Science and Literacy - Measurement and the Scientific Method
This is a collection of 6 short and engaging non-fiction readings. Each half-page article includes 3 to 4 reading comprehension or opinion questions. Keys and a bibliography are also provided.
Story 1: SI, Sigh! (Measurement)
-To measure out a second, time how long it takes for an electron in a cesium atom to change energy levels 9,192,631,770 times. To calibrate a kilogram, travel to France and compare your kilogram with theirs. Unfortunately, the “official” kilogram is losing (or gaining) mass. It may be time for a new definition.
Story 2: A Banana a Day… (Measurement, Radiation)
-Most people aren’t familiar with measurements of radiation dosage like Sieverts or millirems, but most people are familiar with bananas. The Banana Equivalent Dose compares radiation from different sources to that from eating a banana, but is the banana the best unit of risk?
Story 3: Of Lab Mice and Men (Scientific Method)
Before any experiment can be conducted on humans, it must first be done on lab animals. Evidence continues to mount that the ubiquitous lab mouse may not be the best rodent for the job.
Story 4: Calling All Volunteers (Scientific Method, History of Science)
Yellow fever research depended heavily on human volunteers, including the researchers themselves.
Story 5: Why Units Matter (Measurement)
Students forget to record units all the time. But what happens when professionals forget those little words after the numbers? The results can be deadly.
Story 6: Just a Second (Measurement)
Today, time is measured by atomic clocks, but atomic time is slowly diverging from Earth time. Leap seconds are added to keep our time in sync with the movements of the Earth, but the day may soon come when our concept of time is very different.
The Wasp Whisperer