Shakespeare’s Folio to Visit
Madison's Chazen Museum

The Bard’s Death Day is April 23

by Christy Zheng, age 13

Fans of Shakespeare, buckle up! The first folio, a printed collection of William Shakespeare’s work dating back to 1623, is coming to Madison.

The folio will come from its home at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. Madison is a stop on its tour called “First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare.” This tour marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, which is commonly accepted to be April 23rd. The first folio will be displayed in the Chazen Museum this fall, from November 3rd through December 11th.

The Chazen is one of the few museums in Madison able to meet the temperature, humidity, and lighting demands of this old document. While on display, the folio will be open to the page bearing Hamlet’s famous soliloquy “To be or not to be.” The museum’s goal is to show that Shakespeare’s works continue to be performed and are still popular. Admission to the exhibit is free. [Read More]

Centuries After Rediscovery,
Machu Picchu Remains a Mystery

Archeologists Grapple with Unanswered Questions

by Vanessa Shell, age 11

Machu Picchu, a historic world site, was discovered in the 20th century in the Peruvian Andes by Connecticut Senator Hiram Bingham.

Senator Bingham found Machu Picchu while he was searching for Vilcabamba in South America. Vilcabamba is the last known Inca refuge where the Inca survived for 36 years until they were killed by the Spanish army. Machu Picchu was originally thought to be Vilcabamba, but the identification of the site as the Inca's last refuge is now thought to be wrong. In fact, Machu Picchu seems to be more of a religious or ceremonial complex when compared to Vilcabamba. The construction date of Machu Picchu is unknown, but scientists believe it originated around the end of the 15th century. [Read More]

Powerful Forces Shaped the Himalayan Mountains

Explorers Tried for Decades to Climb Mt. Everest

by Srijan Shrestha, age 11

The Himalayas form the largest mountain range in the world. They also host the tallest mountain on the planet: Mt. Everest. In Nepal, the Himalayan mountain range is called “Chomolungma,” meaning Goddess of Mother Snows.

Long ago, Earth’s landmass was one giant continent called Pangaea. Over 200 million years ago, Pangaea broke in two super continents, Laurasia and Gondwana. Laurasia was made up of present day North America, Greenland, Europe, and Asia. Gondwana included South America, Africa, India, Australia, and Antarctica. Gondwana then started to fragment, creating other continents we know today as South America and Australia. These landmasses then slowly moved towards their present positions, while Africa and India moved northward until they collided with Eurasia. These collisions moved the rocks of Southern Eurasia upward forming the Alp and Himalayan mountain ranges. [Read More]

Viruses are the Real Monsters Under Our Beds—And Noses

From Ebola to the Common Cold, Viruses Are Part of Our World

by Srijan Shrestha, age 11

Viruses are mysterious. They can survive almost any environment on earth and have the uncanny ability to duplicate themselves and exist for centuries. They do not need food, water, or even air to survive. Even though we know so much about viruses, we still have a lot of learning to do to uncover all of their mysteries.

Viruses are formed from just a few chemicals. A thin layer of protein protects their DNA or RNA core. DNA and RNA are molecules that carry the genetic code that instructs the virus to make an almost exact copy of itself. But the virus cannot do it all alone, it must go into a host cell to make replicas of itself. Some viruses need plant host cells. Others need animal, human, or bacteria host cells. [Read More]

Pre-Launch Rituals Ensure Astronauts Are Ready To Blast Off

Astronauts Need All the Luck They Can Get

by Lucy Ji, age 18

Traveling to space is an incredible feat. To leave the bounds of Earth requires great ambition, endurance, nerves of steel, and even a dash of luck.

Yuri Gagarin was the first man to orbit the Earth successfully. Prior to his voyage, he decided to complete a few tasks: first, he planted a tree and then he got a haircut. And, on his back way to the launchpad, he hopped out of the bus and relieved himself on its back right tire

Though seemingly bizarre, this routine of Gagarin’s has since been followed to the tee by every single astronaut to fly from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the deserts of Kazakhstan. This superstitious ritual provides a sense of familiarity and solace for departing astronauts. “People become very comforted in doing the same routine before a launch,” said Paul Lockhart, a former NASA astronaut. “And sometimes that has to happen two or three times for a single mission, because your launch could be delayed if there was weather or if a system failed,” he added. [Read More]