Transportation

Finding Fish in Lots of Water

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This NC Now Coastwatch segment documents how shifting currents near the shores of North Carolina's Cape Hatteras makes it one of the most unique fishing areas in the world, and how recreational and commerical fishers navigate it. It also addresses the marine electronics and technologies which aid the commercial fishing industry.

How Does an Internal-Combustion Engine Work?

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See how an engine uses flowing air to draw fuel into a cylinder, in which a spark ignites the combustible mixture. Learn more in this animation from Design Squad Nation.

People and Businesses | Steamboats on the Red

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Learn how communities began to develop on the banks of the Red River along the steamboats’ route in this video from the Steamboats on the Red series. With new, cheaper means of transportation come people—first workers, then settlers, then merchants. 

Looking at the shallow twists and turns of the Red River, it’s hard to imagine that steam-powered paddlewheel boats were once the most important transportation link between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. From the first in 1859 to the last that sank in 1909, Red River steamboats hauled thousands of settlers and millions of tons of freight across the border between the United States and Canada. Although it lasted barely 50 years, the age of the steamboat forged a commercial network between the two countries that exists to this day in the Interstate-29 corridor.

Ways of Navigation

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This video, adapted from material provided by the ECHO partners, illustrates some of the methods that people from communities across the globe have used to navigate on the open ocean. European and American sailors relied on navigational instruments. Polynesian travelers used traditional techniques based on celestial navigation and on their observations of clouds, winds, birds, and other phenomena. And the Iñupiaq people of northern Alaska rely on their centuries-old knowledge of their environment to find their way while hunting and fishing.

Teachable Moment: Radar | Fast Forward

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You can’t run an airport without radar and knowing where all the planes are. In this Teachable Moment, we will take a moment to learn the basics of how radar works.

The Science of Riding a Bicycle

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Riding a bicycle might be easy. But the forces that allow humans to balance atop a bicycle are complex. Take a ride on a research bicycle and explore a collection of antique bicycles in this QUEST video.

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

Atlanta Motorsports Park | Fast Forward Launch Pad

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We went to the birthplace of NASCAR to visit a brand new country club for car lovers. That’s right. Instead of a golf course, they have a racetrack. In addition to taking a look back at the area's rich NASCAR history, Teachable Moments include a detailed look at Newton's Second Law of Motion, and an explanation of sound basics, including how sound waves dissipate over distance.

The Deployable Energy Absorber

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This video from NASA examines a new concept in helicopter safety being developed by engineers at NASA Langley’s Landing and Impact Research Facility. The concept—a type of airbag called a deployable energy absorber (DEA)—is designed to help prevent passenger injuries in the event of a crash. It is better able to manage "crush" and "shear" loads, than traditional airbags. The video shows NASA's crash test and summarizes the impact on the four dummies that were used to simulate live passengers. This resource is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grade 9-12 students.

Robot Race

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Creating a robot capable of safely navigating its environment without human intervention has been a goal of engineers ever since they first conceived of robots nearly 50 years ago. Despite rapid advancements in technology, however, engineers did not succeed in the task of designing autonomous robots until recently. This video segment adapted from NOVA follows two teams as they push their engineering design skills to the limit to develop systems that allow cars to drive themselves in the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge.

Scientist Profile: NASCAR Engineer

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Ryan Newman is a race car driver AND an engineer. He uses his knowledge of vehicle design and physical forces to improve his chances of winning his next race.

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

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