Swarming Disaster

ENVIRONMENT For the third year in a row, skies over Madagascar are black with millions of locusts—the insects of biblical fame that gobble up crops and ravage landscapes, mostly in countries where people barely get by. (NPR) Use our resources to better understand the “Lessons of a Cannibal Plague.” Thanks to Alli for the heads-up on this great current-event connection! This video, which describes Madagascar’s … Continue reading Swarming Disaster

There’s a Castle in Washington, D.C.?

Little known fact: the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. is celebrating 168 years! It’s true, as you can see in This Day in Geographic History. The Smithsonian Institution is a great place to visit. Museum entry is free, and the museums are open 364 days of the year (only closed on Christmas)! Exhibits have something for everyone, and the people who work there are brains worth picking . . . Not everyone … Continue reading There’s a Castle in Washington, D.C.?

Why Zebras Got Their Stripes

SCIENCE You would think that someone would have come up with the definitive answer by now, but, in fact, the reason zebras have stripes remains a biological mystery. Scientists have a pretty good idea, however. (New Yorker) Use our resources to read between the lines of evolution and natural selection. Discussion Ideas Read the fascinating New Yorker blog post, then read the first page of … Continue reading Why Zebras Got Their Stripes

Monarch Migration in ‘Grave Danger’

ENVIRONMENT Migrating monarch butterflies are in “grave danger,” according to a report that shows their colonies in Mexico now occupy the smallest area since records began in 1993. (National Geographic News) Learn more about monarchs, migration, milkweed, and metamorphosis. Discussion Ideas Read the short section “Migration Mystery” in our article “Monarch Migration Mystery.” According to experts, more than half a billion monarchs spend their winter … Continue reading Monarch Migration in ‘Grave Danger’

There Goes the Neighborhood

ENVIRONMENT Cockroaches have neighborhoods, too. At least in New York City, where researchers are conducting a citizen-science project to trace the insects’ diverse ancestry and migration patterns. The geno-cockroach project? (National Geographic News) Squash a bug, for SCIENCE. Then use our resources to find other citizen science projects. Discussion Ideas New York City’s three “cockroach communities” identified in the Nat Geo News article are the … Continue reading There Goes the Neighborhood