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Science Time

Program Content for December 17, 2014

Read the article ďSea turtles by the hundreds washing up at Cape CodĒ on page A3 of the Saturday, December 13, 2014 edition of The Seattle Times.


Pre-reading and Vocabulary: Define each term and then use it in a sentence to demonstrate your understanding.


1.      endangered

2.      species

3.      conservation

4.      pneumonia

5.      marine


Comprehension Questions

1.      Why do young sea turtles leave warm seas and what problems may arise when they stay too long?  

2.      How many different types of sea turtles are endangered?  

3.      Which species of sea turtle has been found recently in the most abundance by volunteers on Cape Cod?  

4.      What is the age and size of the turtles being stranded?  

5.      Why are volunteers struggling to save the turtles?  

6.      Once turtles are brought to an aquarium how are they treated?  

7.      How are turtles being transported to warmer waters this year?  

8.      What might be some possible reasons for the rise in the number of turtles stranded in recent years?

9.      What conservation efforts have been utilized to help save the Kempís ridley turtle?  


Prompts and Extensions

1.      The Kempís ridley sea turtle is the species of sea turtle that has been showing up stranded in the largest numbers on the beaches of Cape Cod.  Complete outside research to learn more about the Kempís ridley.  In your report include information about the turtleís diet, habitat, geographic range, life cycle and more.  Start your research here.


2.      Watch these videos about the Kempís ridley sea turtle.  This video contains information about the recent strandings.  This video contains information about recent conservation efforts to help increase Kempís ridley sea turtle numbers.


3.      Construct a food web of the Kempís ridley sea turtle.  Use the information provided in the article as well as outside research.


4.      Visit a local aquarium to get up close and personal with marine creatures.


Program Content for December 10, 2014

Read the article ďProgress in hunt for blood test to diagnose concussionsĒ on page A6 of the Monday, December 8, 2014 edition of The Seattle Times.


Pre-reading and Vocabulary: Define each term and then use it in a sentence to demonstrate your understanding.

1.      diagnose

2.      symptom

3.      axon

4.      concussion



Comprehension Questions

1.      What type of blood test have researchers been searching decades for?

2.      What is SNTF and how is it related to concussions?  

3.      What is a concussion and what is it caused by?  

4.      How quickly do people suffering a concussion recover?

5.      What is the current problem with concussion tests?  

6.      How is SNTF related to troponin?

7.      Explain how SNTF can be used to detect concussions.  

8.      What results did a new study completed in Sweden reveal about SNTF and concussions?  

9.      What is the next step that researchers will take when studying SNTF and concussions?

10.   Why is it important for researchers to develop a reliable concussion test?  



Prompts and Extensions

1.      One of the main reasons the discovery of elevated levels of SNTF protein following a concussion is important is because there is currently no 100% guaranteed way to determine whether or not a person has suffered from a concussion.  Complete outside research and then report on the procedure utilized by doctors to determine whether or not someone has had a concussion.  Next, compare the pros and cons of using the methods you researched and the SNTF protein.

2.      The National Football League (NFL) has recently come under scrutiny due to the fact that many of its retired players have suffered lasting brain injury after they have stopped playing football.  View this PBS video segment and then visit this website to track and learn more about the concussion problem in the NFL.  

3.      Now that a scientific link between concussions and their negative, long-term, effects on the brain has been established; a debate is being carried out on contact sports.  A part of this debate centers on whether or not children and teens should be allowed to participate in these sports.  Hold a class discussion about the pros and cons of no longer allowing young people to participate in sports where the chances of suffering a concussion may be elevated.  Note: The completion of prompts 1 and 2 above are highly recommended before a class discussion is held.


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