11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… parents’ views on gifted education vary by ethnicity. Read of the week!

A recent study found that families of color at a New York City school were less willing than white families to “game” the system by prepping their kids for admissions tests to gifted-and-talented programs.
Photograph of Dutch students by Luca Locatelli, National Geographic

Educators specializing in gifted-and-talented programs are encouraged to enroll in our Educator Certification program! So is everyone else!



… crops evolved 10,000 years earlier than we thought.

Wheat was one of the first crops to be harvested, more than 13,000 years ago.
Photograph of an Ethiopian wheat farmer by Jim Richardson, National Geographic

What is a crop?



… a newly identified orangutan species is the rarest ape on Earth.

Orangutans from the mountainous region of Tapanuli, Indonesia, were recently recognized as a distinct species.
Photograph of a Tapanuli orangutan by Tim Laman, National Geographic

How can kids help save orangutans?



… new NASA maps are bad news for Greenland.

Greenland is melting down.
Illustration by Alejandro Tumas, National Geographic

Greenland’s retreating glaciers are causing the island to shrink.



… a third of Earth’s animals are vanishing as roads spread through forests.

Roads have forced species to retreat deep into the forest.
Photograph of a road in Yasuni National Park, Ecuador, by Ivan Kashinsky, National Geographic

What are the contributing factors considered when building a road through the forest?



… “plyscrapers” are taking wooden buildings to new heights.

Wooden skyscrapers are quicker to build and offer environmental benefits over concrete and steel.
Illustration by Jason Treat, National Geographic

How did steel skyscrapers come to define the “Chicago Style”?



… women are increasingly claiming a central role in farming.

Nearly 290,000 women head up farm operations, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Photograph of a Wisconsin farmer by Jim Richardson, National Geographic

Can you successfully farm our “Top Crop”?



… how drought, famine, and climate change influenced the fate of European colonies in the Americas.

The “Little Ice Age” contributed to both English colonization of North America, and the grim episode of early years at Jamestown.
Illustration by Adrian Niu, National Geographic

What happened to the earliest English colonies in North America? 



… why big, boring bureaucracy is essential for restoring wetlands.

The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge is discovering that when it comes to swamps, sometimes it takes one to build one.
Photograph by Oleg Alexandrov, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

How can plants actually hinder wetland restoration?



… if you want to evaluate the cost of Brexit, consider the pineapple.

Skyrocketing pineapple prices have forced companies to “cut costs somewhere”—often replacing workers with machines.
Photograph of a pineapple vendor in Nigeria by Robin Hammond, National Geographic

What is the Brexit?



… it’s the time of year to dance your PhD.

Get started early! Learn the moves of the BioBlitz Dance!

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