Social Studies

Social Studies (X) - Technology (X) - Economics (X)

America Revealed | Gridlock

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Using this video, which examines the solutions to the problem of traffic congestion in New York City’s Times Square, teach a dynamic problem-solution lesson, "No More Traffic Jams: Identifying Gridlock Solutions in Your Community," that supports your STEM curriculum. Students explore how policy, infrastructure and technology changes can impact traffic and identify and design solutions to traffic problems in their communities.

This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

‘Talking Cars’ Could Prevent Accidents Before They Happen

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In recent years, car companies have used technology to make cars safer. Now, the U.S. Department of Transportation is considering making features that were previously optional standard. One of these advances is automatic braking. Experts suggest that it could prevent accidents and save lives. Other technologies discussed include vehicle to vehicle communication and the "connected car".

Teachable Moment: Logistics | Fast Forward

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We explain the concept of logistics, why it's important, and how it impacts your wallet!

The Interstate Highway System | Georgia Stories

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Roads are vital for growth and development in any area. Dr. Charles Floyd, a University of Georgia economist, notes that Georgia roads were not paved even into the 1930s. It was Pres. Franklin Roosevelt who had the idea of an American state highway system. The four-lane divided roads in Germany known as autobahns were used as the model for interstate highways in America. Their construction began in the 1950s under the administration of Pres. Harry Truman. Drivers loved them, but small towns suffered as they were bypassed.

Is Cryptocurrency the Future of Money? | Above the Noise

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There’s been a lot of hype recently about Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency. Since 2017, when its value skyrocketed and turned a bunch lucky folks into overnight millionaires, there’s been a lot of buzz about Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrencies. Some believers think that cryptocurrencies could even replace traditional monetary systems. But a good number of skeptics say that this new type of digital cash is just a short-term fad that won’t last long. So, are they really the future of money, or just a lot of digital hype?

Georgia Ports Authority | Fast Forward

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A trip to any mall will give you a look at thousands of items that weren’t created down the street. Many of them were imported from distant lands. And the Georgia Ports Authority in Savannah…the 4th largest port in the country…is the point of entry for, quite literally, tons of them. The Georgia Ports Authority has a job for just about any interest. They’re governed by logistics and driven by technology—technology that you might be able to learn by…playing video games? You’ll want to see this.

Which Comes First, Hydrogen-Powered Cars or the Fueling Stations?

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Learn about the cars of tomorrow and hydrogen power with this PBS NewsHour video and educational resource from May 21, 2014. After spending more than a decade and billions of dollars on developing zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, carmakers are planning to release their models in California. But despite the state’s large demand for cars and tough air quality standards, California lacks a network of fueling stations.

Old Red Trail | Construction Changes

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Early road construction was time-consuming and expensive.  In 1959, road crews could lay out one mile of road a day at best. With today’s technology and equipment, paving and grading roads is much easier and faster.  Construction of bridges required specialists who could design the river-spanning lengths.  In the 1960s, road construction cost $400,000 per mile of four-lane highway, including the cost of land, equipment, workers’ pay, bridges, and materials.  Today, roads cost more than four times that for two lanes in one direction, but they last 50% longer

America Revealed | Clear Skies

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Support your History, Geography, and Science curriculum with this video which takes a close look at how policy and technology improvements in the planning and procedure of air traffic control systems can guide the future of air transportation. Then, use the accompanying lesson plan, "Crowded Skies: Imagining the Future of Air Transportation," to have students write proposals for improving the state of transportation in the United States.

This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

Do You Choose To Have Your Privacy Invaded By Using Tech? | PBS Idea Channel

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The recent Heartbleed bug was, for many, just another reminder that our information will never be secure on the internet. We feel vulnerable and hopeless in the face of a long string of privacy concerns, and many argue that this is an inevitable result of technology. But since our culture has wholly jumped on the digital bandwagon, do we as individuals truly choose to sacrifice our privacy? Or maybe the better question is, how much do we even choose to use technology? 

Global Transportation | Humanity From Space

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Humanity's ability to easily traverse the globe is a modern wonder of our interconnected society. After thousands of years of innovation in transportation technology, we are connected like never before.

Flying Cheap: The Crash of Continental Flight 3407

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In Feb 2009, Continental Flight 3407 crashed outside of Buffalo, N.Y., killing 50 people. The flight was operated by Colgan Air, a regional airline that flies routes under contract for US Airways, United and Continental. The crash and subsequent investigation revealed a little-known trend in the airline industry: Major airlines have outsourced more of their flights to obscure regional carriers.

In this video chapter from FRONTLINE  Flying Cheap, correspondent Miles O'Brien explores this trend and examines some of the many factors that may have contributed to the accident.

Who Invented the Computer?

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There are more than a dozen legitimate contenders to consider, all designers of unique, remarkable machines. But with facts and timelines clouded by controversy, contradictions, and intrigue, debate has raged in courtrooms and classrooms for decades. 

Trade Routes | Humanity From Space

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The international trading network connects us to everything our modern society consumes. With origins in China's Silk Roads, international trade has been a driving factor in connecting civilizations.

Will Minecraft and Makerbot Usher in the Post-Scarcity Economy? | PBS Idea Channel

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From the Jetsons to Cory Doctorow, science fiction writers of all stripes have imagined a world where any object could be instantly created. Modern economics on the other hand, is built on the principle of competition for scarce resources. And while it may not seem like a video game and printer could alter this economic reality, we beg to differ. Minecraft's creative mode is the perfect vehicle for understanding a Post-Scarcity world: a place where resources are permanently available and constantly regenerated. It shows that with unlimited resources, people end up creating amazing digital structures! Of course, a world of infinitely available resources seems pretty fantastical until you consider the Makerbot and the future of 3D printing. The Makerbot is an at home device that allow you to print real, three dimensional objects, meaning a Minecraftian future where you can print anything you want at anytime might not be that far away. Watch the episode, and tell us what you think!

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