Discovery Education Blog

Empowering Students to Use Data to Understand Election Trends

COVID-19. Climate crisis. Economic inequality. Racial justice. Immigration.

These are just a few of the topics most important to voters in the United States leading up to the 2020 presidential election, according to the Pew Research Center. Every four years, we enter a new presidential election season that shapes the course of the country for decades to come. The election of a president means not only a new or re-elected person in the highest office in the nation, but also other political appointments.

For students in grades 6-12, learning about voting trends and election data can help them to understand how elections influence our lives. With no-cost content from Discover Data ? an education initiative powered by the Nielsen Foundation in collaboration with Discovery Education and the Afterschool Alliance ? students and educators now have critical learning resources at their fingertips to seamlessly integrate into classrooms.

Deepen the conversation about elections with the ?Understanding Election Cycles? resources designed give educators the opportunity to integrate real-world data sets into their existing curriculum. The activity spans ELA, math, and science as students investigate voting participation rates in elections, the impact of advanced data on campaign advertisements, and the evolving impact of media consumption and election information. By comparing and contrasting sets of data, students can pose questions and evaluate claims related to elections, providing practice for future understanding of election cycles and their impact as voters. A new Educator Webinar also includes information about how to use Discover Data activities in remote classrooms.

For Discovery Education Experience users, keep the learning going with the new 48 Days channel.  Named for the number of days between Constitution Day and Election Day, this channel showcases 48 instructional resources, virtual field trips, videos, podcasts, songs, and audio books across grade bands designed to help students better understand their constitutional rights and the important issues related to this year?s election. With these resources, educators can inspire student agency and remind students about the importance of their voices, whether or not they are old enough to vote. Featured resources include Discovery Education original content, as well as content from trusted partners such as Discovery Channel, BESE, Newsy, Cheddar K-12, World Wildlife Fund, and the Robert F. Kennedy Foundation.

Find even more free content to keep your class engaged on essential topics centered around the critical role data plays in our world. Discover all the resources at and through Discovery Education Experience.

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This Week at DE: Week of October 25th

Good evening, and welcome to a very spooky edition of This Week at DE. My name is Rachel Barrachina and I?m a Digital Content Coordinator at Discovery Education. I?m stirring up a cauldron full of new resources and events for this week and thought I would share with you all…that is, if you?re not too afraid… 


Join me in the supernatural world as we explore videos from the Halloween channel in ExperienceLearn about the origins of Halloween and how it?s celebrated across the world, and find resources to support all subject areas, like the Goosebumps audiobooks for ELA, the 3-D human skeletal tour for Science, and the history of Halloween pop-up stores for Social Studies. We?re also excited to showcase a DE original: Celebrate with DE: Halloween, which is sure to send shivers up your students? spines.   



Also in Experience are two new podcast channels: Houston, We Have a Podcast and the Young Changemakers Podcast. Have you pondered what our planet looks like from deep space? Or how the body responds to space radiation exposure? It?s not as scary as it may sound, and we?ve got all the answers to your questions and more. 

Another new channel in Experience is Keeping You Connected to Curiosity. The collection of videos aim to inspire and ignite curiosity in your students through thought-provoking science and STEM concepts. We believe that when we?re curious, amazing things can happen. 


On a more serious note, we?re also recognizing Red Ribbon Week this week. We?re committed to keeping young students drug-free and healthy through a variety of resources and events.  We?re hosting a Facebook LIVE panel session on Tuesday with our partners at CVS Health. More information is in the link above.            


What spooktacular activities are you planning with your students this week? Tweet us your ideas and tell us how Discovery Education resources are helping you plan your curriculum. Happy Halloween! 

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Helping Student Heroes Soar with Substance Misuse Prevention Skills 

October 23rd to 31st is Red Ribbon Week, and we?re super excited about this year?s theme: 

Be Happy. Be Brave. Be Drug Free. ? 

Because not only do students deserve to live their best lives, they deserve to be BRAVE about it. It?s up to educators, families, and community members to remind students that doing what?s right isn?t a challenge, it?s a source of strength and pride! You are invited to join Discovery Education as we inspire K-12 students to turn practical substance misuse prevention skills into a secret superpower that they can use to emerge victorious in school and beyond. 

Discovery Education?s Health & Wellness resources equip students of all learning levels with a science-based background knowledge of the most common types of substance misuse threatening their communitiesExplore effective refusal and exit strategies that students can add to their utility belts in case obstacles arise. 

Read on to learn how these interactive, easy-to-understand resources can be used to spark important conversations that will help ensure better decision-making throughout students? life adventures 

Empowering Healthy Student Heroes 

Expand students? knowledge of the impact of substance misuse on their bodies and brains, and empower them to explore refusal tactics and strategies for responding to peer pressure with resources from Dose of Knowledge ? part of CVS Health?s Pharmacists Teach program connecting pharmacists to classrooms. Join Dose of Knowledge, CVS Health, and Discovery Education during Red Ribbon Week to participate in live events and activities to inspire critical conversations and support the health and wellbeing of our students and communities. 

Be Vape Free gives students the tools they need to understand the vaping crisis and to make healthy decisions no matter what the people around them are doing. Let students rise above common misconceptions regarding e-cigarettes and defeat peer pressure through the evidence-based CATCH My Breath program, so that nothing stands in the way of their success. 

Ask, Listen, Learn enables parents and guardians to provide the crucial support that students need to say ?YES? to a healthy lifestyle and ?NO? to underage drinking and underage cannabis use. Encourage positive and open discussion with the entire family with a diverse array of science-based digital resources. 

Operation Prevention helps students embrace the power of healthy choices using eye-opening real-world storiesand mind-blowing brain science modules and videos. Give your students the go-to stress-management skills needed to say ?No? to opioid & prescription medication misuse. 

The power of prevention is a special gift that will keep on giving in the lives of your young masterminds. Visit Discovery Education Experience for additional Health & Wellness resources to empower courageous student heroes during these challenging times.

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A Week of Resources Connecting Students to Innovation and Resourcefulness

By Callie Bendickson, Principal of Corporate Social Responsibility at Itron

Where there is water, there is life, and every drop of water makes a world of difference. From drinking and hygiene to food and energy, water means survival.

Now, with so many students learning from a virtual distance, educators have new and unique resources they can integrate into classroom instruction and teach students all the ways they can be more thoughtful when they turn on the tap.  Through no-cost content from Conservation Station: Creating a More Resourceful World?a standards-aligned educational program that promotes energy-water literacy and conservation efforts through technology?teachers can now inspire sustainability in grades 6-9. Conservation Station: Creating a More Resourceful World was created through a partnership between Itron and Discovery Education.

Integrate Conservation Station: Creating a More Resourceful World into classroom instruction during the Week of Resourcefulness, October 26th to October 30th. Here is a proposed lesson plan for the week:

Monday, October 26
The ?Smart Schools? activity lets students completely reimagine traditional energy models to help reduce their school?s carbon footprint.

Students calculate how much money the school district will save in the cost of gasoline used by school buses and identify ways to spend the yearly savings to implement green infrastructure in their schools. Teams summarize and communicate their plan by creating a video to ?pitch? their hybrid schedule to their superintendent.

At the end of the lessons, students can:

  • Determine the number of miles driven, gasoline consumed, and carbon emitted by the buses used in the school district.
  • Develop a hybrid school schedule with a mix of online and face-to-face instruction.
  • Calculate the total savings in gasoline using their hybrid schedule.
  • Organize a plan to use the yearly savings of their hybrid schedule to implement green infrastructure in their schools.

Tuesday, October 27
Explore ?Sustainability Challenge,? an activity showing students how to create recycling loops to optimize both resource and waste management.

In small design teams, they identify solutions to hypothetical challenge scenarios that require them to sustainably manage both resources and waste. They discover the relationship between energy, water, and food by selecting biorecycling techniques (algae photobioreactors, anaerobic digesters, and composting) to map the flow within and between their biorecycling systems.

Learning objectives include the ability to:

  • Compare the inputs and outputs for photobioreactors, anaerobic digesters, and composting.
  • Create recycling loops by matching resource inputs and waste outputs to convert waste into resources.
  • Construct flowcharts mapping the energy, water, and nutrient flows within and between biorecyling systems.

Wednesday, October 28

Join in for two live events!

  • For Educators: Envision Charlotte?s Cities & Circularity Free Virtual Panel
    Schools are playing a vital role in developing a whole new generation of leaders in sustainability.  The panel session will explore education in K-12 public schools, universities and other programs reaching today?s youth. Please join us from 9-10:30 am EST for the Curriculum for Circularity free panel session with Discovery Education?s Director of STEM Curriculum on the future of STEM education and how Conservation Station will be a part of making strides towards accessible education about the water-energy nexus.
  • For Your Class: Thirst for Power Film Q&A
    Register your class for a live screening of the documentary Thirst for Power followed by a Q&A with the two film creators, Dr. Michael Webber and Mat Hemes. This film will take students across various locations to explore the history of civilization?s quest to procure abundant water and energy. The documentary provides students with insights into the latest science of energy and water.

Thursday, October 29
The ?Quenching the Thirst of the Future? activity channels students? engineering skills as they design a new model for water treatment.

In this hands-on engineering activity, design teams will plan, build, and test a desalination plant using a thermal process approach. Using a saltwater circuit, they test and evaluate the efficiency of their prototype and compare their results with other design teams to identify and discuss ways to improve the efficiency of their desalination plant model.

With this lesson, students can:

  • Describe the thermal process of water desalination.
  • Construct a model of a desalination plant.
  • Evaluate and revise the design of their model by testing for the presence of salt.

Friday, October 30

Kick back with your classroom and end your Week of Resourcefulness by watching Conservation Station?s latest Virtual Field Trip ?Inifinite Possibilities: Internet of Things?.

During the completely virtual experience, students in grades 6-9 gain an exciting look at how the internet they use in their everyday lives can conserve natural resources, protect ecosystems, and create safer, more sustainable communities. Students also dive into the world of cutting-edge smart technology and sustainable innovation by meeting talented real-world STEM professionals.

Bonus! The virtual field trip has an accompanying educator?s guide, providing all the resources teachers need to make a lasting educational impact while connecting the dots between the innovation and sustainability needed to inspire more resourceful communities, and create a more resourceful world.

For even more content from Conservation Station, turn to or the Discovery Education Experience platform.

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Expand Students? Nuclear Science Knowledge! Introduce New Resources from Navigating Nuclear During Nuclear Science Week

Do your students know that nuclear technology helps to keep people safe and healthy. Runway lights in the Alaskan outback, heart pacemakers, smoke detectors, criminal investigations, coating non-stick frying pans, luggage and security screening ? all use radiation to make our lives easier and more productive. You can help students explore the many applications of nuclear science with all new resources from Navigating Nuclear, a program developed in partnership with the American Nuclear Society. 

Recognize Nuclear Science Week October 19th through 23rd by introducing students in grades K-12 to the innovative work of professionals in the field of nuclear science! 

ALL NEW Elementary School Content

Introduce young minds to the wide world of nuclear science with thoughtful activities making atoms fun and igniting curiosity about energy.  

Creative Middle School Resources

From standards-aligned lesson plans about the impacts of energy and radiation to project-based learning activities sparking STEM problem-solving, these middle school resources give teachers and students what they need to meet nuclear science where they are.

Thought-Provoking High School Materials

Explore the vast world of nuclear science with your students to uncover the diverse applications of this field and debunk some common misconceptions. Going beyond fission and fusion, students learn key nuclear science concepts while developing invaluable STEM skills.

Real-World Career Exploration 

Jobs abound in the field of nuclear energy and other related fields, blossoming from unexpected pathways and in disciplines you might not think of when you think nuclear science. Extend discussions around STEM applications beyond the classroom with the real-world professionals in nuclear-related careers and the impacts they are having on their communities and the world at large.

Students can even journey to the leading nuclear research facility in the country, Idaho National Laboratory with the Nuclear Reimagined Virtual Field Trip 

Take advantage of the opportunity to expand your science curriculum and encourage your students? curiosity by introducing these new materials during Nuclear Science Week.  You can find more resources from Navigating Nuclear in Discovery Education Experience!  




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