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Press Release 13-032 National Science Foundation and NBC Learn Release New 'Science Behind The News' Videos
Five original videos explore science behind current events related to mathematical and physical sciences
A theoretical physicist explains the science behind quantum computing in new NSF-NBC Learn video. Credit and Larger Version
February 27, 2013
The National Science Foundation and NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, released today five new videos in the Science Behind The News series.
Science Behind The News is a relatively new, fast-paced video series supported by NSF that explores the science, technology, engineering and mathematics behind current events. Each video features at least one interview with an NSF-funded scientist or researcher.
The five new videos highlight work funded by NSF's Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences. The scope of scientific and educational activity supported in the directorate is enormous, ranging from phenomena at cosmological distances, to environmental science on the human scale, through quantum mechanical processes in atomic and subatomic physics, to phenomena of the unimaginably small.
There are 12 Science Behind The News episodes available to teachers and students at Science360: The Knowledge Network and for free at NBCLearn.com.
New videos released today include:
1. Predictive Policing
The LAPD is using a new tactic in their fight against crime called "predictive policing." It's a computer program that was originally developed by a team at UCLA, including mathematician Andrea Bertozzi and anthropologist Jeff Brantingham.
2. Impacts on Jupiter
The impacts of comets on the surface of Jupiter are a fairly common experience. At the University of Central Florida, astronomers Joseph Harrington and Csaba Palotai are leading a project that studies precisely how these impacts happen, and also provides valuable information about what might happen if such a comet struck Earth.
3. Drug-Resistant Bacteria
As disease-causing bacteria become increasingly resistant to antibiotics, scientists like Erin Carlson from Indiana University are turning to natural sources to find new medicines.
4. Bio-Inspired Materials
In the search for the next groundbreaking tough material, scientists like David Kisailus from the University of California, Riverside, are looking to nature for inspiration, including under the sea where one little crustacean packs a walloping punch--the peacock mantis shrimp.
5. Quantum Computers
Imagine if engineers could build a computer to be millions of times faster than anything that exists today, yet so small that it's microscopic. John Preskill, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, explains the science behind quantum computing, the next great frontier in computer science.
SunShot Initiative and the role solar power is playing in our growing clean energy economy.
During the discussion, U.S. solar industry experts from across the country will share how this domestic renewable energy source is creating jobs, strengthening our nation’s manufacturing capabilities and providing Americans with affordable, clean energy.
We will be taking your questions in advance and during the Hangout. Submit your questions by emailing email@example.com, posting comments on the Energy Department’s Facebook page or Google+ event, or tweeting @ENERGY using #askEnergy.
Most portable electronic devices need to be charged periodically. Typically, this means plugging them into an electrical source--and being patient. Imagine how convenient it would be if you could just slip that cell phone into your pocket and have it charge every time you went out into the sun.
Jinsong Huang, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, believes that day will come, and he is working to ensure it happens sooner rather than later.
"We really need to increase the availability of renewable energy sources," says the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded scientist. "Fossil fuels are finite, and they aren't good for the environment. We have a never-ending supply of solar energy, which is abundant, free and clean, but we have to use it in ways that are more efficient and more affordable than what is currently available."
His research goal is to ensure that almost any surface, including windows, walls, even computer bags and clothing, will be specially treated and have the ability to tap into the power of the sun, providing energy that is just as efficient and much less expensive than the solar panels in use today.
IdeasProject is an online global community of people who have a passion for brainstorming and creating innovation. The community enables the exchange of ideas among mobile enthusiasts, designers, developers and incubators. IdeasProject is based on co-creation through Open Innovation and has delivered consumer inspired applications and mobile technologies. Community innovations are powered across 210 countries by Nokia and Ecosystem Collaborators.
IdeasProject is founded on philosophy of democratized innovation. We believe that users are able to bring novel ideas to innovate products and services in a model of co-creation. User-centered innovation offers great advantages over the manufacturer-centric innovation development systems and there is even greater benefit when we include partners across the whole mobile ecosystem. Users that innovate can develop exactly what they want, rather than relying on manufacturers to act as their, often very imperfect, agents. Moreover, individual users do not have to develop everything they need on their own: they can benefit from innovations developed and freely shared by others, which leads us to open innovation, another principle of IdeasProject. Read more about idea crowdsourcing from a white paper The Promise of Idea Crowdsourcing – Benefits, Contexts, Limitations written by researchers from Stanford University and Imperial College London.
Open innovation encourages companies to embrace ideas from outside to strengthen the viability of its products in the market. We have experienced great benefits by involving partners in the wider ecosystem like partner companies, developers, experts, designers, NGO's, universities, start-ups, incubators and all who can help in realization of ideas. By the same token, ideas developed within the company that are not being used should be shared freely with the public, e.g. with application developers and start-ups.
If you are interested to patent your ideas together with Nokia, with monetary compensation, please visit www.inventwithnokia.nokia.com. In other cases, our ecosystem collaboration partner AppCampus can also make arrangements around Intellectual Property if you are awarded entrance into their program.
The Mathematics Curriculum Study explores the relationship between student coursetaking and achievement by examining the content and challenge of two mathematics courses taught in the nation’s public high schools—algebra I and geometry. Conducted in conjunction with the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) High School Transcript Study (HSTS), the study uses textbooks as an indirect measure of what was taught in classrooms, but not how it was taught (i.e., classroom instruction). The study uses curriculum topics to describe the content of the mathematics courses and course levels to denote the content and complexity of the courses. The results are based on analyses of the curriculum topics and course levels developed from the textbook information, coursetaking data from the 2005 NAEP HSTS, and performance data from the twelfth-grade 2005 NAEP mathematics assessment.
Highlights of the study findings show that about 65 percent of the material covered in high school graduates’ algebra I was devoted to algebra topics, while about 66 percent of the material covered in graduates’ geometry courses focused on geometry topics. School course titles often overstated course content and challenge. Approximately 73 percent of graduates in “honors” algebra I classes received a curriculum ranked as an intermediate algebra I course, while 62 percent of graduates who took a geometry course labeled “honors” by their school received a curriculum ranked as intermediate geometry. Graduates who took rigorous algebra I and geometry courses scored higher on NAEP than graduates who took beginner or intermediate courses.
Games for a Digital Age explores the market potential of a fast moving field, tracking innovations from the commercial game industry and academic game labs, and examining pockets of game-based experimentation in the classroom and other learning settings. The authors conclude that current approaches tosolving key educational challenges are ripe for disruption, but that the marketplace is slow to adapt and dominated by forces that may well resist high-quality digital products. Whilegames are by no means a “silver bullet” to the current challenges that roil America’s schools, this report is a timely reminder that our educational institutions would be wise to more robustly leverage the ubiquitous digital media—including digital games—that currently pervadechildren’s lives.
Join us at the Techbridge Summer Institute in Oakland, CA July 31- August 2, 2013. This summer institute focuses on the development of STEM educators and offers strategies and curriculum for engaging girls in science, technology, and engineering. During this workshop we will explore science, technology and engineering through inquiry-based activities.
Techbridge's experienced staff will guide you through:
Recruiting and engaging girls in a STEM program
Training on Techbridge's hands-on curriculum for grades 5-12
Planning field trips and visits with role models
Planning family outreach
Developing STEM facilitation skills
Integrating career exploration into your programming
3-D printing is an innovative manufacturing technique developed by Professors Michael Cima and Emanuel Sachs from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Once just used to create working prototypes, 3-D printers are now used by people from engineers to home inventors to make objects from their imaginations.
Vernier Software and Technology has launched five new sensors, including thee designed to provide high school and college science instructors and their students with tools to conduct investigations across many disciplines.
The Goniometer lets users measure the angle of a human joint, such as the knee or elbow. The sensor can analyze the range of motion of a limb during different types of physical activity.
The Vernier Optical DO Probe--with plug-and-play functionality--measures the dissolved oxygen concentration in water. This probe is designed for use in the field or in biology, ecology, or environmental science labs and requires no calibration, no filling solution, no warm-up time, and no stirring. .
The Vernier Radiation Monitor detects alpha, beta, gamma, and X-ray radiation. The monitor can be used to explore radiation statistics, measure the rate of nuclear decay, and monitor radon progeny.
The Ethanol Sensor is used to measure the concentration of ethanol in air above an aqueous sample.
The Pyranometer measures the power of electromagnetic radiation in watts-per-square-meter and is sensitive to near infrared, visible, and UV radiation, where 90% of solar energy is concentrated.