Week of July 12, 2009

Cool Spots
Back Issues
Visit the Featured Web sites to find the answers.

What is the temperature at the Mponeng gold mine in South Africa?
70° F
140° F
210° F

Where is the original copy of The Declaration of Independence?
Washington D.C.
Arlington, Va.

According to the forest timeline, how often does fire scorch the land?
Every 20 years
Every 40 years
Every 80 years

Notes From Our Underground

microorganismsMeet some super-resilient
creatures at A Special Report: X-treme Microbes, www.nsf.gov/news/special
. Click on Radiation Eaters and see if you can discover how these important microbes have given scientists clues about how life on Earth could have begun underground. Amazing Survivors will help you understand the many species, from frogs to microbial bacterium, that manage to live in harsh conditions that would normally kill many other life-forms. I bet your surface surroundings feel cushy now.
Nominate a cool Web site at:

A Man Named Jefferson

Monticello houseFind out all there is to know about Thomas Jefferson and his masterful Monticello home at The Monticello Classroom, http://classroom.
. If you happen to be studying our third president, Learning Resources is a great place to begin. You can find awesome project ideas to put into action when you return to the classroom in Image Gallery, where art and information unite. If Monticello has awoken the aspiring architect in you, check out Activities, and build a sanctuary with help from this founding father.

Diggin' Deep

archaeologistThe Virtual Museum of Canada invites you to journey into the lives of aboriginal people who lived on Ontario’s Bonnechere River at Land of the Spirits, www.virtualmuseum.ca/
. Browse the Timeline to discover how these native people lived, hunted and prospered along the rich and sustaining waters of the Bonnechere. Then, with just a click of your mouse, join in on an archaeological dig, where technology is the key to uncovering the truth behind civilizations that existed here long before the arrival of European explorers in the 17th century.
Speak Out

What is your favorite mode of transportation?

Speak Out Here!

Dear Amy: How do airplanes fly? — Anna, Minnetonka, Minn.

Dear Anna: Whether it's a train or an airplane, transportation is all about physics. There are different forces that act upon an airplane. When a plane is flying, the propellers give the airplane forward force called thrust. As the plane moves through the air, the air pushes back on the plane creating a backward force known as drag. Like everything else on Earth, the plane is also acted upon by gravity in a downward direction. In order for the plane to fly, it needs an upward force that is stronger than gravity. Airplanes create upward force using their wings, because they are shaped so that when they move through the air, the air pressure below the wing is higher than the air pressure above the wing. This creates lift. For more details, visit www.cs.dartmouth.edu/farid/sciencekids/fly.html.

A fun way to learn more about aerodynamics is to try making your own paper airplanes. For basic paper airplane instructions, try making the YES Mag flyer at www.yesmag.ca/projects/flyer.html. Experimenting with paper airplane designs is a great way to research physics!


Ask Amy a Question

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