NOVA

When Did the First Americans Arrive?

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Who were the first Americans, when did they arrive, and from where did they come? With limited evidence, scientists have long proposed a hypothesis that linked the migration route and the timing of the migration these ancient people to the end of the last ice age. However, new evidence suggests that this widely accepted hypothesis needs revision. This video segment adapted from NOVA describes how archaeologists are using this new evidence to develop a better understanding of the founding of the Americas.

NOVA | Five Dogs with Crazy Resumes

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There are many breeds of dogs, and each breed was developed to enhance or minimize certain physical or psychological features. In this video from NOVA, see how those features enable them to perform certain specific functions. While some still perform the jobs they were bred for, others have been enlisted in new occupations. Here are examples of five such breeds: St. Bernards, poodles, dachshunds, komodors, and bulldogs.

Poisoned Water | Taking Action to Address a Public Health Crisis

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Learn how Flint, Michigan, resident LeeAnne Walters helped identify and address a lead water crisis, in this digital clip from NOVA: Poisoned Water. After recognizing that lead-poisoned water was a community-wide problem, Walters researched the science of water treatment and approached the city with data from tests she conducted on Flint water quality with researchers at Virginia Tech. After the city’s initial reluctance to accept her evidence, Walters learned that the city and state were not complying with federal law: they were not using corrosion controls to treat the water, endangering the entire Flint community with lead poisoning. This resource is part of the NOVA Collection.

Life’s Rocky Start | Deep Sea Vents

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Learn about the theory that the building blocks of life originated within deep sea hydrothermal vents, in this video from NOVA: Life’s Rocky Start. With the discovery of life near hydrothermal vents, people realized that sunlight is not necessary to support a robust ecosystem. It is thus possible that life did not originate on Earth’s surface, as previously thought. An alternate theory developed that life could have originated from deep sea vents. Scientists conducted an experiment analogous to the Miller–Urey experiment: using pressure tubes, they simulated the high-temperature and high-pressure environment near deep sea vents. They found that gases and minerals reacted within the pressure tubes to form organic molecules, including amino acids.

This resource was developed through WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project, in collaboration with NASA. Click here for the full collection of resources.

How DNA Replicates

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This narrated animation from Interactive NOVA: "The Secret of Life" shows the double helix structure of DNA and how the molecule replicates. The segment illustrates how DNA "unzips" to form templates for the new strands and how complementary nucleotides bind together like the rungs of a ladder. This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

Mystery Beneath the Ice | The Under-Ice Environment

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Join researchers as they prepare to dive beneath sea ice as part of their expedition to observe and better understand the role of sea ice in the Antarctic, in this video from NOVA: Mystery Beneath the Ice. This excerpt provides a rare glimpse of the under-ice landscape, with the dive footage showing stunningly varied topography, colors, light, and life.

This resource was developed through WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project, in collaboration with NASA. Click here for the full collection of resources.

Eclipse Over America | Coronal Mass Ejections from the Sun

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Learn about the structure of the Sun and how it leads to coronal mass ejections that can affect Earth, in this pair of videos from NOVA: Eclipse Over America. Use this resource to view and engage with solar phenomena from different perspectives and to stimulate thinking and questions about the Sun’s impact on Earth.

Support materials include: Background Reading, Teaching Tips, and Discussion Questions. This resource was developed through WGBH’s Bringing the Universe to America’s Classrooms project, in collaboration with NASA.

Solar Power

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In this video from NOVA's Energy Lablearn about the benefits and limitations of converting the Sun's light and heat into electricity. Animations show how two solar power technologies—photovoltaic cells and concentrated solar power systems—convert the Sun's energy into electrical energy. Solar power technologies are environmentally friendly, but there are technological challenges that limit their widespread use. For example, solar power technologies are not very efficient, they are relatively expensive, and we do not yet have a good way to store solar energy.

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

Organizing for Innovation

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After generating a large quantity of ideas for innovation, students undertake the task of organizing their ideas in this video from NOVA Education. Students group individual ideas together into clusters of related content. Once the organization process is complete, the students generate a list of criteria that they then use to judge the viability of their ideas in the real world. This resource is a part of the Making Stuff collection.

NOVA Online | Walls of Glass

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Learn how glass—a material usually considered fragile, and dangerous if shattered—can be made into a strong, safe wall in this video from NOVA Online. Several treatment methods were used for the glass panes that make up the new One World Trade Center building. Heat tempering makes the glass tough enough to handle severe weather conditions. A polyurethane coating serves two purposes:first, to keep the glass from shattering upon impact with another object; and second, to keep the glass from getting too hot from the sun's rays. The second purpose also enables the building to be super green and LEED certified.

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