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Congress Struggles to Pass Big Tech Reform Bill

by Leilani McNeal, age 17

New legislation that targets Big Tech platforms has successfully passed both the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. The bill is expected to reach the Senate Floor this November.

The nation’s largest internet platforms, commonly known as Big Tech, are under fire for potential consumer choice violations. The bipartisan bill, which is sponsored by the Senate Judiciary Committee Antitrust Subcommittee, pushes for antitrust reform for social media and big tech companies. But, as midterm elections loom, some in congress are hoping to run out the clock. 

Being pushed for two years, the bill, called the American Innovation and Choice Online Act, is a draft proposal that would issue civil penalties against platforms like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Apple, and Amazon for inapt use of user data collecting. So far, the bill is backed by several political leaders such as one of the bill’s chief sponsors’, Ken Buck (R-CO) and Senate Judiciary Committee Antitrust Subcommittee leaders Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA). [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]

Webb Space Telescope Sends New Images to Scientists on Planet Earth

by Ashley Mercado, age 13

NASA has finally revealed the first set of beautiful images taken from a new space telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope. The first picture from the Space Telescope was a plethora of distant galaxies that go deeper than scientists have ever seen. NASA says the new Webb Telescope will eventually replace the Hubble Telescope. Some of Webb’s images show areas of the universe Hubble has already studied, and some show areas Hubble could not reach.

Webb used infrared light which allowed scientists to obtain a clearer images and show places they have not yet studied. NASA administrator Bill Nelson said, “Every image is a new discovery and each will give humanity a view of the universe that we’ve never seen before.” In the new images, astronomers are looking for two nebulae: the Southern Ring Nebula and the Carina Nebula. They are also looking for five galaxies, known as Stephan’s Quintet, as well as the recently discovered gas planet called WASP-96b.

The strong telescope launched last December from French Guiana in South America and reached its final destination one million miles away in January. The telescope contains many requirements that must be met it in order to take pictures. For example, the telescope uses mirrors to focus its view on spots in space, so these mirrors have to be precisely aligned to function. Webb uses infrared detectors that operate in cold enough conditions to be able to use the telescope in space. a href="/space-science/webb-telescope-news" class="read-more">[Read More]

New Cloning Technology Offers Hope for Endangered Species

by Allison Torres, age 13

A new black-footed ferret came into this world on December 10th, 2020. This newborn ferret is named Elizabeth Ann, and she has grown up with lots of energy and curiosity. What Elizabeth Ann doesn’t know is that she could be the key to saving her entire species. This is because her species, the Black-footed ferret, is one of the most endangered animals in North America.

A long time ago, black-footed ferrets lived in many wild areas across North America. When Europeans arrived in areas where ferrets were living they disturbed the natural environment and the food sources ferrets need to survive. This caused the population of black-footed ferrets to rapidly decline. By the late 1970s, the species was thought to be extinct.

Then in 1981, two years after the species was declared extinct, there was “an electrifying announcement.” A Wyoming farmer found a small but thriving community of wild black-footed ferrets. [Read More]

Will the Tasmanian Tiger Roam the Earth Once More?

by Sandy Flores-Ruíz, age 16

For the past years —scientists have thought about reviving extinct species. Scientists in Australia and the U.S. have recently started a multi-million dollar project to bring back the Tasmanian tiger from extinction.

The stripes on the back of the Thylacine gave its nickname of “Tasmanian Tiger,” despite the animal being a marsupial, a type of Australian mammal that raises its young in a pouch, like a kangaroo, instead of a tiger.

The Tasmanian tiger went extinct in 1936 when the last known tiger, Thylacine, died in the Hobart Zoo. Years before humans arrived in Australia, these tigers roamed free. However, once humans started to populate Australia, the population of these tigers decreased. The last known tigers to roam free on the island of Tasmania were then hunted to extinction. [Read More]

100 Foot Jump Breaks World Record

by Moore Vang, age 13

What can jump as high as the eyes of the Statue of Liberty? Well, the jumping robot can! The robot was designed by Elliot Hawkes, a mechanical engineer from University of California, Santa Barbara. With the ability to jump three times higher than any other jumping robot, it can also out-jump any living animal.

Hawkes has been working on the robot for seven years. “It started out as a stick with weights and rubber bands,” he said. Nobody would’ve called it a robot at the start of its creation because it didn’t have anything electronic or any motors on it, he recalls. This got him and his colleagues determined to find out, “Just how high can it go?” After many years of work, the robot reached heights as high as 100 feet. Hawkes and his team recorded this on the website Nature on April 23, 2022.

Various researchers studied how different types of animals jump. Hawkes didn’t want to copy any of the animals so instead, his team learned the types of features of certain animal jumpers and how to find ways around it. Muscles in the body of many animals including humans provide energy for jumping. These muscles pull on stretchy hamstrings that react just like a spring, launching the body high into the air. A muscle can only tense up and release once per jump. Weight is also a factor due to large muscles making the animal or human heavier. Typically, the heavier the animal, the harder it is to move against the force of gravity. [Read More]

Pluto Is Not a Planet – It’s a Dwarf Planet

by Hiba Al-Quraishi, age 14

Pluto is referred to as a “dwarf planet” due to its diminutive size. Pluto is only half the size of North America which is why it’s categorized as a dwarf planet.

Pluto is located in the Kuiper Belt. This is a region on the outskirts of our solar system where frozen objects and dwarf planets can be found. Pluto is the largest dwarf planet in that region, earning it the nickname “King of the Kuiper Belt.” Understanding that part of our solar system could aid our understanding of how our solar system came to be.

The majority of planets in the solar system orbit the sun in nearly perfect circles. Pluto, on the other hand, orbits around the Sun in an oval-shaped orbit. For around eight percent of its orbit, Pluto is closer to the Sun than Neptune. Its orbit also deviates from the neat plane in which other planets orbit; it orbits the Sun in a lop-sided pattern. Pluto takes 248 Earth years to complete a full orbit around the sun. [Read More]

CN Tower in Toronto Is “Canada’s World Wonder”

by Jonah Smith, age 13

One of the world's tallest freestanding towers can be found in the city of Toronto, Canada. This large tower was made in collaboration with the Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Broadcasting Company in the 1970s. The people of Canada treasure this tower and fondly call it “Canada’s World Wonder.”

The base of the tower underwent construction on February 6, 1973. 62,000 tons of earth and rock were dug up in order to pour 57,000 tons of concrete. This concrete was used to support the 130,000 ton weight of the building. The base is 20 feet thick and 230 feet in diameter. This base was built in a hexagonal shape unlike normal circular towers. Using a concrete mold and a hydraulic jack, construction workers poured concrete into the mold, let it set, then used the hydraulic jack to lift the mold up approximately 20 feet each day. Because of this peculiar method of construction, the workers had to check everyday if the shaft of the tower was off its vertical center, using a 220 lb cylinder tied to a rope, to act as a plumb bob (a vertical indicator).

In 1976, once construction was completely finished, the CN Tower officially opened. Inside of this tower, there are two observation decks, a restaurant, and a nightclub. Glass elevators run up and down the side of the tower to take visitors from the ground floor to the top. On the lower level, there is an observation deck. This deck is made out of 2.5-inch thermal reinforced glass strong enough to withstand 38 tons. Looking down through this glass floor, there is a breathtaking view underneath it. Regardless of the reinforced glass, many were afraid of the glass breaking. Due to people’s fear, a carpet was laid on top of the glass. [Read More]

New Super Computer Ranked Most Powerful in World — by Julian Medina Ruiz, age 14

Recently, a new supercomputer named Frontier passed a major milestone. This computer can perform one quintillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000) calculations per second. Frontier’s storage system is able to hold 33 times more data than currently housed in the entire Library of Congress. This new computer was introduced on May 30, 2022 by the TOP500, a list that ranks the 500 most powerful computers in the world. [Read More]

Scientists Model the Human Face of the Future — by Santiago Rosero Perea, age 11

Scientists in Denmark, with the help of technology, have developed predictions on what the face of a human being could look like in the future. [Read More]

Local Observatory Renamed For STEM Pioneer Jocelyn Bell Burnell — by Mariah Justice, age 17

“Astronomy compels the soul to look upward, and leads us from this world to another,” said Greek philosopher Plato. With the renaming event on September 7 for the Bell Burnell Observatory— previously the Oscar Mayer Observatory—Madison has a new facility for cultivating the exploration of astronomy. [Read More]

NASA's Perseverance Rover on Mars has a 'Pet Rock' — by Theodore Morrison, age 14

Perseverance, a rover engineered by NASA, has managed to acquire an interesting tag-along friend while exploring Mars, the fourth-farthest planet from our sun. This friend isn’t sentient though; it’s a rock that got stuck in one of Perseverance’s wheels while the rover was investigating the formation of another rock. [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. [Read More]

As Electric Car Sales Increase, Ford and GM Struggle to Catch Tesla — by Giovanni Tecuatl Lopez, age 17

Have you ever wondered if Tesla has competitors in the electric car market? Both Ford and General Motors (GM) have Tesla as target number one; these companies, already in the electric car market, plan to close the gap between them and Tesla. [read more]

TikTok's Algorithm Targets Minors with Harmful Content — by Gabriella Shell, age 16

Falling prey to TikTok’s addictive algorithm and wasting two hours on the app is a common affliction shared by many---children, teens, and even adults. However, TikTok’s algorithm is far more dangerous than simply stealing your time: the app sends inappropriate, harmful, and sometimes even predatory content to minors. [Read More]

Google Removes Apps For Stealing Users’ Personal Data — by Kadjata Bah, age 17

Just this spring, Google took numerous apps riddled with malware off of its Play Store. Its action came after various Android apps were discovered to contain data-harvesting code, sparking questions on cybersecurity and privacy. [Read More]

The Steam Deck, a Portable P.C. Gaming System, Launches in 2022 — by Amare Smith, age 17

The Steam Deck is a handheld similar to the Nintendo Switch. The screen is nearly identical in size to the Nintendo Switch OLED. You can hook it up to either a TV or a PC. Feel free to play on your Steam Deck however you desire. You can play PC games on the handheld, which is a unique feature. It uses Bluetooth and has SD cards. Depending on the amount of gigabytes the handheld contains, the cost is significantly higher than the OLED. [read more]

Federal Government Plans Increased Surveillance of U.S. Citizens — by Leilani McNeal, age 16

The Department of Homeland Security wants to hire private companies to analyze public social media data. [read more]