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Remembering Toni Morrison, USPS to Honor Renowned Novelist with Commemorative Stamp

by Riya Adhikari, age 11

Toni Morrison was a famous novelist who wrote non-fiction books about African Americans. She passed away on August 5th, 2019 at the age of 88 years old.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is designing a stamp in honor of Toni Morrison. She wrote about the struggles of being an African American in the United States and created a voice for many people.

Toni Morrison's writing was beautifully created and artistically worded. Some of her most famous novels are “Beloved,” “The Bluest Eye,” and “Song of Solomon.” After writing some of her best work, she taught literature and writing at Princeton University for 17 years. [Read More]

Scientists Discover Fish are Self-Aware

by Jonah Smith, age 14

Humans can recognize their faces in mirrors and photos almost automatically. Ongoing research at Metropolitan University in Japan suggests that fish have the same ability. Being able to recognize your reflection or being self-aware, is an ability usually tied to intelligent animals, such as chimpanzees or humans. Finding this ability in fish suggests that self-awareness might be more common than scientists previously thought.

Previous research at Metropolitan University demonstrated that Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasses can pass a self awareness test using a mirror. To conduct the test, scientists expose an animal to a mirror for a long period of time. Once the animal gets acquainted with its reflection, scientists add a mark somewhere on its body. If the subject were to be self-aware, it would start to touch that spot on its body in hopes of getting rid of that mark. Before this research, only large-brained animals such as apes, dolphins, elephants, and magpies have passed the test.

Failing the mirror test should not be indicative of lack of self awareness. Other animals thought to have large brains, such as monkeys and ravens have not passed. Scientists also wonder if this is an appropriate test for animals who rely on other senses, or ones who don’t care about how they look. As a result of this, it makes it more surprising that a fish can recognize itself. [Read More]

Should We Add Insects to Our Diet?

by Emily Rodriguez Lima, age 14

When we think about consuming bugs, most of us would immediately respond by saying, “ew!” Although bugs may look nasty or creepy, they are a good source of protein. If insects are raised and prepared correctly, the protein they carry can be beneficial for our bodies. Raising them requires less water, less land, and overall less resources than other animals.

Though a lot of us did not grow up having insects as part of our meals, scientists have been trying to figure out how to incorporate and make them appealing to humans. Many people throughout the world eat bugs as part of their culture. From ancient times, people have eaten bugs as it was believed it would give you knowledge. A common insect many have tried are crickets. These insects, like many others, are good for your body.

If you are interested in having insects as a small snack, the best option is to do research and buy them at a local grocery store. Do not go to your backyard, garden, or local park and grab them since these insects can contain chemicals and germs that are harmful to the human body. [Read More]

From the Big Bang to Humankind: How Life Emerged

by Julian Medina Ruiz, age 14

About 12 billion years ago, a big explosion, presently known as the “Big Bang,” created the universe.

The solar system we live in began to form 7.4 billion years ago. Earth was created by rock, ice, dust, and gas combining together. While forming, the Earth released an enormous amount of energy, causing the planet to heat up. For 100 million years, the components of planet Earth remained molten as they shifted into layers. Heavier minerals like iron and nickel, sank to the center and now form the dense core of the Earth, measuring 2,200 miles wide. The lighter minerals settled towards the surface of the Earth, creating its crust. The core and the crust are separated by 1,800 miles of molten rock, called the mantle. Certain lighter rocks gathered together to form “islands” or land. [Read More]

Behind the Deadly Hiroshima Bombing

by Hiba Al-Quraishi, age 14

On August 9, 1945, the United States ended World War II at a terrible human cost by dropping the “Fat Man” nuclear implosive bomb in Nagasaki. This was three days after the atomic uranium bomb named “Little Boy” had decimated Hiroshima.

As a part of the Manhattan Project, the United States created the atomic bomb. The United States’ decision to deploy an atomic weapon was seen as an alternative to its planned invasion of Japan in November 1945. The uranium bomb left Alamogordo, New Mexico, for Hiroshima on July 14, 1945, after undergoing a successful test. [Read More]

Orcas Learn to Hunt in Family Groups

by Tierra Flowers, age 13

On March 21, 2019, researchers in Western Australia were studying orcas, a species also known as killer whales. Suddenly, the scientists witnessed a phenomenon that no one had previously seen. They observed orcas killing the world’s largest animal, a blue whale.

On that day, this group of researchers from the Cetacean Research Center was traveling on a boat to their usual orca observation site. However, when they stopped to remove some trash from the water, they suddenly noticed some splashing in the distance. They observed the dorsal fins of several killer whales and saw that they were attacking a large whale species. That whale turned out to be a blue whale. [Read More]

The International Space Station Is Retiring, What Does this Mean for Space Exploration?

by Theodore Morrison, age 14

The International Space Station is considered a constant symbol of humanity's achievements in the fields of space science and diplomacy. Many will be shocked to learn that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has plans to retire and crash the station straight into the ocean in 2031.

According to The International Space Station Report, NASA is aiming to crash the ISS into the Pacific Ocean at a location called Point Nemo, the farthest point at sea from any landmass. To put the distance in perspective, it is 2,000 miles North of Antarctica and 3,000 miles East of New Zealand. The ISS will, probably, rest forever at a point known as the spacecraft graveyard. [Read More]

The Armistice Day Blizzard: Worst Winter Storm in Wisconsin History

by Theodore B. Morrison, age 14

Anyone who lives in the northern Midwest has experienced his or her fair share of snowstorms. These snowstorms though, do not compare to the Armistice Day Blizzard, one of the most devastating natural disasters in Wisconsin’s history.

The name originates from the storm which occurred on Armistice Day, now known as Veterans Day, a day that celebrated the end of World War I and a new period of peace. However, this blizzard was anything but peaceful.

The Armistice Day Blizzard on November 11 and 12, 1940 caused a drastic drop in temperature that resulted in more than 150 deaths in Wisconsin. The blizzard formed when cold northern air combined with warm moisture from the Gulf Coast, which created a sudden drop in air pressure. The storm generated winds up to 80 MPH, creating 20-foot snowdrifts, laying down a foot of snow, and conditions similar to those of a hurricane. [Read More]

Restoration of 1868 Brisbane House in Arena, Wisconsin Wins Another Prestigious Award

by Ayelen Flores Ruiz, age 13

The historic Brisbane House in Arena, Wisconsin, is renowned for its builder's past. William Henry Brisbane, known as an "abolitionist," faced significant scrutiny when he embraced this cause and subsequently relocated from his Southern home state.

Born on October 12, 1806, Brisbane began his journey as a cadet at the Norwich Military Academy in Norwich, Vermont. He later inherited 33 enslaved individuals from his family. While residing in a South Carolina house with his slaves, Brisbane underwent a transformation in his beliefs, recognizing the inherent wrongfulness of slavery. He made the courageous decision to set his slaves free, a move that garnered heavy criticism and disdain from his community. Nonetheless, this opposition did not deter him from persisting in his human rights campaign. To escape judgment and pursue his cause, Brisbane left South Carolina and settled in what is now Arena, Wisconsin, embarking on a new chapter in his life.

Brisbane harbored grand plans to construct a house where he could reside and eventually provide accommodation for others after his passing. The house was built in the "I-style," a design Southerners transported with them when they migrated North. Characterized by its towering structure and an interior adorned with numerous large windows that facilitated excellent ventilation in the summer, the house also featured tall doors. Remarkably, the house still stands in good condition. [Read More]

World War Two Battalion Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

by Mahalia Pearson, age 12

During World War II, the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion employed people of African-American, Caribbean, and Mexican descent. The women who worked in the Postal Directory Department were grouped in the Women Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) and later were called the Women Army Corps (WAC) on July 1, 1943.

Unfortunately, in 1945, multiple warehouses in England had a large backlog of mail from soldiers that had not been distributed. Before it could be sent out, the mail would take six months to process first, and there were seven million soldiers and government workers waiting for their correspondence. This issue left soldiers upset since they were not receiving their mail. The 855 Black women from the WAC were granted the opportunity to go overseas, due to the support and pressure from different African American organizations. When arrived in Europe they started sending out mail. They worked seven days a week, circling through three eight-hour shifts per day. These women delivered more than 17 million letters in the last several months of the war.

These women were slandered by male soldiers based on their race and gender. Major Charity Adams, the female African-American officer with the highest rank, led her corps through a boycott against the facilities for being segregated. The reason for the discrimination they faced was because they were Black women in a primarily white place. As a solution, they decided to create their facilities such as hair salons, food halls, and refreshment bars. [Read More]

The Vampire Spiders Are the Secret Blood-Lovers of the Insect World

by Riya Adhikari, age 12

Everyone talks about blood-loving mosquitos, but does anyone talk about the blood-loving spiders? Evarcha culicivora, also called vampire spiders, are a type of spider that feeds on blood. They are called mosquito terminators.

Evarcha likes both animal and human blood. Vampire spiders cannot bite through skin or animal hide because their mouthparts are not built for this ability.

Vampire spiders depend on mosquitoes to get the blood they desire. Their favorite types of mosquitoes are Anopheles, which are the main malaria spreaders in Africa. This mosquito species sits with its bottom sticking up in the air, while the majority of mosquitos sit with their bottoms on the floor. Their posture is an advantage for baby spiders. They can crawl under the mosquito’s abdomen, jump up, then grab onto the mosquito. While it flies away, the little spiders hang on to the mosquito and inject it with their venom. They then have a big feast. Vampire spiders live by Lake Victoria in the nations of Kenya and Uganda in the eastern part of Africa. [Read More]

Investigating the Mysterious Snow on Saturn's Moon

by Amelia Pearson, age 13

The snow on Saturn’s moon, Enceladus, can bury almost any skyscraper on Earth. Scientists would like to find out why.

The snow’s depth on Enceladus shows that its water vapor could have been more active in the past. Geysers on the moon allow for water from a salty ocean under an icy shell to rise to the surface of Enceladus. Some of this water contributes to forming one of Saturn’s rings. According to the researchers, the rest of this water seems to land back on the ground in the form of snow. Scientists believe that if they could fully understand the snow's properties, it could help uncover Enceladus’ history.

For scientists to fully understand the properties of the snow on Enceladus, they looked into Iceland. In Iceland, there are marks in the ground made from loose rocks, ice, or snow called pit chains. Scientists discovered they are very similar to features on Enceladus. [Read More]

Wisconsin Trade Exams Now Available in Spanish, Paving the Way for Inclusivity and Opportunity

by Sandy Flores Ruiz, age 17

Wisconsin Trade Credentialing Examinations are now offered in Spanish, as of July 11, 2023. This will allow native Spanish speakers to take all trade exams in Spanish, which will eliminate a language barrier to obtaining a credential, and help them achieve a higher earning job.

The Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services is investing in the expansion of the state’s workforce by creating changes like this, offering people the opportunity to be certified in a trade. The exam will help native Spanish speakers to get one of the state’s 240 professional credentials. Those include plumbing, contracting, electrical work and so much more. Many are excited about this new major advancement as it will allow more Hispanic people to be able to work in different fields.

However, people worry that this new advance will only benefit a few community members because of the following steps after the exam. In the state of Wisconsin, one in five Latinos do not speak English at all or do not speak it well. After entering those higher-level positions, many will struggle to succeed if the only language companies offer is English. Some question whether Wisconsin is creating false hope for people entering a workforce in which their native language is not spoken. [Read More]

The Metamorphosis of Amphibians from Water to Land

by Marie Pietz, age 11

Amphibians are born in freshwater and move out to dry land when they reach a certain age.

Many types of amphibians can be found in bodies of water.

While they are born into water, they have to go through stages of growth before moving onto land. When amphibians mate, most lay eggs, while others give birth. Those who lay eggs usually lay them in soft clumps with a jelly-like texture. [Read More]

Understanding the Health Impacts and Controversies Surrounding Daylight Saving Time

by Ayelen Flores Ruiz, age 13

Although daylight saving time is very popular with many people, it may have negative health effects for humans, according to some scientists.

Daylight saving time is when clocks move an hour forward in the spring and return to standard time in the fall. This makes people lose an hour of sleep, causing scientists to question if this is healthy. Kenneth Wright, an expert on sleep and body clocks, says that daylight saving time is the wrong name for this procedure. He says that humans are only changing the way they live concerning the sun, making their bodies out of sync. The action of changing the clocks creates a problem with the human body’s circadian rhythm as it resets.

Wright and other scientists advocate for permanent standard time instead of switching twice a year. The U.S. Senate voted for daylight saving to become permanent in March 2022, but without a vote from the House, it has not become law. Something similar happened in Congress in the 1970s, however, it was not passed as people feared the shift could cause fear or depression among adolescents and others. [Read More]

The Fascinating Reproduction Process of Reptiles

by Mahalia Pearson, age 12

Reptiles are known to spend their whole lifetime split between land and water. When they mate, they then have to come out of the water to lay their eggs.

Not only are reptile eggs durable, but they also boast a shell underneath that shields the fluid of the yolk and protects the embryo. The small fluid inside allows the baby creatures to remain safe. This yolk provides the baby food while they grow in the egg.

The young reptiles come out of the egg like a small version of their parents. There are many types of reptiles, including snakes, alligators, lizards, and a Galapagos giant tortoise, of whom these reproduce with eggs. However, other reptiles including some snakes and lizards, are viviparous which means that they do not lay any eggs. Instead, they give birth to a fully developed reptile. [Read More]

The Wrath of Mediterranean Volcanoes - From Vesuvius to Etna

by Emily Rodriguez, age 14

In the Mediterranean Sea, there are many destructive volcanoes. Two of the most well-known are Mt. Vesuvius and Mt. Etna.

Mt. Vesuvius is known for its eruptions located in the Bay of Naples, Italy. This volcano destroyed a whole town, burying it in ashes. It has erupted numerous times. In 1944, during World War II, a volcanic eruption damaged the aircraft engines due to volcanic ash and rock fragments left in the air. The first recording of Mt. Vesuvius’ eruption was by Pliny the Younger in AD 79. This eruption destroyed the town of Pompeii. Many people fled for safety, some ran towards the sea for their boats. Many people perished in the disaster of the eruption.

Mt. Etna, Europe’s current largest active volcano, is located in eastern Sicily. It has periodically erupted for the past three thousand years. The last major eruption was in 1992. It produced a column of ash, lava, and gas causing a lot of destructive damage to nature and pollution to the air. Even though this volcano has caused immense damage in the past, people continue to settle nearby for its fertile soil, and because the volcano is dormant. Similar to Mt. Vesuvius, it is a very destructive volcano. [Read More]

The Cosmic Oasis and Jupiter's Largest Moons

by Amelia Pearson, age 13

One of the three largest moons on Jupiter, named Europa, is said to be the most promising place to find alien life in our solar system today.

Recently, there was a mission launched by the European Space Agency called the Juice mission to Jupiter. The Juice mission’s main job is to make observations of Jupiter. The spacecraft's purpose is to also get close-up images of the three largest moons of Jupiter. The three largest moons are Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. They are all very icy and it is believed beneath their surfaces, there are oceans.

These moons were not discovered until the 17th century by Galileo. He also discovered a fourth moon on Jupiter named Io. This moon is hot and fiery, covered in mostly volcanoes, which are the most active out of anywhere in the solar system. Galileo discovered these four moons on Jupiter, and he realized that Earth is not the center of the universe. [Read More]

How Seismic Waves are Studied to Peer Inside the Earth

by Alejandro Berrueta, age 11

Scientists continue to get more advanced as their knowledge of seismology increases. These advancements are helping citizens all around the world to take shelter before any disaster strikes, regardless if it is natural or manmade.

As we know, movements on Earth are caused by platonic plates moving under the ground. These extremely fast movements can cause earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis, which can be deadly. Humans can also cause movements on the planet by the use of explosions. For example, testing atomic bombs, and other heavy explosions as well as mining can also cause earthquakes.

With more advanced technology becoming available, scientists will continue to study movements in or on Earth. With the correct measurements, big impacts can be avoided and save lives. [Read More]

Muons Reveal Hidden Void in Egypt's Great Pyramid

by Alejandro Berrueta, age 11

A nebulous void has been discovered in Egypt's Great Pyramid of Giza with the help of muons. This void was first discovered in 2016 by scientists on the pyramid’s north face. The muons’ measurement helped identify the size and shape of this void.

Muons are subatomic particles created by high-energy particles from space. These particles are also known as cosmic rays; they fall into Earth's atmosphere and create high-energy muons. Some are absorbed when they fall onto structures.

Scientists from the ScanPyramids team reported to Nature Communications that the void was nine meters long, two meters wide, and two meters tall. In addition to ultrasonic testing and ground penetrating radar, the scientists were able to get detailed pictures regarding the void. They discovered a vaulted ceiling that had not been seen in over 4,500 years. [Read More]

The History of Pringles Chips

by Moore Vang, age 14

In the 1950s, the company Procter & Gamble wanted to design a chip that

did not break, had flavor and had a new shape. After nearly a century, Pringles has generated popularity around the world and is one of the best chips out there.

A chemist named Fredric Baur created the design of the Pringle, which was [Read More]

The Charm of Frogs

by Soren Dahl, age 11

If you hold a dislike for frogs, your perspective might change once you delve into the fascinating world of these diminutive amphibians.

Across the globe, there exist thousands of frog species, with some falling under the category of toads. Toads typically exhibit dry, bumpy skin and are not commonly found in aquatic environments. Among the frog species, certain ones can attain remarkable sizes, such as the Goliath frog or the Cane toad, which can grow to over a pound in weight.

Frogs boast a varied diet, encompassing an eccentric and unusual assortment of foods. Flies, ants, and other small insects form the staple diet of most frogs. Larger frogs, on the other hand, gravitate toward larger insects and small creatures. Among the examples are tarantulas and mice. [Read More]

Exploring the World of Bats

by Kimberly Rodriguez, age 11

There are approximately 1,200 different types of bats on Earth! Bats are best known for their echolocation, which is the ability to sense objects using sound.

In the United States, there are 40 species of bats. They are usually found in the southwestern parts where it is warm, as they don't prefer cold environments. Bats sleep in caves in large groups called colonies. This provides them with extra protection and helps keep them warm.

Most bats eat scorpions, spiders, and other insects they can find on the ground. Baby bats drink milk from their mothers. There are also fruit-eating bats, while other species are meat-eaters that feed on small rodents and tree frogs. Additionally, there's the common fear of vampire bats, which enjoy feeding on the blood of larger animals such as cattle or, in rare cases, humans! [Read More]

Study Reveals COVID-19 Pandemic Prematurely Aged Teen Brains

by Ayelen Flores Ruiz, age 13

New MRI brain scans show that teen brains have matured beyond the years of their physical age (as much as three to four years) after the Covid-19 pandemic. This shows the importance of this time for teens’ brain development.

Scientists studying this topic were working on teen mental health before the pandemic hit, so they already had some ideas on what could have affected teens before and after. Researchers revealed that the pandemic was hard on teens, increasing anxiety and depression and prompting scientists to look at the changes that were being made to the brain.

Scientists took MRI scans from 64 teens after the pandemic. They compared the scans to different groups from before the pandemic, matched by their age and sex. The after-effects were the thickening of the hippocampus and amygdala, and the thinning of the cerebral cortex. All of these are a process of maturing for teens. This process usually takes time, but it was determined that the brain matured three to four years beyond their actual age. [Read More]

Why it's Important to Brush Your Teeth

by Jonah Smith, age 14

Your dentist will always tell you to brush your teeth. But why? Not brushing your teeth can cause tooth decay, an infectious disease caused by sugar-loving microbes that live in the mouth. A new study, however, might want to make you brush your teeth even more. Researchers have found that these tiny mouth microbes can combine to cause more damage than expected.

Damage from dental plaques causes cavities. Plaque coats the teeth in acid which breaks down the tooth’s hard enamel covering. Dental plaques are a type of biofilm and many types of microbes can form biofilms in the mouth. Young children who have severe tooth decay have a specific type of biofilm: the bacterium Streptococcus mutants and the fungus Candida Albicans. This fungus is a type of yeast that can cause infection in the human body.

To gather some more information, researchers collected 44 saliva and dental plaque samples from young children. Fourteen had healthy teeth and thirty had severe tooth decay. The scientists studied these samples to see what kind of germs lived in their mouths. The children with healthy teeth had bacteria, but no yeast, and children with tooth decay had both. [Read More]

What is an Addax?

by Malak Al Quraishi, age 12

An addax looks like a cross between a deer and a goat, but it is a creature that is specifically known for its horns. These horns look like twisted blades that can twist up to three times and reach lengths of three feet.

Addax live in the Sahara Desert. Their diet changes depending on their habitat but they normally eat desert grass and shrub foliage.

Their skulls are super thick to protect themselves. This is especially important in fights as they ram into one another and headbutt eachother to determine the strongest addax. Along with a strong skull, the addax has interesting facial patterns. Some experts think that the pattern on the addax’s face is a form of camouflage so that it is able to confuse predators. [Read More]

How One of China's Most Beautiful Attractions Saved Lives

by Sedona Afeworki, age 14

Where would be a good place to hide if something bad ever happened? The Guilin Hills is a place in China where many people hid during World War II and the following civil war when clashing armies turned the region into a battlefield. The hills also have a lot of caves, one of many ways they’ve played a role in Chinese history.

The Guilin Hills, which means “forest of cassia trees”, stands within the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region near the Li River in southern China. The Hills are part of the “limestone region”, which spreads from south-central China to Vietnam.

Between 1949 and 1973, Guilin was closed to most sightseers while Communist forces were in power. In 1973, it was reopened, and Guilin transformed into one of China’s most beautiful attractions. [Read More]

The Mammal that Helped Take Over the Globe

by Ayelen Flores Ruiz, age 12

Researchers have discovered a prehistoric mammal with a two to five years life cycle that they call the Manbearpig. The mammal’s short lifespan is likely due to their months-long pregnancy, a trait scientists believe helped mammals dominate the world after the extinction of the dinosaurs.

The name Manbearpig came from the features it contained: a face like a bear; a body similar to a pig; and five fingered hands. These mammals are also known by their scientific name, Pantolamba bathmodon, and were plant eaters. The Manbearpig lived about 62 million years ago. The Manbearpig was one of the largest mammals of its time and seemed to appear after the dinosaur extinction, which allowed mammals to grow to larger sizes than ever before. It was a member of the placental group of mammals, animals who do their prenatal development in the womb of their mother.

Researchers were able to discover how fast they would grow throughout their life from the enamel of their teeth, which looked different during different life stages. These mammals' lives were short and they died at a younger age than typical animals, between two and five years of life. The Manbearpig had a really short life cycle because it stayed in the womb for about seven months, a pregnancy much longer than is observed in modern marsupials, but similar to extreme modern placentals like giraffes and wildebeests. The most extreme modern placentals are usually walking within hours of birth, and usually only give birth to one baby per litter. This species nursed for one or two months after they were born. In a year, they would reach adulthood. The longest a Manbearpig was found to have lived was 11 years. [Read More]

The Closest Black Hole to Earth is just 1,500 light-years Away

by Emily Rodriguez Lima, age 13

There are plenty of black holes in outer space. Astronomers have found what they believe is currently the closest black hole to Earth.

Gaia BH1 is about 1,560 light-years from Earth and has a mass 10 times bigger than that of the sun. It is the first black hole discovered to be close to Earth, the second closest is around twice the distance at 3,200 light-years away.

Like many black holes, Gaia BH1 eats gas from massive stars that are clustered together. As the black hole eats the gas, it forms a disk around the black hole that can only be seen through x-rays. A star that is orbiting a black hole at a safe distance will not get eaten, but since the gravitational pull of a black hole is massive it can get pushed and pulled around space. [Read More]

The Grizzly Is North America’s Giant

by Moore Vang, age 14

The grizzly bear or the brown bear is one of the most dangerous bears in North America. It is gigantic, extremely powerful, and wildly unpredictable. Its fur is light brown with white-tipped hairs and it has a distinct shoulder hump. Interestingly, it can run as fast as a horse but only for short durations.

The scientific name of the grizzly bear is Ursus arctos and it can reach up to a weight of 1,000 pounds. Its subspecies, the Alaskan brown bear, also known as the Kodiak bear, can weigh twice as much as a grizzly bear.

The grizzly bear has long front claws that grow up to four inches. These bear are omnivorous, eating small mammals, fish, and insects—as well as different types of vegetation, including roots, leaves, fungi, and fruit. Shockingly, they can also catch massive prey, such as deer or moose. [Read More]

The Peshtigo Firestorm and Tornado

by Jeremiah Warren, age 11

The Peshtigo fire was a huge fire that destroyed the town of Peshtigo, Wisconsin on October 8, 1871. Although the fire is considered one of the deadliest fires in America history, somehow it is largely forgotten.

In the 1800s many fires were set on purpose. It was a common practice to clear land for farming and for building railroads in 1871. On the day of the fire, a cold front moved west that brought very strong winds. This pushed the fire out of control, creating a big wildfire that headed toward the town of Peshtigo.

Another reason the Peshtigo fire is forgotten is that a big fire in Chicago happened on the same day. The Great Chicago Fire also started on October 8, 1871. [Read More]

Gladys West Used Math and Science to Map Planet Earth

by Hiba Al-Quraishi, age 14

Gladys West was a splendid mathematician. She was an African-American woman who accomplished many things during her career. Glady West is best known for developing a Global Positioning System, which today we call GPS.

“When you’re working every day, you’re not thinking ‘What impact is this going to have on the world?’ You’re thinking, I’ve got to get this right.” said Gladys West.

Gladys West was born on October 27, 1930 on a farm in southern Virginia. She spent the majority of her childhood working on her family’s farm. In addition to farm labor, her mother worked at a tobacco factory and her father worked for the railroads. West viewed her parents as an inspiration for what she became. Early on in her life, Gladys decided that she did not want to work in farms or factories like her parents. She wanted an education. [Read More]

Fuerte disminución en la población de manatíes de Florida alarma a los expertos

por Dayanara Flores Gonzalez, 14 años de edad; traducido por Yoanna Hoskins 17 años de edad

Un manatí es un animal acuático que es grande y de movimiento lento que vive en Florida. Desafortunadamente, estas criaturas se están extinguiendo.

Los manatíes son herbívoros, significa que solo comen plantas. Los manatíes les gusta comer pastos marinos, algas y otras plantas que se están en agua dulce. Viven a lo largo de la costa atlántica de América del Norte desde Massachusetts hasta Texas. A menudo se mudan al norte en el verano. Pero en invierno, los manatíes se encuentran en áreas como Florida porque requieren temperaturas cálidas para sobrevivir.

Los manatíes de hoy se están muriendo de hambre. Alrededor de 1,000 de los manatíes en la región han muerto en los últimos años. Eso es cerca de una sexta parte de toda la población de manatíes en el sureste de los EE. UU. y Puerto Rico. El Indian Río en Florida es un lugar donde los manatíes están muriendo debido al hambre y la contaminación. [Read More]

Belle Case La Follette Was a Powerful Early Figure in the Fight for Women's Rights

by Amelia Pearson, age 12

Have you ever heard of Belle Case La Follette? She was a woman who fought for the right to vote and was a strong leader for women's equality and peace.

La Follette was born in Juneau County, Wisconsin on April 21, 1859. Her parents were farmers and they sacrificed everything to send her to college in 1875. While in college, La Follette performed well in school and also developed a passion for literature. It was also during this time that she met her future husband, Bob La Follette. Although she was four years younger than Bob, they were both in the same class. She actually ranked above him as one of the top students.

La Follette graduated in 1879 and began teaching high school while her future husband Bob studied law. The couple married in December of 1881. In 1882 La Follette had her first child, Flora Dodge. At the same time, she started to have an interest in law after working on her husband's legal work. She soon enrolled in the University of Wisconsin Law School and eventually graduated in 1885. She was the first female graduate of law school. La Follette never practiced law by herself. She did, however, continue doing legal work and was even acknowledged by the Wisconsin Chief Justice for a legal brief she wrote for her husband. [Read More]