Science

A new independent review finds the federal government used uncertain science when it proposed taking the gray wolf off the endangered species list across the Lower 48.

It's not something we often think about, but as we go about daily life, we're constantly shedding little flakes of skin. So are animals and fish.

Ron Miller

Look south and imagine the bottom-tenth of the sky blocked by a striped arch like a colossal wall on the horizon. That’s what it would look like from Idaho if Earth had rings like the planet Saturn.

Aaron Kingery / NASA

If you wake up early and the skies are clear this week, a comet named ISON should be visible through binoculars over the southeastern horizon.

Astronomy websites have hyped the passage of this comet as the best in more than a decade. But a lot depends on a close encounter with the sun next week.

NASA.gov

The picture below is the planet Saturn and its rings back-lit by the sun. It’s essentially a planetary eclipse. Earth appears as a blue pinprick in the background. The picture is a mosaic of 141 different images. It comes from the Cassini space craft and it’s getting a lot of attention online.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

Friday two dozen high school students from the Treasure Valley will present research they’ve done as part of a summer science program. Their research helps government agencies make wildfire decisions.

Bailey Maier displays a poster featuring maps of the World Center for Birds of Prey. They show what plants grow where. Maier points to one map heavily shaded in red. It’s cheatgrass she says. The red is where the invasive weed grows in heavy concentration.

jordan.treetrunk.org

A Boise science teacher has won a national education award. Dick Jordan along with Katie Pemberton of Coeur d'Alene is among 97 teachers from across the country to receive the 2011 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Jordan teaches biology and environmental science at Boise’s Timberline High School. Each winner receives $10,000 from the National Science Foundation and an invitation to a ceremony in Washington D.C. later this month.

nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard

A study called the Nation’s Report Card for science came out last week. Idaho students scored 14th nationally. At the same time education leaders from across the state met to discuss how to improve the state’s science education. Last week’s STEM Summit brought together, teachers, administrators, politicians, and business leaders from all over Idaho to talk about the future of science, technology, engineering and math education. Brenda Gardunia was one of the speakers. She’s a long time Boise teacher and is working for the National Science Foundation through an Albert Einstein Fellowship.

nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard

A study often called The Nation's Report Card came out Thursday. The National Center for Education Statistics gave eighth graders a new science test in 2009 and gave it again in 2011. None of the states did worse last year, 16 did better, most scored about the same. Idaho was one of those. But NCES’s Arnold Goldstein says Idaho did well on the science test overall.

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