NSF Science Now: Hosted by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Dena Headlee, NSF Science Now is a weekly newscast that covers some of the latest innovations from NSF-funded projects around the country and the world. For instance, a recent episode focused on increased plant productivity, the activity of the brain during reading, manufacturing a more reliable prosthesis, and better predicting earthquakes and tsunamis. At three to five minutes long, each video is fast-paced and entertaining. NSF Science Now is a great way to track what the NSF is sponsoring and how those projects are breaking new ground in everything from astrophysics to zoology.
The Salt: What’s On Your Plate?: NPR’s The Salt is an extraordinarily entertaining food blog with an eye toward “food news from the farm to the plate and beyond.” The site updates daily. Recent articles have covered such topics as faux fish made from plants, an investment fund that is bankrolling environmentally sustainable fish farming, and a debate about whether oranges or orange juice are more nutritious. The articles are fresh and punchy, highlighting the simultaneous seriousness and absurdity of food and food culture in sparkling prose.
The Untold History of Women in Science and Technology: The White House provides this website, a set of largely unknown stories of female pioneers in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, dating from the 19th to the 21st centuries. Examples include Ada Lovelace (1815-1852) who, in 1843, wrote the first computer algorithm for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine. Lovelace’s story is read by U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Megan Smith. Other women in STEM who appear on the site are astronaut and physicist Sally Ride, environmentalist Rachel Carson, molecular biologist and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at Cytonome/ST Lydia Villa-Komaroff, and geneticist Barbara McClintock, the only woman to win an unshared Nobel Prize for her work. With women from across the Administration sharing stories of their personal heroes, this website is intended to inspire girls to go into the STEM fields.
Zooniverse: The Zooniverse provides an extraordinarily popular venue for citizen science projects. To explore what’s on offer, readers may click on projects, then select either science or laboratory. Dozens of possibilities present themselves, from programs that examine how galaxies form to projects that study the lives of the ancient Greeks. Readers may join a project and start contributing to data analysis of various kinds, from coding British World War I diaries to monitoring the wildlife of urban Chicago. Teachers will appreciate the extensive Education resources on the site, found within the Community tab. Zoo Teach, a companion website, can be explored by subjects (sciences, math, humanities, arts) as well as ages (from middle school through higher education). This is where readers will find lesson plans and activities to brighten a wide range of related topics.