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Month: September 2010

Distillations #104 – Essential Elements – Earth

This is the first of a four-part series on the original four Greek elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire. For EARTH, we focused on the Marcellus Shale, the natural gas-rich geologic formation stretching through parts of Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. It’s a highly controversial topic getting a lot of press these days and I hope we did it justice.

I narrated the show’s first segment on the geologic history of the Marcellus shale, and WHYY reporter Susan Phillips reported a feature for us on how the development of the Marcellus Shale is affecting families in Wayne County, Pennsylvania. She also co-produced a long series on the subject for WHYY, with my fellow Science Literacy Project colleague Kerry Grens.

Image of Marcellus Black Shale exposure on Interstate 80 courtesy of Wikimedia user Dahluza.

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Pulse of the Planet – Maple Seed Drop 3

In this Pulse of the Planet segment, UC Merced professor Christopher Viney and Kids’ Science Challenge winner Olivia Smith-Donovan talk about how to build something BIG based on a natural phenomenon that is, in fact, very, very small. This is the final segment in the series I helped write and produce for the KSC bio-inspired design competition.

Maple Seed Drop – Scaling: When you’re building a larger invention from a smaller scale model, the design is likely to change!

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Pulse of the Planet – Floppy Flier

This is a series I helped write and produce for Jim Metzner’s Kid Science Challenge, a national competition for 3rd to 6th graders. The theme for this challenge was bio-inspired design, and the winner was Delaware 5th grader Olivia Smith-Donovan. She traveled to California to meet with UC Merced professor Christopher Viney to help make her maple seed helicopter design a reality. I produced four segments from their time together, using audio and video interviews to pull together the sound of their experience. This is the first:

Floppy flier: Maple tree seed pods are the inspiration for a new way to deliver relief supplies via airplane.

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