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Common Core State Standard L.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: Video of a current news event is presented for discussion to encourage student participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the video. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.
News Video for: 12/12/2016
Japan tests device to sweep away space junk
Last week, Japan launched a cargo ship which will test a half mile-long tether to remove some of the vast amount of debris from Earth's orbit. The tether, made of aluminum strands and steel wire, is designed to slow the debris, pulling it out of orbit and into the atmosphere where the junk will burn up. The magnetic tether is being tested as just one method to clean up what is estimated to be more than 100 million pieces of space junk in orbit.
Class discussion: Where did all the trash in Earth’s orbit come from? How fast does the debris travel? Does space junk ever make it through the atmosphere and strike the surface of the Earth? The orbiting junk threatens astronauts and satellites. How might such impacts affect your life? It is expensive to develop and test methods to clear away space debris. Why is it worth it? Some of the junk dates back to the beginning of space exploration. What U.S. space pioneer died last week?