Social Studies

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Clifton Suspension Bridge

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This video segment from Building Big highlights the Clifton Suspension Bridge, one of the earliest of its kind. Though it was completed in 1864, when pedestrians, animals, and horse-drawn carriages were its main forms of traffic, its iron chain-link cables and stone piers today carry four million cars and other vehicles a year.

Global Gardens: Video | Nature Works Everywhere

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Urban gardens are powerful tools that can help grow healthy food, reduce our carbon footprint, and increase the overall health of our city environments. By creating a small, contained habitat for plants, pollinators, and other creatures, these tiny garden ecosystems actually contain a huge diversity of animals. This video explores the role that urban gardens can have on an individual, a local, and on a global scale.

Find a lesson plan here to accompany this video.

Sustainable Cities: Nature Based Solutions in Urban Design: Video | Nature Works Everywhere

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This video was created by The Nature Conservancy, with help from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the City of Winnipeg Water and Waste Department, and D.C. Water.

The following lesson plans are designed to be used with this video:

 

 

Building Big | Arch Bridge

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The Romans were some of the most important innovators in structural design. Of their contributions, the arch and the bridges they built using an elegant shape stand out as the most creative and enduring. In this video segment adapted from Building Big, series host David Macaulay describes the forces and design features that give arches their strength.

Expedition 8 Crew Talks to Students in Japan

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Life aboard the International Space Station is very different from life on Earth. For example, astronauts experience a whole new perspective because they see Earth and space from above the atmosphere. In this video segment adapted from NASA, watch and listen as Expedition 8 crew members Mike Foale (Commander and NASA Science Officer) and Alexander Kaleri (Flight Engineer) are interviewed by Japanese students.

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

I Am Ocean

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A first-hand account by indigenous storyteller Pua Case of the origin and significance of the mountain and ocean of Hawaii.

Historic Relationships Between Dogs and Humans

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In this video segment from Nature, we learn that dogs were the first creatures to be domesticated. Ancient people thought of dogs as creatures of magic and as spiritual guardians. Dogs were often sacrificed and buried with people to protect them with their magical powers. In Mexico today, hairless Xolo (SHOW-low) dogs are believed to heal pain. Around the world dogs are useful to people for protection because of their bark, which acts as an alarm and can intimidate strangers. Barking dogs are a stronger deterrent for burglars than a burglar alarm.

Nature's First Defenders: Video | Nature Works Everywhere

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Indigenous people—nature’s first defenders—play a vital role in sustaining our planet. This video, along with the accompanying Nature's First Defenders teacher's guide and lessons, enables students to understand that role and to explore the many perspectives and issues involved in conservation, including how we relate to nature, how culture influences our points of view, what tools we have to be engaged in the conversation, and how we might address and reconcile differences.

 

Galileo: Discovering Jupiter's Moons

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The telescope forever changed astronomy by providing more detailed views of distant objects than was previously possible. Galileo pioneered astronomy as the first person to study celestial objects through a telescope. His observations, including the discovery of moons around Jupiter, helped revolutionize the way people think about the universe. This video segment adapted from NOVA describes some of Galileo's first discoveries with the telescope.

The Sled Dogs of the Arctic Circle | Nature

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In this Nature video, we learn how the Inuits of the Arctic Circle rely on their dogs. Existing on a diet of snow and seal blubber (fat), these dogs pull the sleds of the Inuits and protect them from wild animals. Multiple dogs pull together to maintain the stability of the sled. Sled dogs sometimes run the equivalent of five marathons (5 x 26.2 miles = 131 miles) per day. They will be the first to fall through the ice if there is a crack, but they recover from the cold plunge quickly. The dogs have evolved to master the harsh environment.

Galileo: Sun-Centered System

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Before the 17th century, people generally believed that Earth was at the center of the universe. Galileo, however, was not afraid to challenge existing beliefs when he published his work in support of the Sun-centered, or heliocentric, Copernican theory. In this video segment adapted from NOVA, learn about the two opposing worldviews and the strong piece of evidence Galileo offered to support the heliocentric theory.