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Geography

Exploring the Largest Lake in Africa: Lake Victoria

by Juan Esteban Palma Zuluaga, age 10

Africa is known for its many beautiful landscapes, animals, and lakes, one being Lake Victoria. Lake Victoria is known to be the biggest tropical lake on Earth, and is the second largest freshwater lake on Earth by land area, following only Lake Superior.

Lake Victoria is about 255 miles long and 155 miles wide. It is only 276 feet deep. Being in the East of Africa close to the equator and between the countries of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, Lake Victoria is one of the most well-known water sources for the Nile River. Other smaller rivers and streams, like the Kagera River, flow into this lake.

Lake Victoria provides help to millions of people that live close by. Its water helps with farming and growing a habitat for the animals. Fishing is also a great source of livelihood, because it keeps over three million people working as fishermen. However, this is becoming a problem, because too many fish are being killed – around 750,000 metric tons per year. The people overfish different species, including catfish, marbled lungfish, and elephant fish, which is causing them to disappear from the lake. Aside from overfishing, climate change and drought also affect the fish population. [Read More]

Explore the Mighty Congo River in the Heart of Africa

by Sol-Saray, age 10

Africa is home to many great rivers. One of them is known as the Congo. In Africa, the Congo is only slightly shorter than the Nile in length, and is just as important to the people who live along the river.

The Congo has been very efficient for the people of Africa when it comes to transporting goods like food, medicine, clothes, and other items to people living along the river. It is also used for fishing and irrigating crops like peanuts, cotton, and sugarcane.

In the river, there are over 30 waterfalls and many other islands. It is near the equator, meaning it can get very hot and wet. The river receives around 90 inches of rain annually. There are 200 species of fish that live on the river. Many animals eat the tall grass that grows along the river, including buffalo, antelopes, zebras, gazelles, and giraffes. [read more]

The Ancient Library of Pergamum

by Hiba Al-Quraishi, age 14

The ancient library of Pergamum, located in what is now Turkey, was built in the third century B.C. by members of the Attalid dynasty. The library, constructed by a small kingdom that lasted only 150 years, is now one of the most famous libraries in antiquity.

Following the destruction of Alexander the Great’s empire, Lysimachus, a general in Alexander the Great’s army, founded the Monarchy of Pergamum or Attalid kingdom during the Hellenistic period. This kingdom was situated in what is now Turkey, in the western portion of Asia Minor.

Around 130 BC, the Roman Republic acquired the Kingdom of Pergamum. Even though this kingdom only existed for roughly 150 years, they managed to construct one of the greatest libraries ever seen in antiquity and for centuries. The large library of Pergamum remained a significant hub of study. [Read More]

Native Asian Moth Spotted in Washington State

by Justin Medina Ruiz, age 13

On July 7, 2022, a giant moth with a ten-inch wingspread was discovered in a garage of a home in the state of Washington. Thankfully, the moth species does not pose a public health threat. The Atlas moth originates from the tropical forests of Asia and has not been seen before in the U.S.

It is not clear how this moth found a way to get to Washington. However, scientists found on eBay, an e-commerce company, an account selling Atlas moth cocoons for $60 each. This account was later taken down because the Atlas moth is a quarantine pest, meaning it is illegal to obtain, sell, or harbor, no matter if they are adults, eggs, larvae, or pupae.

In spite of that, the individual sighting does not mean that there is a population of the Atlas in the U.S. The state’s agriculture department asks the public to take photographs and collect Atlas moths if they find one. [Read More]

Canada’s Great Northern Lake

by Ruben Becerril Gonzalez, age 10

Did you know that the Great Bear Lake is one of the coldest lakes on the planet? Also known as Sahtu, this lake was named by native people living in the area.

Great Bear Lake is both very large and very deep. In fact, it is the fourth largest lake in North America, and the eighth biggest freshwater lake in the entire world! The lake averages 235 feet in depth with a maximum of 1,463 feet. For much of the year, between late November and July, Great Bear Lake is covered in ice.

Great Bear Lake is located near the Arctic Circle in parts of Canada’s Northwest Territories. It is one of the most remote lakes on Earth. There is only one village in this area with a permanent population, Deline, with about 200 residents. The native Sahtu Dene people also reside in this area, as they have for thousands of years. They rely on the area’s plentiful food sources for hunting and fishing. Some of the animals that inhabit the area include musk oxen, caribous, grizzly bears, eagles, and even falcons. There are also many species of fish living in the lake. [Read More]

CN Tower in Toronto Is “Canada’s World Wonder”

by Jonah Smith, age 13

One of the world's tallest freestanding towers can be found in the city of Toronto, Canada. This large tower was made in collaboration with the Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Broadcasting Company in the 1970s. The people of Canada treasure this tower and fondly call it “Canada’s World Wonder.”

The base of the tower underwent construction on February 6, 1973. 62,000 tons of earth and rock were dug up in order to pour 57,000 tons of concrete. This concrete was used to support the 130,000 ton weight of the building. The base is 20 feet thick and 230 feet in diameter. This base was built in a hexagonal shape unlike normal circular towers. Using a concrete mold and a hydraulic jack, construction workers poured concrete into the mold, let it set, then used the hydraulic jack to lift the mold up approximately 20 feet each day. Because of this peculiar method of construction, the workers had to check everyday if the shaft of the tower was off its vertical center, using a 220 lb cylinder tied to a rope, to act as a plumb bob (a vertical indicator).

In 1976, once construction was completely finished, the CN Tower officially opened. Inside of this tower, there are two observation decks, a restaurant, and a nightclub. Glass elevators run up and down the side of the tower to take visitors from the ground floor to the top. On the lower level, there is an observation deck. This deck is made out of 2.5-inch thermal reinforced glass strong enough to withstand 38 tons. Looking down through this glass floor, there is a breathtaking view underneath it. Regardless of the reinforced glass, many were afraid of the glass breaking. Due to people’s fear, a carpet was laid on top of the glass. [Read More]

The Amazon’s Most Famous Species

by Aarosh Subedi, age 12

The Amazon River is a place full of famous animals, including the black caiman, the Amazon River dolphin, the giant otter, and the green anaconda.

The Black Caiman is a semi-aquatic reptile that looks like a large crocodile. Its length can reach up to eight feet. Black caimans almost went extinct due to poachers hunting for their rough skin.

The Amazon River Dolphin is an aquatic species that lives in the river basins. This dolphin weighs up to 400 pounds and measures around eight feet long, making it the biggest river dolphin. They hunt in big groups for fish. [Read More]

Mount Everest: The Colossal Climb

by Aarosh Subedi, age 10

Mount Everest is one of the Himalayas' tallest mountains in the world and lies in the continent of Asia.

Mount Everest measures 29,000 feet and lies between Tibet which is in the region of China, and in Nepal. At about 14,000 feet, there are valleys full of villages and Sherpa villagers that form the community.

When climbing Everest, you will encounter all types of hazardous conditions! For example, avalanches, and large tumbling piles of snow, can be very deadly. Additionally, some challenges include thin air and strong freezing winds, you could also slip on some huge layers of ice called glaciers. [Read More]

The Life of a Young Egypt King: King Tutankhamun

by Justin Medina, age 13

King Tutankhamun, better known as King Tut, was ancient Egypt’s youngest Pharaoh being only nine years old. He was largely erased from history until his tomb was discovered in the early 1900s. His tomb and mummy continue to be studied today using high-tech tools.

Before he became a pharaoh, his father, Akhenaten, forced his people away from polytheism, the practice of worshiping more than one god. Instead, he had them worship Aton. However, when Akhenaten died, advisers influenced King Tut to change many of his father’s decisions. One of these changes was implemented through Egypt returning back to polytheism.

King Tutankhamun’s tomb was found by British archaeologist Howard Carter and his expedition team in 1922. This discovery gave scientists insight on how life was in ancient Egypt. The tomb contained over five thousand artifacts, in addition to variouswell-preserved mummies. King Tut’s tomb was formerly believed to have a hidden chamber containing the mummy of his mother, Queen Nefertiti. This was later debunked by scientists using radar testing. [Read More]

Las especies más famosas del Amazonas

por Aarosh Subedi, 12 años

El río Amazonas es un lugar lleno de animales famosos, como el caimán negro, el delfín del río Amazonas, la nutria gigante y la anaconda verde.

El caimán negro es un reptil semiautomático que parece un gran cocodrilo. Su longitud puede alcanzar hasta dos metros y medio. Los caimanes negros casi se extinguieron debido a los cazadores furtivos que buscaban su piel áspera.

El delfín del río Amazonas es una especie acuática que vive en las cuencas de los ríos. Este delfín pesa hasta 400 libras y mide alrededor de ocho pies de largo, lo que lo convierte en el delfín de río más grande. Cazan peces en grandes grupos. [Read More]

How Submarines Sparked Arctic Exploration

by Daniel Li, age 14

Built in 1952, the USS Nautilus was the first submarine ever powered by a nuclear reactor and, coincidentally, also the first to ever reach the North Pole by traveling under ice. William Anderson, the commander of the Nautilus, wrote in his logbook, “Embarked following personage at North Pole: Santa Claus, affiliation: Christmas.” Spending multiple days underwater had not seemed to affect the commander’s sense of humor.

The Nautilus was 319 feet long and brought 116 crew members to the North Pole. While these numbers are impressive, the defining characteristic of the ship was its nuclear reactor, which eliminated the need for conventional practices such as surfacing or using snorkels to provide air for engines and batteries. All power was provided inside the submarine.

This trip to the North Pole, codenamed “Operation Sunshine,” provided much scientific knowledge that would eventually lead to our current submarines. The Nautilus proved that nuclear-powered submarines were viable, making it possible for modern submarines to spend months at a time underwater. This first voyage was not only beneficial for scientific research, but also for military purposes. Although the United States was the first to develop nuclear-powered submarines, world powers such as Russia and China have developed many of their own. Since 1969, the U.K. has consistently had at least one submarine carrying nuclear weapons at sea. [Read More]

Red Panda? More like Red Raccoon! — by Dalya Alquraishi age 10

The red panda is a cute and fuzzy animal that lives in China and the eastern Himalayas. It is commonly believed that these mammals are related to pandas, however red pandas are instead more closely related to raccoons. [Read More]

The Mysterious Story Behind America's Lost Snow Cruiser — by Jazmin Becerril, age 14

During the United States Antarctic Expedition Service of 1939, an amazing new vehicle – unlike any other – was used. The creator, Thomas Poulter, came up with the idea for a huge mobile vehicle base after experiencing a near-death situation in which he was stuck at an Antarctic base due to the weather. He sold his idea to the Research Foundation of the Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois in the mid-1930s which agreed to design the vehicle under Poulter’s supervision. [Read More]

How an Ancient Civilization Thrived and then Collapsed — by Emily Rodriguez, age 13

A mysterious ancient civilization on the island of Malta collapsed within two generations, despite surviving for more than a millennium. [Read More]

The Great Lakes of Africa: Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika — by Sofia Zapata, age 13

There are many lakes in the world, but do people know the important things about some of the African continental lakes? Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika are lakes located in Africa and they are two of the largest and deepest in the world. [Read More]

Eerie Double Aurora Lights Up Northern Sky — <i>by Emily Rodriguez Lima, age 13</i>

Two different auroras have appeared together at the same time with colors resembling a watermelon: green on the bottom and red on top. This phenomenon was seen by amateur astronomer Alan Dyers. Dyers was outside his house when he saw a beautiful display of the Northern Lights up in the sky. He took out his camera to record this unique image; his recording is the most complete recording of this special aurora. [Read More]

The Fire that Reached From Alberta to Pennsylvania — by Dyanara Flores-Gomez, age 14

In early June of 1950, a fire started in northern Alberta, Canada, and spread through northeastern British Columbia. It burned four million acres of land. This fire became the largest fire in North America and was named the Chinchaga fire. It was also known as the Wisp fire or Fire 19. [Read More]

How a Library Made Baghdad the World's Most Important Center of Learning — by Mariama Bah, age 15

When hearing about grand libraries, one might think of the Library of Alexandria or the Library of Congress. However a different library was established in the 9th century as one of the world’s greatest centers of science and learning. [Read More]

My Home: Colombia — by Jeronimo Rosero Perea, age 8

I was born in a beautiful country named Colombia! I want to tell you about my home. In my country of Colombia, there is a population of about 50 million people. The main language in my country is Spanish. Because this country is so big, there is a Capital city. The Capital of Colombia is Bogotǻ and the main religion practiced there is Christianity. [read more]

The Nile: Egypt's Most Important River — by Sol Saray, age 10

Did you know that the Nile River is allegedly the longest river on Earth? Historically, the Nile River was considered the longest river in the world, however, Brazilian scientists recently discovered that the Amazon River is longer than the Nile by 284 kilometers. [Read More]