4 Facts to Puzzle You on Presidents Day

By Emily Connor Many people in the U.S. are enjoying a three-day weekend—a work- and school-free Presidents’ Day. The holiday originated as a celebration of George Washington’s birthday (February 22) and was officially declared a federal holiday by an act of Congress in 1879. The holiday was officially assigned the third Monday in February by the “Uniform Monday Holiday Act” in 1971. Interestingly, this means … Continue reading 4 Facts to Puzzle You on Presidents Day

White House Drops the Microbiome

UNITED STATES Half a billion dollars are being pledged to study the microbes in crops, soils, oceans—and humans. (The Atlantic) Take a look at some of these “misunderstood microbes” with our video study guide. Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit. Discussion Ideas President Obama recently announced the launch of the $121-million National Microbiome Initiative. What is a … Continue reading White House Drops the Microbiome

Obama Meets the Next Generation of Scientists

SCIENCE Meet the teenage (and 7-ear-old!) scientists who exhibited at the 2014 White House Science Fair, which focused on women in STEM fields. (White House blog) Use our resources to help STEM take root. Discussion Ideas After reading a story in National Geographic about the global shortage of metals and elements used in magnets—called “rare earths”—and how important magnets are to objects like motors and … Continue reading Obama Meets the Next Generation of Scientists

Photo: Star Wars characters.

Luke, I am your Teacher.

In case you missed it, the White House recently released an official response to a petition that aimed to “secure resources and funding and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.” For those less nerdier than I, the Death Star is of Star Wars fame: the evil Empire’s giant superweapon/space station that is capable of destroying planets. Petitioners justified the creation of a Death … Continue reading Luke, I am your Teacher.