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Environmental Science Current Events Assignments

Environmental Science Current Events Article Search

Finding environmental science current events can be a difficult task. A great deal of the articles and websites that arrive through a simple search are overly simplistic, biased, or simply do not contain any in-depth information. The number of current event sources that is appropriate for the high school or college student is actually very limited in number, and these can be drowned out amongst all the other current event sites on the internet. A rubric for this assignment is available as well.

This is a custom environmental science current events search engine to help students find recent, relevant, and engaging news articles. This search is restricted to only reputable science news sources, including National Geographic, BBC News, NPR, the New York Times, Discover Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, PHYS.org, and Vice.

Type in any search term in the box below for a listing of recent articles on that topic.


Environmental Science Current Events Topics

Ecosystems:
Amazon Deforestation | Coral Reef Bleaching | Desertification | Endangered Species

Food and Agriculture
Food Recalls | Food Poisoning | Factory Farming | Organic Foods | Bovine Growth Hormone | Animal Welfare | Genetically Modified Organisms

Global Warming and Climate Change
Ocean Acidification | Sea Level Rising | Melting Ice Caps | Droughts | Severe Flooding

Human Health and Environmental Hazards
Antibiotic Resistance | Hormone Disruptors | Carcinogens | Teratogens | Heavy Metals | Obesity Rates

Air Pollution
Air Quality | Smog | Emissions Standards | Acid Rain | Particulates

Water Pollution
Biomagnification | Groundwater Contamination | Oil Spills | Impaired Waters | Hydraulic Fracturing

Nonrenewable Energy
Strip Mining | Underground Mining | Clean Coal | Deep Sea Drilling | Fracking | Nuclear Reactors | Energy Efficiency | Hybrid Cars | Electric Cars

Renewable Energy
Photovoltaic Cells | Biofuel | Wind Farms | Fuel Cells


Websites Included In The Environmental Science Current Events Search

This is only a small sampling of some of the resources available. Please contact me to suggest any additional websites to include in this environmental science current events article search.




Ideas for Using Current Event Articles in the Science Classroom

DIRECTIONS:

Idea 1: Use reading and then discussing a current event article as a warm-up activity for your class. Teacher prep time includes finding an applicable article that is related to what you are studying in class and making copies. Students should grab an article upon entering class and should start reading. Discussion will follow after 5-7 minutes of quiet reading time. There is no specific grading related to this idea. Students know they need to read the article and pay attention to details in case they are called on during discussion time (e.g., "David, what did you think about this aspect of the article?" "Susan, explain why scientists were excited about this particular result." etc). This is always a good warm-up activity because it gives the teacher 5-7 minutes to take attendance and deal with other administrative issues.

Idea 2: Find an article and have students write questions about the article. Teacher prep time includes finding an applicable article that is related to what you are studying in class and making copies. I would put the following text at the top of the article: "Directions: Read this article carefully. Underline, check, circle and/or highlight it as you would if you were taking notes. Then, follow directions below the article." I would put the following text at the bottom of the article: "Now, using the notes you've taken, compose 5 multiple choice questions and 2 short answer questions that you think target the important areas of the article. The multiple choice questions should have the correct answer circled. The 2 short answer questions do not need to be answered." Obviously, the teacher should change the number of questions to be written depending on the length and depth of the article.

The grading of this assignment is quite simple. I simply gave appropriate credit if the right number of questions were written. This part of the process I felt comfortable having a dependable teacher's aide do. I would then go through the questions and answers for each class and pick out the most clever, creative or in-depth questions. I would copy these to be placed on the overhead when the students came in the classroom. This became quite an incentive for students to do their best work on this activity. It took a bit of time for me as the teacher, but it was worth it to see a student recognize their question/answer on the overhead and beam with pride. I would regularly give this out as a homework assignment.

Idea 3: Have students find their own articles and present them to the class over a period of a month or so. I would use this technique at the beginning of every big unit we were studying (e.g., 4 big units in the year - Water, Geology, Atmosphere, Space). I would give the assignment at the very beginning of the unit. I then gave students (with plenty of reminders) 2 weeks to collect any article about the very general concept of the unit. At the end of the 2 weeks, the students knew they could be called on any day from that point forward. Being called on to present their article meant that the student needed to have the article present that day and needed to give a 1-2 minute summary of the problems, issues and/or scientific findings presented in the article. Grading was very simple - did the student have the article on the day they were called on and could they summarize it for the class?

I wouldn't give a class less than 2 weeks time to collect the articles; otherwise, you'll end up with many more repeated articles. You'll want to let students know where they can find appropriate articles (might include local newspaper, national newspapers, national magazines like Time, Newsweek or Scientific American, appropriate internet sites (I limited my class to the list found below)).

I like this idea because it meant that no class time was wasted. If a particular class moved quickly through activities that day, I would choose (as randomly as possible), 1-2 students to present their current event articles to the class. We would discuss their presented facts for the remainder of the hour.

Idea 4: Find an article that is timely and appropriate for what you are studying in your classroom and write prompts (multiple choice or essay questions) related to the article. The benefit of this idea is that it most closely mirrors Reading Comprehension sections on standardized tests students will be expected to take. The downside of this idea is that it involves the most teacher prep time (finding article, writing questions, making copies, grading answered questions for accuracy). Consider sharing this preparation task with at least another teacher (or 2-3!) that teaches the same subject. Then, you may only have to do the prep work every other time you use this approach.

ASSESSMENT:

Will vary from classroom to classroom depending on the idea implemented.

RELATED SECTIONS OF THE WINDOWS TO THE UNIVERSE WEBSITE:

OTHER RESOURCES:

Last modified March 24, 2006 by Jennifer Bergman.

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