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Posts Tagged "children"

@ScientificAmerican

Thank You, Guest Editor LeVar Burton

Image credit: Reading Rainbow

We at Scientific American share several passions with the actor, producer and educator LeVar Burton: fostering children’s literacy, science, social good and education. And, of course, Star Trek. So perhaps it’s only natural that this past Wednesday we welcomed Burton as our Guest Editor for the day. Burton conducted a “site takeover”—making story assignments, deciding [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Star Trek’s LeVar Burton to Be Scientific American Guest Web Editor June 11

LeVar Burton

NuqneH! Buy’ ngop! That’s “greetings” and “good news” in Klingon. These otherworldly tidings seem like a fitting way to let you know that LeVar Burton, who played the U.S.S. Enterprise’s chief engineer Geordi La Forge on Star Trek: The Next Generation, will be guest editor of Scientific American’s Web site on Wednesday, June 11. Burton [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Kid Scientists Make Real Fossil Finds at the USA Science & Engineering Festival

Kids searching for fossils using SharkFinder kits at Scientific American's booth at the USA Science & Engineering Festival.

Kids searching for fossils using SharkFinder kits at Scientific American’s booth at the USA Science & Engineering Festival. Credit: Jason Osborne Jason Osborne was trying to grab a quick lunch away from the crowds when his wife called his cellphone. “Jason, you’ve got to come see this boy at the booth. He’s amazing!” When Osborne, [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Scientific American at the USA Science & Engineering Festival

I’ll write a fuller post about the amazing things that kids are doing at Scientific American’s booth 1311 at the USA Science & Engineering Festival, but I wanted to share the short video below. In it, you’ll meet the festival’s co-founders, Larry Bock and Ray O. Johnson of Lockheed Martin (which itself has a booth [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Astrophysics, Citizen Science and the Google Science Fair

Chris Lintott, astrophysicist of Oxford University and founder of The Zooniverse. Credit: YouTube

Find out why Oxford University astrophysicist and founder of The Zooniverse Chris Lintott believes that humanity’s ability to be “deliciously distractable” is a creative engine powering the benefits of citizen science for discovery–and how, if you are a researcher, you might like to “play with your phyiscs.” With Google Student Ambassador Hanne Paine, we had [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Google Science Fair Hangout On-Air: Meet the Deep-Sea-Diving Exosuit

Vincent Pieribone, John Sparks, Exosuit and Mariette DiChristina. Credit: YouTube

Scientists studying marine life now have a new tool in a next-generation atmospheric diving system called the Exosuit. The suit–which looks like something an astronaut would wear and is on display at the American Museum of Natural History until March 5–lets a diver descend to 1,000 feet at surface pressure for several hours. As part [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Scientific American Science in Action in Swaziland

Sakhiwe Shongwe (left center, in green sweater), Bonkhe Mahlalela (right center, in green sweater) and local farmers in Swaziland.

We judges and others who work on the Google Science Fair believe that kids have the power to change the world. The $50,000 Scientific American Science in Action Award recognizes a particular type of change—one that focuses on making a practical difference by addressing an environmental, health or resources challenge. (For more on the award [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Google Science Fair 2013 Finalist Gala

Google Science Fair 2013: Viney Kumar, Ann Makosinski, Elif Bilgin and Eric Chen. Credit: Google

Since I couldn’t bring you all with me to the amazing Google Science Fair Finalist Gala on 23 September, I’m posting the video here. The age-category winners are Viney Kumar, 14, for his work on a signalling system for emergency vehicles in the 13-14-year-old category; Ann Makosinski, 16, for her work in creating a batter-free [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Google Science Fair 2013: A Hangout in a Swamp

Paleo Quest founders Jason Osborne (left), holding fossil whale vertebra, and Aaron Alford, fresh from a swamp dive. Credit: Google Science Fair

We had a fun first today for the 2013 Google Science Fair Hangouts On Air series of live chats with researchers around the world: with the aid of a smart phone propped up by two fossil bones, we streamed live from a Virginia swamp for a session called Paleo Quest: Venturing into the Unknown. I [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Videos for Executive Summit: Learning in the Digital Age

Mariette DiChristina, editor in chief and senior vice president of Scientific American, awarding the distinguished actor Alan Alda with the Scientific American Award for achievements in the public communication of science. Credit: Scientific American

What’s driving the digital revolution in education? And will it be a boon for students, helping the U.S. stay competitive in a global economy, as advocates say? Or, as critics say, will it improve only little on what teachers can do already—and threaten student privacy to boot? In the “Executive Summit: Learning in the Digital [...]

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Bering in Mind

Breasts in Mourning: How Bottle-Feeding Mimics Child Loss in Mothers’ Brains

After a successful birth, opting not to breast-feed may trigger evolved mourning behaviors

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Bering in Mind

Are Very Young Children Stuck in the Perpetual Present?

Psychologists examine how the self becomes a “character” extended in time

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Budding Scientist

Kids’ Science Books for Stormy Weather

Kids

Like many families in the path of superstorm Sandy, we’ve spent much of the last week indoors trying to stay sane. Fortunately, we live in a part of Brooklyn that was spared the worst storm damage, so I had the luxury of finally reading the children’s science books that have been piling up on my [...]

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But Seriously...

Cats, Children, and the Box of the Future

Box of the Future

Children are quite a bit like cats. No matter how much you spend on gifts for them, inevitably it is the box – which had contained the gift – that seems to provide the most raucous and satisfying entertainment for them. Enter Exhibit A: And Exhibit B: It was a glorious Christmas. For Exhibit C, [...]

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Cross-Check

Our nature is nurture: Are shifts in child-rearing making modern kids mean?

Mothers and Others cover

In journalism you look for one thing and find another that confounds your expectations. It’s what make makes this gig so frustrating and fun. I went looking for reassurance in Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding (Harvard University Press, 2009) by the anthropologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy and found something scary. Hrdy is [...]

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Food Matters

A Tired Game of Telephone: Scientists, Reporters, Pundits and Politics

Photo by Lee Summers

  In going after CDC study, Reuters report misrepresents WIC experts, their research. The Press Release That Started it All In February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association on obesity prevalence that concluded: “Overall, there have been no significant changes in obesity [...]

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Food Matters

It Is Not True That Kids Won’t Eat Healthy Food: Why The New USDA School Food Guidelines Are Very Necessary

R-20100712-0025.jpg

Children in the U.S. are eating poorly and not getting enough physical activity, and this is contributing to higher rates of childhood obesity and related health issues. To help stem this problem, in 2010, Congress passed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The legislation gave a green light to the USDA to update, for the first [...]

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Food Matters

Breaking Food Down

Original Image U. Huddersfield.

What is food? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary entry says “Something that nourishes, sustains, or supplies.” How beautiful. That statement captures much of the emotion and feeling surrounding food, yet it’s only part of the full definition. So where does food begin? As with most big questions, it depends who you ask. Let’s start down the reductive [...]

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Guest Blog

Teaching Kids to Love Science, and Falling in Love with the Kids

  Put a science writer in a classroom with two-dozen ten-year-olds and I promise you this: the writer will learn more than the kids. I’ve just had that experience, not for the first time but in an especially fulfilling way, while talking about science to a group of fourth and fifth graders at Public School [...]

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Guest Blog

Kids Learn Better When You Bring Science Home

parent doing science at home kitchen with children bring science home

We learned all kinds of things from our parents—manners, safety, housekeeping, how to make a cake, how to pump our legs to make ourselves go high on a swing and where to find crayfish in a creek. As they showed us how to reach these small successes in our daily life, they also taught us [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Why Does Time Fly as We Get Older?

Time flies

Another year; another Christmas around the corner. The conversation around the watercooler these days has evolved into the annual “where has the time gone?” discussion—how quickly the neighborhood kids have become high school graduates; how our hot July beach vacations seem like they were just yesterday; and how we haven’t baked cookies or sent cards [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

The Persistent Myth of Holiday Suicide

More urban myth than actual reality, the holiday season does not have the highest incidence for suicide. Though suicide is the most preventable kind of death with an average of 3,000 people dying by suicide each day – November and December actually have the lowest rates of suicide. The highest rate of death by suicide [...]

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Not bad science

Can Chimpanzees Teach us Anything About Differences Between Boys and Girls?

898098056_80bbc7321e

Whether there exist differences between boys and girls is passionately debated (for example, see this debate about gender disparity between Stephen Pinker and Elizabeth Spelke). Some studies have found that girls are more sociable than boys, but prefer to play with just one other person, while boys prefer a larger group to play with. However, [...]

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Observations

Zero Evidence That LEGO Toys Harm Your Kids

Credit: Arielle Duhaime-Ross

LEGO toys have never been so controversial, or angry for that matter, but that should not stop your kids from playing with them. There has been a lot of noise over a study, released June 4, that looked into the evolution of the facial expressions printed on LEGO minifigures—those one and half-inch toy figurines that [...]

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Observations

Early Childhood Obesity Rates Might Be Slowing Nationwide

early childhood obesity decrease

About one in three children in the U.S. are now overweight, and since the 1980s the number of children who are obese has more than tripled. But a new study of 26.7 million young children from low-income families shows that in this group of kids, the tidal wave of obesity might finally be receding. Being [...]

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Observations

A Simple Way to Reduce the Excess of Antibiotics Prescribed to Kids

inappropriate antibiotic rx children

Antibiotics have been a boon to modern pediatric medicine—transforming many previously fatal childhood ailments into mere inconveniences. But these revolutionary treatments are not a cure-all. In fact, many common pediatric illnesses, including many ear and respiratory infections, fail to respond to antibiotics. And over-prescription of these meds—especially broad-spectrum antibiotics—is not only costly; it can also [...]

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Observations

Common Pesticide “Disturbs” the Brains of Children

chemical-spraying-agriculture

Banned for indoor use since 2001, the effects of the common insecticide known as chlorpyrifos can still be found in the brains of young children now approaching puberty. A new study used magnetic imaging to reveal that those children exposed to chlorpyrifos in the womb had persistent changes in their brains throughout childhood. The brains [...]

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Observations

Nodding Disease Origins Remain Unexplained

uganda nodding disease

A strange illness has been killing thousands of young people each year, and recently it has started claiming even more victims in Africa. Called nodding disease, it usually strikes children at the age of 4 or 5 years and starts with occasional bouts of uncontrolled nodding. As the disease progresses through adolescence, the nodding often [...]

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Observations

New Technology Maps the Surprising Subtleties of Childhood and Teen Obesity

childhood obesity map

The obesity epidemic has already reached the youngest demographic: About 17 percent of U.S. children and teens are obese, and about one in three are overweight. These numbers, reflected in many other countries, have risen steadily in recent decades. And researchers are racing to find the most powerful drivers behind these scary figures, as children [...]

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Observations

Maternal Diabetes, Obesity During Pregnancy Might Raise Child’s Risk for Developmental Disorders

pregnancy obesity diabetes developmental disorder

Mothers-to-be know they must be extra vigilant about what they put in their bodies—avoiding too much seafood, and making sure they get plenty of fruits and vegetables, for instance. But research has been piling up suggesting that the mother’s overall weight and metabolic health before—and while—she is pregnant can also have a lasting impact on [...]

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Observations

Fewer Babies Die, but Many Suffer Long-Term Health Problems

premature infant

Infant mortality is at its lowest rate ever. Now fewer than three percent of babies worldwide die within the first five weeks of life, which is surely cause for celebration. Many of the infants who have been saved, however, did not enter this world easily. A new analysis published online Thursday in The Lancet found [...]

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Observations

Now: Bring Science Home Every Week!

bring science home logo

At Scientific American, we appreciate the value of a good experiment. So in May, we launched Bring Science Home as a series of free science activities for parents to do together with their six- to 12-year-old kids. We made sure the activities would be fun and easy to do, so families could complete them in [...]

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Observations

Preschool Funding for Kids Now Pays Off Billions Later

preschooler playing

There are few sure investments in this chaotic economic climate, but on a national level, education has proven to pay off big down the road. As tight economic times have put the squeeze on education budgets here in the U.S., a new report shows the big benefits of even small investments in early education worldwide. [...]

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PsiVid

Children’s Science Video Contests

I have four children of my own, the eldest already in college studying atmospheric sciences and the next one thinking she would like to go into chemistry or physics. Even though I have a 50% track record of creating future scientists so far, there are many reasons to engage young people in science other than [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Children Reason Differently from Adults [Video]

          // Editor’s note: Brain Basics from Scientific American Mind is a series of short video primers on the brain and how we feel, think and act. Below is a synopsis of the ninth video in the series written by a guest on this blog, Roni Jacobson, a science journalist based [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Cultivate Your Character [Video]

The term “character” has numerous and widely varied meanings. It defines each of these letters and symbols I am typing. It can be used to refer to features of wines, and it captures fictional folks in movies in books. I often call funny or stand-out individuals “characters,” too. In psychology, however, “character” most often adheres [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Who Needs Stimulants for ADHD?

Ritalin. Courtesy of en:User:Sponge via Wikimedia Commons.

In 1970, 150,000 U.S. children were taking stimulant medications. By 2007, that number had risen to 2.7 million, according to pediatrician Sanford Newmark of the University of California, San Francisco. In the video embedded in this post, titled “Do 2.5 Million Kids Really Need Ritalin?” Newmark analyzes the reasons behind the rise in prescriptions, which [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

How To Coach Parents [Audio]

Most moms and dads are not taught how to parent. We are supposed to just know what to do, I suppose. But even if you have a relatively calm and obedient child, moments inevitably arise when you could really use an owner’s manual. Belatedly, I think I’ve found one. Parent-child interaction therapy is a kind [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Teen Builds Gateway to the Brain for Girls

Girls run on a brain maze

The Synapse Project “encourages young women to enter the field of neuroscience through information and mentorship,” according to its website. This endeavor, an amalgam of outlets for kids, information for teens and career advice for young women, turns out to be the brainchild of … a child, one keenly interested in the brain. Sixteen-year-old Grace [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

The Making of a Mathematical Mind: 1 Step at a Time

worksheet for times 5

One time when I was in the third grade, I got sick and missed a week of school. My dad wanted me to keep up with my schoolwork, so he brought my assignments and books home. I did the required work in the math workbook quickly, or so the story goes, and went on to [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

How to Avoid the Self-Esteem Trap

Courtesy of Key Foster via Flickr.

I have always assumed that having a strong sense of self-worth was important. I figured it made a person happier, healthier, more successful, and easier to be around. Turns out that these benefits of self-esteem are rather hard to prove. Having high self-esteem has some modest pluses, studies suggest. It makes you more persistent, for [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Hear Me Talk about Social and Emotional Learning!

On Monday, May 13, at 7pm, I’ll be moderating a panel at The New York Academy of Sciences. If you are in the area, please attend! Here a description of the event: Social and Emotional Learning: Preparing Our Children to Excel Monday, May 13, 2013 | 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM The New York Academy [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

How to Make Kids Smarter—and Ease Existential Terror

A few months ago, I logged on to Lumosity.com to play my daily dose of brain games. The company had given me a free, temporary account so that I could try out their system as part of my research for an article I was writing on brain training. My then 11-year-old son wanted to play, [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Do Music Lessons Make You Smarter?

Practice makes progress, if not perfection, for most things in life. Generally, practicing a skill—be it basketball, chess or the tuba—mostly makes you better at whatever it was you practiced. Even related areas do not benefit much. Doing intensive basketball drills does not usually make a person particularly good at football. Chess experts are not [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Intelligence, Cancer, and Eyjafjallaj

ResearchBlogging.org

This seems to have become unofficial volcano week, here at ScienceBlogs. If you haven’t been following the coverage of the Eyjafjallaj

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