Teachers: Ready for a new school year with NOAA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — For the new school year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)  welcomes teachers and students back to school this fall. For those interested in bringing more science and data into our classrooms, the following lists exciting science and technical resource highlights featuring planet Earth.

Do more with data
NOAA is an incredible source for getting started with earth science data. In fact, we have an entire collection of data resources just for educators. If it’s your first time teaching with data, check out our classroom-ready data resources, which are all ready to go. Then dive into some of our best primary data sources from paleoclimatology to real-time ocean conditions.

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Download the new NOAA Science on a Sphere Explorer mobile app and bring beautiful visualizations of global data into the palm of your hand. Use the National Data Buoy Center to monitor water quality across the ocean. See potential flooding impacts across most of the United States and its territories with the Sea Level Rise Viewer. Become a Climate Exploreroffsite link while looking over historical and projected climate data.

Investigate the International Year of the Salmon
Did you know that 2019 is the International Year of the Salmon? Bring salmon education into your classroom with lessons and activities from our West Coast Fisheries office. Discover salmon species that are managed by NOAA Fisheries, including the three populations that NOAA scientists consider highly at-risk of extinction.

Clue into clouds
Check out the newly updated NOAA cloud chart. Learn to identify the clouds you see overhead and delve into new information about understanding the weather. Then try analyzing your own weather with JetStream and reading a weather map with SciJinks.

Become citizen scientists
Connect your students to ongoing citizen science projects, opportunities for them to participate in Earth science research. Weather monitoring is a great way to connect students with NOAA. Students can report precipitation with mobile devices using the mPING app, and schools can sign up to join the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS)offsite link. If you are near a waterway, use the Marine Debris Toolkit for Educators to engage your students in research on global plastic pollution.

Educate young learners
NOAA can help you teach even the youngest students. Look through our elementary resource collection for lessons on earth, life, and physical science, as well as careers and the scientific process. Check out our partnerships with the Octonautsoffsite link: listen to our podcast about the show’s featured animals and watch our video about life on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. Find out more about weather and safety with Owlie Skywarn.

Decorate your classroom with posters and imagery
If your classroom is in need of an updated look, NOAA has you covered with high-resolution posters and images that you can download and print for free. For larger formats, check out these posters featuring the oceanoffsite linkweather, and climate. Bookmark the NOAA Satellite Image of the Day gallery for new ways to see the Earth. Scroll through the thousands of images in the NOAA Flickr library, all in the public domain.

— Source and photos: NOAA

 

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Did a Robot Break Rubik’s Cube-Solving Record

NPR reports two guys in Kansas City, Mo., have built a robot that can solve the cube in an amazing 1.2 seconds.

Don’t Blink: Robot Solves Rubik’s Cube In Just Over 1 Second

by Bill Chappell | NPR

WASHINGTON—In a blazing display of physical efficiency and analytical speed that’s likely to infuriate anyone who’s ever struggled to solve a Rubik’s Cube puzzle, two guys in Kansas City, Mo., have built a robot that can solve the cube in an amazing 1.2 seconds.

Actually, some of the robot’s times are under 1.2 seconds. A video on YouTube posted by software engineer Jay Flatland shows the robot — a collection of motors, webcams and 3D-printed parts — whizzing to a solution in 1.196 seconds.

One time recorded in the video was even quicker: 1.04 seconds. That came after Flatland covered the robot’s cameras with a piece of paper and scrambled the cube by hand before replacing it in the frame.

rubiks-cube-coDesignThe robot uses a specially prepared cube with small holes drilled into each side, allowing it to grip the cube securely. Describing the robot in the video, Flatland says information from four USB webcams is fed into a computer that uses a cube-solving algorithm called Kociemba, which then “determines a set of moves to solve the cube very rapidly.”

Photo: Co.Design

The robot’s time is several seconds faster than the fastest human time of 4.904 seconds, which was set in November by 14-year-old Lucas Etter of Lexington, Ky. It’s also two seconds quicker than the time of 3.253 seconds that has been the robot record for solving a Rubik’s Cube since March of 2014.

The Kansas City team of Flatland and fellow engineer Paul Rose hopes to have the record certified by the folks at Guinness World Records next week, Flatland tells NPR editor Avie Schneider.

The robot’s times are impressive, but it has a ways to go if it wants to match the reaction to Etter’s feat—watch this…

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