Human Activities Increase Flooding Risk

by Samuel Garduño, age 11

If you have experienced or heard of a 100-year flood, you might think that there won’t be a flood like this in another 99 years, but you are wrong.

Meteorologists use the 100-year flood label to say that there is a one in 100, or one percent, chance that a flood of this magnitude could occur in any given year. So a 500-year flood has a one in 500 chance, or 0.002 percent chance of occurring each year. This means if a city has a 500-year flood, as Houston did in 2017, it has the same chance of having another 500-year flood the next year. [Read More]

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot Is Slowly Dying

Jupiters Most Distinctive Feature May Vanish in Our Lifetime

by Moises A. Hernandez, age 13

In a decade or two, the famous Great Red Spot (GRS) on Jupiter will not be as big as it is today.

The GRS is a superstorm on Jupiter that is larger than Earth. It has been active since the 1600’s. In comparison, the longest recorded storm here on Earth was Hurricane John, which lasted 31 days, from August 11 to September 10 of 1994. [Read More]

Editorial: Follow the Money: A Call for More Local Investigative Reporting

It’s an infamous scene in a famous movie about journalism. Playing Deep Throat, Hal Holbrook tells The Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, played by Robert Redford, to “follow the money” to discover who planned the Watergate break in.

Across the country in 2018, journalists and media experts are calling for more local reporting that follows the money.

Read Mckenna's Editorial and More: Click Here

Are Smartphones the Ultimate Spies?

by Leilani McNeal, age 14

Smartphone owners and conspiracy theorists are worried that their conversations are being listened to and recorded. This is an unsettling problem that needs to be addressed.

Some conspiracy theorists are increasing the paranoia that smartphones are monitoring peoples' dialogues. A self-described conspiracy theorist once experimented to determine whether apps actually listen to what the user says. For five days, he talked around his phone about needing cheap shirts and going back to college. Soon, he started seeing ads about shirts and university classes on his Facebook feed.

But do smartphones really record your conversations? [Read More]

Invasive Vines Spreading On the West Side of Madison

by Kadjata Bah, age 14

Porcelain berry, a vine native to East Asia, is moving into two neighborhoods on the West Side of Madison. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is looking to halt the invasive species before it spreads to other parts of the city.

During the winter, porcelain berry looks like the native Virginia creeper, and during the rest of the year like grape vines. The vine can grow up to 15 feet in one season and “strangle a forest,” according to Jason Granberg, an invasive species specialist. [Read More]

Coin That Phrase:
“Tempest in a Teapot”

by Leilani McNeal, age 14

Ever wondered why someone says “that’s just a tempest in a teapot” over an event that has nothing to do with tea? This expression is often a response to an overblown situation.

The expression “a storm in a teacup” is believed to derive from a passage in De Legibus written by Cicero, a renowned Roman philosopher, and writer who influenced future Latin prose. His “excitable fluctus in simpulo” translates to “he was stirring up billows in a ladle.” [Read More]

The Disasters Haunting Space Explorations

by Moises A. Hernandez, age 13

The space capsule was once the safest form of transportation. This was because the amount of money and expertise put into the United States’ space research made sure that the program was, statistically, safer than driving on a freeway during rush hour.

All of this changed on January 27, 1967, a day when Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee reported for work at the Kennedy Space Center. As the three-man crew of the Apollo One spacecraft, they were to spend the day strapped in the cockpit of the command module, repeating over and over the lift-off drill they would use in a few weeks. [Read More]

New Archaeological Tech Uncover Hidden Cities

by Sarah Thomson, age 13

Recently, a huge prehistoric Mayan city was uncovered using a revolutionary technology called LiDAR. This discovery may change the way that archeologists look at ancient Mayan civilization. LiDAR is a tool that can help archeologists map out areas and discover previously unnoticed ruins or structures; it helped a team of Mayan civilization experts uncover a huge Mayan city. [Read More]

Rare Fungal Disease Is a Threat to Agriculture Crops

by Leilani McNeal, age 14

Stem rust, a fungus disease affecting cereal crops such as wheat, is raising concern among pathologists. An issue that plant scientists thought was resolved has resurfaced, and they are currently working to develop different types of resistance to this disease. [Read More]

Wetlands, Wisconsin's Natural Treasures, Are Being Destroyed by Pollution

by Leilani McNeal, age 13

Wetlands are a major factor in Wisconsin's ecology; however, we are treating our environment so badly that we are causing wetland loss at alarming rates. It has taken the state thousands of years to form approximately ten million acres of wetlands, but it has taken less than 200 years for humans to ruin these vital landforms.

What is a wetland? Wetlands are diverse in size, plants and animals but they all share three characteristics: water, special soil dependent on wet conditions, and plants adapted to wet soil. These features help to not only improve the quality of life, but they also provide great benefits to our community. [Read More]

Invasive Worms That Can Jump, Thrash, and Destroy Wisconsin's Forest Floors

by MariElena Palmer, age 14

Crazy worms are taking over our forest floors, and we’ve got to do something about them.

Amynthas agrestis, or crazy worms, are an invasive species of earthworm that was found in Wisconsin in 2013. These worms are also known as Alabama Jumpers, snake worms, or jumping worms. But no matter what you call them, these worms have a negative effect on our forests. [Read More]

Otis Redding, a True Madison Musician in Heart

by Desteny Alvarez, age 13

Otis Redding was an African-American singer who died 50 years ago in a tragic plane crash here in Madison, Wisconsin.

On December 10, 1967, 26-year-old Otis Redding and four young member of his band, the Bar-Kays, when their plane crashed into Lake Monona along with an assistant and pilot. Otis and his crew were on their way to a concert in Madison at the Factory nightclub. Sadly they never made it; fans were initially confused, disappointed and angry until learning about the accident. [Read More]