EduNews Spring/Summer 2008

The EduNews editor didn't intentionally miss publishing the Spring 2008 issue but was sidelined by a bicycle accident. Thus, this issue is a combined Spring/Summer 2008 edition and a bit longer than the regular quarterly issue of EduNews.

If you missed the August 1 Webcast of the solar eclipse live from China, don't fret. Watch the eclipse replay, which features Exploratorium staff scientists and much more: http://www.exploratorium.edu/eclipse/2008

Happy end of summer!

Contents

1 - EVIDENCE: NEW EXPLORATORIUM WEB SITE REVEALS HOW SCIENCE WORKS BY INVESTIGATING CURRENT RESEARCH IN HUMAN ORIGINS
2 - SEE UNDER THE MICROSOPE
3 - EXPLORATOPIA RECEIVES 2008 AAAS/SUBARU SB&F PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE IN SCIENCE BOOKS
4 - ICE STORIES: DISPATCHES FROM POLAR SCIENTISTS
5 - EXPLORATORIUM: ONE OF THE 5 GREAT INTERACTIVE MUSEUMS TO VISIT THIS SUMMER

1 - EVIDENCE: NEW EXPLORATORIUM WEB SITE REVEALS HOW SCIENCE WORKS BY INVESTIGATING CURRENT RESEARCH IN HUMAN ORIGINS
http://www.exploratorium.edu/evidence
In the media blitz of everyday life, how often do you hear about new ideas and discoveries in science? Do you believe what you hear? What you read? What you see? On August 19, 2008, the Exploratorium introduced Evidence: How Do We Know What We Know?, a unique and thought-provoking new Web site that looks at the role of evidence in science and society.

Evidence, which premieres with a case study in human origins, features the work of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Researchers there share their insights in video interviews, and online interactives let users explore for themselves. See how DNA is extracted from a 38,000-year-old Neanderthal bone; find telltale microscopic markings on fossil teeth; analyze a peer-reviewed paper; manipulate computer models of ancient fossil skulls--and much, much more.

At the core of the site are tools that let you examine the scientific process--as well as your own methods of accepting (or rejecting) what you hear about science.

Do you believe in ghosts? If so, why? Do you think the earth is round? Why or why not? "MyEvidence" lets you "map" and share your own beliefs, while "Can You Believe It?" gives you the tools you need to evaluate the scientific claims that demand your attention every day. Check out podcasts that delve into the history of science, or download a computer widget that gives you instant access to science news online.

Offered in both English and Spanish, the Evidence site is the culmination of a three-year effort funded by the National Science Foundation with additional support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, The Jim Clark Endowment for Internet Education, and the McBean Family Foundation.

2 - SEE UNDER THE MICROSOPE
http://www.exploratorium.edu/imaging_station
See life in action under the microscope! There's lots of new material to explore in our Microscope Imaging Station Web site. We've added more microscope photography and videos to our extensive gallery, added in-depth features on a variety of topics that relate to human health, and developed all-new classroom activities! Watch frogs develop, see planaria regrow their severed heads, and compare the growth of cancer cells with normal cells. Hear researchers talk about their work and narrate microscope animations in our "A Scientist's View" videos.

After reviewing the Web site, please fill out our online survey and win three chances at an Apple iPod touch! This survey will help the MIS team improve the Web site. (The survey link is located at the top of the Microscope Imaging Station home page.)

3 - EXPLORATOPIA RECEIVES 2008 AAAS/SUBARU SB&F PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE IN SCIENCE BOOKS
http://www.exploratorium.edu/exploratopia
Exploratopia, the Exploratorium's most recent book, is the recipient of the 2008 AAAS/Subaru SB&F [Science Books & Films] Prize for Excellence in Science Books.

According to Heather Malcomson, senior program associate at Science Books & Films Online, "the AAAS/SB&F judging committee, made up of scientists, librarians, and science literacy specialists, overwhelmingly chose your book as the winner in the Hands-on Science Book category." SB&F, published by the AAAS, is a critical review journal for all sciences. The SB&F prizes celebrate outstanding science writing and illustration for children and young adults and are meant to encourage the writing and publishing of high-quality science books for all age groups.

Exploratopia shows kids how to explore the world around them, how to ask questions, and how to experiment to find the answers. This 384-page book for children eight and older is filled with more than 400 activities using simple, readily available materials, making it ideal for families, homeschoolers, and teachers on a budget.

4 - ICE STORIES: DISPATCHES FROM POLAR SCIENTISTS
http://icestories.exploratorium.edu
What's it like to be a research scientist working in the Arctic or Antarctica? In celebration of the International Polar Year, the Exploratorium gave polar scientists cameras and blogging tools and asked them to document their fieldwork. The result is a groundbreaking Web-based project, Ice Stories: Dispatches from Polar Scientists, where you can follow along, ask questions, and share in scientific discoveries. The site was nominated for a 2008 Webby Award for Best Events and Live Broadcasts in the Online Film and Video category.

Last winter, Ice Stories focused on Antarctica; this summer, the focus shifted to the Arctic, where we're working with a whole new group of scientists. Follow along with an archeologist who's recovering and studying ancient artifacts and human remains near Barrow, Alaska, before erosion causes them to be washed out to sea. Meet a researcher from Brown University who is part of a team hoping to reconstruct the last 8,000 years of climate change in Greenland by examining fossilized algae in lake sediments. And look over the shoulder of a scientist who's "reading snowflakes" for clues about changes in polar ice caps over time. You'll also meet several other researchers who are deeply involved in Arctic-based studies including polar biology, geology, and the human impact on climate change.

The Ice Stories site has stunning new photos and videos, plus succinct background information on topics including climate change, polar bears, Arctic whales, and greenhouse gases. And this coming winter, we'll return to Antarctica to bring you more science from the bottom of the world.

5 - EXPLORATORIUM: ONE OF THE 5 GREAT INTERACTIVE MUSEUMS TO VISIT THIS SUMMER
http://tinyurl.com/5ksxdx
Wired magazine's geekdad blog featured the Exploratorium along with 4 other very different museums as cool places to visit this summer. Each of the 5 museums is featured in a short video demonstrating something unique to that museum.

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