As we continue to learn at home, check out this week’s Learning at Home highlights below! Watch these great programs and explore the PBS LearningMedia and web resources with your family to learn more.

Monday, June 8, 2 PM

NOVA: Black Hole Apocalypse

Black holes are the most enigmatic, mysterious, and exotic objects in the universe. But astrophysicists are realizing that they may actually be common and may be essential to understanding how our universe unfolded. In NOVA’s Black Hole Apocalypse special, astrophysicist and author Janna Levin takes viewers on a mind-bending journey to the frontiers of black hole research.

PBS LearningMedia related resources

  • NOVA Black Holes App Educator Guide – Learn about black holes in this iPad app from NOVA. Hurl your star across spacetime, hitting targets and avoiding celestial hazards in your quest to earn a star that’s big and bright enough to go supernova. Beat all the levels and watch your star become a supernova and collapse into a black hole. This educators guide includes information about how to beat each level and about all Celestial Objects that appear in the app. App is only available for iOS
  • Inside the Enigma of Black Holes – If ever there was “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” –Winston Churchill’s inimitable phrase– it is a black hole. Astrophysicist Steven Ritz of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland, and Tom Lucas, producer of “Monster of the Milky Way,” discuss these deeply weird outerspace entities.
  • Black Hole Apocalypse | Gravity and Spacetime – Learn how gravity can be described as the curving of spacetime, according to Einstein’s general theory of relativity, in this video from NOVA: Black Hole Apocalypse. Computer animations illustrate the concept of warped spacetime and how objects “fall” along a curved path. Use this resource to visualize the abstract concept of spacetime and to illustrate the progress of scientific thought.

Tuesday, June 9, 11 AM

SciGirls | Aquabots

Akina and friends dive into underwater robotics at the US Naval Academy, building a “Sea Perch” ROV to investigate artificial oyster reefs in Chesapeake Bay.

PBS LearningMedia related resources

  • PBS Kids Aquabots Game – Watch a brief clip from the show and then design your own Aquabot.
  • Deep Sea Diver – Buoyancy is the ability to float. When you put an object in water, it pushes water out of the way to make room for itself. An object floats when it weighs less than the water it displaces; an object sinks when it weighs more than the water it displaces. In this activity, learn about buoyancy with some basic household items.
  • How Do Ships Float? | Things Explained – In this episode of Things Explained, we discuss how a tiny paper clip sinks in water but a cargo ship weighing 250,000 tons floats. We also explain what density, buoyancy, and a man named Archimedes have to do with this science phenomenon.

Wednesday, June 10, 3 PM

Niall Ferguson’s Networld – Networld War

From the Reformation and 17th century witch-hunting, through the American Revolution and to the nightmare visions of Orwell’s 1984, Ferguson explores the intersection of social media, technology and the spread of cultural movements.

PBS LearningMedia related resources

  • Creating Social Networks | Niall Ferguson’s Networld – Why do “birds of a feather flock together” and how do echo chambers reinforce our prejudices? Learn about how scientists study networks on social media and their findings of how these networks tend to polarize society. Support materials ask students to analyze their own networks and discuss the value of exposure to opinions different than their own.
  • Life Online – In this self-paced lesson, students explore various aspects of online communication. Students watch videos that encourage them to think about their own participation in social networking and to consider how much time they think people should spend online. They also watch videos about positive and negative aspects of online communication that real young people have experienced.
  • Profiting from Online Advertising | Niall Ferguson’s Networld – Online platforms like Google and Facebook are free for users to use, but if they are free how do these companies make money? The answer is simple, advertising. Learn about the value of user data and the market of targeted advertising in this video.

Friday, June 12, 1 PM

Rare – Creatures of the Photo Ark

RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark travels with renowned photographer Joel Sartore as he photographs at-risk and rare species in the wild, in zoos, in nature preserves and explores his Photo Ark initiative. This captivating and visually stunning PBS special reveals why ensuring species future matters to us all.

PBS LearningMedia related resources

  • RARE: Creature Cards – Explore a set of digital trading cards featuring photos by Joel Sartore and learn more about endangered animals in this Creature Cards interactive from WGBH. The cards provide stunning images and detailed information about each animal. Make your own card using the blank card found in Support Materials.
  • RARE: Safari Slideshow – Engage with biodiversity and endangered species by comparing stunning photographs by Joel Sartore in this digital slideshow from RARE: Creatures of the Photo Ark. Use the slideshow to encourage comparison of the images. This exercise promotes open-ended discovery, rich classroom conversations, and increased empathy for endangered animals.
  • How Disruptions Affect Animal Populations – Students explore the effects that ecosystem disruptions can have on animal populations. In this interactive lesson, scaffolded to support English Learners and struggling readers, students learn about the disruptions that have driven three species—the Madagascar fish eagle, the Iberian lynx, and the Rowi kiwi—to the brink of extinction. They also discover the impacts that a shift in the population of one animal can have on others in an ecosystem.