Astronomy Physics Technology Videos 

How to Drink Coffee in Space

Many of us remember being in a school assembly when an astronaut came to speak. The question on every kid’s mind (and teacher’s mind too, let’s be honest) was, “How do you go to the bathroom in space?” But what about other important things involving liquids in space? As it happens, there is a lot of research surrounding the behavior of fluids in zero gravity, such as how to drink coffee in space. In this video, our friend Dr. Joe Hanson from It’s OK to Be Smart explains why this…

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Education Engineering Physics 

The Simple Machines in Your Life

Simple machines allow us to do more work with less effort. In this episode, Sophie explains what simple machines are and how we use them to make our lives easier every day. Get to know your friendly neighborhood inclined plane, lever, wedge, and a head of lettuce and join Sophie in a fun science experiment. Fun with simple machines With a few items from around the house, you can join Sophie in a fun science experiment. Here at Science Connected, we love inexpensive kitchen science experiments! To do Sophie’s experiment…

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Environment Physics 

How Wildfires Start Their Own Weather

By Emily Folk (@EmilySFolk) In the past decade, the United States has seen no shortage of natural disasters. From hurricanes that tear across the coast, destroying homes and flooding properties, to wildfires that consume thousands of acres of land, nature is often vicious and indifferent to human life. But it is also very peculiar. Most consider wildfires transient in their destruction, a singular event that burns forests and homes before firefighters quell the flames. But under the right conditions, an intense wildfire can produce its own weather with the potential…

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Biology Botany Physics 

How Do Plants Know Which Way to Grow?

By Shayna Keyles (@shaynakeyles) How do plants know which way is up and which way is down? No matter which way you put a seed in the soil, it will always send its roots down and its shoots up. (Unless you’re in space–we’ll get back to that later.) The answer lies in tropism: motion in response to external stimulus. This is pretty amazing, considering that in the traditional sense, plants can’t move. Specifically, plants are affected by geotropism, phototropism, and hydrotropism. In other words, plants move toward gravity, light, and water,…

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Astronomy Physics 

The Science Behind Auroras

By Steven Spence (@TheStevenSpence) The northern lights (aurora borealis) and southern lights (aurora australis) are fascinating scientifically. In fact, aurora is not unique to the Earth. We have observed aurora in the upper atmosphere of Jupiter and Saturn with various spacecraft and ground-based telescopes. Solar Wind The sun constantly emits streams of particles from its atmosphere out into the solar system. This emission is referred to as the solar wind. Sometimes there are solar storms or solar flares, resulting in heavier emissions than normal. If the Earth passes through one…

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Astronomy Photos Physics Science & Art 

Photographing the Northern Lights in Iceland

By Steven Spence (@TheStevenSpence) For night’s swift dragons cut the clouds full fast, And yonder shines Aurora’s harbinger; At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there, Troop home to churchyards. — Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream Curtains of Light Across the Sky Seeing the northern lights (aurora borealis) has long been on my bucket list. In March 2018 I was fortunate enough to have a break, allowing me to travel solo for some weeks. I headed to Iceland (also on my bucket list), hoping to catch not only the northern…

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Education Physics Videos 

Science with Sophie: Potholes!

About Science With Sophie Science With Sophie is an interactive science comedy series for all ages. This fast-paced show invites viewers to explore science all around them and remember that they are brave, curious, funny, smart scientists every day. Hosted by science educator/actor/comedian Sophie Shrand, the cast of wacky characters – all played by Sophie – educate and entertain while showcasing how diverse careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) can be. The series is Sophie’s upbeat solution to the serious problem of inequity in STEM fields and underrepresentation…

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Waves of Physics: The Science of Surfing Physics 

Waves of Physics: The Science of Surfing

By Jonathan Trinastic @jptrinastic Surfers catching the perfect wave rely on years of experience and learned intuition to navigate through a cresting tunnel of water. But surfing can also be seen as a surfer’s constant minuet with dozens of changing forces that threaten to tumble even the most expert into the crashing waves. Let’s explore the most important forces at play to understand this unique dance with water that so many love. GotScience: When surfers wait for the right wave, they can let other waves pass underneath them. What forces…

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Science of Skateboarding, Halfpipe Physics Physics 

Science of Skateboarding: Half-Pipe Physics

By Kate Stone and Jonathan Trinastic Skateboarders might seem to defy gravity as they soar high above a half-pipe, but they are actually taking advantage of specific physics principles that help them reach such heights. GotScience interviews physicist Jonathan Trinastic to learn more. GotScience: As a physicist, what do you see happening in these photos? Dr. Jonathan Trinastic: Skateboarders on a half-pipe take advantage of two primary physics conservation principles: conservation of energy and angular momentum. Let’s start with conservation of energy. Energy can be broken down into two main…

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power grid, science policy, energy Physics Science Policy Technology 

Science Policy Challenges, Part Two: A Strained Grid

By Jonathan Trinastic @jptrinastic This is the second in a series of four articles by Dr. Jonathan Trinastic in our new Science Policy section. Just over a year ago, over 230,000 Ukrainians lost connection to their country’s electricity grid after hackers took control of computers and shut down regional substations. The attack had been planned for months, likely by an experienced and well-funded team. Such an organized assault could soon be seen somewhere in the United States. “Everything about this attack was repeatable in the United States,” said Robert Lee,…

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