Science Nation - There Are No Limits in This "Universe Quest"

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They moved from classroom to observatory to beach, learning about astronomy, video games and digital photography.

Twenty-one sixth- through tenth-grade girls from the San Francisco Bay area spent a week at "Universe Quest" Summer Academy, a camp promoting scientific exploration. Some of the girls have always been hooked on math and science, but for others, it's a brand new adventure.

Science Nation - Japanese Quake Test

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A massive shake table test in Japan could lead to safer wood-frame buildings in earthquake zones.
In the end, it swayed but didn't fall. Perched atop the largest shake table in the world and subjected to a massive simulated earthquake, this six-story, wood-frame condominium stood tall, and the success of the test may lead to safer, taller wood-frame building construction in earthquake zones.

Science Nation - Sunspots Revealed

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Sunspots have fascinated mankind right from their first detection. Their mere existence challenged science and philosophy when it was recognized that the sun, once believed to be pure and unchanging, was indeed not. Now, state-of-the art telescopes, combined with the muscle of a supercomputer called "Bluefire," are allowing scientists to come to a physics understanding of sunspots and to accurately model their structure and dynamics.

Science Nation - Just by a Whisker

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From rats to robots: The story of the humble whisker. With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Mitra Hartmann, associate professor at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering, and her students are beginning to get a feel for how animals perceive the world around them. The team starts by looking at one of the most powerful sensory systems in nature: the rat whisker system.

Chalk Talk - Polymers

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Muscle fibers, DNA and plastics are all examples of polymers. Watch this video to learn more.

Robotic Sharks

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Dive in with NSF funded researcher John Long and his robotic sharks. A professor at Vassar College, Dr. Long and his team study real live sharks and their vertebral columns. They then takes these findings and design computer models and artificial vertebral columns to understand sharks' movement and biomechanics.

CHALK TALK: TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS PART 2

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The tragedy of the commons says that self interest and competition can cause people to ruin a shared resource. If people ruin what they share, sometimes the best avenue is to have them not share. Research supported by the National Science Foundation has shown that privatization, cooperation, and regulation can all work to protect commons, but only if proper enforcement exists.

CHALK TALK: INFRARED

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Infrared can be divided into three separate categories – near, mid, and far, and even though we can’t see it, in some cases we can detect it. Many things, including people and planets, emit infrared. We also use it to transmit information via remote controls and video game consoles.

CHALK TALK: BINARY

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A binary system of numbers is one that is composed only of ones and zeros. It was the system of choice for people who developed early computers--they needed a reliable way to get information across electrical circuits, and a way that was easy for the systems to understand.

CHALK TALK: TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS PART 1

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The tragedy of the commons is a dilemma that developes when a group holds a limited resource in common. If each person acts rationally in his or her own self interest often the resource will be depleted or destroyed by the group even if the individuals know that their behavior will ultimately be harmful.