NOVA

NOVA Online | Shabbat Elevator

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Rabbi Manish Spitz, hotel manager Skip Kearney, and others explain how one hotel in Miami Beach accommodates Orthodox Jews, who are forbidden by ancient law from using electricity on the Sabbath. In this video from NOVA Online, they explain how the maintenance staff adjusts the elevator's mechanisms to run automatically so that people can get to their rooms on higher floors. They also impose a timer on the door so that no electricity is expended in detecting people who may be entering or exiting the elevator.

The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers | Colin Angle

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Meet roboticist Colin Angle in these videos from NOVA's "The Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers." He explains his early interest in robotics and why he makes them. Colin invented the Roomba, the device that vacuums your floor. In his spare time, he is an extreme athlete who thinks that rocks are for climbing, oceans are for sailing, and mountains are for cold-weather launching pads. This resource is part of the NOVA: Secret Life of Scientists & Engineers Collection.

Strategy Mapping

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Students participate in an exercise meant to demonstrate the importance of proper perspective when engaging in the design thinking process in this video from NOVA Education. Students then proceed to build “strategy maps,” visual representations of the materials, resources, and people necessary to develop an innovative product and deliver it to end users. The strategy map is designed as a tool to help students to carefully think through the various elements that are integral to the innovation process in the real world.  This resource is a part of the Making Stuff collection.

Gross Science | Why Do You Always Get Sick After Final Exams?

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Learn why students tend to get sick after final exams, in this episode of Gross Science from NOVA. Research has shown that people who slept an average of less than seven hours a night in the weeks leading up to an exam were almost three times more likely to get sick. Stress can also have a huge effect on our health, lowering the activity of cells that help fight viruses. In addition, traveling right after exams can result in contact with many different pathogens. In all likelihood, a post-exam cold probably comes from a combination of these factors—plus others like poor diet, lack of exercise, and the time it takes a particular pathogen to start replicating. This resource is part of the NOVA: Gross Science Collection.

NOVA | Grand Canyon: Conservation and Development

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Since its completion in 1963, the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River has helped meet society's demands for irrigation, electricity, and flood control. This video segment documents research that tracks the impact of dams like Glen Canyon on their rivers' ecosystems. Dams transform both upstream and downstream environments in ways that both harm and help local ecology. This only increases the complexity of the issues surrounding these massive structures.

Atomic Structure of an Alloy

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In this video excerpt from NOVA: "Hunting the Elements," New York Times technology columnist David Pogue visits The Verdin Company, a manufacturer of bells, to learn about bronze. Find out how copper is typically alloyed with tin to make bronze—a metal alloy widely used in tools and weapons during the Bronze Age and still in use today. Learn how to make a bell and why bronze is still the manufacturer's material of choice. Explore how the atomic structure of a metal determines its properties, such as conductivity and malleability, and how combining metals can create a new material with different properties.

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

Marathon Migrators

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There are many strategies animals use for staying close to their food sources, as this video segment from NOVA: The Mystery of Animal Pathfinders explains. One of the most remarkable of these strategies, however, is demonstrated by the red knot, a species of shorebird that flies 20,000 miles annually in its never-ending search for food, especially the eggs of spawning horseshoe crabs.

Sniffing Out Dogs' Senses

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Discover just how powerful a dog’s sense of smell can be in this video from NOVA: Inside Animal Minds: Dogs & Super Senses. Fern, a trained sniffer dog, is put to the ultimate test: Can she locate a canister of meat hidden 20 feet underwater? As a passenger on a boat, Fern must determine the exact spot over which the canister was dropped in a lake. After about an hour of crisscrossing the lake, Fern successfully pinpoints the location. Canine smell is so acute because a dog’s nose splits the flow of incoming air into separate streams—with one dedicated solely to smell. A dog’s brain is also specially configured to make sense of the olfactory information it receives.

This resource is part of the NOVA Collection.

Gross Science | What Lives in Cheese?

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Learn about the mites, bacteria, and fungi that make cheese delicious, in this episode of Gross Science from NOVA. Cheeses come in many different forms, but most are made of the same handful of ingredients: milk, salt, a combination of enzymes called “rennet,” and bacteria. Mixing in bacteria allows milk to ferment, and creates a diversity of flavors and textures in cheese. Cheese makers can also create other varieties by adding fungus, mites, and maggots to the mix. Many other foods, such as bread, wine, yogurt, and pickles, are created in similar ways. They are made by letting other organisms, like yeast and bacteria, digest parts of the food before humans do. This resource is part of the NOVA: Gross Science Collection.

NOVA: Becoming Human | Diatoms Measure Climate Change

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Learn how scientists used the fossils of one-celled aquatic organisms, called diatoms, to understand ancient climate conditions in eastern Africa, in this video from NOVA: Becoming Human. White layers of a rock formation consist of deep-water diatoms and darker layers consist of shallow-water diatoms; the scientists interpreted the alternating layers in the formation to mean that a massive lake appeared and disappeared many times in their study area. If this part of Africa indeed experienced wet and dry periods over time, this supports a new idea that suggests climatic variability may have shaped human evolution.

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

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