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Exploring the Largest Lake in Africa: Lake Victoria

by Juan Esteban Palma Zuluaga, age 10

Africa is known for its many beautiful landscapes, animals, and lakes, one being Lake Victoria. Lake Victoria is known to be the biggest tropical lake on Earth, and is the second largest freshwater lake on Earth by land area, following only Lake Superior.

Lake Victoria is about 255 miles long and 155 miles wide. It is only 276 feet deep. Being in the East of Africa close to the equator and between the countries of Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, Lake Victoria is one of the most well-known water sources for the Nile River. Other smaller rivers and streams, like the Kagera River, flow into this lake.

Lake Victoria provides help to millions of people that live close by. Its water helps with farming and growing a habitat for the animals. Fishing is also a great source of livelihood, because it keeps over three million people working as fishermen. However, this is becoming a problem, because too many fish are being killed – around 750,000 metric tons per year. The people overfish different species, including catfish, marbled lungfish, and elephant fish, which is causing them to disappear from the lake. Aside from overfishing, climate change and drought also affect the fish population. [Read More]

Explore the Mighty Congo River in the Heart of Africa

by Sol-Saray, age 10

Africa is home to many great rivers. One of them is known as the Congo. In Africa, the Congo is only slightly shorter than the Nile in length, and is just as important to the people who live along the river.

The Congo has been very efficient for the people of Africa when it comes to transporting goods like food, medicine, clothes, and other items to people living along the river. It is also used for fishing and irrigating crops like peanuts, cotton, and sugarcane.

In the river, there are over 30 waterfalls and many other islands. It is near the equator, meaning it can get very hot and wet. The river receives around 90 inches of rain annually. There are 200 species of fish that live on the river. Many animals eat the tall grass that grows along the river, including buffalo, antelopes, zebras, gazelles, and giraffes. [read more]

The Ancient Library of Pergamum

by Hiba Al-Quraishi, age 14

The ancient library of Pergamum, located in what is now Turkey, was built in the third century B.C. by members of the Attalid dynasty. The library, constructed by a small kingdom that lasted only 150 years, is now one of the most famous libraries in antiquity.

Following the destruction of Alexander the Great’s empire, Lysimachus, a general in Alexander the Great’s army, founded the Monarchy of Pergamum or Attalid kingdom during the Hellenistic period. This kingdom was situated in what is now Turkey, in the western portion of Asia Minor. [read more]

Native Asian Moth Spotted in Washington State

by Justin Medina Ruiz, age 13

On July 7, 2022, a giant moth with a ten-inch wingspread was discovered in a garage of a home in the state of Washington. Thankfully, the moth species does not pose a public health threat. The Atlas moth originates from the tropical forests of Asia and has not been seen before in the U.S.

It is not clear how this moth found a way to get to Washington. However, scientists found on eBay, an e-commerce company, an account selling Atlas moth cocoons for $60 each. This account was later taken down because the Atlas moth is a quarantine pest, meaning it is illegal to obtain, sell, or harbor, no matter if they are adults, eggs, larvae, or pupae.

In spite of that, the individual sighting does not mean that there is a population of the Atlas in the U.S. The state’s agriculture department asks the public to take photographs and collect Atlas moths if they find one. This would help determine whether there is a population or not. If there were an infestation, it would be harmful to the region’s fruit-growing industry because like other moths and caterpillars, they enjoy feasting on the leaves of cherry and apple trees. [Read More]

Canada’s Great Northern Lake

by Ruben Becerril Gonzalez, age 10

Did you know that the Great Bear Lake is one of the coldest lakes on the planet? Also known as Sahtu, this lake was named by native people living in the area.

Great Bear Lake is both very large and very deep. In fact, it is the fourth largest lake in North America, and the eighth biggest freshwater lake in the entire world! The lake averages 235 feet in depth with a maximum of 1,463 feet. For much of the year, between late November and July, Great Bear Lake is covered in ice.

Great Bear Lake is located near the Arctic Circle in parts of Canada’s Northwest Territories. It is one of the most remote lakes on Earth. There is only one village in this area with a permanent population, Deline, with about 200 residents. The native Sahtu Dene people also reside in this area, as they have for thousands of years. They rely on the area’s plentiful food sources for hunting and fishing. Some of the animals that inhabit the area include musk oxen, caribous, grizzly bears, eagles, and even falcons. There are also many species of fish living in the lake. [Read More]

The Amazon’s Most Famous Species

by Aarosh Subedi, age 12

The Amazon River is a place full of famous animals, including the black caiman, the Amazon River dolphin, the giant otter, and the green anaconda.

The Black Caiman is a semi-aquatic reptile that looks like a large crocodile. Its length can reach up to eight feet. Black caimans almost went extinct due to poachers hunting for their rough skin.

The Amazon River Dolphin is an aquatic species that lives in the river basins. This dolphin weighs up to 400 pounds and measures around eight feet long, making it the biggest river dolphin. They hunt in big groups for fish. [Read More]

Mount Everest: The Colossal Climb

by Aarosh Subedi, age 10

Mount Everest is one of the Himalayas' tallest mountains in the world and lies in the continent of Asia.

Mount Everest measures 29,000 feet and lies between Tibet which is in the region of China, and in Nepal. At about 14,000 feet, there are valleys full of villages and Sherpa villagers that form the community.

When climbing Everest, you will encounter all types of hazardous conditions! For example, avalanches, and large tumbling piles of snow, can be very deadly. Additionally, some challenges include thin air and strong freezing winds, you could also slip on some huge layers of ice called glaciers. [Read More]

The Life of a Young Egypt King: King Tutankhamun

by Justin Medina, age 13

King Tutankhamun, better known as King Tut, was ancient Egypt’s youngest Pharaoh being only nine years old. He was largely erased from history until his tomb was discovered in the early 1900s. His tomb and mummy continue to be studied today using high-tech tools.

Before he became a pharaoh, his father, Akhenaten, forced his people away from polytheism, the practice of worshiping more than one god. Instead, he had them worship Aton. However, when Akhenaten died, advisers influenced King Tut to change many of his father’s decisions. One of these changes was implemented through Egypt returning back to polytheism.

King Tutankhamun’s tomb was found by British archaeologist Howard Carter and his expedition team in 1922. This discovery gave scientists insight on how life was in ancient Egypt. The tomb contained over five thousand artifacts, in addition to various [Read More]

Red Panda? More like Red Raccoon!

by Dalya Alquraishi age 10

The red panda is a cute and fuzzy animal that lives in China and the eastern Himalayas. It is commonly believed that these mammals are related to pandas, however red pandas are instead more closely related to raccoons.

Red pandas are known for their incredible climbing abilities; because of this, they developed a “fake” thumb. This thumb is an extended wrist that improves their climbing and handling of food. Red pandas are mainly recognized for their eye-catching fur color and cuteness. These pandas lick themselves clean and are similar in size to a house cat. Red pandas wrap their tails to keep warm when they are asleep. Besides the mating season, red pandas tend to live solitary lifestyles. Their lifespan in the wild can be up to 15 years and in captivity they can live up to 20 years. They eat small animals, insects, and bamboo.

Red pandas are an endangered species due to the deforestation of bamboo, and illegal hunting. Humans will poach them for their red fur which can be profitable. Red pandas are the main target for illegal pet trade due to the animal’s incredible cuteness. [Read More]

The Mysterious Story Behind America's Lost Snow Cruiser

by Jazmin Becerril, age 14

During the United States Antarctic Expedition Service of 1939, an amazing new vehicle – unlike any other – was used. The creator, Thomas Poulter, came up with the idea for a huge mobile vehicle base after experiencing a near-death situation in which he was stuck at an Antarctic base due to the weather. He sold his idea to the Research Foundation of the Institute of Technology in Chicago, Illinois in the mid-1930s which agreed to design the vehicle under Poulter’s supervision.

The actual designing of the Snow Cruiser began in 1937. Once he heard that Admiral William Byrd was going on another expedition to Antarctica in 1939, Poulter received the support needed to get the project off the ground with construction taking only 11 weeks.

The appearance of this enormous vehicle was like nothing that had been seen before. It had a wheelbase of 20 feet, was 56 feet long, and was powered by two diesel engines. [Read More]

How Submarines Sparked Arctic Exploration

by Daniel Li, age 14

Built-in 1952, the USS Nautilus was the first submarine ever powered by a nuclear reactor and, coincidentally, also the first to ever reach the North Pole by traveling under ice. William Anderson, the commander of the Nautilus, wrote in his logbook, “Embarked following personage at North Pole: Santa Claus, affiliation: Christmas.” Spending multiple days underwater had not seemed to affect the commander’s sense of humor.

The Nautilus was 319 feet long and brought 116 crew members to the North Pole. While these numbers are impressive, the defining characteristic of the ship was its nuclear reactor, which eliminated the need for conventional practices such as surfacing or using snorkels to provide air for engines and batteries. All power was provided inside the submarine. [read more]

How an Ancient Civilization Thrived and then Collapsed

by Emily Rodriguez, age 13

A mysterious ancient civilization on the island of Malta collapsed within two generations, despite surviving for more than a millennium.

The ancient civilization was known as the Temple Culture, it arose around 6,000 years ago on Malta and other islands in the Mediterranean sea. Groups of scientists analyzed pollen and DNA from skulls and bones that were buried deep in the Earth to find an explanation for the quick collapse. According to a tree ring analysis, the whole region was exposed to horrible climates. This analysis and other research makes up an ongoing investigation into why the civilization collapsed.

Upwards of several thousand people lived on Malta. These people built a strong and successful civilization through collaboration. The people built sacred sites, one of them being Ggantija Temple complex. Their buildings are known as some of the first free-standing buildings. The temples held the people together. Historians assumed the temples honored a mother goddess. However, recents findings led historians to believe the people focused on their worship, feasting, and rituals insteads of on a deity (god or goddess, in ancient Greek). [Read More]

The Great Lakes of Africa: Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika — by Sofia Zapata, age 13

There are many lakes in the world, but do people know the important things about some of the African continental lakes? Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika are lakes located in Africa and they are two of the largest and deepest in the world. [Read More]

Eerie Double Aurora Lights Up Northern Sky — <i>by Emily Rodriguez Lima, age 13</i>

Two different auroras have appeared together at the same time with colors resembling a watermelon: green on the bottom and red on top. This phenomenon was seen by amateur astronomer Alan Dyers. Dyers was outside his house when he saw a beautiful display of the Northern Lights up in the sky. He took out his camera to record this unique image; his recording is the most complete recording of this special aurora. [Read More]

The Fire that Reached From Alberta to Pennsylvania — by Dyanara Flores-Gomez, age 14

In early June of 1950, a fire started in northern Alberta, Canada, and spread through northeastern British Columbia. It burned four million acres of land. This fire became the largest fire in North America and was named the Chinchaga fire. It was also known as the Wisp fire or Fire 19. [Read More]

How a Library Made Baghdad the World's Most Important Center of Learning — by Mariama Bah, age 15

When hearing about grand libraries, one might think of the Library of Alexandria or the Library of Congress. However a different library was established in the 9th century as one of the world’s greatest centers of science and learning. [Read More]

My Home: Colombia — by Jeronimo Rosero Perea, age 8

I was born in a beautiful country named Colombia! I want to tell you about my home. In my country of Colombia, there is a population of about 50 million people. The main language in my country is Spanish. Because this country is so big, there is a Capital city. The Capital of Colombia is Bogotǻ and the main religion practiced there is Christianity. [read more]

The Nile: Egypt's Most Important River — by Sol Saray, age 10

Did you know that the Nile River is allegedly the longest river on Earth? Historically, the Nile River was considered the longest river in the world, however, Brazilian scientists recently discovered that the Amazon River is longer than the Nile by 284 kilometers. [Read More]