feature!

Students from Rochester are Rocketing their Experiments Into Space

PBS Newshour reports that students from 21 schools across the U.S. and Canada competed for the chance to have their science experiments sent to the International Space Station. One of the student teams selected, from East High School in Rochester, New York, designed an experiment on the process of photosynthesis. Special correspondent Sasha-Ann Simons from PBS station WXXI reports. JOHN YANG: Students from Rochester, New York’s East High School have been busy this year writing a detailed proposal for a science experiment that is out of this world. As Sasha-Ann Simons from PBS station WXXI reports, the project was chosen to be conducted on the International Space Station.

Polar Bear – Spy on the Ice

Polar Bear Spy on the Ice airs on WSKG-TV March 8, 2017 at 8pm

Icebergcam, Blizzardcam and Snowballcam are a new generation of covert devices on a mission to explore the Arctic islands of Svalbard in Norway. Backed up by Snowcam and Driftcam, these state-of-the-art camouflaged cameras reveal the extraordinary curiosity and intelligence of the polar bear. The cameras are just a breath away when two sets of cubs emerge from winter maternity dens. They also capture the moment when the sea ice breaks away from the island in the spring. As one set of mother and cubs journey across the drifting ice in search of seals, the other is marooned on the island with very little food.

Helping Tug Hill Plateau Forest Cope With Climate Change

by Ellen Abbott
SYRACUSE (WRVO) – The Nature Conservancy is hoping to create a climate resilient forest on the Tug Hill Plateau. The Tug Hill Plateau is the third-largest forest landscape in the New York state — a critical link between the Adirondacks and the Allegheny and Appalachian mountains. Its headwaters pour clean water into Lake Ontario, and the area is home to a variety of wildlife, ranging from black bears to forest birds. But selective cutting has weakened some parts of the forest, according to Nature Conservancy Central And Western New York director Jim Howe. And he says, add to that climate change, and these forests are very vulnerable.

Spy In the Wild | Bad Behavior

Spy In the Wild Bad Behavior airs on WSKG-TV on February 22 at 8 p.m.

 

Spy Creatures infiltrate the underground world of animal mischief, crime, and retribution. Spy Monkey is caught between crossfires as real monkeys fight over beach bar alcohol. Spy Egret is also a waterhole victim when elephants throw mud everywhere.

The Origami Revolution

NOVA The Origami Revolution airs on WSKG TV February 15, 2017 at 9pm

 

The tradition of folding two-dimensional paper into three-dimensional shapes is now at the heart of a scientific revolution. Engineers are discovering how, by adopting the principles of origami, they are able to reshape the world around us… and even within us. The rules of folding are at the heart of many natural phenomena, from how leaves blossom to how beetles fly. But now, origami is being adopted in designing new drugs, micro-robots, even future space missions! With this burgeoning field of origami-inspired design, the question is: can the mathematics of origami be boiled down to one elegant algorithm – a fail-proof guidebook to make any object out of a flat surface, just by folding?

Engaging Youth in Science around the Southern Tier

Are you looking to engage your student in science enrichment programs but not sure where to turn? Here are a few taking place in the next few months:

Invention Convention: Binghamton Imaginink in connection with the Central New York Patent Law Association (CNYPLA) is conducting an invention education program open to all students in grades K-8 in both public and private schools. This program is intended to teach children how to invent and to increase awareness and appreciation of the importance of invention in the United States. To participate in this program, the student is invited to invent a new idea for a device or a new method for doing something. The student is asked to think of a problem they have encountered, or know of, and to come up with an idea for a device or method to solve the problem.

Did You Miss 'Spy In the Wild'?

Spy in the Wild is a mini-series airing on WSKG-TV on February 15,  2017 at 8pm

Spy Creatures explore the rarely seen emotions of animals, revealing if they are as strong and complex as our own. Join the “spycams” as they are accepted into a wild dog pack, witness elephant love, and are mourned by a troop of monkeys. Episode 1 | Love

In the most innovative production Nature has ever presented, this five-part series employs more than 30 animatronic spy cameras disguised as animals to secretly record behavior in the wild. These “spycams” reveal animals as having emotions and behavior similar to humans: specifically, a capacity to love, grieve, deceive, and invent. Among the featured Spy Creatures are: Spy Orangutan, Spy Croc Hatchling, Spy Meerkat, Spy Egret, Spy Tortoise, Spy Prairie Dog, Spy Macaw, Spy Sloth, Spy Cobra, Spy Bushbaby, Spy Squirrel, Spy Adelie, and Spy Baby Hippo.

Ultimate Cruise Ship

NOVA Ultimate Cruise Ship airs on WSKG-TV February 8, 2017 at 9pm

Weighing 54,000 gross tons and stretching over two football fields, the Seven Seas Explorer is no ordinary boat. Join pioneering shipbuilders as they endeavor to build the ultimate commercial cruise ship. Decorated with the finest gold, marble, and crystal, it is designed to offer guests the roomiest accommodations of any cruise ship. But building such opulence is no easy feat; NOVA follows a pioneering team of ship builders as they embark on what is advertised to be a milestone in engineering.

Search for the Super Battery

Search for the Super Battery airs on WSKG-TV on February 1, 2017 at 9pm

We live in an age when technological innovation is soaring. But for all the satisfying speed with which our gadgets improve, many of them share a frustrating weakness: the batteries remain finicky, bulky, expensive, toxic and maddeningly short-lived. But the quest is on for a “super battery,” and the stakes in this hunt are much higher than the phone in your pocket. With climate change looming, electric cars and renewable energy sources like wind and solar power could hold keys to a greener future if we can engineer the perfect battery. David Pogue explores the hidden world of energy storage, from the power (and danger) of the lithium-ion batteries we use today, to the bold innovations that could one day charge our world. What does the future of batteries mean for our gadgets, our lives and our planet? Might the lowly battery be the breakthrough technology that changes everything?

The Race Underground

American Experience The Race Underground airs on WSKG-TV January 31, 2017 at 9pm

 

In the late 19th century, as America’s teeming cities grew increasingly congested, the time had come to replace the nostalgic horse-drawn trolleys with a faster, cleaner, safer, and more efficient form of transportation. Ultimately, it was Boston — a city of so many firsts — that overcame a litany of engineering challenges, the greed-driven interests of businessmen, and the great fears of its citizenry to construct America’s first subway. Based in part on Doug Most’s acclaimed non-fiction book of the same name, The Race Underground tells the dramatic story of an invention that changed the lives of millions.

Spy in the Wild, A NATURE Miniseries| Love

Spy In the Wild, A Nature Miniseries | Love airs on WSKG-TV February 1, 2017 at 8pm

 

In the most innovative production Nature has ever presented, this five-part series employs more than 30 animatronic spy cameras disguised as animals to secretly record behavior in the wild. These “spycams” reveal animals as having emotions and behavior similar to humans: specifically, a capacity to love, grieve, deceive, and invent. Among the featured Spy Creatures are: Spy Orangutan, Spy Croc Hatchling, Spy Meerkat, Spy Egret, Spy Tortoise, Spy Prairie Dog, Spy Macaw, Spy Sloth, Spy Cobra, Spy Bushbaby, Spy Squirrel, Spy Adelie, and Spy Baby Hippo. These robotic, uncanny look-alikes infiltrate the natural world to film surprising behavior among wildlife from around the globe. Spy Creatures explore the rarely seen emotions of animals, revealing if they are as strong and complex as our own.

American Experience Tells the Story of Environmentalist Rachel Carson

American Experience | Rachel Carson airs on WSKG-TV January 24, 2017 at 8pm

Featuring the voice of Mary-Louise Parker as the influential writer and scientist, Rachel Carson is an intimate portrait of the woman whose groundbreaking books revolutionized our relationship to the natural world. When Silent Spring was published in September 1962 it became an instant bestseller and would go on to spark dramatic changes in the way the government regulated pesticides. Drawn from Carson’s own writings, letters and recent scholarship, the film illuminates both the public and private life of the soft-spoken, shy scientist who launched the modern environmental movement.

Alzheimer's : Every Minute Counts

Alzheimer’s : Every Minute Counts airs on WSKG-TV January 25, 2017 at 10pm

Many know the unique tragedy of this disease, but few know that Alzheimer’s is one of the most critical public health crises facing America. This powerful documentary illuminates the social and economic consequences for the country unless a medical breakthrough is discovered for this currently incurable disease. There are now over five million Americans with Alzheimer’s disease. Because of the growing number of aging baby boomers, and the fact that the onset of Alzheimer’s is primarily age-related, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s is projected to rise by 55% by 2030, and by 2050 the Alzheimer’s Association estimates the total number could explode to nearly 14 million. This “tsunami” of Alzheimer’s will not only be a profound human tragedy, but an overwhelming economic one as well.

The Nuclear Option

NOVA The Nuclear Option airs on WSKG TV January 11, 2017 at 9pm

Five years after the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the unprecedented trio of meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, scientists and engineers are struggling to control an ongoing crisis. What’s next for Fukushima? What’s next for Japan? And what’s next for a world that seems determined to jettison one of our most important carbon-free sources of energy? Despite the catastrophe—and the ongoing risks associated with nuclear—a new generation of nuclear power seems poised to emerge the ashes of Fukushima.

First Peoples | Africa and Asia

First Peoples Africa and Asia airs on WSKG TV January 11, 2017  beginning at 10pm

Around 200,000 years ago, a new species, Homo sapiens, appeared on the African landscape. While scientists have imagined eastern Africa as a real-life Garden of Eden, the latest research suggests humans evolved in many places across the continent at the same time. DNA from a 19th-century African-American slave is forcing geneticists to re-think the origins of our species. The theory is that our ancestors met, mated and hybridized with other human types in Africa — creating ever greater diversity within our species.

Snowbound Animals of Winter

Nature Snowbound Animals of Winter airs on WSKG TV January 11, 2017 at 8pm

The coldest and snowiest places on earth pose a challenge to anyone visiting such locations as the Arctic Circle or Antarctica, but what about the year-round animal population? How do they cope for many months with life in these frozen wonderlands where temperatures can plummet to as low as minus 50 degrees? Gordon Buchanan, a wildlife cameraman used to filming in frigid lands around the globe, explains how creatures like the wolf, Arctic fox, bison, reindeer, lynx, weasel, polar bear, penguin, Weddell seal, and woolly bear caterpillar adapt to their surroundings or employ clever tactics to survive.

Independent Lens | Containment

Independent Lens | Containment airs on WSKG TV January 9, 2017 at 10pm

How can we contain some of the deadliest, most long-lasting substances ever produced? Toxic remnants from the Cold War remain in millions of gallons of highly radioactive sludge, thousands of acres of radioactive land, tens of thousands of unused hot buildings, and some slowly spreading deltas of contaminated groundwater. Governments around the world, desperate to protect future generations, have begun imagining society 10,000 years from now in order to create warning monuments that will speak across time to mark waste repositories. Containment moves from a nuclear weapon facility in South Carolina where toxic swamps have led to radioactive animals, to a deep underground burial site in New Mexico, to Fukushima, Japan, where a triple meltdown occurred after the cooling systems at the Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant were interrupted, leaving that city a ghost town. The film is part graphic novel and part observational essay mixed with sci-fi that is more science than fiction, weaving between an uneasy present and an imaginative, troubled distant future, exploring the struggle to keep waste confined over millennia.

SciGirls Workshop for Educators

Learn how to engage your students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math through PBS Kids SciGirls! SciGirls is a PBS Kids television series out to change how tweens think about science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM! In each episode, join bright, curious real girls in putting STEM to work. Then check out the website to play games, watch episodes, share projects, and connect with other SciGirls in a totally safe social networking environment! SciGirls Trainings integrate inquiry-based STEM instruction with a commitment to gender equity.

First Peoples | Americas

First Peoples Americas airs on WSKG TV on January 4, 2017 at 11pm. FIRST PEOPLES tells the story of how early Homo sapiens moved around the globe and became the dominant human species. Each episode of the five-part series focuses on a different continent and meets the earliest Homo sapiens on that continent – the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe. Where did they come from? How did they get there?

Secrets of the Sky Tombs

NOVA Secrets of the Sky Tombs airs on WSKG-TV January 4, 2017 at 9pm. A team of scientists and explorers probe high altitude caves in the Tibetan Himalayas looking for clues to how humans found their way into this forbidding landscape and adapted their bodies to survive.  Along the way they discover evidence of ritual burials, thousands of years old: skeletons, mummies, and evidence of practices designed to ward off ancient vampires and even zombies. The towering Himalayas were among the last places on Earth that humanity settled. Scaling sheer cliff sides, a team of daring scientists hunts for clues to how ancient people found their way into this forbidding landscape and adapted to survive the high altitude.

How Do All Those Bubbles Get Inside Champagne?

Science Friday shares how to celebrate this coming weekend. This New Year’s Eve, raise a glass—but instead of drinking your champagne, try watching it instead. You’ll see delicate trails of bubbles floating upward through the wine. We tracked down bubbleologists Dick Zare and Charles Bamforth to explain what these bubbles are made of, how they form, and how the fizz in champagne stacks up against beer foam. (Spoiler alert: Bamforth says he’ll be ringing in the New Year with an IPA.)

Bubbles form in your drink due to imperfections in the drinking container.

SciGirls Workshop for Educators Working with 4-8th Graders

Learn how to engage your students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math through PBS Kids SciGirls! SciGirls is a PBS Kids television series out to change how tweens think about science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM! In each episode, join bright, curious real girls in putting STEM to work. Then check out the website to play games, watch episodes, share projects, and connect with other SciGirls in a totally safe social networking environment! SciGirls Trainings integrate inquiry-based STEM instruction with a commitment to gender equity.

Happy Winter Solstice

According to EarthSky, the 2016 December solstice arrives on December 21, at 10:44 UTC. That’s 4:44 a.m. CST for the Central time zone in North America. For us in the Northern Hemisphere, the December solstice ushers in our shortest period of daylight and longest period of darkness for the year. And yet – if we consider the length of the day in another light – the longest days of the year come each year in December for the entire globe. When we say the longest days of the year come each year around the December solstice for the entire globe, we’re talking about day not as a period of daylight – but as the interval from one solar noon – or midday – to the next.

Ursid Meteor Showers Peak Later This Week

According to EarthSky, the annual Ursid meteor shower always peaks near the time of the December solstice, so, in 2016, look for some possible activity over the next several nights. The forecast calls for December 21-22 to be the peak night. Normally a sparse shower, you might see about five meteors per hour. This shower favors the more northerly latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. All meteors in annual showers have radiant points on our sky’s dome, and the showers take their names from the constellations in which the radiant points lie.

Could You Power Your Home With A Bike?

NPR’s Skunk Bear Blog received a great question from a listener. The answer brought them to the upstate New York. An NPR listener (with what may be the best Twitter handle ever — Booky McReaderpants) inquired whether a home can be powered by bicycle-powered generator. https://youtu.be/xbUxt2x4InE

It’s an interesting issue about energy and the modern world. And the short answer comes from just running the numbers.

John Glenn, First American To Orbit The Earth, Dies At 95

A 1959 NASA promotional photo shows John Glenn in his spacesuit. Fred Jones/NASA/AP

by Russel Lewis

The first American to orbit the Earth has died. John Glenn was the last surviving member of the original Mercury astronauts. He would later have a long political career as a U.S. senator, but that didn’t stop his pioneering ways. Glenn made history a second time in 1998, when he flew aboard the shuttle Discovery to become the oldest person to fly in space.

Fishery Reductions Worry Anglers

photo: Julia Botero/WRVO News  

Story by: Veronica Volk

Every year, the Salmon River Fish Hatchery in Altmar, raises millions of fish to be stocked in Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The hatchery raises several species of fish, but their pride and joy is the chinook salmon. Each fall, employees harvest millions of eggs, fertilize them, incubate them, and raise the fish until they’re ready to be released into the wild. This time of year, Les Resseguie and his team are overseeing millions of chinook eggs — each about the size of a pea — incubating in big trays in the hatchery’s basement. “You can start to see their eyes, you can start to see the major blood vessels, and you’ll actually see them wiggling around a little bit in there,” Resseguie says.

SciGirls Educator Workshop at WSKG Studios in January

Learn how to engage your students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math through PBS Kids SciGirls! SciGirls is a PBS Kids television series out to change how tweens think about science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM! In each episode, join bright, curious real girls in putting STEM to work. Then check out the website to play games, watch episodes, share projects, and connect with other SciGirls in a totally safe social networking environment! SciGirls Trainings integrate inquiry-based STEM instruction with a commitment to gender equity.

The Best Science Books of 2016

Image from Kameron Hurley. Science Friday airs on WSQX Fridays from 2-4pm. Time travel, microbes, black holes, and polar bears. There’s something for everyone on this year’s list of best science books. Maria Popova, founder of Brain Pickings, andScientific American editor Lee Billings join Ira to weigh in with their top picks.

Can Science Resurrect The American Chestnut?

by Ellen Abbott

(WRVO) Genetically modified food is something that’s discussed a lot. But scientists in Syracuse are trying to take that technology one step further, and create the first genetically modified wild forest tree. And with that, rest hopes that the American chestnut tree could make a comeback with a scientific nudge. Chestnut trees once dominated swaths of the Eastern seaboard. That was more than a century ago, before an Asian fungus decimated a population known for delivering chestnuts to holiday revelers, and wood that doesn’t rot to builders.

‘First Peoples Americas’ screening at Cinemapolis

Join WSKG Science on Tuesday, November 29th at the Cinemapolis in Ithaca for a special screening of First Peoples. The PBS documentary follows the first Homo sapiens as they traveled across the continents. This screening is in partnership with the Tioga County Public Library Ithaca Explores Human Origins exhibition and Cinemapolis. The screening is free of charge, no need for reservations. When: November 29th 7 p.m.

Where: Cinemapolis   120 E Green St, Ithaca, NY 14850

'First Peoples Americas' screening at Cinemapolis

Join WSKG Science on Tuesday, November 29th at the Cinemapolis in Ithaca for a special screening of First Peoples. The PBS documentary follows the first Homo sapiens as they traveled across the continents. This screening is in partnership with the Tioga County Public Library Ithaca Explores Human Origins exhibition and Cinemapolis. The screening is free of charge, no need for reservations. When: November 29th 7 p.m.

Where: Cinemapolis   120 E Green St, Ithaca, NY 14850

First Peoples | Americas Screening at Cinemapolis

Join WSKG Science on Tuesday, November 29th at the Cinemapolis in Ithaca for a special screening of First Peoples. The PBS documentary follows the first Homo sapiens as they traveled across the continents. This screening is in partnership with the Tioga County Public Library Ithaca Explores Human Origins exhibition and Cinemapolis. The screening is free of charge, no need for reservations. When: November 29th 7 p.m.

Where: Cinemapolis   120 E Green St, Ithaca, NY 14850

First Peoples | Americas Screening at Cinemapolis

Join WSKG Science on Tuesday, November 29th at the Cinemapolis in Ithaca for a special screening of First Peoples. The PBS documentary follows the first Homo sapiens as they traveled across the continents. This screening is in partnership with the Tioga County Public Library Ithaca Explores Human Origins exhibition and Cinemapolis. The screening is free of charge, no need for reservations. When: November 29th 7 p.m.

Where: Cinemapolis   120 E Green St, Ithaca, NY 14850

What’s The Carbon Footprint Of A Typical Thanksgiving?

Mike Berners-Lee may not be an expert on the American Thanksgiving. A native of the UK, he’s never actually had the pleasure of experiencing one. But as one of the world’s leading researchers on the carbon footprint of—well—everything (he even wrote a book subtitled “The Carbon Footprint of Everything”), he’s plenty familiar with the impacts of the foods that star in the traditional Thanksgiving Day spread. Read the full story here. 

 

What Causes the Common Cold?

Design by Daniel Peterschmidt

Science Friday airs on WSQX Fridays 2-4 p.m.

The common cold is an unwelcome yet familiar visitor this time of year. But how much do we really know about it? The term “common cold” is actually a catch-all for several different families of viruses that give us cold-like symptoms. The most common type is a small RNA virus called a rhinovirus, made up of just 10 genes. Researchers think it most likely originated as an enterovirus, a virus most commonly found in the low pH environment of the human gut, that mutated and developed an affinity for the comfy moist confines of the nose and throat. So what about the elusive “cure” for the common cold?

Leap Into the World of Jumping Spiders on Science Friday

A jumping spider. Credit: Gil Menda and the Hoy lab

Science Friday airs on WSQX Fridays 2-4 p.m.

Encountering a jumping spider might give some people a start, but researchers are interested in these agile arthropods, especially their ability to plan and execute complex behaviors. Scientists are studying how jumping spiders coordinate their eight eyes to track fast-moving prey, and how these earless animals can pick up noises from across a room. Arachnologist Paul Shamble discusses the sensory systems of jumping spiders and how scientists go about measuring the small creatures’ neural activity. And ecologist Eric Olson discusses why these predators might enjoy a vegetarian snack now and again.

Secrets of the Dead | Graveyard of the Giant Beasts

Secrets of the Dead | Graveyard of the Giant Beasts airs on WSKG-TV on November 2, 2016 at 10pm. Graveyard of the Giant Beasts opens a window onto a previously unknown period of the earth’s history to reveal a world teeming with creatures seemingly familiar to us, but colossal in size.  Sixty-five million years ago, a giant meteor hit the earth causing a global catastrophe that destroyed an estimated three quarters of the plants and animal species on the planet, including the mighty dinosaurs. Little was known about the survivors who lived in this post-apocalyptic world until a mining operation in Cerrejon, Northern Colombia — excavating coal cut from deep within the earth’s crust — exposed an important layer in the earth’s geological history laid down more than 10 million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs. In 2003, when paleontologist professor Jonathan Bloch, University of Florida, first heard that this important layer had been exposed, he and his research team rushed to Columbia.

Secrets of the Dead | Graveyard of the Giant Beasts

Secrets of the Dead | Graveyard of the Giant Beasts airs on WSKG-TV on November 2, 2016 at 10pm. Graveyard of the Giant Beasts opens a window onto a previously unknown period of the earth’s history to reveal a world teeming with creatures seemingly familiar to us, but colossal in size.  Sixty-five million years ago, a giant meteor hit the earth causing a global catastrophe that destroyed an estimated three quarters of the plants and animal species on the planet, including the mighty dinosaurs. Little was known about the survivors who lived in this post-apocalyptic world until a mining operation in Cerrejon, Northern Colombia — excavating coal cut from deep within the earth’s crust — exposed an important layer in the earth’s geological history laid down more than 10 million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs. In 2003, when paleontologist professor Jonathan Bloch, University of Florida, first heard that this important layer had been exposed, he and his research team rushed to Columbia.

Secrets of the Dead | After Stonehenge

Secrets of the Dead After Stonehenge airs on WSKG-TV on October 26, 2016 at 10 p.m.

Three thousand years ago, the Egyptians were building the pyramids, but little is known about what was going on in Europe during this same time. Scholars have long believed that nothing nearly as advanced was happening in Britain. Could a new discovery prove historians wrong? On the edge of Must Farm Quarry in an area southeast of Britain known as the Fens, archaeologists are uncovering the charred remains of a 3,000-year-old English settlement. Follow a team of archeologists, scientists, historians and specialists, as they shed new light on the ancient history of the western world.

Secrets of the Dead | After Stonehenge

Secrets of the Dead After Stonehenge airs on WSKG-TV on October 26, 2016 at 10 p.m.

Three thousand years ago, the Egyptians were building the pyramids, but little is known about what was going on in Europe during this same time. Scholars have long believed that nothing nearly as advanced was happening in Britain. Could a new discovery prove historians wrong? On the edge of Must Farm Quarry in an area southeast of Britain known as the Fens, archaeologists are uncovering the charred remains of a 3,000-year-old English settlement. Follow a team of archeologists, scientists, historians and specialists, as they shed new light on the ancient history of the western world.

Giraffes, Africa’s Gentle Giants

Nature Giraffes, Africa’s Gentle Giants airs on WSKG-TV October 26, 2016 at 8 p.m.

Everyone loves giraffes, but what do we really know about them? Dr Julian Fennessy starts to reveal their secrets – the most important being that they are disappearing. In an urgent and daring mission, with a determined Ugandan team, he plans to round up 20 of the world’s rarest giraffe to take across and beyond the mighty Nile River. The stakes are high, but if they succeed the reward will be a brighter future for an animal we have somehow overlooked. https://youtu.be/fkD6KR6aoYc

 

Giraffes, Africa's Gentle Giants

Nature Giraffes, Africa’s Gentle Giants airs on WSKG-TV October 26, 2016 at 8 p.m.

Everyone loves giraffes, but what do we really know about them? Dr Julian Fennessy starts to reveal their secrets – the most important being that they are disappearing. In an urgent and daring mission, with a determined Ugandan team, he plans to round up 20 of the world’s rarest giraffe to take across and beyond the mighty Nile River. The stakes are high, but if they succeed the reward will be a brighter future for an animal we have somehow overlooked. https://youtu.be/fkD6KR6aoYc

 

Tesla | American Experience

Tesla | American Experience airs on WSKG TV on October 18, 2016 at 9 p.m.

Meet Nikola Tesla, the genius engineer and tireless inventor whose technology revolutionized the electrical age of the 20th century. Although eclipsed in fame by Edison and Marconi, it was Tesla’s vision that paved the way for today’s wireless world. His fertile but undisciplined imagination was the source of his genius but also his downfall, as the image of Tesla as a “mad scientist” came to overshadow his reputation as a brilliant innovator. Written and Produced by David Grubin.

Tesla | American Experience

Tesla | American Experience airs on WSKG TV on October 18, 2016 at 9 p.m.

Meet Nikola Tesla, the genius engineer and tireless inventor whose technology revolutionized the electrical age of the 20th century. Although eclipsed in fame by Edison and Marconi, it was Tesla’s vision that paved the way for today’s wireless world. His fertile but undisciplined imagination was the source of his genius but also his downfall, as the image of Tesla as a “mad scientist” came to overshadow his reputation as a brilliant innovator. Written and Produced by David Grubin.