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"Scientific Breakthroughs in Germany"
Guide & Resources

This episode of Scientific American Frontiers takes you to Germany, for a look at cutting-edge science in the reunited country. You'll take a field trip on the autobahn, in a car that drives itself. Next, meet some scientists who are setting up experiments to find out how birds navigate. Then step into the operating room where microsurgery is being performed on the brain. Next, find out what is being done about the millions of plastic Trabant automobiles sitting in German junkyards. And, find out just how superior dragonflies are to man-made flying machines. Here are the topics and running times of stories on this show and a brief description of related activities in this online teaching guide:

  • Recycling the Trabant (running time: 8:00) -- The Trabant was once the "people's car" of East Germany. Now this Cold War relic presents a major recycling problem. Activity: Modeling some of the challenges of recycling.

  • Curing the Storm in the Head (running time: 11:37) -- A breakthrough diagnostic procedure gives neurosurgeons the information they need to cure epilepsy. Activity: Finding out more about electricity and magnetism.

  • Flight of the Dragonfly (running time: 6:49) -- Captured on high-speed film, the dragonfly proves to be an amazing flying machine. Activity: Studying nature at home and in the field.


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
Sponsored by GTE Corporation,
now a part of Verizon Communications Inc.