Robotics in Medicine

In this video from SciTech Now, learn how robotics is changing today’s medical landscape. Robotic instruments are used to help surgeons perform ultra-precise surgeries, sometimes even replacing the surgeon! Bionic limbs are used to help paralyzed patients stand and walk again, improving the patients’ health and spirit. It’s an exciting time to be in the robotic engineering field, as these medical bots continue to improve.

See the “Designing a Robotic Instrument” handout and sample answers in the Support Materials section for a hands-on activity for to get students engaged with the design process and robotic engineering in relation to medicine and human anatomy.

The Half-Mile Long Microscope

Learn how scientists turn a half-mile long particle accelerator into a microscope in this video from SciTech Now. Located on Long Island, the National Synchrotron Light Source II is a groundbreaking research facility where electrons are shot around a circular track at nearly the speed of light for various experiments. As X-ray beams from these tests separate off, various researchers’ stations collect them to study microscopic samples of material.

See the Electromagnetic Spectrum All Around Us Handout in the Supporting Materials section to learn more about where x-rays and other types of light are found, and how they’re used.

How Racecar Drivers Use Physics on the Track

Learn how aerodynamics and grip affect a car’s performance in this video from SciTech Now. Automotive experts discuss how repeat testing is done to continually improve a car’s aerodynamics and increase its grip on the racetrack in order to raise the chances of winning a race.

See the Visualizing Airflow Activity in the Supporting Materials section to conduct your own wind tunnel aerodynamics tests.

Bald Eagle Recovery Efforts in New Jersey

The bald eagle, the national bird of the US, is now flourishing after decades of threatened extinction. In this video from SciTech Now, see how the Mercer County Wildlife Center in New Jersey has taken steps to protect this national treasure. The bald eagle population in New Jersey was severely reduced upon exposure to the long-lived insecticide DDT. The Mercer County Wildlife Center has tracked nesting pairs, introduced more eagles into the area, and nursed sick and injured birds back to health to revive the eagle population in the state.

Could Eating Insects Solve World Hunger?

Learn about a source of protein made from insects in this video from SciTech Now. The need for efficient, environmentally-friendly ways to feed a growing population has led some people to research entomophagy, which refers to eating insects. Students at Cornell University have developed a food product made of mealworm protein known as C-fu. They see C-fu as one solution to the problem of global hunger and malnutrition.

The support materials include a graphic organizer, discussion questions, and an infographic activity.

Careers in Video Game Development

Learn how game developers are shaping the future of video games in this video from SciTech Now. Fifty-nine percent of Americans play video games, which leads many people to believe that games are becoming just as important culturally as television and movies. The Game Innovation Lab at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering is dedicated to exploring new ideas in video games. Students and faculty there blend computer science, art, math, education, and design to create innovative games.

Read Careers in STEM: Arron Isaksen, Game Designer, found in the Support Materials section below, to learn more about careers in this exciting field.

Plant Research at a Herbarium

Learn how plant specimens are preserved for future study in this video from SciTech Now. The Steere Herbarium at the New York Botanical Garden contains 7.3 million plant samples from around the world. After they are collected by researchers, they are sent to the NYBG where they are identified. The samples are dried and then mounted on paper so they can be stored for researchers to use. The Garden also creates digital copies of the samples so more people can use them.

See the Making Herbarium Specimens Activity in the Support Materials section to create your own classroom herbarium.

How Coral Grows

The Andros Island Coral Reef Diorama at the American Museum of Natural History has been showcasing life below the ocean since the 1930s. This video from DIORAMA and SciTech Now takes a close look at coral polyps, the tiny animals that makes giant coral reefs. Meet dinoflagellates, algae that lives inside coral polyps. Footage from the 1920s and 1930s shows scientists and artists as they study, document, and even paint underwater in order to recreate this setting.

Analyze the environmental conditions that Coral reefs need to thrive using the Coral Distribution activity found in the Support Materials section below.

C-BASS: Revolutionizing Fish and Ocean Habitat Management

In this video from SciTech Now, see how scientists at the College of Marine Science at the University of South Florida are developing a new fish assessment project that may revolutionize the way we can study, manage, and conserve fish and ocean habitats. Known as C-BASS (Camera-Based Assessment Survey System), this new technique may prove to be a faster, more accurate, and environmentally friendly method of gathering valuable data.

Biomorphic Robots

In this video from SciTech Now, see how the University of South Florida’s Biomorphic Robotics Lab is turning to the animal kingdom for inspiration in developing biomorphic mimics. One day soon, these robotic creations may be able to provide unique solutions for dealing with challenging situations such as search-and-rescue and hazardous waste.