Social Studies

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Red River Divide | Recreation

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The Red River of the North provided for commercial endeavors with the people and freight carried by steamboats earlier in its history and for commercial fisherman. Swimming in the river was once common, as were sleigh riding and skating on the ice in the winter. In more recent years, recreational fishing and boating have become more popular.

The Future of Energy - Solar Power

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The sun is primarily a source of light and heat. But can it be our primary source of energy? Solar panels or thin films designed to collect sunlight are integral parts of the process to generate electricity by way of the sun.

The sun is our most impressive source of energy. More than one million times larger than the earth, the sun gives us ten times more energy than is stored in all the world’s reserves of coal and oil every year. Despite this, as of 2011, solar power accounts for less than one percent of all the electricity generated in the United States. Learn more about solar energy with this video from the Explore More: The Future of Energy series. 

Wetlands: The Drain Game | Economic Impact

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Farmers have slowly drained the wetlands on their lands, over the last 35 years, as the equipment has gotten bigger. Farming tends to be done is straight rows and small patches of wetlands on land makes it difficult to do this. It effects wildlife and where the water is stored.

Wetlands: The Drain Game | Policies and Incentives

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When wetlands are drained habitats are ruined, the legislature wants this to stop so they will give farmers compensation to keep wetlands on their land. They will also set up policies to make it illegal to destroy wetlands.

Uganda: Sustainable Tourism | Introduction

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Learn about 6-year CITA project in Uganda on enhancing rural livelihoods with sustainable tourism. Project Director, Dr. Campbell talks about the importance of preserving wildlife.

Shipping on the Great Lakes: Benefits and Consequences of Exporting Goods

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Learn how Lake Michigan is used for the shipping and exporting of goods. Lake Michigan is 118 miles at its widest point, 301 miles long and is the third largest Great Lake by surface area. Today Lake Michigan continues to be a major shipping route to and from the Midwest for freighters. 

The town of Singapore, founded in the 1830’s, was one of the first establishments on the Michigan side of Lake Michigan. This town started as an entrepreneurial town to rival Chicago or Milwaukee as a lake port. It quickly became known as a busy lumbering and timbering town.

White pine lumber was in great demand all over the Midwest until October of 1871. A couple of days after the Great Chicago Fire, a big forest fire burned the western side of Michigan near Singapore and depleted the timber supply. Singapore went bankrupt because of the weakened timber supply and became a ghost town.

With Singapore becoming a ghost town and no longer a Lake Michigan shipping port, timber and leather had to find a way to be shipped to Chicago and the Midwest. The town of Saugatuck became the nearest port on the Michigan side of Lake Michigan to ship goods across Lake Michigan to Chicago and the Midwest. 

With the decline of the timber industry, due to the forest fire, fruit farming was gaining popularity. Boats were needed to ship fresh fruit and leather across Lake Michigan.

With Lake Michigan becoming a major shipping route, this led to a decline in the fishing industry. 

The opening of the Welland Canal connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, via the St. Lawrence Seaway, had positive and negative effects on the ecosystems of Lake Michigan. 

Mining and the Environment | Wild Nevada

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Will mining ever become obsolete? What are some benefits of mining to the state of Nevada?  Learn some of the Pros and Cons of mining in Nevada as told to Wild Nevada by Sean Pitts, Director of the East Ely Railroad Depot Museum. Nevada’s fourth graders are expected to understand the industries in Nevada that impact them. Mining is an important industry in Nevada. However, there are controversial issues concerning mining that are important to explore, analyze, and discuss. Students will have a better understanding of the effects of mining in Nevada both economically and environmentally.

Cow Power

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In this the.News segment, Reporter Stacey Delikat investigates how one Vermont farm is using cow manure to lower its energy bills. She explains that cow manure can be an efficient and effective way to generate sustainable energy and provide economic stability to farming operations.

Commercial Space Exploration

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In this the.News segment, Antonio Neves reports on the Phezu Space Company, a privately-held outer space repair shop, to address the pros and cons of commercialized space exploration. He addresses what space exploration stands to gain, as well as the possible dangers of the privatization of space exploration.

Facebook Mood Experiment Angers Users

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Help students understand the controversy over Facebook's psychological study of user behavior with this PBS NewsHour video and educational resource from July 2, 2014. Many Facebook users were upset by news that the social media network manipulated incoming content for hundreds of thousands of people without telling them. The manipulation was conducted for a study -- published in a respected scientific journal -- measuring how attitudes were affected by either positive or negative posts.

Career Connections | Farmer

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Look inside the business of farming with a real farmer who explains how he started with a 10-acre field and helped build a large family farm enterprise. Hear the importance of business skills and a college degree for success in a farming career.

Poisoned Waters: The Startling New Contaminants

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Explore startling new contaminants in our drinking water in this video from FRONTLINE Poisoned Waters.

Battle for the Elephants: Tanzania's Ivory Stockpile

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Investigative reporter Aidan Hartley meets with Khamis Kagasheki, Minister of Natural Resources for Tanzania, who agreed to allow Hartley and a camera crew to take the first-ever footage of the stockpile. The vast warehouse stores thousands of tusks accumulated over the last 23 years—90 metric tons valued at $50 million.

Water Worries, California’s ‘Water Cop’ Urges Residents to Take Drought Seriously with Mandatory Restrictions

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California is now in the third year of its worst drought since the 1970s. Help students explore the scale of the problem with this PBS NewsHour video and educational resource from July 17, 2014. Despite a drought emergency, consumption actually rose in May. But under new rules starting August 1, people who waste water on lawns and car washing could be fined up to $500 a day.

Life on a Goat Farm | America's Heartland

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Travel to Waynesboro, Tennessee, and visit the goats at Bonnie Blue Farm. Learn about the farmers, their cheesemaking process, and, of course, their goats, and discover the hard work and passion that go into running a successful farm.

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