Item #1 Osama bin Laden is dead. September 11, 2001, “May we never forget.” 9/11 will be a part of American history forever.
Item #2 Related to the Civil War, what does your history book say about Jefferson Davis? Does the book tell you he was a West Point graduate, a successful planter, member of the U.S. House and Senate, wounded Mexican war veteran, early advocate of the transcontinental railroad and Secretary of War (1853-1857)?
Item #3 The National Park Service opened a new museum at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 2010, showing Japanese life prior to WW II. Go to www.nps.gov, click on Hawaii, search for Pearl Harbor. You will find much information.
BIOLOGY: Research and find out what is going on now at Biosphere 2 in Arizona. What is the “Land Evolution Observatory” (LEO) program all about? Locate some information at: www.b2science.org
ECOLOGY: Do you recycle? Look at this website: earth911.com (No www used for this website.) They give information at 800-253-2687.
GEOGRAPHY: At 10 a.m. on May 6, Yves “JetMan” Rossy will jump from a helicopter and jet along the rim of Grand Canyon West near the Skywalk. He will then parachute to the canyon floor to be picked up by another helicopter. Might there be some TV coverage of this feat?
GOVERNMENT: How big is the national debt? On April 20th, it was $14,314,796,837,035.76. Can your students read that figure? To find the current amount of the debt, go to: tinyurl.com/how-big-is-the-debt
Follow the news reports of six senators honing a plan to tackle the national deficit. Will they put politics aside for the benefit of the country? When we have to borrow $.42 or $.43 for every dollar we spend, we are in big trouble. What will the “Gang of Six” come up with?
HEALTH: Item #1 On April 25th, the U.N. announced an international health initiative headed by Harvard University to wipe out malaria by 2015. What is the effect of this mosquito-borne disease around the world? How did the U.S. overcome malaria to build the Panama Canal?
Item #2 The deadly infection MSRA killed 15,249 people in 2008. MSRA is: methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Only 10 states have legislation requiring reporting of MSRA to local, state or federal health officials. Is you state one of them? Search for more information on the Mayo Clinic website.
Item #3 For information on food, you might search for the Institute of Food Technologists, or look at their publication FOOD TECHNOLOGY. They offer information like: Barley is good to lower cholesterol. Black raspberries might prevent intestinal tumors. Pistachios reduce inflammations. Pecans contain vitamin E, and may slow motor neuron degeneration. Canned tomato products decrease blood pressure.
MATH: Results of a state lottery report that 14 people won $2,561.00; 868 people won $63,00; and 19,100 people won $3.00. What was the total payout?
METEOROLOGY: The U.S. Weather Bureau reports that on AVERAGE, the United States experiences 39 tornadoes in January, 28 in February, 79 in March, 157 in April and 287 in May. This year, the ACTUAL number experienced is: 10 in January, 67 in February, 115 in March and 874 in April. What will May bring?
PHYSICS: How safe are the 104 nuclear reactors in the U.S. in case of a prolonged power outage that might cause the radioactive core’s cooling system to fail? The Nuclear Regulatory Commission states a plant must be able to operate four hours without power. Of the 104, 87 can operate four hours without power; 14 can cope for eight hours; three can last 16 hours. Plants are built to withstand tornadoes, but what about destruction in the surrounding area–like Alabama?
SCIENCE: A U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that opponents probably can’t stop federal financing of stem cell research as this court overturned a district judge’s order that would have blocked federal funding. What is your position on stem cell research? Where do you draw the line between the promise of science and the sanctity of life?
TECHNOLOGY: Item #1 For the second year in a row, the United States finished fifth in a comparison of the use of technology in 138 countries. The U.S. was behind Sweden, Singapore, Finland and Switzerland.
Item #2 How much is your privacy protected online? Sony reported that credit card data of 77 million user accounts of PlayStation have been hacked. Payment processor Heartland was hacked for 130 million card numbers; T.J. Maxx lost 100 million; and 4.2 million from the Eastern grocery chain Hannaford Bros. Remember this when using the Internet. If you can get out, somebody can get in!!!
VOCABULARY: impunity, tortuous, affable, repugnant, quixotic, innocuous, insidious, castigate, emphatic, manumit, vindictive, contemptuous, harbinger, compunction, detritus, writhe, demur, anomaly, crescendo, churl, emulate, atrocious, unsavory, acumen, assuage, juggernaut
Who is Al Wilson? He is a retired educator and now serves as an NIE consultant promoting PIGSKIN GEOGRAPHY, FASTCAR GEOGRAPHY and MARCH MANIA with newspapers, teachers and parents around the United States. He also provides current events activities to Newspapers in Education programs. Al has 47 years of Newspaper in Education experience. He served as an elementary school principal for 20 years. 11 of those years included the use of the newspaper as an instructional tool on a daily basis by every student from kindergarten to sixth grade. He was also a sixth grade teacher for 14 years with the newspaper serving as the basic text, with the textbooks used only to supplement his newspaper instruction. The results of a comparative study he did on teaching solely from the newspaper were published at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in GRASSROOTS EDITOR. The results showed NIE to be a very positive influence in education. For more information visit: http://pigskingeography.com