LINCS Science & Numeracy Special Collection
Science in the News

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Science In The News

There are many stories in the daily news about science and technology. Mathematics is a necessary tool for understanding these topics. This webpage will provide several links to general science news, as well as links to websites specializing in specific topics in the news. The purpose of this page is to provide credible resources related to science and numeracy, so that people can evaluate the relevance and accuracy of current news topics.

General Science News

Learning Resources:

The CNN San Francisco bureau and the Western/Pacific Literacy Network (Western/Pacific LINCS) have partnered to develop an online adult literacy site that benefits all learners and instructors. The Learning Resources site offers web-delivered instruction using current and past CNN San Francisco bureau news stories. Each story module includes the full text of each story and interactive activities to test comprehension. The learner can choose to read the text, listen to the text, or view the broadcast through streaming video.

Science News: is a weekly news magazine with an international circulation of over 200,000 subscribers. This magazine first began publication on March 13, 1922 as the Science News-Letter, with its mission to present "...unsensationalized, accurate, and fascinating scientific news to the American public." This online contains headlines and selected full-text articles from the print copy, nicely formatted in large type that makes it easy to read. Other features include:

Timeline: 70 Years Ago in Science News
The Science Safari in Cyberspace, highlighting a new science website each week
Food for Thought: focus on health and nutrition
Math Trek: focus on math-related articles
Search feature of Science News archives as well as links to the Internet. 

The Why Files- Science Behind the News: The Why Files is a project of the National Institute for Science Education, funded by the National Science Foundation. It features stories that explore the science (including math, engineering, social sciences, technology) behind the news. There are news briefs, visual images from the news, an extensive archive of past features, and a good search engine. Best of all, the webpage layout features large type, lots of white space around the text, interesting graphics, and clear language. 

ABCNEWS Science: gives in-depth articles about selected topics. There is a pop quiz section, plenty of photos, other visual images, and web links to related topics. 

Today in Science: The main webpage of the National Science Teachers Association has a short column on the left side of the screen. This features an excerpt of daily science history from the Illustrated Almanac of Science, Technology, and Invention by Raymond L. Francis.

Today at NASA: This site features an online newsletter that is updated daily. It provides timely information about news events related to NASA science and technology. Recent examples include satellite images of global fires and the latest on Shuttle-Mir activities.


Specific Topics in Science and Numeracy

Weird Weather, Southern Oscillation, El Nino and La Nina:

El Nino and La Nina are extreme phases of a naturally occurring climate cycle referred to as El Nino/Southern Oscillation or the ENSO Cycle. Changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean influence climate patterns around the globe. One of the best websites to visit on these topics is the El Nino-Southern Oscillation Homepage of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

La Nina:

We heard about El Nino first-but check out the results of the arrival of this cycle!

NOAA La Nina Page: La Nina is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, compared to El Nino, which is unusually warm ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. At this website, La Nina gets her due! Check it out!!

What is La Nina?: This site provides general definitions and technical information.

El Nino:

This phenomenon of climate and weather has been blamed for everything from disturbances in rainfall patterns to messy closets and disobedient children. Find out the story behind the excuses! The following websites have many wonderful activities.

El Nino-He's Back and He's Bad!: a feature of NASA's Observatorium, this site has many images that might slow down your connection. It is well worth the wait, however!

El Nino-Hot Air Over Hot Water!: a special exhibit from the Franklin Institute of Science, this site has links to real-time data and other technical resources.

El Nino Theme Page: Accessing Distributed Information Related to El Nino: this site, a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Tropical Atmosphere Ocean Array, is the scientific site for information about El Nino. It is here that one can link to a variety of realtime data, including in situ buoys. There are many opportunities for mathematical explorations, charting, and graphing.

El Nino-Making Sense of the Weather: This contribution from NASA's Earth Science Enterprise presents short, well-illustrated explanations for El Nino, the Southern Oscillation, global wind patterns, and condensation. There are three short weather-related science activities, using everyday materials. These activities encourage prediction, observation, and analysis. The explanations and instructions are clear and well-written.

El Nino Rules: The people at the Why Files bring us a great series of articles about climate and global warming. The series talks about past, present, and future El Nino patterns.

Current Space Shuttle Missions:

NASA Human Spaceflight: This site gives shuttle mission overview, current status reports, realtime data, multimedia connections, and opportunities to ask questions of the shuttle crew and people at the Mission Control Center. There is a useful glossary. There are listings for times and places when one might view the shuttle in orbit as it passes over various cities around the world.

To submit ideas and resources for this site, please contact Susan Cowles.