Has your family ever dreamed of exploring Costa Rica? Pottery Barn Kids has announced a sweepstakes for families. Only adults can enter the Pottery Barn Kids Dare To Explore Costa Rica sweepstakes. One family will win an amazing eight-day trip with National Geographic Expeditions to explore the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Panama aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion!
This spring, swarms of periodical cicadas will emerge on the east coast of the United States. These Brood II (or Brood 2), 1.5-inch long cicadas spend most of their lives underground, coming to the surface 17 years after they were laid as eggs by their mother! The cicadas start appearing after the temperature in the ground rises to 64°F. The year’s first cicadas have been spotted in the last few days.
They don’t sting or bite, but there will be millions of them crawling and flying around.
This Sunday, May 12, is a day for families in the U.S. and many other countries to celebrate their moms! President Woodrow Wilson declared the second Sunday in May to be set aside as a Mother’s Day holiday in 1914, and we have been celebrating every year since then.
Do you do anything special for your mom on Mother’s Day?
National Kids to Parks Day is Saturday, May 18. National Kids to Parks Day is all about kids connecting with nature, so visit the National Kids to Parks Day website to find an event near you! As the National Park Trust mascot Buddy Bison says, “Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!”
You may have seen a dog accompanying a passenger on your local bus, but some wild animals have been spotted hitching a ride on public transportation! In 2002, a coyote climbed aboard a Portland, Oregon, light rail train and snuggled into a seat. Wildlife specialists removed the coyote before the train started moving. Cats, pigeons, and even rhesus monkeys have been spotted on buses and light rail trains!
It’s time to celebrate the national parks! April 27 is volunteer day, so look for opportunities to help out in your nearest national park.
National Park Week began on April 20 and runs through April 28. Is your family going to visit a national park this weekend?
Hi, I’m Lucy Gammon, 13-year-old NG Kids reporter, and on Monday I got the chance to visit the Vice President’s residence for a reception honoring the National and State Teachers of the Year. Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden, an educator herself, welcomed all the teachers to her house and talked about how important teachers are in the world.
I got the chance to talk to the 2013 National Teacher of Year, Jeff Carbonneau, a high school teacher from Washington state. Jeff told me he was planning to be a vet, but took a tutoring job and “was hooked” on teaching. So he switched his major and became a teacher. He teaches science and engineering classes.
He also enjoys the outdoors. I decided to ask him what animal he would be if he could be any animal in the world. He said he would be a giraffe, because giraffes are able to look over everything and see things in a different perspective.
Earth Day is April 22! How are you and your family going to celebrate? It’s a great day to get outside and ride bikes, or make a point to recycle, but there are other ways you could spend the day. You can learn more about the Earth and the animals and creatures that make the world a special place to be.
Below are lists of books from National Geographic and movies which you and your family may want to take a look at on Earth Day. They all share the common theme of the environment (and some have cute animals too)! Do you have any favorites on the list?
True Green Kids: 100 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet by Kim McKay and Jenny Bonnin
This book offers you 100 great tips and tricks on how you can make a difference. Being environmentally friendly isn’t hard with these great ideas!
Classic Treasury of Childhood Wonders by Susan Magsamen
You’ll never get bored with this environmentally aware book. Chock-full of poetry, literature, art and activity ideas, there is something for everyone and is great to share with the family.
Book of Animal Poetry edited by J. Patrick Lewis
Poetry is pretty great. Animals, are also pretty great. How about 200 poems about animals with pictures? Really great! This book is full of roaring, squeaking and soaring.
National Parks Guide U.S.A.
America’s National Parks are some of the country’s most valued treasures. This book has lots of great pictures of the sites, facts about animals there, tips on exploring, and more.
Amazing facts about 2,500 animals! This book has maps, fun trivia and 1,000 color pictures of just about any animal you’re curious about.
The World Is Waiting for You by Barbara Kerley
How many times have you been asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” This book helps you figure it out based on things you love and are interested in now as a kid. All the while encouraging you to explore, discover, and go on adventures!
A Cool Drink of Water by Barbara Kerley
This picture book helps show how we are all connected around the world by our need for water. It doesn’t matter if you get it from the kitchen or scoop it up from a river, we all need this vital resource.
One World, One Day by Barbara Kerley
No matter where you are from or where you are going there is one very basic fact: we are all sharing the same journey. Through amazing pictures and storytelling, see how we are all connected.
Backyard Wilderness by Catherine Herbert Howell
Here’s a pocket guide to many of the great animals found in North America including bats, squirrels, birds and bugs.
Earth in the Hot Seat by Marfe Ferguson Delano
Take a look at how the environment is changing and the scientific reasons behind. Maybe it’ll inspire you to make a difference!
This film shows what may happen to our Earth in the future if we don’t take care of it and leave it behind. By taking care of ourselves and protecting the Earth, we can live in a happy and healthy environment.
Can you imagine living in a world without trees? They provide us with oxygen and hundreds of homes for animals. We can all be like the Lorax and protect the remaining trees, or even plant new ones!
Though the rainforests may not be the home of fairies, it is an important ecosystem for other plants and animals. Deforestation and pollution are one the greatest threats to these lush habitats.
After seeing all the beauty that’s out there, can you imagine it all being wiped out by mankind’s careless ways? Do your part to make the Earth a better place for all of these animals.
How would you react if someone took away your home? These animals aren’t going to stand for the overdevelopment of their land!
March of the Penguins
Take another look at how amazing animals are and their natural environments. It’s our job to protect them.
Not everyone has the environment’s best interest at heart. But just like these kids in the movie, you can take a stand and make a difference.
Most humans eat three meals a day, yet the Dolly Varden trout can go up to a year without eating anything! This fish can expand or shrink its stomach, depending on how much food it can (or can’t) find.
Dolly Varden trout eat the eggs that salmon lay during their spawning season. However, since food can be scarce, they must conserve their energy. By shrinking their intestinal tracts, they can use less energy until they are able to find more food. When they finally get a chance to eat salmon eggs, they can expand their stomachs. Imagine how helpful that would be when you want to finish a banana split!
Calling all budding chefs! If you are between the ages of 8 and 12, you are eligible to submit an original recipe to the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. After the grand success of its inaugural year, Michelle Obama, the USDA, the U.S. Department of Education, and Epicurious have teamed up once more to see what delicious and healthy recipe kids have to offer.
“Last year’s young chefs impressed and inspired me with their creativity, and I can’t wait to welcome a whole new group to the White House this summer and taste their creations,” says Michelle Obama.
One winner from each of the 50 states and U.S. Territories will come to Washington D.C. over the summer and attend the Kids’ “State Dinner,” which will be hosted by the First Lady! Selected entries will be served at the event.
You can submit virtually any meal or dish, from sandwiches, soups and pastas to salads, stews, and yogurt parfaits. Your submission has to be original, affordable and delicious. Since this is the Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, half of your dish should be made up of fruits and veggies, grains, lean proteins, or low-fat dairy.
So, in the words of the First Lady, “let’s get cooking!”
Do you like to cook?
Erin Henderson, a linebacker on the Minnesota Vikings football team, has always loved big cats. While watching shows on the Nat Geo WILD channel during Big Cat Week, he was inspired to become what we like to call a “LIONbacker,” and help raise awareness of these endangered animals. He wants to make sure they will still be around when his two-year-old son grows up. He contacted National Geographic and offered to raise both awareness and money through his “Sacks for Cats” campaign–he pledged to make a donation for every sack he made during the 2012-2013 NFL season.
Henderson recently visited National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C. with his family to present a $5,000 check to the Big Cats Initiative.
Zoe Willcutts, age 10, is a National Geographic Kids reporter and covered the events at this year’s White House Easter Egg Roll. Here is her report.
I went to the White House Easter Egg Roll as a kid reporter to take photos and a poll. I asked 53 people the same question: if they were president, what color would they dye the White House for Easter? I got a full rainbow of choices. Race car driver Danica Patrick said teal. Chef Spike Mendelsohn chose lime green. Al Roker, from the Today show, said he would choose lavender. Teen singer Coco Jones agreed and picked lavender too. Singer Austin Mahone said he would go with red because it was his favorite color. The band members of The Wanted were all over the map–Max chose black, Tom chose pink, and Siva said, “definitely light blue.” And best of all was the Kid President’s answer: Red, white and blue!
I also got to ask a few people what they thought ordinary kids could do to make a difference in the world. Today host Al Roker said kids can help their parents. Danica Patrick, the NASCAR driver, encouraged kids to give compliments, because “it feels great to give them and to get them.” And the Kid President Robbie Novak said “I’ve got this covered; I’m all about how we can make a difference! Don’t throw trash on the ground.”
Overall, it was a great day and I really enjoyed meeting people and seeing everyone outside being healthy and active on the White House lawn.
Andrew Evans, National Geographic’s Digital Nomad, recently traveled to South Padre Island in Texas. During his stay, he visited Sea Turtle Inc, an organization that helps injured sea turtles recover before releasing them back into the wild.
Andrew met a turtle named Allison at the facility. Allison is a green sea turtle that has lost three out of her four flippers, probably to a shark. Allison has been given a prosthetic fin to help her swim.
Today is Holi, the Hindu ”Festival of Colors.” To celebrate the arrival of spring, people light bonfires and throw colorful powder and water at each other. During the festival, it’s not uncommon to see people with all kinds of colors covering their face, hair, and clothing! Most people who observe Holi live in India and Nepal, but Hindus all over the world join in the celebration.
James Cameron, the movie director and National Geographic explorer-in-residence who made the world’s deepest solo dive last year, donated his DEEPSEA CHALLENGER sub and formed a partnership with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, or WHOI. The scientists at WHOI will work with Cameron to use the sub’s technologies on other research platforms and expeditions.
You may have heard that roosters crow when the sun comes up, but scientists at Nagoya University in Japan have discovered that roosters don’t even need to see the sun to know when to crow! Their internal clocks let them know when the new day is beginning. The scientists first exposed the roosters to two weeks of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dim light. The roosters would begin crowing two hours before the light conditions began. In a second experiment, the roosters were kept under dim light for 24 hours a day for two weeks. The roosters began crowing at around the same time every day when they thought it was dawn.
Kristen Navara, a hormone specialist in poultry at the University of Georgia in Athens, had noticed that sunlight didn’t appear before the roosters began crowing. “We have definitely noticed in our own roosters that they begin to crow before dawn and have wondered why that was, but just never thought to test whether it was a circadian rhythm driven by an internal clock rather than an external cue.”
Tomorrow is March 14, or 3/14. That means it’s time to celebrate Pi Day! Pi, represented with the Greek letter π, is a mathematical term for the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. It is used in geometry, physics, and engineering. Although Pi is actually an infinite decimal, the first three digits of the number are 3.14, which is why we celebrate Pi on March 14.
Are you planning to celebrate Pi Day? You could eat a slice of pie! Get more ideas for Pi Day activities on the Exploratorium website.
While most six-to-nine-year-old boys spend most of their days studying and playing, Richard Turere of Kenya tried to protect his father’s cows from lions. Richard found the lions “very annoying, because they were killing my father’s cows.” He started thinking up ways to scare away the lions. He tried everything from fires (which only seemed to help the lions) to scarecrows. Yet, the lions would find a way around because they “are very clever,” he says. However, he noticed the most effective way was when he would walk around with a flashlight.
After taking apart his mother’s new radio, he rigged a few simple wires and light bulbs together to create a machine that would flash a series of lights, tricking the lions into thinking someone was walking around with a flashlight. It worked, and soon there were seven other homes in Richard’s community using his “lion lights.”
We all know that there are some people who are vegetarians, but did you know there are plants that eat meat? These plants eat unsuspecting insects that land on them. Like any good hunter these plants tend to lay traps to lure their dinners. They do this through appealing smells, bright colors, and yummy nectars. However, it has been discovered that some plants also glow under ultraviolet light! This blue glow is invisible to the human eye, but insects can see it and are attracted to it.
The plants have special cells that help them produce their glow. Scientists note that carnivorous plants tend to grow in poor soil, so they trap insects to get more nutrients.
On Friday, February 15, a meteor broke into fragments before hitting the ground near Chelyabinsk, Russia, creating a sonic boom that shattered windows and injured as many as a thousand people. No more meteorites are expected to fall in the region in the near future.
How much do you know about comets and meteors? Quiz Your Noodle and find out!
Scientists have recently discovered two new moons orbiting the dwarf planet Pluto, bringing the total up to five. SETI scientists are asking people to send in their name ideas for the newly-discovered moons. The names must come from Greek or Roman mythology and have something to do with Pluto/Hades and the underworld. The three moons that already have names are called Charon, Hydra, and Nix.
How good are Adelie penguins at fishing? Amazingly good, according to new footage taken with cameras mounted to the backs of 14 penguins. The penguins never missed their prey on their recorded dives. The Japanese researchers who worked on the study found that the penguins could catch two krill per second, and could catch as many as 14 fish every 20 seconds.
National Geographic Kids magazine is on its way to claiming two Guinness World Records! 30,914 people helped take the title for most people running 100 meters in 24 hours, on October 26, 2012. NG Kids hopes to set the title for largest of collection of shoes to recycle.
This morning, NG Kids staff emptied over 50 gigantic boxes of shoes and laid them all out heel to toe at National Geographic Society’s headquarters, and then the official count by Guinness World Records began. Guinness World Records officials will be on hand to announce the number of shoes collected at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, February 5.
All of the used sneakers were collected from families and kids who wanted to help make a difference. However a few of those sneakers came from the likes of Taylor Swift, One Direction, Eli Manning, Danica Patrick, and Amanda Beard!
The athletic shoes will be sent to the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program which recycles shoes into Nike Grind. This is a material used in athletic surfaces like basketball courts and running tracks. The record will not be known until the shoes have been delivered to Nike for recycling.
NG Kids has set five other Guinness World Records in the past including longest line of footprints, largest collection of plush toys, longest chain of shoes, most items of clothing collected for recycling, and most people doing jumping jacks in 24 hours. We can’t wait to add two more to the list!
Please be patient while we create certificates for those of you who had 100 participants or more in running events.
Saturday, February 2, is Groundhog Day! According to legend, if a groundhog sees his shadow, we can expect six more weeks of wintery weather. If there’s no shadow, spring is on the way! The most famous groundhog is Pennsylvania’s Punxatawney Phil. There are other weather-predicting groundhogs too, such as Raleigh, North Carolina’s Sir Walter Wally (pictured above) and Washington, D.C.’s “National Groundhog” Potomac Phil.
What is your prediction? Will we have six more weeks of winter?
Do you want to help change the world? Google is encouraging young researchers, innovators, and inventors from around the world to share their projects in the third annual Google Science Fair. If you are between the ages of 13 and 18, all you need is an idea to get started!
If you are chosen as one of the 15 global finalists, you will get to go to Google’s headquarters in California to present your idea in front of a group of panelists including two National Geographic Explorers. Not only do you get a chance to share your great idea on how to change the world, you’ll also be competing to win the grand prize: a National Geographic Expedition to the Galapagos Islands!
Just because you’re a kid doesn’t mean you can’t help change the world. Thomas Edison, who invented the light bulb, was just 14 when he got his start. Albert Einstein was 16 and his fascination with magnets led to his famous E = mc2. Google’s Science Fair can help you develop your science or engineering ideas on how to better our world.
The Google Science Fair launches January 30, 2013 and will be accepting applications up through April 30, 2013. This is the largest online science fair in the world. What are you waiting for? Start submitting your great ideas today; it’s your turn to change the world!