Daily online learning links
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Daily online learning links

Here are some of our favorite ways to learn, discover, and think differently about science, personally recommended by Museum members.

The Viral Storm: The Dawn of the Pandemic Age by Nathan Wolfe 

I’m drawn to understand the epidemic and the science of epidemics. That’s why I started reading this book and I recommend it to you. It’s an astonishing book on a terrifying topic, especially while sitting at home fearing for one’s safety and for the people you love. Wolfe presents a well-researched and thought-provoking piece that puts our current situation into a broader perspective. It’s not all gloom and doom, but a hopeful view of what we need to do now that modern life includes global pandemic threats.

— Barry Van Deman, President & CEO

Mark Rober’s Youtube Live Science Lessons

“Mark Rober is a former NASA employee (he worked for 7 years on the Curiosity Rover) with a passion for education. His channel is dedicated to communicating scientific principles and ideas in really entertaining, family-friendly, digestible videos. For the last few weeks, he has been regularly putting on live Science Classes that highlight interesting science topics from “How do Astronauts Weight Themselves?” to “Why is the Sky Blue?” with a focus on creating mental models that allow you to extrapolate rather than spewing information. His classes last about 30 minutes, and are just, really, really, fun.”

— Davis Tate, Program Manager for Camp Experiences

Leakey Foundation's Origin Stories Podcast

"This podcast features stories about human origins research (paleoanthropology), primatology, and behavioral psychology in an approachable, contemplative voice. Along with interviews with scientists and informative pieces about breakthroughs in the field, Origin Stories releases archived recordings of speakers like Carl Sagan and Margaret Mead. This podcast is a great listen for anyone curious about the relatives, roots, and offshoots of humankind. It is peaceful, philosophical, and a great start for aspiring anthropologists. I particularly recommend the episode "What They Left Behind" on cave paintings, it gives me chills every time!"

— Peregrine Bratschi, Associate Program Manager: The Lab


H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

"My recommendation is for adults — one of my favorite books of all time. First, I love birds! Second, this a beautiful, poetic read about loss but ultimately faith and hope. One review characterized it as 'a unique look at the magnetism of an extraordinary beast, with a parallel examination of a legendary writer's eccentric falconry. Obsession, madness, memory, myth, and history combine to achieve a distinctive blend of nature writing and memoir from an outstanding literary innovator.'"

— Laurie Reinhardt, Vice President for Advancement

PBS Digital Studios

"I love PBS Digital Studios!! They have really well-produced content across so many different and interesting subjects. Some of my favorites are It’s Okay to Be Smart, Space Time, Crash Course, Physics Girl, Two Cents, The Origin of Everything… hold on, I just love everything they make!"

— Steve Scholle, Program Manager: Member Experiences

Science Vs. Podcast

"Science Vs. episodes are funny, light-hearted, family-friendly, and always informative. They break down myths, misconceptions, and misinformation with real science and academic research. They get to the bottom of everything from Coronavirus 'cures' to UFOs to the merits of organic bananas. And best of all, they're short— usually under 30 minutes."

— Matt Pusateri, Senior Director of Marketing

Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Project

"Nothing is cooler than volcanoes!!! Recommended if you dig: lava, data, 'slow watching', maps, more data. Did you know there are between 45-50 volcanoes erupting in the world right now?! And that one of them has been continuously active since at least 1774?? Get ready to lose yourself in volcanology!"

— Max Cawley, Program Manager: Learning Philosophy & Evaluation

John Krasinski’s Some Good News (on YouTube)

"This channel is dedicated to shedding light on the positive things going on in our world right now. The episodes are lighthearted and guaranteed to bring a smile to your face."

— Ro Rode, Digital Marketing Manager

Dope Labs podcast

"This podcast is hosted by two black women who have their PhDs in molecular biology and materials science. In each episode, they break down popular science topics while following their belief that science and critical thinking is for everyone. Zakiya and Titi always bring in experts on the topic and work hard to keep all language and concepts accessible."

— Jenna Gant, Associate Program Manager: School Programs


Celebrating Earth Day 2020 at Home

"April 22, 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which first began in 1970 launching a national and international environmental movement and is now recognized as the planet's largest civic event. This year, Earth Day celebrations will look a little different as we all try our best to practice social distancing and protect the health of local communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Informal STEM Education (NISE) Network has compiled a selection of resources to help you plan for your Earth Day celebration in creative ways."

— Brad Herring, Director of National STEM Networks

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