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News Article | November 20, 2015
Site: http://www.techtimes.com/rss/sections/earth.xml

In this weekly column, science writer Carrie Poppy puts together the most striking and telling science images from the past week's news for your viewing pleasure. Scroll down to find phenomenal images and fascinating facts about the science behind them. This week, researchers concluded that bats have developed the uncanny ability to land upside down, via their heavy and powerful wings. This photo from the National Park Service was posted in celebration of National Bat Week. Eleven bat species live in Olympic National Park. On the subject of frequent fliers, Tech Times reported on a fossil revealing the remains of an ancient wasp. The 53 million-year-old insect is called Ypresiosirex orthosemos, and was almost 3 inches long. This week, the Supreme Court of Hawai'i halted construction of a 30-meter telescope because of safety concerns, and because it is being built on ground considered sacred by Native Hawai'ians. On Wednesday, Brazilian researchers announced the discovery of a daddy longlegs with no eyes, who lives in caves in Brazil. They named the creature Iandumoema smeagol, after the Lord of the Rings character, Smeagol. Olympic National Park in Washington was partly closed due to storms this week. Check out the incredible difference just a few days makes, in these photos taken Sunday and Thursday by Olympic National Park staff. NASA released these photos this week, of young students posing with their newly autographed photos of Astronaut Reid Wiseman during his visit to the Maryland Science Center in his hometown of Baltimore, Md. Wiseman explained what it was like to live on the International Space Station for 6 months, and inspired these future astronauts. The Max Planck Society of Ornithology's bird lab released video this week of songbirds performing amorous songs and "tap dances" for their love interests. A single step of the blue-capped cordon-bleus, a species of waxbill, takes a fifth of a second. The European Southern Observatory in Chile just released this incredible telescope image of a horde of secret, massive galaxies that existed when our universe was in its infancy. Our final image is a chart, but it's a doozy. In this study released by the University of Zurich, researchers determined that mice have incredibly long sperm, whereas elephants' sperm is short, but plentiful. Here is their once-in-a-lifetime chart of the length of elephant versus mouse sperm, based on body size and weight. Wonders never cease.


Uz Schollaert S.,The Interdisciplinary Center | Ackerman W.,Maryland Science Center | O'leary J.,Maryland Science Center | Culbertson B.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Geoscience Education | Year: 2014

Engaging the general public on climate topics and deepening their understanding of key discoveries by the Earth science community requires a collaborative approach between scientists, developers, and museum educators to converge on the most effective format. Large Science On a Sphere (SOS) displays of Earth attract attention to global data at museums worldwide, yet just looking at raw data does not generally lead to new insights by the public. Working closely with the Maryland Science Center, the EarthNow project realized the time limitations of the museum staff and audience and began creating short, narrated videos for SOS. The videos introduce recent climate science findings on a variety of topics and can be used as part of live, facilitated programs or played while SOS is in its autorun mode. To measure the effectiveness of the delivery method, we developed a survey and tested several groups that saw a video within a live show compared to groups that saw it in autorun without a live program. We also wondered whether adding a hands-on activity would enhance learning and how hearing the information while doing an activity would compare to watching and hearing the SOS show, so we tested two large groups using the activity with and without seeing Science On a Sphere. Overall survey results demonstrate the groups who saw an SOS show gained certain concepts better than the group that only heard the information while doing the activity. The live shows conferred a slight but not substantial advantage over the autorun shows. Playing short, narrated videos on SOS that include global Earth processes, such as atmospheric and oceanic circulation, seems to enhance understanding of certain concepts more than hearing the information while doing an activity. Ongoing communication with museums and their visitors is critical for ensuring that these stories are as effective as possible and make best use of the strengths of the Science On a Sphere exhibit to enhance the public’s climate literacy. © 2014 National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Source


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: AISL | Award Amount: 3.00M | Year: 2010

Filmmakers Collaborative, Principal Large-Format LTD, and SK Films, Inc. are requesting funds to produce a large format, 3-D film and multi-component educational materials and activities on the annual migration of monarch butterflies, their life cycle and the web of life at select sites where they land. Project goals are to 1) raise audience understanding of the nature of scientific investigation and the open-ended nature of the scientific process, 2) enhance and extend citizen science programs to new audiences, and 3) create better awareness of monarch biology, insect ecology and the importance of habitat.

INNOVATION/STRATEGIC IMPACT: The film will be simultaneously released in both a 3-D and 2-D 15/70 format. RMC Research Corp. will conduct evaluation of the project, including a study of the comparable strengths of the 2-D and 3-D versions of the film and to assess the effectiveness of 3-D to enhance the learning experience. RMC will also conduct a long-term evaluation of the projects citizen science programs.

COLLABORATION: This project promises a highly collaborative model of partnerships between the project team and The Smithsonian, Project Learning Tree, Monarchs in the Classroom, Monarch Watch, 4-H through the University of Kentucky Extension and the University of Florida WINGS programs, The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans (SACNAS), Online NewsHour, and Earth & Sky. RMC will conduct formative and summative evaluations to assess the success of project materials in communicating science and achieving the projects learning goals.

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