SciTech Now


This collection of videos and activities, targeting grades 5-12, comes from SciTech Now, the multiplatform public television initiative focused on the nexus of fresh ideas, new technologies, and scientific discoveries that will impact our lives and drive our future.

Each segment has been carefully selected to engage students in key STEM concepts, and incorporates hands-on activities, online resources, and videos to address topics and standards across science curricula, including biology, physical sciences, earth sciences, engineering, and more.

  • What is Biodiversity?

    In this video from SciTech Now, Dr. Shahid Naeem explains what constitutes true diversity in nature. Utilizing video, discussion questions, teaching tips, and handouts, students will gain a thorough understanding of why biodiversity is so important in the natural world.

    Grades: 6-12
  • Oysters in NYC: How an Unusual Keystone Species May Save Our Shorelines

    This video from SciTech Now examines how marine biologists and volunteers in New York City are developing methods to protect their environments from climate change by focusing specifically on oyster reef populations. Using video, vocabulary, discussion questions and teaching tips, students will examine what’s working, what isn’t and how they can replicate similar programs in their area.

    Grades: 9-12
  • Using Electricity to Treat Parkinson’s Disease

    Doctors at JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey perform deep brain stimulation surgery on a conscious patient to treat the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in this clip from SciTech Now. Strategically placed electrodes in the brain emit electrical impulses that will block the signals responsible for causing the patient’s tremors.

    Grades: 9-12
  • The Spy Penguin

    Wildlife filmmaking is equal parts art and science, as production crews often go to great lengths and use cutting-edge technology in order to get stunning footage of creatures around the world. In this video from SciTech Now, learn how filmmakers for the PBS series, NATURE, have brought robotics into their work, designing animatronic cameras and other specially-engineered creations in disguise to get up close and personal with animals in the Antarctic.

     

    Grades: 5-12
  • Digital Sculpting and 3-D Modeling

    Learn how the world’s latest sculptures are being crafted with computers and lasers in this video from SciTech Now. Technology can greatly improve the efficiency of sculpting, allowing artists to create 10 ft. tall statues in just 5 days! It’s amazing what can happen when the art and tech worlds combine!

    Grades: 5-8
  • Farming the Aquaponics Way

    Discover aquaponics, an innovative farming method that uses no chemical fertilizers and only a fraction of the water used in traditional soil agriculture by cultivating a symbiotic relationship between plants and animals. See how one farm in Florida is incorporating this approach to produce high-quality produce for their community.

    Grades: 5-12
  • 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.

    Grades: 5-12
  • 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.

    Grades: 5-12
  • 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.

    Grades: 5-8
  • Discussing Dinosaurs with a Paleontologist

    Mark Norell, the Chairman of the Division of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, discusses the field of paleontology in this clip from SciTech Now. Norell describes how the field of paleontology has changed over time and how dinosaurs are studied today.

    Grades: 5-12
  • Scientists Develop Technology to Study Antarctic Waters

    See how scientists from Rutgers University engineered two technologies for measuring environmental conditions in Antarctica in order to better track penguin foraging in this video from SciTech Now.

    The associated activity, "Engineering to Collect Environmental Data in Challenging Environments," helps students to identify various components important in the engineering of these two technologies.

    Grades: 5-12
  • What We Know (and Don’t Know) About the Brain

    In this video from SciTech Now, professionals at Columbia University strive to uncover the vast mysteries of the human brain in an effort to better understand our behaviors and find better treatments for neurological diseases. Their research covers a range of topics including studies on the cerebral cortex, microscopes to study brain signals in their functional states, and using songbirds as a way to look at diseases like autism.

    Grades: 9-12
  • 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.

    Grades: 9-12
  • 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.

    Grades: 5-12
  • 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.

    Grades: 5-8
  • 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.

    Grades: 5-12
  • 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.

    Grades: 5-12
  • 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.

    Grades: 5-12
  • 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.

    Grades: 6-13+
  • What's Inside the Termite Nest

    You might think that's just a pile of dirt sticking up on the Serengeti plain in Africa. It is dirt. Dirt and termite fecal matter. (More from DIORAMA). Delve inside the scene of a termite mound with SciTech Now and DIORAMA at The American Museum of Natural History. It's a universe all its own, made up of millions of living, breathing, eating, reproducing, building, defending termites. See the world's largest termite queen (over 10 cm long!), the winged kings, the mandibled soldiers and the blue collar workers. This is also an exploration of the Museum's termite collection, the world's largest.

    Grades: 6-13+

Contributor:
Contributor:
Contributor:
Contributor:
Contributor:
Contributor:
Contributor:
Contributor:
Contributor:
Contributor:
Contributor:
Contributor:
Funder: