SciNews – Nov 17, 2014

This regular feature of STAOblog brings you a sampling of the latest science news that would be of particular interest to your students.  Incorporate these stories into your lesson.  Or, use them as a “cool attention-grabber” at the start of class.  Above all, enjoy the discussion and get your kids excited about science! “SciNews” is published every Monday and Thursday.

Share your favourite SciNews “gems” by emailing them to

How you use scinews in your class?  Share your tips using the comment button.  

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Tennis Anyone ?

This may not be the conventional way of serving a tennis ball but it’s a great application of conservation of momentum.  As the ball and racket rebound off the ground, the racket transfers some of its momentum to the ball.  This launches the ball high enough to allow the tennis player to deliver the serve.  Give it a try – but don’t use an expensive racket!

How would you use this video in your class?  Please comment.

Do you have a favourite science of sport video?  Let’s share.  Send me the link at

Bigger than Brontasaurus – Dreadnoughtus!

Image Courtesy of Jennifer Hall

Image Courtesy of Jennifer Hall

In September 2014, paleontologists working in Patagonia, Argentina, uncovered what may be the largest known animal ever to walk the Earth.  The dinosaur, named Dreadnoughtus schrani, had an estimated mass of 59 tonnes – equivalent to seven African bull elephants. It was also about 26 metres long – almost as long as a Boeing 737.  Dreadnoughtus was a herbivore and likely spent most of its day eating huge quantities of plants just to keep up its massive bulk.  Dreadnoughtus also had a long muscular tail that could sweep away predators in one powerful swipe.

Click here for a video about the discovery…

For more information about Dreadnoughtus schrani  consult this CBC article .


Set an Example – An Ecology Centre in Your Schoolyard

School_yard,_Gymnasium_No._1By>>> Canadian Wildlife Federation. Guess what? Your schoolyard is an ecosystem, too. It’s a great place for play at recess, but it can be much more than that. It’s a perfect spot to practise sustainable development. Why not use it to create an ecology study centre for wildlife?

With careful planning and management, your schoolyard can provide food and shelter for many small mammals and birds, attract helpful insects or grow plants that prevent erosion and keep the earth moist.* Continue reading