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Science (X) - Elementary (X) - Middle (X) - Life Science (X) - Streaming (X)

Engineering Robotic Cameras to Observe Animals in Nature

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Learn how filmmakers use the engineering design process to make animatronic spy cameras in this video from the NATURE mini-series Spy in the Wild. The cameras are disguised as animals to secretly record behavior in the wild. The episode Meet the Spies highlights many of the criterion and constraints the filmmakers face while designing the spies, which can be further explored with the teaching tips in the support materials. In the accompanying classroom activity, students use the engineering design process to design a camera carrier to observe animals in the wild.

Nature Works - To Make Clean Energy: Video | Nature Works Everywhere

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Explore where our energy comes from, and what makes certain types of energy renewable and sustainable. Unlike the nonrenewable energy sources that humans currently use (fossil fuels, coal and natural gas), solar and wind power can quickly replenish themselves and are usually available in a never-ending supply. But we can't just harness renewable energy anywhere—what makes a good environment for harnessing sustainable power?

Find a lesson plan here to accompany this video.

The Structural Engineering of Nests

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Learn about the mechanical properties of birds’ nests from Yale University structural engineer Corey O’Hern in this video from NATURE: Animal Homes. Students learn about the properties that are key to a nest’s success in the wild and observe a laboratory test that measures how much force it takes to distort and destroy different kinds of nests.

Animal Structures: A Nest Made Out of Mud

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Learn how male and female red ovenbirds work together to build nests made out of mud and clay in this video from NATURE: Animal Homes. Their jobs are not finished once the nest is constructed, as they spend just as much time building it as they do defending it!

Sound Energy

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Discover the relationship between vibration and sound in this video from Design Squad Nation.

Mycoremediation

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This video explores how planting fungi on the borders of parking lots helps mitigate non-point-source water pollution caused by leaking vehicles. After mulching an area at the lower end of the Bernheim Forest parking lot, staff members inoculated or planted the area with oyster mushrooms. Like other fungi, these mushrooms have mycelia, microscopic tubes always present in the soil, even when a mushroom's caps are not visible. When rain washes the oil and gas present on the parking lot into this area, the mycelia break the hydrocarbon molecules into less toxic compounds. This use of fungi to prevent non-point-source water pollution is called "mycoremediation."

Scientist Profile: Ocean Engineer

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This DragonflyTV segment introduces engineer Dick Yue, who studies how fish swim through water in order to make boats, ships, and submarines more efficient; he even built a robot fish to assist him in his studies. Also available in Spanish.

Scientist Profile: Shark Scientist

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Steve is an aquarist and elasmobranch (shark and ray) expert at the Aquarium of the Pacific. He loves his job because he gets to scuba dive often and handle animals everyday. Steve says volunteering as an aquarium helper is a great way to get your feet wet in the marine sciences!

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

Forensics

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Carolyn's sister Lizzy may be celebrating her birthday, but there's a crime that needs investigating. They returned home to find Lizzy's party set-up trashed. The cake was half-eaten, presents were thrown all over, and there was even some bright red stuff dripping off the table. This is clearly a birthday "whodunit". Their Dragon Fly TV question: How can we use forensic science to finger the culprit?

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

Forensics Identification

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In this video from QUEST produced by KQED, students learn why Chelsey Juarez developed the new technique to identify the remains of migrant workers; how teeth are prepared and examined to provide information about where we come from; and the important role forensic anthropologists play in forensic science.

SciGirls | Aquabots 01: Identify the Problem

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This SciGirls video demonstrates how to develop a question and procedure for testing how well restored oyster reefs are working. Oysters in the Chesapeake Bay are dying off so restored oyster reefs are being created. The SciGirls decide to do an experiment to test how well they are working. See how they develop their question and procedure for this experiment with the help of an oceanographer.

Could you make a robot with feelings? | Ask MIT

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"Could you make a robot with feelings?" Find out from Dr. Goren Gordon, a researcher in the Personal Robots Group in the MIT Media Lab!

Harvesting Plants in Space

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Find out how researchers and astronauts teamed up to study the growth of an ordinary plant in space—and why that impacts farming back on Earth—in this video from SciTech Now partner Science Friday. Students will explore two contrasting ideas about how plants and their roots grow in the absence of gravity, discover new factors that influence plant growth and design their own space farming experiment.

Robotics in Medicine

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In this video from SciTech Now, learn how robotics is changing today's medical landscape. Robotic instruments are used to help surgeons perform ultra-precise surgeries, sometimes even replacing the surgeon! Bionic limbs are used to help paralyzed patients stand and walk again, improving the patients’ health and spirit. It’s an exciting time to be in the robotic engineering field, as these medical bots continue to improve.

See the "Designing a Robotic Instrument" handout and sample answers in the Support Materials section for a hands-on activity for to get students engaged with the design process and robotic engineering in relation to medicine and human anatomy.

The Garden (Clip 3) | Exploring Monticello

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In this segment of Exploring Monticello, we learn about Jefferson's vast garden where he experimented with growing many different varieties of vegetables.

Exploring Monticello takes students into Thomas Jefferson’s home, a virtual laboratory for all kinds of ideas. Thomas Jefferson is best known for authoring the Declaration of Independence and becoming the third President of the United States, but he also had a great love for innovations which made him one of America’s first great scientists.  This LIVE interactive streaming field trip gives students the opportunity to experience scientific discovery within the context of history, and to consider the creative process inherent in making something new and innovative.

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