Elementary

Computer Science (X) - Elementary (X) - Middle (X)

Levers: Raising the Moai on Easter Island

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A team of archaeologists and engineers tests one theory of how the ancient peoples of Easter Island (Rapa Nui) might have transported a massive statue, called a moai, from cliff-top quarry to coastal perch and then raised it to an upright position. Levers are simple machines that can help amplify lifting force. As the scientists and local participants discover, even with the mechanical advantage of a lever, the challenge is decidedly difficult and extremely time-consuming. Video segment adapted from NOVA.

Healing Mother Earth for Future Generations

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Listen as Native Americans share their concerns about climate change, in this video segment adapted from United Tribes Technical College. See photographs from the past and hear one woman describe how tribal people were the first environmentalists. In addition, learn how people are noticing that they are losing sacred plants and are concerned for the future. Finally, hear about the importance of education to help future generations live in harmony with Mother Earth.

The Chemistry of Makeup

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Jazi and Danielle become cosmetics chemists, experimenting with combinations of ingredients to create batches of lip gloss in this video from DragonflyTV. After they each create an initial batch using different quantities of the same ingredients, the girls modify their "recipes" to alter characteristics, including hardness, color, and shine. The girls then test-market their formulations, asking members of the public to apply and comment on the three choices. Based on the results, they determine whose formulation is preferable.

Solar Car

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Isaac and Anjali measure the power of the Sun using a solar-powered car, in this video from DragonflyTV. Using a systematic approach and careful observation and measurement, they uncover some of the shortcomings of solar power that have kept it from being a perfect replacement for oil and natural gas—especially as a power source for cars.

Stream Restoration

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This video explores how Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest near Louisville, Kentucky restored a channelized stream to its original meandering path. In the past, farmers throughout Kentucky channelized or straightened streams to access the rich bottomland along the streambeds. Bernheim moved a stream that runs through the park back to its original path and replanted its banks with local plants appropriate for a riparian zone, the wetland area beside a stream. The video explains the environmental advantages of meandering streams: improved water quality, more diverse and healthy ecosystems, and reductions in flooding and soil erosion.

Five- Cent Battery

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In this video from QUEST produced by KQED, get step-by-step instructions on how to make a simple LED battery. Also see a demonstration of how a five-cent LED battery works.

Working at a Wind Farm

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A wind farm, which is also called a wind power plant, is a group of interconnected wind turbines in the same location. A large wind farm may have of about 36 to about 100 individual wind turbines, and cover hundreds of square miles. A wind farm may be on land or even, offshore.

Scientist Profile: NASCAR Engineer

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Ryan Newman is a race car driver AND an engineer. He uses his knowledge of vehicle design and physical forces to improve his chances of winning his next race.

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

The Forest Files

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The Forest Files explains the mechanics of forest operations and introduces the details of the water, air, and soil cycles using a variety of science experiments.

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

Scientist Profile: Neurobiologist

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Erich Jarvis is a highly-skilled neurobiologist who studies various feathered friends such as parrots, zebra finches, canaries, and other song birds. His research tells him how the brain controls, generates and learns complex behaviors, such as language.

Ice Bike

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Bob and Brennan are into a very cool, very slick sport: ice biking! Their school holds an annual ice bike race, and the goal is to design and build the winning bike. They want to modify one of last year's top models by adding studs to the tires. The studs will add traction, kind of like cleats do on shoes. Their DragonflyTV question is: How many studs should we add for maximum speed on ice?

GPS: Balloon Fiesta

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Alex and Andrew live in one of the coolest cities ? make that the hottest? They live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, home of one of the biggest hot air balloon festivals anywhere. They hope to get up in one of those giant balloons someday, but in the meantime, they're doing some investigating on a smaller scale. They visited their favorite science hangout, Explora, to find out: How big does a hot air balloon need to be to lift things off the ground?

Straw House

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Brenett, Kim, Lucretia, and Omney belong to Montana's Crow Nation. They love their reservation, but there aren't enough houses. They wanted to find a cheap way to build durable homes. There's straw all over the place, so they did some experiments to see if straw bales could be used to build a house. In this video from DragonflyTV, they test straw, stucco, and cinder blocks to find the most economical and durable building material.

DragonflyTV | Sign Language Translator Glove

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Meet Ryan, a teenager who translated a brilliant idea into reality! Ryan created a computerized glove that interprets sign language and then converts it into text that can be displayed on a monitor. Check it out, and see how Ryan's invention helps non-speaking individuals communicate with folks who don't know sign language.

The Great Salt Lake: Original Lucin Cutoff

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Learn about Utah's Lucin Cutoff. In 1903, the railroad built a wooden trestle, called the Lucin Cutoff, to save time and mileage by establishing a direct route across the lake. But salt encrusted the wood piles and the cutoff became a rickety fire hazard. This video is extracted from the 22-part video series THE GEOGRAPHY OF UTAH, conceived and written by Albert L. Fisher, PhD (University of Utah). The series encompasses the political, cultural, historical and sociological geography of the state of Utah. It describes the activities, the land and the people. Much of the video material was videotaped on location throughout the state of Utah, giving the student and interested viewer valuable field trip experiences.

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