11 Things We Learned this Week

What did you learn this week? Let us know in the comments or at education@ngs.org.

This week, we learned …

… the World Nomad Games are SPECTACULAR.

 

… how to raise a genius.

“Setting out to raise a genius is the last thing we'd advise any parent to do,” says Camilla Benbow, dean of education and human development at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. That goal, she says, “can lead to all sorts of social and emotional problems”. Photograph by Lynn Johnson, National Geographic

“Setting out to raise a genius is the last thing we’d advise any parent to do,” says Camilla Benbow, dean of education and human development at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. That goal, she says, “can lead to all sorts of social and emotional problems”.
Photograph by Lynn Johnson, National Geographic

  • What is a genius?
  • Who are some people we often refer to as “geniuses”? Why?
  • “Whether we like it or not, these people really do control our society,” says one researcher. Do you agree?

 

Yosemite just grew by 400 acres, and China is crowdfunding to preserve the Great Wall.

The added acres in Yosemite are the biggest expansion since 1949—33 years after this picture was taken in 1916. Photograph by Pillsbury Picture Co., courtesy National Geographic

The added acres in Yosemite are the biggest expansion since 1949—33 years after this picture was taken in 1916.
Photograph by Pillsbury Picture Co., courtesy National Geographic

  • Take a look at our national park map. Are there any parks you would expand?
  • If a national park wanted to expand into your neighborhood, would you support it? Why or why not?
  • Do you think heritage sites such as national parks or the Great Wall should rely on private donations? Do you support taxes to fund their maintenance?

 

… what it’s like to be America’s wildest coyote. (Best read of the week!)

Coyotes are “people smugglers” who help immigrants like these cross the border from Mexico to the United States. (These immigrants are crossing the Rio Grande beneath the International Bridge, leaving Matamoros, Mexico, and entering Brownsville, Texas.) Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic

Coyotes are “people smugglers” who help immigrants like these cross the border from Mexico to the United States. (These immigrants are crossing the Rio Grande beneath the International Bridge, leaving Matamoros, Mexico, and entering Brownsville, Texas.)
Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic

 

… a VC firm’s simple investment thesis: Follow the women.

“Young women are the most virulent carriers of popular culture. What they end up doing ends up becoming everyone’s popular culture.” Photograph by Lynsey Addario, National Geographic

“Young women are the most virulent carriers of popular culture. What they end up doing ends up becoming everyone’s popular culture.”
Photograph by Lynsey Addario, National Geographic

  • Take an informal survey of your class. Is there a difference in how often boys and girls use social media?
  • What pop culture memes, games, or news have you discovered through friends on social media lately?
  • Why do you think young women are more active on social media sites such as Pintrest and Instagram, but men are more active on Twitter or Reddit?

 

… deep in the swamps, archaeologists are finding out how fugitive slaves kept their freedom.

This terrific map shows general routes of the Underground Railroad, a series of loosely coordinated local networks helping African Americans escape enslavement in the mid-1800s. Map by National Geographic Maps

This terrific map shows general routes of the Underground Railroad, a series of loosely coordinated local networks helping African Americans escape enslavement in the mid-1800s.
Map by National Geographic Maps

  • The article traces the history of “maroons” in the Great Dismal Swamp. Who were the maroons?
  • What are some artifacts of hidden African American communities that archaeologists might have discovered?
  • Besides African American slaves, what other groups found refuge in the Great Dismal Swamp?

 

… elephant footprints are their own tiny ecosystem.

During the dry season, the majority of standing water is found in footprints left by roaming elephants. These pools turn out to be a key habitat for dozens of tiny aquatic animals. Photograph by Michael Nichols, National Geographic

During the dry season, the majority of standing water is found in footprints left by roaming elephants. These pools turn out to be a key habitat for dozens of tiny aquatic animals.
Photograph by Michael Nichols, National Geographic

 

… how to pick the fastest line at the supermarket. (Geography you can use!)

New Yorkers wait in line at a Whole Foods. Photograph by David Shankbone, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

New Yorkers wait in line at a Whole Foods.
Photograph by David Shankbone, courtesy Wikimedia. CC-BY-SA-3.0

  • Do an informal test and try some of these tricks at the supermarket this week. Which ones work?
  • Where else do you typically wait in long lines?
  • Do you think the tricks for choosing the fastest line at the supermarket would work anywhere else?

 

… what would happen if we burned all the fossil fuels on Earth.

Oil shale like this is just one type of fossil fuel. Photograph by Emory Kristof, National Geographic

Oil shale like this is just one type of fossil fuel.
Photograph by Emory Kristof, National Geographic

 

… Mumbai has an innovative, eco-friendly, women-only restroom.

The public bathroom doubles as a safe space and a solution to the city’s sanitation struggles. Photograph by Sahej Mantri/Agasti

The public bathroom doubles as a safe space and a solution to the city’s sanitation struggles.
Photograph by Sahej Mantri/Agasti

 

… Rapid City, South Dakota, has the most unpredictable weather in the country.

A glacial remnant of an earlier climate stands sentinel over the landscape in South Dakota. Photograph by Dykinga Photography LLC, courtesy National Geographic

A glacial remnant of an earlier climate stands sentinel over the landscape in South Dakota.
Photograph by Dykinga Photography LLC, courtesy National Geographic

3 responses to “11 Things We Learned this Week

  1. Pingback: What Did You Read in 2017? | Nat Geo Education Blog·

  2. I’m a little late to this party but I love the concept of using bites of information to share for educators. National Geographic has been a staple of mine for many years. Thank you for making interesting finds easy.

    Like

    • This made our day!

      Thank you so much for your gracious feedback and please let us know how you or educators you know are using our resources, and how we can improve them!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s