How exactly does one "shine bright like a diamond?" Turns out, there's a lot of math & physics involved. Learn how they are used to maximize the brilliance & fire of a cut diamond, in this video from our Treasures of the Earth series.

April 16 Resources

Today, we're highlighting different engineering challenges across different disciplines-- which is your favorite?


Learn about the design process and the problem solving it takes for NASA engineers to fix a rocket engine & send astronauts safely to space.


Scientists have created a metal foam that they hope will redefine the way we travel. Their inspiration? The aerodynamics of a puffin! Hear more about their vision for vehicles that can change shape for use in flight & underwater in this video.


The US can currently store just 2% of its energy generating capacity & needs more efficient & economical energy-storage solutions. Examine the benefits & limitations of three options for managing energy on the nation's electrical grid with this video.


Archaeologists have discovered that the ancient city of Petra once had a complex city wide water system, despite being located in one of the driest places on Earth. Learn how ancient engineers supplied the desert city with water more than 2,000 years ago.


Need help adapting to the challenge of digital learning? Check out the NOVA: The Design Process collection which highlights strategies for innovative solutions for teachers and students alike.

April 15 Resources

Today, we are exploring how satellites help us study and understand planet Earth.


Watch the first of three exciting Earth Day inspired virtual field trips hosted by NOVA. Chat with Dr. Kelly M. Brunt about the role satellites play in the monitoring of Earth's poles.


Speaking of satellites, have you ever wondered what they actually do? One job is observing the global pattern of water vapor circulation, which connects the sun, oceans and life itself. Learn more:


If you've ever wondered what it's like to see Earth from outer space, check out Earth From Space, this spectacular episode of NOVA. From the Sahara to the Amazon, the show reveals the astonishing beauty and complexity of our dynamic planet.


Similar to how human fingerprints are unique to individuals, the chemical compounds of an ash layer can be traced back to a specific volcano. But what happens when that unique signature doesn't match any known volcano? Find out how satellites help:


Join archaeologist Sarah Parcak as she uncovers ancient Viking settlements using remote sensing technology. Watch as she processes and analyzes satellite imagery to locate buried ruins.

April 14 Resources

Earth Day 2020 is around the corner, and today we're highlighting the new Decoding the Weather Machine resource collection.

Join geologists on an expedition to analyze ancient air trapped beneath the Antarctic ice sheet.

Did you know that ice ages come & go on a schedule like clockwork? Watch NOVA Producer Caitlin Saks explain natural climate cycles & models human emissions of carbon dioxide with a can of soda.

Explore the evidence that human activity is responsible for the accelerated rate of climate change & examples of the impacts that humans can have on Earth’s climate systems in this video featuring the Keeling Curve.

Want to do your part in helping the planet this Earth Day? Consider planting a tree & learn about the role trees play in pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere & other climate change mitigation strategies.

Put your students in the driver's seat of choosing Earth's climate future in this interactive lesson. Explore strategies for climate change adaptation and mitigation and then create a plan for your local community to spring into action.

April 13 Resources


What can a rock the size of a thimble teach us about ancient ecosystems? Go on a journey with scientists as they examine the microscopic record in rocks to find the truth about Earth's ecosystems after the dinosaurs went extinct.


Is copper the key to stopping drug-resistant super bugs? Check out this bacteria vs. metal match-up to understand why it may be the best line of defense in the fight against hospital acquired-infections.


If learning about ice volcanoes & nitrogen glaciers is your thing, check out the breathtaking topography of Pluto's surface in this NOVA video resource.


Phylogenetic trees help us understand the evolutionary history of species & their adaptations. Watch this video from the NOVA Labs Evolution Lab to better understand how to read these trees & what they can teach us about deep time & evolution:


Put on your space suit and follow host Janna Levin into a black hole ten times the size of the Sun. Take a peak and witness the brilliant light at the center of the black hole before you get spaghettified!

April 10 Resources

Today, we're highlighting scientists who are on the forefront of their fields. Find their profiles, and more, in the NOVA Collection on PBS LearningMedia.


Learn about chemist Percy Julian's work to synthesize cortisone—a steroid used to treat rheumatoid arthritis— and make it more easily accessible to millions of patients.


The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers profiles today's leading scientists like Mayim Balik, Bill Nye, and more to show what they're like when the lab coats come off.


Chemist Percy Julian received his education during a time when African Americans were prepared for industrial jobs, and the white supremacist movement was on the rise. Learn more about his path to his Ph.D in this resource.


Meet climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe. She studies what climate change means to each of us locally, and works to combat disinformation about climate change directed to fellow evangelical Christians.


Theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin studies the early universe, chaos, and black holes, but she is also a novelist and author! Learn more about her work as a scientist and artist in her Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers profile.

April 9 Resources

Today's resources from the NOVA Collection are taking a closer look at psychology.

Learn about research into environmental factors that influence the development of two parts of the brain involved with language and reading in this resource from NOVA School of the Future.

How does the brain make long-term memories? Learn how scientists turned to giant sea slugs to find the answer in this resource from NOVA Memory Hackers.

Examine the impact that chronic stress can have on the areas of the brain that control how we learn and process emotions, and discover some techniques teachers can use to create a safe and nurturing classroom environment in this resource from NOVA School of the Future.

Is fear contagious? Learn how humans tend to mimic the feelings of people around them in a form of emotional contagion, spreading positive or negative emotions in a group in this resource from Gross Science.

Could studying how bees make decisions help us understand what happens in the human brain? Learn how scout bees influence a colony to make decisions, and how this is similar to what neurons do in human brains in this resource from NOVA scienceNOW.

April 7 Resources

Today we're highlighting resources from the NOVA The Violence Paradox Collection-- resources that examine the neurobiology of aggression, and questions about human instincts of justice and revenge.

Examine arguments for the self-domestication hypothesis—which may support explanations for a surprising trend in interpersonal violence in human societies.

Discover how contemporary researchers used computers to analyze a massive historical data set—127 million words collected from 239 years of criminal trials in London—to confirm a shift in public attitudes towards violence.

Examine two fascinating experiments designed to gather evidence of innate moral instincts in humans. Students can evaluate the experimental designs and consider alternative interpretations of the data.

Learn about two parts of the brain that affect the human capacity for violence and evaluate evidence for the roles of the hypothalamus and prefrontal cortex in aggressive behavior.

April 6 Resources

Today, we're highlighting five resource collections from the NOVA Collection on PBS LearningMedia focused on Earth and environmental science.

Investigate North America's amazing geology with Dr. Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, and your students by using the Making North America collection, featuring videos, interactives, and more.

Where do nature’s building blocks, called the elements, come from? To unlock their secrets and explore the periodic table in detail with your students, use the Hunting the Elements collection featuring David Pogue.

Use the Earth’s Systems collection to discover the complex and dynamic set of interconnected systems on Earth's surface—principally the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere—that interact over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales.

Looking for a David Pogue double feature? Check out the Making Stuff collection to watch all episodes of the series & then browse all the engineering & material science activities you can do with household materials.

Didn't get enough Kirk Johnson from Making North America? Check out the Polar Extremes Collection to go on an epic journey from pole to pole to uncover our planet's climate history and learn what the past can reveal out our planet's climate future.

April 3 Resources


Consider strategies for mitigating climate change and provide an opportunity for students to make an argument about the value of trying to achieve negative carbon emissions.


Join David Pogue to meet paleoclimatologist Scott Stine, who uses radiocarbon dating to study changes in climate. Find out what it means for an isotope to be radioactive and how the half-life of carbon-14 allows scientists to date organic materials.


Learn that the universe is expanding; however, the gravitational effects of dark matter could potentially slow its expansion until the universe collapses back on itself in a “big crunch.”


Examine compelling new evidence that Earth’s climate and the evolution of plant life may have prompted an explosion in the size and diversity of mammals following the massive extinction of the dinosaurs.


Learn how two geophysicists used a new imaging tool—electrical resistivity tomography (ERT)—to investigate an area that they suspect was a burial pit in Lithuania during the Holocaust.

April 2 Resources


Visualize the abstract concept of the Coriolis effect and to provide opportunities for students to use evidence to support a claim about the influence of the Coriolis effect on hurricanes, jet streams, and ocean circulation.


Would you wear clothes made from slime? Join David Pogue to learn about the potential for a new type of fiber that is stronger than nylon and made from a renewable resource-- the hagfish.


Learn how relationships of size and distance among the Moon, the Sun, and Earth lead to a total solar eclipse.


Use the Evolution Lab to teach students about natural selection, a mechanism of evolution that favors organisms that are better equipped to survive and reproduce, not necessarily the biggest or strongest organisms.


Watch a visualization of the thought experiment about a man in a box that Albert Einstein used to conclude that gravity and acceleration are the same phenomenon.

April 1 Resources

Aprils is Math and Statistics Awareness Month! Today, we're sharing a variety of the math resources available from the NOVA Collection on PBS LearningMedia.


Visit UPS with David Pogue to learn how the company has developed an algorithm to schedule routes for its delivery trucks.


Having a hard time #quaranteaching about calculus? Try adding some zombies. Learn about the math behind predator-prey population cycles in these two resources about surviving a zombie apocalypse.


Learn about gerrymandering—the manipulation of district boundaries for political advantage—and see how geometry can be used to detect and help solve the problem.


Math is everywhere! Explore how Pythagoras and Plato found mathematics in music and nature in this resource from The Great Math Mystery.


Meet Dr. Talithia Williams and examine a mathematical theory known as the “wisdom of crowds,” which holds that a crowd’s predictive ability is greater than that of an individual.

March 31 Resources

Today, we're highlighting four free interactive lessons available in the NOVA Collection on PBS LearningMedia.


Use "Choosing Earth's Climate Future" to help students explore the three choices society faces as climate continues to change-- suffer, adapt, and mitigate.


Explore the evidence of evolution with interactive worksheets based off off the NOVA Labs Evolution Lab. There are 6 lessons in total-- one for each mission!


Use "Deciding Your City's Energy Future" to help students learn about fossil fuels and renewable energy resources to help them decide which type of energy should be used to power a city's electric grid.


Use "The Promise and Perils of Genetic Technologies" to examine technologies that help scientists better understand and manipulate the human genome and discuss the ethical concerns about how these technologies could be used in the future.

March 30 Resources

Today, we're highlighting five free lesson plans available in the NOVA Collection on PBS LearningMedia.


Explore the fascinating natural history of Earth's poles in the NOVA Polar Lab with discussion questions and video quizzes that allow you to assess student understanding.


In the NOVA Labs' Evolution Lab, students explore the evidence of evolution through the lens of phylogeny, the study of genetic relationships among species.


The NOVA Black Holes Educator Guide includes two supporting materials: the Level Guide features tips for beating each level and the Celestial Objects Guide includes all the informational text for every celestial object that appears in the app.


Discover how North America took its shape by visiting geological sites across the continent, searching for clues in the landscape, and viewing episodes from the broadcast series in the Making North America interactive map (featuring Kirk Johnson!)


In this media-rich lesson plan for the Cybersecurity Lab, students explore how to keep their digital lives safe, spot cyber scams, and learn the basics of coding.

March 27 Resources


Use this interactive by Stephanie Keep to help students explore the three choices society faces as climate continues to change-- suffer, adapt, and mitigate-- to analyze and predict current and future impacts to Earth's systems.


Learn the basics of what energy is, how it is converted into other forms, and why we need new energy sources in this resource from NOVA Labs Energy Lab.


What is the secret link between rocks and minerals, and every living thing on Earth? Join mineralogist Robert Hazen to explore the rocks beneath our feet that were not only essential to jump-starting life in NOVA "Life's Rocky Start."


Learn about the molecular basis of evolution and the role DNA plays in passing traits from parents to offspring in this resource from NOVA Labs Evolution Lab


According to scientific theory, our solar system started out as a swirling cloud of gas and dust. Discover what dwarf planet Pluto can tell us about the architecture of the solar system.

March 26 Resources


We're kicking off today's batch of resources with paleontologist Kirk Johnson in the NOVA series Making North America. Learn why an ancient earthquake that sunk a coastal rain forest into the tidal zone may portend a severe natural disaster in the Pacific Northwest today.


Watch a team of historians, engineers, and trade experts recreate a trebuchet, a medieval throwing machine that utilizes the transfer of gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy.


People perceive depth using the principle of parallax-- our two eyes see the world from slightly different vantage points. Learn how astronomers used parallax to more accurately determine the distance to Cygnus X-1, a stellar black hole.


Why do some dogs have short fur, others long tails, and still others wrinkly faces? Many dogs were bred to perform specific tasks—from hunting vermin to wrangling bulls—and their physical characteristics were chosen to help them do their jobs.


Use the engineering design process to create straw rockets and help students test, predict, and explain the interactions between a rocket's motion and the forces acted upon it.

March 25 Resources

Think you need a lab to do science experiments? Think again! Today, we're highlighting 5 science experiments you can do at home.


Learn how you can turn your cell phone into a #DIY microscope with a few common household items!


Here's a way you can reveal subatomic particles that are shooting in front of your eyes all the time. Make a cloud chamber out of a jar, a sponge, rubbing alcohol, a flashlight, a black marker, and dry ice.


Run out of batteries? No problem! Learn how to make your own environmentally cleaner batteries from saltwater, a zinc screw, and a copper strip with this activity from "Making Stuff: Cleaner"


Take a taste test with David Pogue! All you need is some masking tape (or your fingers!) and some basic pantry items to learn how smell influences our sense of taste.


Learn how to make glow-in-the-dark-slime with hot water, borax, glow-in-the-dark paint, and school glue in this episode of Gross Science.

March 24 Resources


See how models-- both physical and virtual-- help scientists understand the mechanisms that affect the mobility and severity of landslides.


Learn how a nuclear reactor is designed to shut down safely in an emergency, and examine what happened at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plan in Japan after a 2011 earthquake and tsunami.


Learn about the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory, a sophisticated satellite that delivers nearly continuous high-quality, high-resolution observations of the Sun.


Discover how quickly some strains of bacteria can evolve resistance to drugs prescribed by doctors and the implications of antibiotic resistance to human health.


Did you know the NASA James Webb Space Telescope mirrors are coated in gold? Learn how the two ounces of gold covering the mirrors is an almost perfect reflector of infrared light, and allows the telescope to better study the universe.

March 23 Resources

Today, we're highlighting five digital series from NOVA that are ripe for binge watching on the NOVA YouTube Channel.


In Antarctic Extremes, join Caitlin Saks and Arlo Pérez on a journey to Earth's most remote natural laboratory, Antarctica, to discover what it takes to live, work, and do science at the bottom of the world. Watch the first five episodes on PBS Terra:


The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers is an Emmy-nominated web series that profiles today’s leading scientists, like Bill Nye, Katherine Hayhoe, Mayim Bialik, Barrington Irving, Jim Gates and more to show what they’re like when the lab coats come off. Learn about the inspirations, hobbies, and career highlights of scientists from all fields and backgrounds.


Are you interested in astrophysics? Black Hole Hunters profiles Janna Levin, Priya Natarajan, Andrea Ghez, and Chung-Pei Ma-- four women on the forefront of black hole research. When you're done, don't forget to watch the full two-hour show, Black Hole Apocalypse.


Maybe you're more interested in the slimy, smelly, creepy world of science? Don't miss Gross Science hosted and produced by Anna Rothschild. Learn about strange uses for bacon, how poop can be used to cure an infection, and more gross science topics.


Finally, explore all things that make you say, "What the Physics?!" with host Greg Kestin. Tackle some complex questions on foundational physics, like the origin of the universe, the nature of of space time, and more!

March 20 Resources


Carnivorous plants have evolved adaptations that allow them to survive in nutrient-poor conditions by drawing nutrients from prey. Meet four types of carnivorous plants in this Gross Science video featuring Anna Rothschild & Vanessa Hill:


Hunting the Elements host David Pogue examines how atomic structure determines reactivity & discovers why noble gases are not reactive & why halogens & alkali metals are highly reactive:


What was happening across the universe right after the Big Bang happened? This video from the NOVA Wonders series explores the events from the very first second to hundreds of thousands years later that created the building blocks for planets and life:


RNA is more than just the less famous cousin of DNA. It's a versatile molecule that plays numerous roles in switching genes on and off, sending messages between DNA & proteins, & more:

Build RNA molecules in the NOVA Labs RNA Lab game:


Astronomers searching for signs of life on distant planets are using tools like the James Webb Space Telescope to detect gases in a planet's atmosphere using light:

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March 19 Resources


Follow a team of scientists sampling fresh lava rock near the vent of Nyiragongo, an active volcano in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to determine how fast lava might flow in a future eruption:


Learn about the role that the carbon cycle plays in maintaining Earth’s climate balance through weathering, Earth's natural carbon dioxide removal process (featuring Kirk Johnson, host of Polar Extremes):


Fusion, which occurs when atomic nuclei combine to form new elements, powers all the stars in the universe, including the Sun. Learn the role that stars play in forming the elements heavier than hydrogen & helium:


Changes in Earth's climate in the past have driven different species’ evolutionary responses. This pair of videos from Polar Extremes examines how traits in woolly mammoths & horses changed during periods of cooling/warming climates:


Galileo's use of the inclined plane to study the motion of objects is one of his most important contributions to science allowing Galileo to accurately measure the effect of gravity on falling objects & develop a universal law describing this effect:

March 18 Resources


Learn how scientists use data tracking carbon dioxide emissions from volcanoes to protect people that live in surrounding communities:


Understanding water chemistry & how corrosion impacts water pipes has many public health ramifications. This resource includes clips that explain failures in the water treatment process that led to Flint's water crisis:


The Sun is the primary source of energy for life on our planet & it's also constantly going through changes due to a very complex magnetic field responsible for everything from sunspots to flares. Here's a look at what's happening inside:


Vultures are widely regarded as some of the world's most efficient scavengers & somehow they don't get food poisoning. Learn why these birds have evolution to thank for their stomachs of steel with this Gross Science resource:


Watch a team of physicists test one of Albert Einstein’s predictions of general relativity—that heavy objects distort time—in an experiment involving atomic clocks & mountains (& what that means for the GPS in our phones):

March 17 Resources

Climate Science

Our brand new Polar Lab sends students on an interactive quest to see how the poles are key to understanding Earth’s climate—past, present, and future. Play through 3 missions featuring minigames, 360 videos, & interviews with scientists:

We’ve published a lesson plan that explains how you can use the Polar Lab to help students understand Earth’s natural climate variations & how human activity is disrupting that pattern with global consequences:


Our popular NOVA Elements app is back with a web-based version designed for use on Chromebooks! Explore an interactive periodic table, build atoms with subatomic particles, & construct molecules found in everyday objects:

We also have downloadable versions available for Mac/PC & the iPad and you can stream the entire Hunting the Elements film featuring host David Pogue through the app and on the NOVA website:


NOVA Black Hole Apocalypse is an iPad game hosted by astrophysicist Janna Levin in which players navigate the cosmos by hurling a star at various celestial objects (think Angry Birds with blue supergiant stars, neutron stars, and of holes):


In the Evolution Lab, players evaluate similarities in the traits & DNA of species by creating phylogenetic trees & exploring an open-ended interactive tree of life. Our collection also includes interactive lessons:


What The Physics?! is a YouTube series hosted & produced by Greg Kestin that tackles complex questions on foundational physics, such as the origin of the universe, the merging of quantum mechanics with general relativity, & the nature of space & time:

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