Blog

26OCT
 

Disease Detectives

Understanding epidemics

Despite major news coverage of ebola, many student learners and adults may still know very little about disease transmission and epidemics. Howtsmile.org activities that model how infectious diseases spread, how medical detectives investigate them, and how disease transmission can be blocked increase understanding of health risks to both individuals and large populations.

23OCT
 

"Zombies" of the Animal World

National Geographic "Mindsucker" graphic novellas

Just in time for Halloween, National Geographic brings humans face to face with animal "zombies" of a "freakish world where parasites compel their hosts to do their bidding." Three graphic novellas on the National Geographic website tell eerie stories of parasites and the real "walking dead" they prey on and live off.

2OCT
 

Observe Everything

Share what you find with Science Friday

Sharpen your powers of observation by taking part in #ObserveEverything, a special project of the Science Friday radio show's Science Club. Anyone can participate—just start by observing something that grabs your attention! 

16SEP
 

Bat "Boo-ology"

Go batty for Halloween

Explore the "boo-ology" of bats for Halloween, or any time of year. Kids and adults are fascinated by and often afraid of bats, but may not know the real facts about them. Demystify these misunderstood mammals with Howtosmile.org activities, and help learners discover how important bats are to pollination and pest control in their ecosystems.

9SEP
 

LEGO Women Scientists

new toy role models

Computer Engineer Barbie, meet LEGO women scientists. This summer a new, limited edition LEGO® Research Institute went on sale including a paleontologist with her dinosaur skeleton, magnifying glass and microscope, a chemist with her minilab and flasks, and an astronomer with her telescope and star chart. The set was the brainchild of geochemist Ellen Kooijman from the Swedish Museum of Natural History. Her design was greenlighted after it garnered at least 10,000 votes from fans on the LEGO Ideas website.

6SEP
 

Heavyweight Champ of the Dinosaur World

National Fossil Day

How big were the dinosaurs? Bigger than we thought...

Paleontologists report they have dug up and analyzed fossil remains of the heaviest dinosaur that ever tromped the Earth. The new heavyweight champ of the dinosaur world is Dreadnoughtus schrani, weighing in at 65 tons.

22AUG
 

Get a Clue

Sherlock Holmes meets STEM

Whether you enter the world of Sherlock Holmes through TV shows, movies, or books, solving crimes and mysteries as Sherlock would involves plenty of interdisciplinary science, coordinating specialties like forensics, chemistry and computer science. The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes invites visitors to solve a murder mystery clue by clue using Sherlock's scientific methods. From shoes to fingerprints to blood spatter patterns, the science of Sherlock Holmes gets learners to look closely at the world around them, collect data, and analyze what they have found in different ways.

19AUG
 

Underwater Dreams

new films about deep sea exploration

Two new films follow the dreams of inventors to explore beneath the ocean surface. One documentary is about an Oscar-winning director, the other about a team of determined high school students.

James Cameron, director of Avatar and Titanic, dreamed as a young boy of diving to the deep ocean. Travel seven miles down, to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, in Cameron's one-person submersible in the new documentary James Cameron's DEEPSEA Challenge 3-D.

20JUL
 

Summer Sea Science

coral spawning in the Gulf of Mexico

August means vacation for millions of humans, and for coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico, it means the summer birth of billions of new coral organisms. Each year, 7-10 days after August's full moon, coral reefs at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary create a mass spawning event. The event sends a "snowstorm" of countless sperm and egg bundles into the water. NOAA's Coral Spawning Globe at Howtosmile.org models the spawning event in a snow globe.

8JUL
 

Animals from head to toe

Discovering animal biodiversity

Go "wild" this summer and discover biodiversity all around you, by watching animals from head to toe. Learners can get a closeup look at live animals and their amazing adaptations in all kinds of places—the zoo, science center, wildlife center, beach, park, even backyard or schoolyard. 

Starting at the top, take a close look at animal mouths. We describe them with words like lip, beak, mandible, jaw and snout. Can you spot how an animal uses its mouth to eat, communicate, feed its young, build a home, and/or ward off predators?

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