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Hot Science – Cool Talks


found in: science; preK-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12

A resource of The Environmental Science Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, Hot Science – Cool Talks introduces students to scientists and their research. The Talk Archives comprises 108 (to date) previous programs. Each archived talk may include a webcast, presentation (PPT and/or PDF), and lesson plans. Lessons include standards.

Here are two representative resources.

Dinosaurs in Living Color presents recent discoveries that give us a clearer and colorful picture of what dinosaurs looked like and compare them with their living descendants, birds. The Webcast (1:07:48) is a lecture and PowerPoint presentation with Dr. Julia Clarke. This talk includes a separate PowerPoint presentation and PDF of the visuals, 5 lessons for elementary through high school, and learning modules. In an elementary lesson, Be A Paleontologist, ( PDF, 5 pgs, 235 KB) students in grades 2-6 learn how fossils form, create “fossils” with plaster, and go on a fossil hunt. In a middle school lesson, Dinosaurs of A Feather,  ( PDF 2pgs, 182 KB) students in grades 6-8 different bird feathers and discuss how feathers help birds and dinosaurs survive.

Two Guys on Your Head on “If It’s Unsustainable, Why Does It Feel So Good?”  explores why we ignore the changing environment and aspects of sustainability that affect our lives. The Webcast  (1:12:39) is a hosted discussion with a professor of psychology interested in decision making and a professor of music and human learning and behavior. In the related lesson, Decision Making and Recycling, ( PDF 8 pgs, 316 KB) students in grades 9-12 create a poster showing the benefits of recycling and a plan for implementing recycling in their home, communities or school.

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