Your source for youth perspectives on the environment, science, technology, and engineering.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1513282 and Grant No. DRL-1614239.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Woodland Creatures Run Amok at Children’s Fairyland

Children’s Fairlyland is a historic amusement park inside the nation’s first wildlife refuge at Lake Merritt, surrounded by bustling downtown Oakland, CA. This unique, urban utopia has attracted guests with its story-book charm since 1950 – including Walt Disney, who modeled his own park after visiting Fairyland. But recently, the park has been overrun with aggressive, boundary-less guests: the fox squirrel.

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The Darker Side of Black Licorice

This Halloween, kids everywhere will be out trick or treating for candy. And while some might worry about the loot rotting our teeth, there’s another more potent risk. Traces of the powerful neurotoxin, lead, can be found in some candy. This isn’t a new concern. For more than a decade, we’ve known about harmful amounts of the metal showing up in chili-flavored sweets imported from Mexico. That problem was addressed, but the California Department of Public Health has found lead in some candies made and distributed in the US.

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Akemi Weaver

Local Festival Highlights Interactive Science Experiments

The Life Is Living festival is an event that happens once a year in Oakland. It promotes science, which is the root of the event, but it’s also learning, having fun and connecting with the community. I went to the event last saturday with my two sisters. My goal was to visit the STEM mini Maker Faire, and check out the other booths and their interactive experiments .

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(Rob Allen)

Teacher Resource: Are Schools Teaching Sex Ed Too Late?

Given evidence that many girls and boys are physically maturing faster than previous decades, do you think schools should start sex-ed at a younger age? When is the right time to start talking to kids about their changing bodies, and what are the best ways to have that conversation? Who should educate kids about puberty — parents or schools or both?

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