The Science of Chaos: Predicting Rogue Waves on the High Seas

by Yoanna Hoskins, age 14

Rogue waves are abnormally big, dangerous waves that can appear with little to no warning in any weather conditions. For example, the sea can be filled with waves that are 11.8-meters tall but then a rogue wave can appear and be 26-meters high, 15 meters taller than the other waves surrounding them. New research may help save lives from this rare phenomenon.

Even though these dangerous swells don’t occur often they can destroy a variety of ships and sea installations. Some experts estimate that rogue waves may have claimed more than 500 lives between 1950-2000.

Scientists have two theories regarding rogue waves and how they form. The first is based on a linear model. This theory states that when multiple waves at their peaks combine, a large, and more dangerous swell is created, a rogue wave. [read more]

Life Without Facebook or Smartphones in America’s Quiet Zone

by Kadjata Bah, age 15

It seems now more difficult than ever to imagine a world without the internet and online devices. We use these devices every day, and it seems almost unimaginable for many younger people to remember there was a time when people weren’t dependent on smartphones and laptops.

While for the vast majority of Americans this far-fetched world exists only in their imaginations, it is absolute reality for one small town. In Green Bank, West Virginia life has taken a somewhat uncommon direction. [read more]

Products of the Future May Be Made of Ultra Dense 'Super Wood'

by Dyami Rodriguez, age 14

Ever thought that a wooden bulletproof vest could be a thing of the future instead of the past? A scientist named Liangbing Hu, a materials scientist at the University of Maryland and a few other workmates, are making this and many other useful objects possible.

Many other scientists have tried and failed to make wood really strong by compressing the wood together, making it more dense, but dense wood tends to return to its original shape and size. But a new densifying process can result in wood stronger than steel that does not expand.

The process according to Hu is quite simple; it only takes two steps to make a strong piece of wood. The first step is to boil the wood in a solution of sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfite, similar to the process that causes the wood to turn into pulp. The next step is to compress the wood together while keeping it hot, causing the hydrogen atoms to bond with other atoms making it super wood. Hu and his co-workers even tested the wood by putting it in a room with high humidity for five days. The super wood expanded only by ten percent, but with a coat of extra paint that eliminated the problem. [read more]

New Technology Allows Archaeologists to 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.

The city that they discovered, called the Megalopolis of the Mayan Snake Kings, stretches over an area twice the size of medieval England. It includes over 60,000 stone structures, hidden by the thick Guatemalan jungle, which were previously overlooked. The city was once filled with interconnected palaces, houses, highways, and temples.

This discovery means that archeologists will have to change their viewpoint on ancient Mayan civilization. With such a huge city having existed, the Mayan population must have been much larger than formerly thought: around 10 or 15 million, instead of the five million previously estimated. [read more]

Teens Show High Rates of Social Media Burnout

by Gabriella Shell, age 13

Social media is a large part of how teenagers interact with each other; however, it also overwhelms many teens and leads them to experience burnout. Some teenagers begin using social media as a way to engage with their peers, but the pressures resulting from its use eventually cause them to take breaks or leave the medium entirely.

A report done by the Pew Research Center found that roughly 40% of teens on social media feel the need to post only things that will receive lots of likes, or generally portray them in a generous light. Nearly half of the teenagers in the study admitted to feeling overwhelmed by the pressures of social media.

Social media, and all the drama that comes with it, often leads many teens to take breaks from it. The Associated Press and National Opinion Research Center at the Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago studied these breaks. They found that 58% of teens reported taking some form of break from social media. Half of those teens said their breaks lasted for around a week, and 60% reported they have taken a break on more than three occasions. The study also reported that 23% of those who hadn’t taken breaks wanted to. [read more]

How is the Weather Predicted?

by Makya Rodriguez, age 14

Have you ever wondered where information about the weather comes from? Or how meteorologists find out what to broadcast or put on your mobile device? Meteorologists use multiple tools and electronics to find out the weather for days to come. Some of these tools measure wind speeds and directions, the temperature, and the amount of rainfall.

Meteorologists have a large impact on the information we are told about the atmosphere around us. These are people who study the weather to predict the future atmosphere. A weather forecast predicts the weather for the next few days or even weeks, and most of the time is broadcast on television by a meteorologist.

A device called doppler radar has a big impact on how we understand the detail about the weather to come. The doppler tells us more about the speed and direction of rain, hail, and snowfall. It also provides us with information of when dangerous weather may start and end. [read more]

Space Economy is Threatened by Orbiting Junkyard

by Mariama Bah, age 13

When you see images of Earth from outer space, you don’t notice the 500,000 pieces of debris floating around in low-earth orbit. All of that debris is affecting the satellite business, threatening the future commercialization of space, and jeopardizing the growth of the space economy.

The space economy includes both public and private sector developers of space-enabled products and services. In the space economy, there are three main industries. One industry is focused more on Earth, which includes things that deliver something to space, or something that is in space, but benefits the people on Earth. Another industry is focused on space itself, including space travel and tourism in space. The last main industry is under development and includes the process of mining asteroids and exporting resources from space. Even though the industries are developing, the space economy is already helping businesses on Earth.

Business in space is fairly new dating back to 1962. Telstar 1 was the first communications satellite, developed by Bell Telephone Laboratories, and was launched on July 10, 1962, by American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T). Since then, more businesses have been commercializing space. However, debris in low-earth orbit threatens the space economy. In 2007, the Chinese government destroyed a defunct weather satellite, creating another 2,500 pieces of junk. Even more debris followed in the 2009 collision of a 1,900 pound Russian Cosmos with a 1,200 pound Iridium Communications Inc satellite. [read more]

The Polar Star: A 43-Year Old Ship that Keeps
Antarctic Science Running

by Felix Berkelman, age 14

Between the Southern Ocean and McMurdo Antarctic Research Station there lies the Ross Ice Shelf. During the months of December and January, the time when America sends the most supplies by boat to the research station, there is about 27 kilometers of ice in between the station, and the edge of the ice shelf. This ice can be over three meters thick.

Surprisingly, the US Coast Guard currently has only one operational ship that is able to break through ice of that thickness. This ship is called the Polar Star and, after 43 years, it is in rough shape. It lists to the left, its hull is covered in dents and scratches, and every year when it makes its journey from Seattle to Antarctica, engines fail, seals break, and pipes clog.

“She’s an old beast, and you gotta know how to run her,” says crewman Joseph Sellar. “You can’t just turn the key.” [read more]

Recent Science & Technology Articles

In 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first man to reach the Moon. In 1983, Sally Ride was the first American woman to walk in space. And now through Artemis, a new lunar exploration program, there are plans to send the first woman to the Moon as soon as 2024. [read more...]
When you see images of Earth from outer space, you don’t notice the 500,000 pieces of debris floating around in low-earth orbit. All of that debris is affecting the satellite business, threatening the future commercialization of space, and jeopardizing the growth of the space economy. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered where information about the weather comes from? Or how meteorologists find out what to broadcast or put on your mobile device? Meteorologists use multiple tools and electronics to find out the weather for days to come. Some of these tools measure wind speeds and directions, the temperature, and the amount of rainfall. [read more...]
Between the Southern Ocean and McMurdo Antarctic Research Station there lies the Ross Ice Shelf. During the months of December and January, the time when America sends the most supplies by boat to the research station, there is about 27 kilometers of ice in between the station, and the edge of the ice shelf. This ice can be over three meters thick. [read more...]
Rogue waves are abnormally big, dangerous waves that can appear with little to no warning in any weather conditions. For example, the sea can be filled with waves that are 11.8-meters tall but then a rogue wave can appear and be 26-meters high, 15 meters taller than the other waves surrounding them. New research may help save lives from this rare phenomenon. [read more...]
Social media is a large part of how teenagers interact with each other; however, it also overwhelms many teens and leads them to experience burnout. Some teenagers begin using social media as a way to engage with their peers, but the pressures resulting from its use eventually cause them to take breaks or leave the medium entirely. [read more...]
Ever thought that a wooden bulletproof vest could be a thing of the future instead of the past? A scientist named Liangbing Hu, a materials scientist at the University of Maryland and a few other workmates, are making this and many other useful objects possible. [read more...]
Using new technology created by researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, a spacecraft would be able to be launched to the closest star, Alpha Centauri, which is 437 light-years away. [read more...]
Pokemon Home is a new cloud-storage service for Pokemon on Nintendo Switch and mobile devices. It's an app similar to Pokemon Bank on the 3DS. [read more...]
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It seems now more difficult than ever to imagine a world without the internet and online devices. We use these devices every day, and it seems almost unimaginable for many younger people to remember there was a time when people weren’t dependent on smartphones and laptops. While for the vast majority of Americans this far-fetched world exists only in their imaginations, it is absolute reality for one small town. In Green Bank, West Virginia life has taken a somewhat uncommon direction. [read more...]
The First Amendment guarantees some of our most basic freedoms as Americans, including freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, and what we know it for best—freedom of speech. To most of us, this fundamental right seems like a given. But as our world grows beyond what it was when the amendment was conceived, what place does the First Amendment have in our modern lives on and offline? Recently, a U.S. court decided that the social media platform YouTube is not a ‘public forum,’ or a place where everyone’s rights to free speech are protected. This ruling came after a case involving the conservative YouTube channel PragerU. [read more...]
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I’m gonna talk about the new game called “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”. After waiting for an Animal Crossing Game, Nintendo finally released footage of the trailer and revealed the release date. [read more...]
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Science has recently discovered how to reverse time… in quantum computers. This discovery, however, just reinforces the belief that reversing time is impossible in the natural world, largely due to the extreme manipulations required to rearrange the structure of just one particle. Besides, even if the technology were possible, there would be a near infinite amount of ways to rearrange the atoms of an object until you finally reached the desired arrangement. [read more...]
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Hey, guys. This is Amare and I’m gonna talk about the difference between Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite. The Nintendo Switch Lite releases on September 20th. It costs $200, but the original Nintendo Switch costs $300. Since the Nintendo Switch Lite costs less, why would you ever buy the original? [read more...]
In 2018, the Sidewalk Labs C.E.O. Dan Doctoroff had a goal. His goal was to build the first 21st-century city, not out of steel or concrete, but out of wood. So far, it's looking pretty good. Teng Li, a mechanical engineer at the University of Maryland, works with his colleagues to create a high-performance type of wood that's as strong as steel but weighs six times less. This kind of wood is said to be able to replace the steel used for cars, airplanes, and even buildings. [read more...]
Slow internet; taking forever to load? Well, Madison is currently undergoing the early stages of installing a new technology. This technology will enable smartphones to be fast and expanding Madisonians’ access to cellular data. The city is holding public hearings in order to gather the opinions of the people about their upcoming upgrade to their cellular service. [read more...]
Hello, this is Amare and I’m going to talk about a new game that will come out at the summer Olympics, called Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. This game revolves around sports combined with retro game characters. The reason why Nintendo and sega make games about the Olympics is because many people watch the Olympics. The game will be made to increase the audience’s interest for the Olympics. [read more...]
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Have you always wanted to play NES Games on your Nintendo Switch console? Well, now you can with Nintendo Switch Online! Nintendo Switch Online is a service that allows gamers to play online with friends and save games when the switch dies or breaks! [read more...]
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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...]
Astronomers are inventing new ways to detect life on planets in the universe. As of now, they have not found any habitable land outside of the Earth. [read more...]
Zimbabwean high school student, Macdonald Chirara recently developed a device to power his community with waste. [read more...]
It was an agonizing 6.5 seconds. The members of the InSight lander mission team and NASA officials waited with bated breaths as the $850 million lander shot through Mars’ atmosphere at 12,300 mph, entering at precisely 12 degrees. InSight’s heat shields endured temperatures of 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. Atmospheric forces managed to decelerate the lander before it parachuted down, towards the surface of the Red Planet. [read more...]
On August 21, 2017, many were amazed at the Great American Eclipse, a wonder on display for us in the sky. But strangely, the bees stopped buzzing. [read more...]
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Researchers have determined the symptoms in human brain cells caused by the most common risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease: the Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene. They also found a way to fix and erase the gene’s harmful effects. [read more...]
Un acelerador de partículas es una máquina grande usada por físicos para romper átomos en pedazos y aprender sobre lo que los compone. Los físicos son científicos que tienen un conocimiento especializado en la interacción entre la materia y la energía. Para estudiar las partículas, los físicos aceleran partículas subatómicas a casi la velocidad de la luz, que es más de 186,000 millas por segundo. [read more...]
Over four and a half billion years ago, the Sun, the planets, and Pluto were formed in the Solar System. [read more...]
Fake news runs rampant on the internet. Generating most of this fake content, bots prey on users scrolling for the next story worth retweeting or otherwise sharing. Fake news reaches an audience 35 percent greater than truthful stories do, according to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Luckily, many scientists and scholars are working to defeat internet bots and help users detect false stories. [read more...]
Many people think of time capsules, as small boxes buried in a backyard, filled with items that are possibly ancient. But what if we could put one on Mars for future astronauts to find? Emily Briere, an aerospace engineering student, thinks this could become a reality soon. [read more...]
No doubt the root of some ‘potty humor’, Uranus is pronounced two different ways, Yoor un us or Your Anus. This planet has many interesting and unique features compared to its neighboring planets. [read more...]
Lately, there has been a lot of excitement about driverless cars. In addition to Silicon Valley, Texas is another place where many companies looking to develop autonomous vehicles are headed. [read more...]
Recently, there has been a huge spotlight on changes happening in the transportation industry. While the media may only be focusing on driverless cars, another transformation may be coming our way. Although there are still many problems to be solved, companies and inventors are working on building the next technological revolution - flying cars. [read more...]
A particle accelerator is a big machine used by physicists to smash an atom into pieces to learn what it contains inside. Physicists are scientists who have specialized knowledge in the interaction between matter and energy. Physicists accelerate little subatomic particles almost to the speed of light, which is more than 186,000 miles per second. Since the invention of the particle accelerator in the 1930’s, scientists have found that the internal structure of the atom is more complex than they imagined. [read more...]
Coastal sand crumbles at the human touch but is powerful enough to form barrier islands. Have you ever wondered how this is possible? [read more...]
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Machines replacing people in the workplace is a rising controversy in the United States. For some, it is a solution to a shortage of workers. To others, it is a precursor for many jobs being eliminated. [read more...]
In the 21st century, many businesses and industries are taking steps to encourage girls and women to pursue careers in traditionally male-dominated fields, including science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). However, women remain severely underrepresented in STEM careers. In fact, the U.S. Department of Commerce recently reported that while women hold about half of the jobs in the U.S., they fill only one-fourth of the nation’s STEM positions. [read more...]
Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease with no cure. However, research indicates that music may at least slow the development of Alzheimer’s. [read more...]
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The Rosemary Garfoot Public Library is a central gathering place and a source of information for the Cross Plains community. [read more...]
The GameCube was one of the most successful consoles to be released in the early 2000's. In North America, it was released on November 18, 2001. It sold a total of 21.74 million units worldwide. When creating the GameCube, its designers added playful features for those who knew where to look. [read more...]
Many people worry that artificial intelligence, abbreviated AI, will one day replace humans, even in creative areas such as composing music. In a step in that direction, YouTuber Taryn Southern has created a song with the help of AI software. [read more...]
Do you know what plasma is? Many people are not familiar with plasma and do not know where it can be found. [read more...]
Many people in the engineering industries consider wood a weak material and do not perceive it as a viable option for a skyscraper. Architects at Perkins + Will and engineers at Thornton Tomasetti are working together to challenge this belief, however. Partnering with Cambridge University, the team is currently exploring the possibility of multi-story wood buildings. [read more...]
Researchers were surprised when they found an estimated 38 million pieces of trash washed up on the beaches of a tiny unpopulated island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean recently. According to the researchers, the density of the trash was the highest recorded in the world. Welcome to Henderson Island, an 18 sqaure-mile British dependency located about halfway between New Zealand and Chile. [read more...]
Barbara McClintok, an American biologist who studied chromosomes, proved that there is more to know about corn than how much butter you should put on it. [read more...]
Nothing is as frightening on a plane as turbulence. It is estimated that in early 2018, a Boeing 777 will fly with a laser coming out of its nose; the laser is part of a new system that Boeing hopes could detect rough turbulence. [read more...]
A wristband is a seemingly small object. But did you know that Disney World invested one billion dollars on a Disney wristband? They invented the piece—called the “Magic Band”— to make the Disney experience more magical and remove obstacles that keep visitors from enjoying their experience according to the higher ups at the company. [read more...]
Are you ready to live in the future? Many of us would like to use flying cars, robots, and hoverboards. As we move into the future, we might also see flying taxis! [read more...]
Recently, Amazon Inc., the world’s largest online retailer, announced a new system that allows delivery workers to leave a package directly inside the house of an Amazon Prime member, instead of leaving it outside when the customer is not at home. [read more...]
In the 1940’s, most scientists were men. This was the case until the admiral Dr. Grace Hopper came along and flipped the script. [read more...]
NASA’s planet-hunting telescope called Kepler, which was launched in 2009, has recently discovered 10 new planets outside our solar system that look to be the right size and temperature to sustain life, according to a recent article in the Wisconsin State Journal. [read more...]
Plastic is a substance that has contaminated bodies of water, endangered wildlife across the globe, and fascinated humans since the 1950’s. In fact, in fewer than seven decades, humans have produced 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic. Half of this production since 2004. [read more...]
Bread is a food as common as they come. Many eat it almost everyday. So it might surprise you to learn that this seemingly inconspicuous item actually has quite the impact on our environment. [read more...]
In this day in age, it is impossible to ignore the presence smartphones play in our lives. They provide communication, connection, entertainment and countless other activities. But Adrian Wards, Assistant Professor at The University of Texas, McCombs School of Business, argues that smartphones are our biggest distraction. [read more...]
Humans see light in a number of ways. Each way depends on light and wavelengths. [read more...]
You’ve probably heard of DNA—the genetic information contained in each human cell— but perhaps you haven’t heard of the person who helped discover its unique structure: Rosalind Franklin. Though her discoveries about DNA structure led to a paper that won the Nobel Prize. Franklin's accomplishments were not initially credited to her. Luckily, records of Franklin's work ultimately came to light, and her true contributions to science are now understood by the general public. [read more...]
Once people start hitting middle-age, their eye-sight—especially their ability to focus on objects close to them—can begin to deteriorate. However, a corneal implant, called KAMRA, could assist people suffering from farsightedness. [read more...]
The current capabilities of technology are truly amazing. Creations ranging from driverless cars to artificial intelligence (AI) home assistants like “Alexa”, were mere visions 20 years ago. The smarter and more prevalent, technology is becoming, however, the more privacy becomes an issue. When it comes to these technologies in our homes, how much is too much? [read more...]
Do you love listening to music every day? So much so that you can’t stop listening to it? Even though listening to music can be a fun way to pass time, it can make concentrating on work very difficult. [read more...]
The way it’s portrayed in the movies, hypnotism involves a kooky therapist waiving a pocket watch back and forth in front of a patient, repeating the phrase, “You are getting very sleepy!” The patient falls into a trance, and does whatever the doctor says. This is yet another example of things you can’t believe on TV. [read more...]
By the year 2030, driverless cars that can think and act like human drivers may be on the roads, according to Kathy Winter, vice president of automated driving solutions for Intel. “Programmed with artificial intelligence, the [driverless] car could make quicker decisions, resulting in a lower percentage of car crashes,” said Winter. [read more...]
Believe it or not, it has been over 16 years since the release of Xbox, a beloved gaming console that allows users to play video games and interact with others around the world. [read more...]
Earlier this summer, several large businesses and government facilities in North America and Europe were compromised in a worldwide cyberattack. [read more...]
Vine, a worldwide app run by Twitter, enabled users to create six-second videos and post them online for others to view, like, and share. Bought from entrepreneurs Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll by Twitter in October of 2012, Vine faced a lack of funding from its beginning. Despite the pleas of many, Vine owners officially shut down their mobile app in 2016. [read more...]
Breathing is something many people probably do without even thinking about it. But not those with asthma. Asthma is a common condition that affects the lungs and causes sufferers difficulty breathing. It affects one in every 12 people. [read more...]
Space is filled with countless, marvelous stars. For many centuries, scientists have worked to uncover the many details that make stars so appealing. [read more...]
UW-Madison recently created a new website, the STEM Diversity Network, that promotes connecting diverse people on campus in various STEM fields. The website compiles resources on science, technology, engineering, and math. [read more...]
The year 1969 was especially exciting; the U.S. officially won the “space race” when Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. The space race was a competition between the Soviet Union (now Russia) and the United States to see who could launch the first man in to space successfully. [read more...]
For decades, self-driving cars were the stuff of science fiction. Today, Tesla and Google are experimenting with self-driving cars. While trials of these vehicles have seen success, perfection remains elusive. [read more...]
Woolly mammoths lived during the Ice Age and disappeared from the Earth around 4,000 years ago. Some scientists are now claiming that they are on the verge of bringing these animals back to life, but in a modified form. Using genetic engineering, these scientists will attempt to resurrect woolly mammoths. [read more...]
Many people in our modern world find themselves relying on fitness devices, such as Fitbits or Apple Watches, to keep track of their exercise and fitness goals. But a recent study suggests that using this technology alone does not always cause weight loss. [read more...]
The pyramids of Giza are wonderful, historical monuments and the oldest of the Seven Great Wonders of the World. They leave all other pyramids behind in terms of size, architecture, and legacy. [read more...]
Alyssa Anderson, a 7th grade student at James C. Wright Middle School, was recently chosen from thousands of applicants as the Wisconsin winner of the ‘Doodle 4 Google’ contest. [read more...]
Diamonds are notoriously beautiful, expensive, and luxurious. And now, they're also lab-made. Yes, that's right—that sparkling gem found deep within the Earth can now be produced by scientists. [read more...]
What would happen if scientists had the ability to eliminate diseases transmitted to humans, like malaria? [read more...]
Solar power has taken Wisconsin by storm. In 2015, the state’s installed solar capacity grew by 94 percent and powered more than 3,800 homes. As demand for solar panels has risen, so have associated costs. Recent changes to large-scale energy company’s billing provisions, like We Energies, have made solar power much more expensive. [read more...]
For decades, mankind has used rockets to travel into space. But one rocket alone is not powerful enough to launch into space. In fact, the rockets we hear about are actually several rockets stacked on top of one another: these pieces are called stages. [read more...]
Each year during flu season, millions of Americans get the flu vaccine. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2014-15, the vaccine was only 23 percent effective. In 2016, however, virologist Yoshihiro Kawaoka from the University of Wisconsin-Madison believed he may have developed a method to predict flu virus mutations to create better vaccines. [read more...]
At the University of Minnesota (UM) in Dakota County, agricultural researchers set up an eight- armed drone to send 200 feet in the air to begin its task. The drone is on the front line of their scientific explorations. Scientists at the UM are testing low-flying drones for their ability to find aphids, a grasshopper-like bug that ravages plants in the Upper Midwest. [read more...]
Can you imagine printing your dinner? 3D printing technology might soon have the power to do just that—and so much more. [read more...]
In the world of technology, black Americans are at a disadvantage. According to Information is Beautiful, an online infographic text, there are significantly fewer black Americans than white Americans working in the top U.S. companies. This statistic is evident in the texts list of the racial diversity in said companies, including Instagram, YouTube, and Google. [read more...]
Before about 1770, most things were made by hand instead of by powered machinery. An early example of powered machines arose in Britain. [read more...]
Robots can do many things humans can, and many things human cannot. For example, robots can deal with dangerous substances and explore outer space. Depending on how they're programmed they can be gentle enough to hold glass or strong enough to lift a car. They have been programmed to assemble a computer and perform surgery using artificial intelligence. [read more...]
Have you ever dreamed about soaring through the sky? Using the flying rocket belt, better known as the jet pack, these dreams can become a reality. [read more...]
The element carbon is one of the most abundant elements on Earth. People have known about its existence since ancient times, and it still has many uses today. [read more...]
Henry Ford was a giant in the automobile industry. [read more...]
Some studies suggest that technology is mentally and physically isolating us from each other and this view has certainly gained momentum in the 21st century. On a daily basis, humans often communicate with the touch of a finger or by bringing a device to their ears. But are our devices eliminating our most basic communication skills? Have we become so attached to technology that it has begun to overshadow and even eliminate our face-to-face interactions? [read more...]
Technology in cars has advanced throughout the decades, with improvements in fuel-efficiency and design. But the evolution of car engines has brought about a controversial enhancement: fake engine noise. [read more...]
George Washington Carver was born into slavery in 1864. He and his mother, Mary, were owned by Moses and Susan Carver. Carver was orphaned as a child when his mother was captured by slave raiders. After slavery was abolished, Moses and Susan Carver took in Carver, and regarded him as their own son. The Carvers taught him how to read and write. A good student, Carver especially enjoyed learning about plants and animals. [read more...]
A surprising use of a 3D printer recently saved the life of one lucky duck named Phillip. Because his feet had been frozen in harsh outdoor conditions, Phillip couldn’t run, swim, or fit in with the other ducks. When Vicki Rabe-Harrison, a caring citizen, saw Phillip with his legs shriveled up, she decided to take him under her wing. After watching a video online about a 3D printer that belonged to a middle school teacher named Mr. Jischke, Rabe-Harrison knew what to do. She immediately emailed Jischke to see if she could use the 3D printer to construct a new pair of feet for Phillip. [read more...]
Scientists have recently discovered a way to predict facial features using a sample of DNA. The new technology, called DNA phenotyping, is used by law enforcement officials to 'reverse engineer' physical characteristics and as such, to catch a potential criminal. [read more...]
More than thirty years ago, two lucky astronauts, Bruce McCandless and Bob Stewart took the ride of their lives. [read more...]
Two Midwestern energy companies plan to shift towards renewable resources. The Lacrosse-based Dairyland Power Cooperative plans to build the first Wisconsin wind farm since 2011. The farm will be located 20 miles southeast of Platteville and construction is projected to begin in 2017. While operating, the turbines would generate enough electricity to power more than 25,000 Midwestern homes. [read more...]
Over time, people have made clothes out of many varieties of material: cotton, silk, wool, and others. Recently, the MIT Media Lab took the art of making clothes to the next level. They invented a new type of material that uses bacteria to react to body moisture. [read more...]
The Printing Press, a very important invention, initiated an “information revolution” on par with the Internet today. In fact, the Printing Press changed the world. [read more...]
The ‘Maker Faire’ movement is sweeping the nation. And earlier this month, it took Madison by storm. [read more...]
Not Impossible Labs, a new high technology team in Venice, California, has invented the Brainwriter. The Brainwriter is a machine that will eventually allow people with paralysis to communicate through a laptop, using only their minds. [read more...]
Human beings have been using energy from fire for thousands of years. There is evidence that late age stone cave dwellers kept their caves warm with fires which were kept alight for months or even years. These early people relied on fire, even though they did not know where it came from. In fact, they thought it was magic. [read more...]
Lenses are used to see and visually document the world around us. The two main types of lenses are convex and concave. They are used in many different tools, reflecting and bending light to produce an image. Lenses work by moving light in different directions using refraction, forming a smaller or larger image. A beam of light may diverge or converge depending on the shape of the lens. [read more...]
Spring has finally sprung. Hello flowers, bees, and honey! But how is honey made? Honey is a very versatile food. People use it to sweeten drinks and foods, eat it plain, or put it on food as a topping. However, there is a long process before this sweet goo ends up on your plate. [read more...]
It was a bustling day at the Free Press when our director, Jim Kramer, hung up his cell phone and sighed. I glanced over at Jim. He turned to me with his cell phone still in hand and a quizzical look in his eye. [read more...]
Teeth are important for our health. Protecting them can reduce risks of oral diseases like gingivitis. We think that toothpaste is good for us and we use it daily, but it turns out it's not entirely healthy for us. [read more...]
Simpson Street Free Press is known for hosting academic panels and events throughout the year. Especially vital to the Free Press curriculum is our “Women in Science, Math, and Technology” series. This April, two nuclear engineering students from University of Wisconsin-Madison’s American Nuclear Society (ANS) came to SSFP’s South Towne newsroom to deliver another event in this series. [read more...]
The Wisconsin State Assembly recently voted to lift a restriction on nuclear power production in the state. Assembly Bill 384 now goes to the Senate. Democrats and Republicans alike support the bill. [read more...]
Meteorologists are people who study the maps of the weather to predict what is to come. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered how rockets work? [read more...]
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. [read more...]
In the year 1900, pieces of an ancient device that would come to be known as the Antikythera mechanism were discovered under the sea by sponge divers and taken to the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Greece. [read more...]
Being able to balance is crucial. But like many day-to-day functions, people do not think about balance all the time. It is not until they start to lose this ability that they realize how important it is. Around 30,000 people in America suffer from dizziness each day because of damage to the organs that manage balance. To combat this, scientists are developing an ear implant that could potentially cure dizziness. [read more...]
Solving crimes is often difficult. When detectives and police officers have wide ranges of DNA samples to work with, however, the task can be easier. Yet, not all DNA recovered from crime scenes matches samples in the federal DNA database. [read more...]
Nuclear energy, produced by the combination of protons and neutrons inside atomic nuclei, is the energy that allows stars to shine so brightly. Two kinds of reactions release this energy: fission and fusion. [read more...]
The thought of surgery is gruesome, but just imagine being awake while tangerine-sized flaps of your skull are cut open. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered what the inside of a technology company looks like and what goes on there? Recently, Simpson Street Free Press student reporters had the opportunity to visit Hardin Design and Development (HDD), a Madison software and application firm founded in 2008. Vice President and Co-founder of HDD Scott Resnick and HDD employee Anouson Bounket led us on a tour of the start-up company. We also had the chance to sit down with them and ask questions about what it’s like to work in the tech industry. [read more...]
Many people are familiar with the famous line “Beam me up, Scotty!,” which is attributed to the popular show Star Trek. Well, scientists today can do just that – sort of. [read more...]
Are print books becoming obsolete? Some say that electronic devices are challenging the popularity of books, newspapers, and magazines. Many readers prefer the adjustable screens of cell phones, tablets, computers, or eReaders to the pages of a printed book. [read more...]
For thousands of years, animal extinction has been a problem all over the world. Due to ongoing human overpopulation and destruction of the environment, many animals including the mammoth, the passenger pigeon, and the bucardo goat are now extinct, while, tigers, elephants, and jaguars are on the brink of extinction. However, scientists may have created a breakthrough to keep these animals from extinction. Scientists’ call this breakthrough “de-extinction.” [read more...]
Do you know someone with diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, or cancer? Then you know the misery and death these diseases cause. Who knew the remedy for such diseases might lie in toxins from the venom of Gila monsters, snakes, scorpions, or cone snails? The “molecular gifts” of these animals can kill; but, in these cases, their poisons have already produced powerful medicines to treat diseases and hold promise for treatments and cures in the future. [read more...]
In order to save money, scientists at NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) are currently working to compress the size of solar panels, which are typically bulky and hard to transport. To do so, they have turned to a unique solution: origami. [read more...]
As the global population continues to expand, demands for energy have skyrocketed. With Earth’s limited supplies of fossil fuels, however, it is apparent that new forms of renewable energy must be found and developed in order to meet these demands. [read more...]
After decades without solutions, researchers may have developed a cure for type 1 diabetes. Recently, studies successfully converted stem cells into insulin-producing cells, and in sufficient quantities for transplantation, thus offering glimmers of hope to those battling this disease. [read more...]
Imagine you are in a world surrounded by zombies, skeletons, and creepers, a world where you can build whatever you want, fight monsters, and be creative and, most importantly, survive. [read more...]
Did you think our generation's technology would ever go waterproof? I didn't. So many cell phone and tablet users seem to lose their devices to liquid-related incidents. To combat this problem, some companies have recently come out with waterproof phones. [read more...]
Spacecraft, including unmanned probes, artificial satellites, and manned spacecraft, are highly-advanced technology required to operate in extreme conditions. All types of spacecraft have powerful rockets that help them reach space, survey the planet, explore the universe, and communicate. [read more...]
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is Hubble space telescope captures vivid pictures of different stars and galaxies never seen before. The Hubble rapidly orbits above our planet's atmosphere to view the universe more clearly than ground-based telescopes. It takes only 97 minutes for the Hubble to travel around the Earth. [read more...]
In today’s realm of high school and college sports, knee injuries are at an all-time high. More alarmingly, it is a well-known fact that women, in particular, are at a great risk of sustaining lower-extremity injuries. Scientists are now working to establish why this is. One of the most debilitating injuries young athletes can suffer from is a torn ligament. In fact, over 90,000 anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears occur in high school and college athletes annually. [read more...]
One year following former National Security Agency systems analyst Edward Snowden’s release of controversial information regarding the U.S. and other countries’ wiretapping of citizens, a new report affirms privacy invasion is a growing issue on an international scale. [read more...]
The first-ever symposium about the future of zoos was held in Buffalo, New York. The conference, which discussed topics ranging from new designs for zoos to bioengineering the animals, was attended by zoo directors, animal behaviorists, conservationists, and architects. [read more...]
Internet users should be cautious when navigating the web. Scam artists and cyber criminals seek access to information like personal passwords, banking details, and social security numbers. Others may attempt to scam internet users by selling goods or taking money under false pretenses. [read more...]
Since Apollo 17, human beings have not traveled more than 380 miles above the Earth's surface. But later this year, that will change. NASA is currently working to build a capsule designed to send astronauts more than 3,600 miles into deep space. [read more...]
The Rosetta probe is a spacecraft that was launched into space March 2, 2004 by the European Space Agency. The unmanned probe was sent to pursue comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. [read more...]
Thanks to the new technology of 3D printing, a bald eagle was recently able to recover from her traumatic accident. Beauty, the eagle, was the victim of a hunter’s shot. At the age of six, a bullet destroyed her upper beak. [read more...]
It is hard to imagine a world in which pollution is not an issue. Believe it or not, such a place does exist: in northern Europe, Sweden is one such world. [read more...]
The phrase “Houston, we have a problem” has been adopted into everyday life. It is a clever way of saying: “Uh-oh.” This phrase originated nearly 25 years ago on April 13th, 1970, when the Apollo 13 spacecraft experienced an accident. [read more...]
During the summer, mosquitoes are uninvited and unwanted guests. Keeping them away can be difficult. But Frank Swift, president of Swift Food and Equipment Incorporated in Philadelphia, has found a simple and effective way to fight mosquitoes without using smelly chemical repellants. [read more...]
For thousands of years, we have known the power of winds. In Greek mythology, the demigod Aeolus captured gusting winds in hollowed-out mountains, and released them by stabbing his sword into the earth. Today, scientists harken back to this notion, asking, can we store wind in rock? [read more...]
A new technology resembling Google Glass has the potential to help the visually impaired see through a new lens. Amnon Shashua, a well-known researcher and computer science professor at Hebrew University, has developed a new research for visually impaired individuals, making use of computer vision algorithms and artificial intelligence. [read more...]
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields suffer from a huge gender imbalance. A start-up company called Roominate is trying to address a lack of women in engineering fields. They plan to use toys. Their goal is to interest girls in science and technology while they’re young. A new toy dollhouse aims to spark that interest. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered how prehistoric creatures moved or how their body structures were formed? [read more...]
To prevent the formation of blood clots during operations, surgeons have relied on blood thinners like heparin to do the trick. But new technology, using particles of gold too small to see or measure, has given researchers a way to stop blood clots for the procedure and restore them afterward. [read more...]
The Chinese are making an invisible fabric that people can hide behind -an invisibility cloak. And until now, it seemed like something impossible. [read more...]
Nothing sounds more like science fiction than a box that creates an entire meal from a gel-like substance, and then literally prints it out. As crazy as it seems, scientists believe that contraptions like this may actually exist in the next 20 years. [read more...]
Special education advocates see a growing role and value of robots as a remote teaching tool. Thanks to new technological advances in the fields of robotics, kids like Lexie Kinder can attend school. [read more...]
Malaria is a killer. It is a deadly disease carried by mosquitoes, and it is most prevalent in developing countries with subtropical or tropical climates. [read more...]
As medical technology advances, more people are getting their DNA decoded. Additionally, lower costs of genome sequencing attract many to the idea. [read more...]
Scientists at Stanford University in California are sending out a floating robot to track great white sharks in the Pacific. [read more...]
A newly-discovered technique might expand the use of wild silk worms. That could lead to new silk production in regions other than Asia. [read more...]
More than 30,000 years ago, an Ice Age squirrel hid its fruits and seeds in an underground burrow. Recently, a team of scientists led by Svetlana Yashin, of the Institute of Cell Biophysics at the Russian Academy of Sciences, resurrected a flower from the fruit tissue remains of this squirrel’s hidden treasure. [read more...]
Many people are familiar with the Big Bang Theory: a large explosion created the entire universe. However, most people are unfamiliar with how matter was formed. Scientists have theorized that the key to this puzzle is the Higgs particle. [read more...]
I sometimes lose my train of thought— as do many others. And what can we blame for this maddening behavior? According to science, the culprit is the anterior temporal lobe (ATL). [read more...]
Everyday new pop songs are blasting on the radio, Internet, and CD players for our entertainment. While you’re jamming to your favorite song, do you ever think of what it costs to produce such a song? Surprisingly, in many cases pop songs are worth millions of dollars. Yes, the catchy lyrics, and head nodding beats all come with a price. In fact, the song “Man Down” on Rihanna’s new album, “Loud”, cost around $1,078,000 to produce. [read more...]
Do you remember when Harry Potter used the invisibility cloak to get away from trouble? Well, Tufts and Boston University scientists have created the first actual invisibility cloak. It is made of silk and gold. [read more...]
Technology, especially in television, has improved significantly over time. From black and white to color, from poor sound quality to movie theater surround sound, and now from 2-D to 3-D, the way we watch television is constantly being reinvented. [read more...]
A new website, Zooniverse, is encouraging people to take part in scientific research and discovery. This is a large-scale, online science project. At least 270,000 citizen volunteers have contributed to more than 58 million classifications of astronomical objects. [read more...]
General Motors is finalizing the Chevy Volt, a rechargeable electric car that can travel an impressive 40 miles on battery power alone. [read more...]
The Toyota Prius was one of the first hybrid cars to gain popularity in the United States. Introduced worldwide in 2001, its sleek design and above average mileage attracted many buyers. Even its critics praised the innovation of a combination of petrol and electric, full hybrid vehicle. Toyota made its mark among the public by introducing the Prius into the global market. [read more...]
Three new electric cars are about to hit the market: the Tesla Roadster Sport, the Nissan Leaf, and the Chevy Volt. [read more...]
For several years stories have spread of a strange-looking bear that roams remote coastal areas near the Arctic Ocean. Until recently most scientists considered these stories nothing more than legend. But now DNA evidence confirms that a bear shot in 2006 is a polar bear-grizzly bear hybrid. [read more...]
Social networking and mobile phones are part of teen culture today. Many teenagers find smartphones appealing because they meld these two basic and essential components of popular culture. Like other mobile giants, Microsoft wants to tap into the potential of this industry by introducing its own version of smartphones. [read more...]
General Motors (GM) plans to spend $700 million on the production of an electric car, the Chevrolet Volt. With the opening of new plants in several parts of Michigan, this new rechargeable car will be a technological and economic boost for that state. [read more...]
Ever since the discovery of the induced pluripotent stem cell by Japanese Researcher Shinya Yamanaka and a UW research team led by James Thomson and Junying Yu, researchers have applauded the fact that controversial embryonic cells are no longer the only paths to medical progress. [read more...]