Worksheet of the Week

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Meteoroids Crash into Saturn’s Rings

Saturn is the 6th planet from the sun. Famed for its beautiful and distinct rings, it is also known for being the second largest planet in our Solar System, just behind Jupiter. Scientists recently observed a number of small meteoroids crashing into the planet’s rings, which are made up of 9 continuous rings and 3 additional arcs. With the help of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, researchers were able to capture images of the impact.

Solar System

Occurrences like these help teach scientists more about how things move, interact, and are created in space. Although these types of impacts do take place from time to time, the significance of this crash is that it was large enough to crate clouds that were visible from spacecraft cameras. Eventually, these smaller meteoroids break up into even smaller particles and will sometimes begin to orbit around the planet.

Originally discovered by Galileo,  Saturn’s Rings are already made up of an array of varied particles. Although the rings remain somewhat of a mystery to scientists, they have been able to gain insight into the planet from the Voyager trips in the 1980s and this latest Cassini Mission.

Worksheet of the Week

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Latest Outer Space Discoveries

Earth is one planet in an 8-planet solar system, and all these planets orbit the sun. In addition to this, we know there are endless numbers of celestial bodies in space, with thousands of different systems, stars and galaxies. Recently, however, NASA’S Kepler space telescope made some monumental discoveries — there are three super-Earth-size planets in the Milky Way galaxy that lie in a “habitable zone.”

The reason why this specific Kepler spacecraft discovery is so important is because it signifies that scientists are closer than ever before to finding other Earth-like planets. These recently discovered planets are rocky in composition, and have a size relatively similar to Earth’s. Also, these planets orbit around a star in a “habitable zone.” By this, scientists mean that the planets orbit far away enough from its central star to have a lower surface temperature. This could even mean that water may be found on the planets’ surfaces.

There are a variety of ways to get your child’s imagination engaged in these current events. As scientists draw closer and closer to finding out more about the intricacies of the depths of space, what types of questions is your child asking?

During these times, perhaps you could take the opportunity to have your child express their imagination through creative means such as drawings and paintings. Pose hypothetical questions to them, such as “If there was a new planet just like Earth, what would it look like?” Have your child draw out a creative design, and engage them in conversations about these recent, exciting scientific discoveries.

Also, as you discuss these recent scientific breakthroughs, you can also challenge your child to extend their critical thinking with different activities. Continue to stay on the lookout for the latest and greatest science and Math Blaster updates here.

 

Monster Mutt Name History

When you first joined the Math Blaster family, among one of the first things you could do was adopt your own larva. You got to take care of it, feed it, and even choose its name! Even if you chose a randomized Monster Mutt name, have you ever given thought to what your Monster Mutt’s name could mean?

Monster Mutt Name

Just like all of our names have a specific meaning to them, your Monster Mutt’s name can also have a special meaning. Use your imagination to think of a creative story behind your Monster Mutt’s name. Take a pencil and paper and write out your Monster Mutt’s special story. Whatever type of Mutt yours might be, every single one of your pals can have a unique tale to tell.

For instance, maybe your Monster Mutt came from a far-off planet unknown to humankind and unknown to the Math Blaster World. Perhaps your Monster Mutt got its name because of something special it does, or because of its creative colors. You might have even named your Mutt specifically so it would be similar to your name in Math Blaster.

Whatever tale you choose to tell about your Monster Mutt, do not forget that there are endless amount of possibilities and creative ideas to choose from. Create your very own story with your Monster Mutt and about what their name means, and make your Math Blaster experience even more exciting! Make sure to share your ideas with Max and his team, and continue learning with Math Blaster!

 

Worksheet of the Week

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Newly Discovered Fossils related to the Movement of Early Humans

Researchers have recently found that Australopithecus ancestors may have used different ways of mobilization to walk around on two feet. This particular research is one of six studies to have been published last week in science that portrays the gathering of more than four years of research into the anatomy of Australopithecus sediba.

Discovered in the Malapa cave in South Africa, the two million year-old fossils are considered to be some of the most complete early human ancestral remains to have ever been discovered. This most recent study was published by Boston University assistant Professor of Anthropology, Jeremy DeSilva and Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, Kenneth Holt. With their findings, DeSilva and Holt first hypothesized that this particular species walked like a human with a fully extended leg. They also believed that this species had an ape-like walk with an inverted foot, which produced hyperpronation of the foot and excessive rotation of the knee and hip during bipedal walking. As a result, these findings indicated to the rest of the science world that there could have possibly been different types of bipedalism throughout the human evolution.

According to Professor Jeremy DeSilva:

“As others have suggested, there were different kinematic solutions for being a bipedal hominine in the Plio-Pleistocene (The recent discovery of an Ardipithecus-like foot from 3.4 million-year-old deposits at Burtele). The mode of locomotion suggested by the Malapa skeletons indicates a compromise between an animal that is adapted for extended knee bipedalism and one that either still had an arboreal component or had re-evolved a more arboreal lifestyle from a more terrestrial ancestor.”

According to several other published works, the Australopithecus sediba were known to have a combination of unique features in the hand, upper limb, thorax, spine and foot. The foot, in particular, possessed an anatomical mosaic, which further supports the theory today that there were multiple forms of bipedal locomotion in the Plio-Pleistocene.