11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… troubled by the Flint water crisis, an 11-year-old girl has invented a lead-detecting device. Read of the week!

A Flint, Michigan, family uses bottled water to clean a girl’s hands, as the tap water has dangerously high levels of lead.
Photograph by Eugene Richards, National Geographic

What is the Flint water crisis?



… there is an atlas of the underworld. And it is awesome. Resource of the week!

The Atlas of the Underworld maps subducted plates in Earth’s mantle. Behold the New Hebrides anomaly, where the Indo-Australian plate is still subducting beneath the New Hebrides plate.

Where are these ghost fragments of Earth’s crust? Use our great resource to find out.



… the same geospatial techniques used by the U.S. military are being deployed to target poachers’ criminal networks.

Thanks in part to geospatial technology, poaching in Tsavo National Park, Kenya, has dropped by 43% from 2015.
Photograph by National Geographic

How is National Geographic supporting the “Battle for the Elephants”?



… most Americans think their own identity groups face discrimination.

People of color have been waiting for equity for a long time.
Photograph by Esther Bubley, courtesy Library of Congress

Use our video to better understand the potentials of conflict mediation within a multicultural society.



… shrews aren’t small minded—they can just shrink their brains by 30%.

The common shrew is one of the most common mammals in northern Eurasia.
Photograph by Wwalas, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

Why are some shrews heroes?



… online gamers are turning into citizen scientists to tackle a deadly crop contaminant.

Aspergillus flavus is a fungus that impacts corn, peanuts, and other food crops, and can lead to liver cancer.
Photograph by Medmyco, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-4.0

Help cultivate your own “Top Crop” with our farming game.



… living near a forest is linked to better brain health.

“Forests in and around cities are a valuable resource that should be promoted,” writes a research team. Here, a gorgeous hawk perches at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum in Philadelphia.
Photograph by Derik Pinsonneault, courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

How does biodiversity thrive in urban areas?



… scientists are inventing a vocabulary to help Inuit people talk about climate change.

A family eats a dinner of seal meat at their home in the Inuit settlement of Isortoq in east Greenland.
Photograph by Matthieu Paley, National Geographic

Why are Inuit communities particularly impacted by climate change?



… flowers have secret blue halos that bees can see.

A blue ring at the base of some flowers is produced not by chemical pigments, but by microscopic structures.
Photograph by Mark Moffett, National Geographic

Learn how our certified educators use flowers to pursue project-based learning!



… a 500-year-old copper disk is a navigational remnant from the Age of Exploration.

An astrolabe is a tool used by ancient navigators to determine the position of celestial objects.
Photograph by Bates Littlehales, National Geographic

How did the astrolabe sink to the bottom of the ocean off the coast of Oman?



… how to read a scientific paper.

Infographic by Natalia Rodriguez, courtesy Research4Life

This is exactly how we approach scientific news in our Current Event Connection!

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