Could Ukraine war spread to space and endanger satellites?

Could Ukraine war spread to space and endanger satellites?

Despite conflicts on Earth, satellites orbit in peace. But use of Elon Musk’s Starlink to aid Ukraine has Russia looking to the sky with hostile eyes. A rocket booster carrying three Gonets-M satellites and the first Skif-D satellite of the Sfera programme lifts...

While all kinds of international conflicts occur on the ground, up in space things have been pretty peaceful. We depend on peace in the skies because such things as social media, multiplayer video games, Google classrooms and Zoom sessions rely on satellites bouncing signals across the earth. Correspondent Tira Shubart tells us why tensions on the ground in Ukraine could disturb the tacit and explicit agreements over satellites in the sky. 

Exercise: Let’s imagine that each student has been hired to draw up an international agreement to govern and protect satellites that need to cross the skies over international borders. What are the five most important considerations that would have to be included in this treaty? Some things to consider are: The citizens in every country want fast and reliable Internet; people want their privacy protected; and countries are concerned about the possible military use of satellites.

Being a good global citizen means using inclusive language

Being a good global citizen means using inclusive language

English may be the world’s lingua franca, but it can be full of bias. The words we choose can make us better global citizens — or destroy understanding. The Tower of Babel, by Pieter Brueghel the Elder (Wikimedia Commons) “Language is the road map of a...

Global events are often reported from a U.S.-centric or Europe-centric perspective. Articles from the United States are peppered with analogies from baseball or American football, or are derived from a history of slavery. Stories from British papers often include language from colonial times. Correspondent Jeremy Solomons teaches us that to be a good global citizen, we need to take a look at the words we use and make sure they can be understood and accepted by people in different regions and from different demographics. Solomons shows us what it means to develop a global mindset.

Exercise: Solomons provides examples of words that might be problematic on a global level, such as “break a leg” and “come out of left field.” Can your students think of expressions that are unique to their country or region, and can they find a way to say the same thing in ways that might be better understood by someone from a different country and culture?

Decoder: With Artemis, US aims to return humans to the Moon

Decoder: With Artemis, US aims to return humans to the Moon

It’s been 50 years since humans walked on the Moon. Now, the U.S. is launching a costly program to return there and possibly pave the way to Mars. NASA’s Space Launch System rocket with the Orion spacecraft aboard at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida,...

Five decades after humans walked on the Moon, the U.S. space agency NASA is leading an international endeavor to return there at a cost of $93 billion. Correspondent Natasha Comeau decodes the Artemis project, a series of missions to build a long-term human presence on the Moon. The 21 nations that have signed the Artemis Accords for space exploration reflect today’s political divisions. Missing from the collaboration are China and Russia, which plan to build a lunar station of their own. It was competition with the then Soviet Union in the 1960s that spurred the first space race and resulted in the historic 1969 moon landing. Now, a host of private corporations are funding their own space initiatives.

Exercise: In teams, have students form their own private space exploration company. Were they able to successfully build their own rocket that could take people into space, what would be their mission? What would they hope to get out of their space exploration ventures? Have each team come up with three things they think space missions could accomplish.

In Africa, COVID spurs TV shows to teach kids about science

In Africa, COVID spurs TV shows to teach kids about science

COVID-19 has given media firms in Africa a chance to create TV shows that teach science to children and challenge outdated gender norms. (Photo courtesy of N*Gen) COVID-19 lockdowns put the brakes on learning for children across Africa and around the world. It also...

COVID-19 has kept many students around the world at home, setting back their intellectual development despite efforts to pivot to virtual learning. In Africa, creators using media to educate youth have taken advantage of the situation and a widespread lack of Wi-Fi to create TV shows that teach children about science and sexual health while challenging gender stereotypes. Correspondent Susanne Courtney has spoken to experts in science and entertainment to explore a silver lining in the otherwise dire pandemic.

Exercise: Ask your students to identify a positive outcome in their community stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. It could be a business that took advantage of the situation to pivot or increase sales, or new investments in hitherto neglected areas.

Culture