Think Wednesday for Science Teachers

Expand/Collapse Think Wednesday for Science Teachers

Join PBS each Wednesday night starting on April 9 for THINK WEDNESDAY,a dynamic line-up of programs exploring the thrilling world of nature, technology, and science. This special night of science explores the animal mind, bionic pets, DNA, and human evolution (check local listings).

PBS LearningMedia is extending THINK WEDNESDAY into the classroom by offering a new resource collection for PreK-12 science teachers packed with videos, infographics, lesson plans, and interactive games. Videos and lesson plans are sorted into four categories that reflect the weekly THINK WEDNESDAY line-up: Biology and Technology, Wildlife Communities, Animal Intelligence, and Evolution and Adaptation. Explore the collection below!

  • Finding the Origins of Color Vision | Your Inner Fish

    Take a look inside the origins of color vision, and the adaptive evolution of sight all throughout the primate kingdom. The ability to see the world in color is one most people take for granted, but our earliest primate ancestors lacked this ability. When and how did we gain the ability to see the world the way we do? Neil Shubin pays a visit to vision expert Jay Neitz to learn where our color vision comes from.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Extreme Measures

    This video adapted from Nature describes efforts to protect salmon by killing and re-locating predators. Examples include paying bounty hunters to fish pikeminnow, trying to relocate terns and cormorants and using non-lethal bullets to scare away sea lions. The segment concludes with a look at how scientists are counting current numbers of salmon passing through Bonneville Dam, along the Oregon-Washington border.

    Grades: 8-12
  • Hook, Line and Sinker

    This video from Nature features perhaps the most intelligent crows of the species. These crows live on a small island in the South Pacific called New Caledonia. Why are they so smart? They have the ability to use and make tools. Researchers in New Caledonia study how the crows go through an impressive series of actions to make their tools in order to access food. This is extraordinary because only three species (other than humans) make tools: elephants, chimpanzees and the Caledonia crows.

    Grades: 8-12
  • Observing the Secret Lives of Raccoons

    This video segment from Nature: “Raccoon Nation” highlights a study which explored the movements of urban raccoons. Biologists Marc Dupuis-Desormeaux and Suzanne MacDonald conducted the study in Toronto, Canada to gain more insight into raccoon behavior. The segment shows how the scientists used radio collars to track the raccoons’ GPS locations every 5 to 15 minutes. This study, which is the first to successfully track the exact movements of raccoons in a city, found that raccoons generally stay in an area the size of about three city blocks.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Producing Salmon

    This video from Nature follows the endangered sockeye salmon as they travel home to their Idaho spawning grounds. Once the salmon reach their destination, many are captured and brought to a local fish hatchery. In the hatchery, biologists manage the reproduction of the salmon in effort to boost their numbers. Biologists take such drastic measures because between 1985-2007, an average of 18 sockeye salmon made it to Idaho each year—a dangerously low number. After a year in the hatchery, the young salmon are released into the wild.

    Grades: 8-12
  • Wearable Robots

    Learn about in advances in powered exoskeletons—a kind of wearable robot—in this video adapted from NOVA scienceNOW. Correspondent and New York Times technology columnist David Pogue explores the development of sophisticated robots that can be integrated with the human body. The company Ekso Bionics created a robot, called Ekso, that can help paraplegics walk, and has also developed another exoskeleton, called HULC, which is designed to help people carry heavy loads. This resource is useful for introducing components of Engineering Design (ETS) from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to grades 5-12 students.

    Grades: 5-13+