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Grades 9-12

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Curriculum Materials

Spitzer Hall of Human Origins Glossary

What are evolutionary trees? How do hominids differ from primates? And why is it important that humans are capable of symbolic thought? Find out with this guide from "DNA" to "variation."

Melting Ice, Rising Seas

Science Bulletin

Melting Ice, Rising Seas

The rising temperatures of global climate change are melting the world's ice. Most notable are the shrinking ice sheets of Greenland and west Antarctica, which have shown dramatic loss in recent years.

Gamma-Ray Bursts: Flashes in the Sky

Science Bulletin

Gamma-Ray Bursts: Flashes in the Sky

Gamma-ray bursts—flashes of intense radiation in space that are often just seconds long—were accidentally discovered in the 1960's by satellites built to monitor nuclear bomb explosions. They've been one of the leading astrophysical mysteries ever since. This Astro Bulletin introduces you to the scientists and instruments working to unravel the origins of gamma-ray bursts. It highlights Swift, NASA's burst-detecting satellite, and PAIRITEL, one of a fleet of ground-based telescopes that point toward a gamma-ray burst in response to Swift's alert to capture the afterglow before it fades. Astrophysicists at Penn State and other institutions are analyzing these afterglows to understand what causes the most powerful explosions known

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Science Bulletin

Language in the Brain

Why is it that humans can speak but chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, cannot? The human brain is uniquely wired to produce language. Untangling this wiring is a major frontier of brain research. Peer into the mental machinery behind language with this feature video, which visits a brain-scanning laboratory, Columbia Universitys Program for Imaging and Cognitive Sciences, or PICS. Columbia neuroscientist Joy Hirsch and New York University psychologist Gary Marcus explain what researchers have learned about how our brain tackles language—and whats left to learn.

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Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Barn Owls on the Side of the Road

The discovery of many dead barn owls lying around the highway peaked this young naturalist’s curiosity. See what he learned when from his investigation.

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