Social Studies

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How Could 3D Printed Guns Affect Gun Laws? | Above the Noise

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In the United States, the gun debate has been raging for decades. Gun rights advocates think there are enough -- or maybe too many -- laws restricting their second amendment right to bear arms. Those wanting more gun control believe that to protect people’s safety, we need the government to regulate who can have a gun. But what happens when technology is one step ahead of the laws? That’s the case with 3-D printed guns. It’s always been legal for adults to make their own guns at home, but traditionally, that required specialized tools and a lot of skill. 3-D printing, however, is changing that, making it significantly easier to make a gun from scratch. This has sparked both interest from gun enthusiasts and concerns about public safety. Host Shirin Ghaffary explores how 3-D printed guns are affecting the gun debate in the United States.

Flying Cheap: The Crash of Continental Flight 3407

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In Feb 2009, Continental Flight 3407 crashed outside of Buffalo, N.Y., killing 50 people. The flight was operated by Colgan Air, a regional airline that flies routes under contract for US Airways, United and Continental. The crash and subsequent investigation revealed a little-known trend in the airline industry: Major airlines have outsourced more of their flights to obscure regional carriers.

In this video chapter from FRONTLINE  Flying Cheap, correspondent Miles O'Brien explores this trend and examines some of the many factors that may have contributed to the accident.

Be Kind Online

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How do we act when we are on the Internet? Here are some good manners for when we are on the Internet. Use good words, not rude or bad words. Be patient with others. Sometimes others are beginners and are just learning how to use the Internet.

U.S. Charges Chinese Officials with Cyber-Spying on Businesses

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Provide students with a real world example of cyber-spying and engage them in an ethics discussion about this type of crime with this PBS NewsHour video and educational resource from May 20, 2014. In this story, the U.S. indicted five Chinese military officials for stealing trade secrets by hacking into six major American businesses. Learn more about these unprecedented charges and the Obama administration’s strategy to stop these latest alleged Chinese cyber-attacks.

Southern Africa: Troubled Water

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In 2005, FRONTLINE/World featured the PlayPump, a promising new technology that pumped fresh water when children played on a merry-go-round. The story appealed to the good intentions of politicians, celebrities and funders, who gave support to installing thousands of these devices in Africa.

Now, in Troubled Water, reporter Amy Costello continues her investigation into what happened to those communities as the promise of the PlayPump fell short, villages were left with non-working PlayPumps for months, and the device’s biggest American boosters began to back away from a technology they had once championed.