New York Times Science Site Targets Curious (But Distractible) Students

By Liana Loewus — August 06, 2015 1 min read
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“School is out, but science is everywhere.”

That’s the tagline for a new, savvy feature on the New York Times website called “Summer of Science.” The microsite has bite-size, ADHD-friendly explanations of, well, cool science stuff. For instance, last week there was a post on the rare six-inch pocket shark, which has narrow slits (“pockets”) above its fins that have befuddled scientists.

Before that, the site covered my favorite meme of the summer: zookeepers taking photos of themselves imitating a scene from Jurassic World, in which Chris Pratt’s character keeps the vicious velociraptors he’s trained from attacking. (The zookeepers, of course, keep vicious penguins and pigs from attacking.)

A photo posted by Detroit Zoo (@detroitzoo) on Jun 18, 2015 at 12:53pm PDT

A photo posted by Sylvan Heights Bird Park (@sylvanheights_birdpark) on Jun 22, 2015 at 1:55pm PDT

There have also been a number of posts about Pluto over the last couple weeks, including the high-res photographs of its surface, the New Horizons spacecraft that took them, and the pronunciation of its moon Charon.

And today’s post talks about scientists’ funny fieldwork mistakes—accidental fossil swallowings and an unfortunate way to discover a venomous frog. (Apparently there’s even a hashtag for these: #fieldworkfail.)

“We’re trying to make sure we present complicated science in a way that is understandable to anyone,” Heather Murphy, the deputy digital director for the Times science desk, told NiemanLab, “regardless of their science background.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.