Social Studies

ELA (X) - Social Studies (X) - Middle (X) - Civics and Government (X)

Who are the Northern Arapaho? | Wyoming's Native Americans

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How did the Northern Arapaho come to Wyoming? What are the Arapaho values? Why were Arapaho tribal names changed?

Who are the Eastern Shoshone? | Wyoming's Native Americans

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How and when did the Eastern Shoshone come to Wyoming? What are the Shoshone values? What are the people of the Eastern Shoshone like?

Chalk Sculpture | Art in the 21st Century: Paradox

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Artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla often begin a project by asking the question, "What are the meanings connoted by the use of certain materials?" For them, chalk is both an “ideological tool,” as something used in a classroom, and a geological substance found in the earth. Because of the nature of chalk, the artists decided to create a chalk sculpture in a public square. In this video segment from Art in the 21st Century: Paradox, see what happened when people in Peru were given the opportunity to write or create images with giant pieces of chalk in a public place and how this event addressed the topic of freedom of speech.

The Last Conquistador: Should Tax Dollars Fund Controversial Art?

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This lesson plan is designed to be used with the film, The Last Conquistador, the story of a controversial public arts project that some view as a monument to culture and others as a glorification of genocide. Classrooms can use this lesson to role-play how city leaders might make a decision about spending tax dollars on art that is divisive. Students can also consider public art in their community and develop proposals for new art projects that would provide the perspectives of underrepresented communities.

Stop and Frisk: The High School Senior

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Students will learn about the controversial "Stop and Frisk" policy as well as how to effectively use infographics in this video and lesson from PBS NewsHour Extra. 

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.

Net Neutrality Rules Ensure Equal Access to the Internet

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Discover the FCC's verdict on free and open Internet with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from February 26, 2015. *Note: please watch the segment of the video from 1:24-1:56, which addresses net neutrality.

Burlington is First U.S. City to Hit 100 Percent Renewable Energy

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Find out how Burlington, VT is using 100 percent renewable energy with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from February 1, 2015.

Can Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Help Fight Disease? | Above the Noise

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In the last couple of years, the mosquito species Aedes aegypti has garnered perhaps the most attention, at least in parts of the U.S. where it resides. It’s the one that can transmit a generous selection of very nasty diseases including Zika, yellow fever, dengue and chikungunya. In an effort to control these mosquito populations and reduce the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, some scientists at the British company OXITEC have turned to genetic engineering. Host Myles Bess dives into the science and policy surrounding the use of genetically engineered mosquitoes to combat mosquito-borne diseases.

States Scramble to Fix Dangerous Roads and Bridges

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Find out why states struggle to fund highway maintenance with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from July 30, 2015.

How Can the U.S. Help Fight Ebola?

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Update your students on the fight against Ebola with this video and educational materials from PBS NewsHour from September 9, 2014. Check out more teaching resources at PBS NewsHour Extra. An unprecedented outbreak of Ebola disease in West Africa is drawing an international response and has raised questions about what the U.S. can do to help.

How Do Algorithms Predict Criminal Behavior? | Above the Noise

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It’s no big secret that the United States has a prison problem. We lock up people at higher rates than any other nation, and there are huge racial disparities in who we lock up. According to a study from The Sentencing Project, in state prisons, African Americans are incarcerated 5 times more than whites. There are lots of reasons for why we may see these racial disparities, including law enforcement practices, crime rates, and punitive sentencing policies. Keeping so many people in prison is really expensive-- it costs about $80 billion dollars a year-- and it contributes to racial inequalities in America. As a result, there’s a big push among both Democrats and Republicans to reform our prison system. And one popular strategy many people advocate for as part of this reform effort are risk assessment tools. The tools use data to predict whether a person will commit a future crime. This video explores how these tools work and some of the controversy surrounding their use.

Healthy School Lunch Menus Spark Political Food Fight

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Use the debate about healthy school lunch rules to show students how Congress works and spark a discussion with this PBS NewsHour video and educational resource from May 30, 2014. The 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act required schools to use more wholesome ingredients and set fat, sugar and sodium limits. But Republican lawmakers have proposed a one-year waiver, arguing that students won't eat the new offerings or that schools can't afford them.

Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law Subsidies

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See how President Obama responded to the Supreme Court's decision to uphold his health care law with this video and educational resources from PBS NewsHour from June 25, 2015.

Are Energy Drinks Really that Bad? | Above the Noise

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Above the Noise host Shirin Ghaffary weighs the potential health risks of drinking energy drinks, and compares them to other sugary, caffeinated beverages. Energy drinks are a billion dollar industry and their popularity keeps growing despite health concerns. We are warned they are particularly dangerous for children and teens -- and there have even been reports of deaths linked to energy drink consumption. In this video we take a closer look at the science to see if energy drinks are really as bad as the hype, and what it is about them that has doctors concerned.

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