11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… the eight adult skills every 18-year-old should have.

A teenager watches a movie, ably managing skill #3, managing her assignments, workload, and deadlines.
Photograph by Kitra Cahana, National Geographic

Our Learning Framework can help develop those skills!


… no one lives on the Pacific island that’s covered in 38 million pieces of our trash.

This debris-covered beach actually washed up on the Swan Islands, Honduras, in the Caribbean Sea.
Photograph by Brian J. Skerry, National Geographic

How did all that trash get to an uninhabited island?

… where have all the insects gone.

These insects from Pakistan have gone to California … to help fight a citrus infestation.
Photograph by David Littschwager, National Geographic

Help support some of our favorite insects—bees—by building a bee hotel!


… how grades really work.

These Peruvian first-graders are stressing about grades.
Photograph by Charlie Hamilton James, National Geographic

Help your students make the grade with our Common Core ELA resources.


… sensory-substitution devices can help the visually impaired “see with their tongue.”

Taste buds hide inside papillae, the pale dots made visible here by blue food coloring.
Photograph by Brian Finke, National Geographic

What is sensory substitution?


there are feral monkeys in Texas and koalas with chlamydia in Australia.

Koalas are under threat from injury (like this fella), habitat loss, and now, a sexually transmitted disease.
Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic

Put GIS in action to help save koalas.


… giant balloons are helping flood-hit Peruvians get online.

How do engineers get those balloons to go to the right place?


… a jigsaw puzzle once helped determine an immigrant’s fate.

These young women are being held at Ellis Island. They were among thousands deemed “undesirable emigrants” to be taken back to their country of origin by the steamship company that brought them. We don’t know where these women were from.
Photograph courtesy Library of Congress. Public domain

What bureaucracy did immigrants face at Ellis Island?


… the idea that it’s easier to multiply and divide with Arabic numerals than Roman numerals is a myth.

This beautiful poster is available from the good folks at TES.

How do you use Roman numerals? Find out here.


… most of California’s salmon could be extinct in 100 years.

This beautiful little salmon has an uphill battle against climate change and habitat degradation.
Photograph by Bianca Lavies, National Geographic

You won’t believe the source of the world’s most sustainable salmon.


… yawning may promote social bonding, even between dogs and humans.

Illustration by Emily M. Eng, National Geographic

Do classroom pets foster empathy and compassion among your students? Does yawning?

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