NBC Learn, in partnership with he National Science Foundation, explores the science, technology, engineering and math found in current events. This 7-week series helps connect fundamental STEM topics to real-world news stories.
Publix Super Markets, Inc. has joined efforts with FPES (Florida Press Educational Services) to bring this program to sixth grade students. This FREE NIE Program will show your sixth grade students how to become responsible members of the planet, and to respect all of the resources that it has to offer.
►Flip Chart for Interactive White Boards
Note: Only classrooms with white boards will be able to run this file.
Included are basic lessons for an Elementary, Middle and Secondary classroom that can be utilized to introduce Language Arts and Social Studies activities.
►Middle School Social Studies Lesson Plan
►Middle and High School Language Arts Lesson Plan
►High School Social Studies Lesson Plan
►Elementary Social Studies Lesson Plan
►Elementary and Middle School Language Arts Lesson Plan
New Teacher's Guides are available every Monday, complete with monthly themes highlighted in a weekly lesson and a monthly activity sheet.
►Click here to download guides from USA Weekend
, week of
July 11, 2011
1. Wanted: One Smart Robot
Before Sponge Bob Square Pants and Dora the Explorer, there was a cartoon TV family called the Jetsons. This space-age family lived in a flying-saucer shaped house. They flew to work in a bubble-domed spaceship, and were helped by Rosie, a robot maid. According to an article by the Reuters news service, Rosie may no longer be far off in the future. Scientists in the European nation of Germany are working on developing a kitchen robot that learns from its mistakes and can do things humans do routinely. Find a newspaper article about new technology that could change daily lives. Write a paragraph describing one piece of technology and how it will make life easier or more efficient. Then design or make a model of a robot you would like to invent. Write a paragraph explaining how this robot could help people.
Learning Standards: Demonstrating scientific concepts through illustrations, models, exhibits and activities; representing creatively.
2. The Mushroom Cloud
The scientific laboratory sits nestled in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico. It was out of this tranquil area that the most deadly weapon known to man was developed, and on July 16, 1945, an atomic bomb exploded for the first time over the desert in central New Mexico. As part of the Manhattan Project during World War II, it was first time scientists had used the highly volatile elements of uranium and plutonium to create a bomb. Those elements are still in use at the lab in the idyllic town of Los Alamos, and this summer they have been threatened by the raging Las Conchas wildfire. This fire resulted in the evacuation of the town of Los Alamos and the lab, though lab officials have said that the storage facilities for all nuclear waste and elements are built to withstand fires. Look in your newspaper for stories about the Los Alamos lab, nuclear power or nuclear safety. Or find an example online. Discuss with your family the most important steps for ensuring safety with nuclear power or nuclear research. Write a letter to the editor summarizing one step.
Learning Standard: Analyzing how science and society interact from a historical, political, social and economic perspective; writing fluently for multiple purposes.
3. I Want Wheels
Whether you want a pickup, SUV, muscle car or low rider, it is important to know what is and what isn't a good deal. According to CNN Money, you first need to make sure your credit is good so that you can get the lowest interest rate on a loan. Next, try to have a down payment saved up, so you can get a three-year loan rather than a six-year one. You will save thousands in interest costs. CNN also said leasing isn't your best option because you pay a lot of money and come out with no car. Think twice before buying the expensive extended warranty, the article said, because most of the time what you need is covered by the warranty that comes with the vehicle. Look in the newspaper for articles and ads for cars. Use what you find to create a budget and savings plan to buy a car.
Learning Standard: Identifying the difference between monetary and non-monetary incentives and how changes in incentives cause changes in behavior.
4. Strong and Brave
Unlike World War II soldiers, who were viewed as heroes, soldiers in the Vietnam War not only faced an enemy in the jungle, but anger and divisiveness at home. Command Sgt. Maj. Jeff Mellinger found himself in the middle of that political tug of war when a letter arrived from the government saying he had been drafted into the U.S. Army. According to an Associated Press article, he was the last young man drafted by the Army. Mellinger, unlike many draftees of that time, didn't do his two and half years and get out. He made the Army his career and is now retiring after serving in the Army Rangers. Find a newspaper article about a soldier. Using the soldier as inspiration, write a poem about what it would be like to be a soldier at war, or why soldiers choose to serve their country even if it means fighting in battle.
Learning Standard: Drawing comparisons between specific incidents and broader themes that illustrate the writer's important beliefs or generalizations about life; writing fluently for multiple purposes to produce compositions, such as stories, poetry and personal narratives.
5. Earning Power
Are you kidding me? Only $7.25 an hour? According to the government, that is the minimum amount of money your time is worth, and in many states that is the minimum wage. But look on the bright side. At least it isn't the 25 cents an hour that was considered minimum wage when the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was passed in July of that year. At that time, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said the act was "the most far-reaching, far-sighted program for the benefit of workers ever adopted in this or any other country." Look in the newspaper for an ad for something you would like to purchase. Calculate how many hours you would have to work at the minimum wage of $7.25 to make the purchase.
Learning Standard: Examining the causal relationship between scarcity and the need for choices; using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to solve problems.