STEMS in Current Events
The recent eruption of the Kilauea volcano gives us an opportunity to understand this fascinating natural phenomena. This STEM unit is in line with our goal to make STEM relevant to our everyday lives. We also use this news item to stimulate thought on the dynamics of volcanic activity. Hydrothermal vents have temperatures over 350 degrees on the lava-covered seafloor, yet some aquatic animals and organisms can thrive in these temperatures. Students are led to investigate how the origins of life adapted to the environment on our newly formed planet Earth.
Sustainability issues emerge during weather events. Students can analyze the data and discuss their ideas on climate change. When they make well-reasoned statements based on scientific literature, we can respect their position. An informed populace is the only defense against fake news. Whatever the position one may take, students become aware that they are needed to develop strategies in the future to combat and repair damage caused by these events.
Summer brings renewed interest in the Zika virus and Lyme's disease. Student learn about habitat, biodiversity and the impact on humans. Mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus lay eggs near standing water. A bucket trap was made by health officials in Puerto Rico to fight the Zika virus. Black is the color that the mosquitoes are attracted to. This is a very low-tech solution that students can see themselves creating.