Social Studies

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Architecture 2030

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Learn about efforts to protect the environment by changing the way buildings are planned, designed and constructed.

Egypt's Treasure Guardians | Full Program

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Meet Egypt's "treasure guardians," a group of archaeologists, scholars, conservators, and engineers working to guard national heritage, following years of political upheaval, by building a museum. To preserve its rich history and to tempt visitors back, Egypt is building the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM)—the greatest Egyptian monument since the pyramids! Archaeologists across the country are opening new dig sites to find artifacts for display, with the hope that teaching the public about important historical areas will keep those places protected in the future.

Up the Yangtze

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Nearing completion, China's massive Three Gorges Dam is altering the landscape and the lives of people living along the fabled Yangtze River. Countless ancient villages and historic locales will be submerged, and 2 million people will lose their homes and livelihoods. The Yu family desperately seeks a reprieve by sending their 16-year-old daughter to work in the cruise ship industry that has sprung up to give tourists a last glimpse of the legendary river valley. With cinematic sweep, Up the Yangtze explores lives transformed by the biggest hydroelectric dam in history, a hotly contested symbol of the Chinese economic miracle.

Portland: A Sense of Place

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Discover how Oregon's land-use planning system has benefited both urban and rural residents and environments.

Ebola in the News | Second Ebola Diagnosis Shows Danger for Health Workers

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During the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Western Africa, PBS NewsHour interviewed registered nurse Katy Roemer and history of medicine Professor Howard Markel on the dangers of Ebola for U.S. health workers.

Use this collection of news stories and resources from the PBS NewsHourto understand the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa.

London: The Price of Traffic

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Learn how London's mayor has instituted policies that respond to the city’s growth while improving its livability and sustainability.

Energy for a Developing World

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In this video, meet an entrepreneur who is bringing solar energy to Bangladesh. Since 1976, Muhammad Yunus has been dedicated to fighting poverty and empowering women in Bangladesh and the world. He recognizes the importance of energy as a factor in economic growth for the poor people of Bangladesh. In 1996, Yunus started Grameen Shakti, a not-for-profit company, to promote, develop and popularize renewable energy technologies in remote areas of Bangladesh. By focusing on solar, biogas, and other forms of renewable energy, Grameen Shakti sees a future where rural households will have access to reliable, environmentally friendly energy at affordable costs.

POV | Good Fortune: Lessons in International Development

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In this lesson, students will watch video clips and read interviews with experts that will help them examine different approaches to international aid and development and begin to identify which approaches are most effective. The lesson features excerpts from the film Good Fortune, which presents the viewpoints of two Kenyans who resist development projects intended to improve quality of life in their country.

A History of Colonization | Children of the Amazon: Part 5

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Children of the Amazon invites you to see through the eyes of these inspiring and remarkably resilient people whose lives are transformed by a road carved through their forest home. This excerpt deals with the incursion of the outside world into the people who lived in the forest, starting in 1907.

A Rubber Tapping Invasion | Children of the Amazon: Part 4

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Rubber tapping used to be a sustainable process at the turn of the century, but the growth of industry and outside culture in the forest seeded conflict between rubber barons and the indigenous communities. Children of the Amazon invites you to see through the eyes of these inspiring and remarkably resilient people whose lives are transformed by a road carved through their forest home by an outside world.

Changes to the People and Culture | Children of the Amazon: Part 3

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A visit to the town of Cacoal shows just how much the Amazon has changed over the last few decades, and how the influx of manufactured goods, materials, and beliefs has impacted the indigenous community. See how the old traditions have been shaped by this new influence, and through the lesson plan below, explore the difference between things that we want and things that we need.

Arctic Thaw | PBS Newshour

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Alert students to the environmental crisis in the Arctic with this PBS NewsHour video and educational resource from September 18, 2013.  Glaciers in the Arctic are now melting at a faster pace than they were only a few years ago, damaging wildlife habitats and opening up potentially dangerous new shipping lanes.

Yukon Kings | Global Oneness Project

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Students watch a short film, Yukon Kings by Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee, about the challenges facing Ray Waska, a Yupi’k fisherman, and his community as the fish stocks of Alaska’s Yukon Delta diminish.  

In this lesson, students learn about how the cultural traditions of Native Alaskans are linked with local ecosystems. Students debate the need to respect and protect tradition vs. accepting change. Reflective writing prompts are also included for students to demonstrate their understanding of the story.

 

How Did Human Civilization Spread? | Habitat Earth

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Historic population and cropland data illustrate the relationship between the spread of human civilization and agriculture on Earth between 10,000 BCE and 2,000 CE.

Explore more compelling data visualizations from the California Academy of Sciences.

Weather and Climate Change

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The topics of weather and climate change were studied by several members of the team. Megan Sunderman Noojin, a UAB graduate student, discusses her research on climate change and its effects on Fijian life. The shells brought back by the team date from A.D. 1300 to present day. Undergraduate Ashley S. Wilson discusses the damage and recovery from the hurricane that devastated Fiji in March 2010, just a few months before the UAB expedition. The storm was a Category 4 and battered Fiji for four days, destroying more than 50 homes, damaging crops, and ruining the fresh water supply.

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