PBS Learning Media

Strange Fruit: A Song Born of Protest

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This video segment explores how the song Strange Fruit became one of the best known and most enduring songs of protest. In 1939, the legendary blues singer Billie Holiday performed the song as a daring criticism of the commonplace practice of the lynching of African-Americans. Civil rights groups such as the NAACP had made countless appeals, but it was Holiday’s haunting rendition that made it impossible for white Americans and lawmakers to ignore the widespread crime.

Homo Sapiens Versus Neanderthals

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Explore the origins of modern humans. Fossil evidence from Middle East caves and elsewhere has revealed some competitive advantages modern humans, known as Homo sapiens, are believed to have held over the more archaic human species, Neanderthals. For example, during the time in which the two species may have coexisted, Homo sapiens lived on high ground, from which they could survey the landscape and plan their hunting expeditions. Some scientists have theorized that the success of this strategy may have contributed to the demise of the valley-dwelling Neanderthals, who became extinct about 30,000 years ago. Adapted from NOVA.

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

Acid Mine Drainage Remediation

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In this video, an environmental technologist visits an abandoned coal mine in Kentucky to talk about how a remediation system (a series of settling ponds and treatment cells) is neutralizing the acid drainage from the mine and preventing damage to a creek downstream. He shows the path of the acid drainage as it flows down a hillside from the mine into a settling basin and on to treatment cells where limestone is used to raise the water's pH. At a higher pH, iron and other minerals drop out of solution, which means that these harmful precipitates stay in the settling basins rather than flowing into the creek.

This resource is part of the Water Solutions collection.

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

Pitch: Super Sounding Drums

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The construction of a drum -- the materials it is made of, its size and shape, and the tension of its top, or drumhead -- all affect how the drum sounds. In this video segment, two members of the ZOOM cast create drums of different sizes, shapes, materials, and tensions, and compare the results.

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

Balloon Brain: Designing a Helmet

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As humans, we thankfully have more going for us than the balloon brains depicted in this video segment adapted from ZOOM. Still, the failed efforts of some of the ZOOM cast members to design adequate protection for their balloon brains illustrates the importance of wearing a proper helmet and protecting your own brain whenever you skate, rollerblade, ski, or ride a bike.

Hajj: Part II | Religion & Ethics Newsweekly

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Over two million Muslims from around the world travel to Mecca each year for the Islamic pilgrimage known as Hajj. How does this experience change their lives? This video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly follows American Muslim Abdul Alim Mubarak as he experiences Hajj for the first time.

Rivers | Science Trek

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This video segment from IdahoPTV's Science Trek takes you down Idaho's Snake River as it explains river formation, use, and terminology. What is an inner and outer bank, an oxbow, a meander and what makes rapids, are some of the questions that will be answered.

Triangles: Designing a Newspaper Chair

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Once it's been read, there's often little more to do with the daily newspaper than to add it to that towering stack of recyclables we collect each week. In this video segment, however, the ZOOM cast demonstrates how innovative design can turn this otherwise flimsy material into a relatively solid piece of furniture.

Twelfth Night Act 2 Sc 4

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In this video from Penn State's School of Theatre production of Twelfth Night, back at his palace, Orsino summons Feste to perform a song. In the meantime, the Duke and Viola have a conversation about a certain someone Viola (Cesario) fancies, and Orsino offers his love advice. Orsino declares he will not take “no” for an answer from Olivia, but Viola protests that love doesn’t always go according to plan. The two debate men’s and women’s capacities for love, and at the end of their exchange, Orsino orders Viola (Cesario) to return to Olivia with a love token from him.

Geographic Features | Regents Review 2.0

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Geographic features affect how civilizations develop. These civilzations had to adapt to their environment in order to succeed. Take a trip through mountains, lakes, rivers, and forests and discover how each of these features shaped the world as we know it today.

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