MSP:MiddleSchoolPortal/Connecting Current Events to the Classroom

From Middle School Portal

It seems that there is always something new happening in STEM, but it doesn’t have to be difficult for teachers to keep up with the latest developments.

For teachers, part of our professional learning is keeping up with developments in the subjects we teach. Having a solid understanding of the subject is important and can make us more confident teachers. But keeping up with changes can be particularly challenging for STEM teachers because of ongoing research and advances in those fields.

But keeping up with the latest research in STEM is getting easier - wonderful blogs and news services can inform and engage both you and your students. Depending on the blog or service, you can have the content delivered to your inbox or show up on your browser homepage. Look for the RSS symbol on the page for directions on how to add the content to your web site or favorite RSS Reader. You can follow many of these on Twitter. Here are some of our favorites

Science 360 News Service

Science 360 gathers news from scientists, college and university press offices, popular and peer-reviewed journals, dozens of National Science Foundation science and engineering centers, and funding sources that include government agencies, not-for-profit organizations and private industry. This portal provides links to audio, video, picture of the day, and selected blog posts (What the blogs are saying today). So if you only have time to look at one resource, this is probably the one you want to look at. One news blast each day.

Wired Science

This blog follows in the footsteps of the parent magazine - an eclectic mix of really interesting stories that cover all science disciplines. Lots of cool images and embedded videos. Not a lot of opinion - mostly summaries of the science that is happening now. Usually one post a day - sometimes two. Also covers some mathematics topics - here is a good one: Mathematical Modeling for Surviving a Zombie Attack!

Science Friday

Science Friday is a weekly science talk show, broadcast live over public radio stations nationwide from 2-4pm Eastern time as part of NPR's 'Talk of the Nation' programming. Each week, they focus on science topics that are in the news and try to bring an educated, balanced discussion to bear on the scientific issues at hand. Panels of expert guests join Science Friday's host, Ira Flatow, a veteran science journalist, to discuss science – and to take questions from listeners during the call-in portion of the program. TalkingScience Teen-to-Teen is one of the project blogs written by young science enthusiasts.

DotEarth: Nine Billion People, One Planet

In this New York Times blog, Andy Revkin explores the climate, sustainability, and other environmental issues facing us as the global population continues to grow. Frequent thoughtful, well-researched posts, interviews, and interactives will keep you up-to-date with the issues facing our planet.

Bad Astronomy

The guy that writes this blog, Phil Plait, the webmaster of Bad Astronomy, worked on Hubble Space Telescope. He is famous for debunking quite a few science myths (he doesn't believe in alien encounters). This is a personal blog - he fights the misuses of science and praises the wonder of real science. Usually one post a day.

Science Buzz

Science Buzz, a blog from the Science Museum of Minnesota, is a way to dig deeper into science headlines and share questions and concerns with scientists, museum staff, and other visitors. Bloggers focus on science in the news, emerging research, and seasonal science. They encourage readers to be part of the buzzzzz. Two or more posts most days.

Science News - The New York Times

The science page of the NYT brings together all of the science content from the media outlet - articles, video, science blog posts (including DotEarth), letters to the editor and much more. The page is updated each day. The NYT also has a Technology page and Health page.

NPR Health Blog

This blog covers news about health and medicine. It is written and reported by NPR's Science Desk. Two or more posts each day.

Tween Tribune

Many middle school science teachers expect their students to keep up with science news and trends. If you're looking for a news source aimed at early adolescents, check out TweenTribune, which uses a blog tool to share fresh science news each week. TweenTribune also provides national and world news, entertainment, and a growing list of book reviews written for tweens.


ScienceDaily summarizes the top science news stories from the world’s leading universities and research organizations. These stories are selected from among dozens of press releases and other materials submitted to ScienceDaily every day, and then edited to ensure high quality and relevance. Updated several times a day with breaking news and feature articles, seven days a week, the site covers discoveries in all fields of science. A good search tool and readable content make this site very user-friendly.

AP Timeline Reader

This tool gives readers a way to create one-week custom timeline displays of the type of news stories that is visually appealing. AP gives you ten news categories to pick to display on your timeline including science, health, and technology. You can select all ten categories, just one category, or a number in between. Once you've made your selections, news stories will be displayed on your timeline. Place your cursor over a story to enlarge it and read it.