11 Things We Learned This Week

This week, we learned …

… “The science says to us that, in fact, the way the brain functions and grows, it needs safety, it needs warmth, it actually even needs hugs. We actually learn in a state of positive emotion much more effectively than we can learn in a state of negative emotion. That has huge implications for what we do in schools.”

Learn more about the science of learning by enrolling in one of our free online courses!


quick definitions of this year’s CES tech buzzwords.

The science of haptics has advanced tremendously since this image of a suit including haptic goggles and gloves was shared more than 10 years ago.
Photograph courtesy NASA

Haptics! We were all over this three years ago. Read up on how this robot mermaid uses haptics to dive deep.


… how Alexa is impacting children’s learning experiences.

Make a positive impact by using our Alexa app for the National Geographic GeoBee.


… the world’s loneliest frog found a friend.

Romeo (l), a male Sehuencas water frog, has met his Juliet. We hope their relationship turns out better than that of their namesakes. Photograph courtesy BBC

Use our reference resource to find other amphibians at risk.


protecting woolly mammoths might help save elephants.

The woolly mammoth may become the first extinct animal to receive legal protection under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Poached elephant ivory is often mislabeled as legal mammoth ivory.
Illustration by Raul Martin, National Geographic

Should we bring back woolly mammoths in order to protect them?


as the Arctic warms, Svalbard is freezing.

Temperatures in Arctic regions are rising about twice as fast as the rest of the world. In Svalbard, changes in precipitation patterns over the last few decades have increased the likelihood of winter rain and snowmelt forming a layer of ice at the base of the snow.
Photograph by Prillen, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

Svalbard is one of the most popular destinations for our Grosvenor Teacher Fellows. Learn how one educator put her icy expedition to use.


women are redefining ranching in the American West.

A rancher feeds her cattle in Whitlash, Montana.
Photograph by William Albert Allard, National Geographic

What is ranching? Use our reference research to find out.


… protoplanetary discs can be perpendicular. Weird.

New research has discovered the first example of a binary star system (HD 98800BaBb) in which a cloudy protoplanetary disc orbits its stars around their poles (perpendicular to the ecliptic).
Illustration by University of Warwick/Mark Garlick

Take a look at the regular orbital plane to better understand the weirdness.


dogs might be endangered species’ best friends.

Specially trained dogs sniff out the scat of endangered species. Photograph by Conservation Canines

How else are we putting canine noses to good, if unexpected, use?


… eating meat has dire consequences for the planet.

Vegetarian diets would shrink greenhouse gas emissions.
Graph by National Geographic magazine

What would happen if we all stopped eating meat?


… the top ten citizen science projects of the year.

Students examine a plant in Muir Woods National Monument as part of BioBlitz, one of our signature citizen science projects.
Photograph by Carolyn Barnwell, National Geographic

Take a look at some more citizen science projects your class can get involved with!

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