PLANET EARTH

Topic:Clouds

Note:Clouds are dense masses of water drops and ice crystals. Condensation, which is the key to making clouds, occurs when rising and cooling water vapor changes into water droplets. These droplets clump and collect together as a cloud.

SPACE

Topic:Jupiter

Note:Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System. It is twice as heavy as all the other planets combined!

HUMAN BODY

Topic:The Liver

Note:The liver is your body’s largest internal organ. Its primary task is handling all the nutrients and substances digested from the food you eat and sending them out to your body cells when needed.

ZOOLOGY

Topic:Owls

Notes:Owls are birds of prey. Unlike most other hunting birds, most owls are nocturnal and hunt by night. There are two families of owl – barn owls and typical owls.

1.       Why do I smile?

Question submitted by Andrea of Deal, NJ

Smiling, like most things you do with your face, is all about communication. Smiling is how your face tells the world that you’re feeling good. Scientists think people learn to smile early in life because people respond to a smile in a nice way. Evidence also shows that making yourself smile can actually help you feel more positive; when the corners of your mouth turn up, your brain releases a chemical called dopamine that make you feel happy. So keep on smiling!

2.       How do touchscreens work?

Question submitted by Natan of Lakewood, NJ

When your finger touches the electrodes that are set into a touchscreen, it completes a tiny electrical circuit. This circuit then activates a microcontroller that follows your finger’s command. As an experiment, try wearing rubber gloves the next time you use a touchscreen. Most touchscreens won’t work, because electrical currents can’t pass through rubber.

3.       How do hurricanes form?

Question submitted by Cindy of Brooklyn, NY

Hurricanes only occur above tropical oceans when the water temperature is above 79 degrees. When warm ocean water heats the air above it, the warm air rises, and cooler air rushes in beneath to replace it. Some storms remain small, but other storms gather warm ocean moisture and the rushing winds move faster and faster. Winds spin around the “eye” at the storm’s center, and depending on the speed of the winds, either a tropical storm or a hurricane is created. Wind speeds of more than 74 mph are classified as hurricanes.

4.       Why do scientists give plants and animals Latin names?

Question submitted by Albert of West Long Branch, NJ

Since the time of the Roman Empire, Greek and Latin were regularly taught in schools so that students could study classical literature in original texts. When scientists worldwide began to explore, organize, and name the natural world, they chose to use an international language – Latin. New plant and animal species are still assigned scientific names in Latin. Plants and animals have different common names in each language, but by sharing a Latin name, scientists around the world can always communicate.