Category archives for United States
You’ll get an extra hour of sleep this weekend! Daylight saving time ends for most of the U.S. on November 4.
Daylight saving time isn’t observed everywhere in the United States. Some places, like American Samoa, Hawaii and most of Arizona, don’t change their clocks. For those places that do observe it, though, the law says that people must set their clocks back one hour to standard time at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in November. This Sunday, the sun will set an hour earlier. During daylight saving time, there’s less light in the morning and more light in the evening.
What is daylight saving time? Get the scoop in this News Bite.
Spend your extra hour this weekend reading a good book! Get recommendations from other kids on the DogEared Books Blog.
Photograph by Jellybean12, NG Kids My Shot
You probably know that the election for the President of the United States is coming up on November 6. But who can run for President, and how does the president get elected? Kids.gov had a contest in 2010 where people had the chance to design a poster that explains the whole process–from how old you have to be to get in the running, to how the election’s final decisions are made. The winning poster is now available on the Kids.gov website.
Illustration courtesy of Kids.gov
Celebrate America’s parks on May 19! Kids all over the country will be visiting parks this Saturday. Are you planning to visit a park with your family this weekend? Check out the National Kids to Parks Day website to find an event near you and register to participate. As the National Park Trust mascot Buddy Bison says, “Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!”
Did you visit a park for National Kids to Parks Day last year?
Do you have a favorite national park or state park?
Photograph by Jim Neumann, My Shot
Celebrate America’s parks on May 19! Kids nationwide are gearing up for the second annual National Kids to Parks Day. “National Kids to Parks Day encourages children across America to get out and play. This simple idea of playing in a park can potentially give millions of kids the reason to get active and get outside just as families prepare for summer,” said Grace Lee, executive director of the National Park Trust.
Visit the National Kids to Parks Day website to find an event near you and register to participate. As the National Park Trust mascot Buddy Bison says, “Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!”
Photograph by Joel Ocay, My Shot
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to explore Hawaii? Write an essay about why you would like to explore this Hawaiian island and draw a picture of what you think you would see, and you could win a weeklong trip to O’ahu with Andrew Evans, National Geographic’s Digital Nomad.
Which superhero would you be and why? That’s the question that nine-year-old Ari Garnick asked the Republican candidates this summer. Ari took some time away from books and LEGOs to talk to the candidates as they criss-crossed his home state of New Hampshire. He met Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman at a Fourth of July parade in Amherst, New Hampshire. He also got to see Romney hand out coffee and sandwiches at a local diner. Ari braved a massive crowd at the opening of Herman Cain’s headquarters in Manchester, New Hampshire. “If you have claustrophobia, you’d want to stay away from there,” but Ari squeezed his way through to talk to Cain. He met Rick Perry at a house party, Rick Santorum at a Greek festival, and Newt Gingrich at a “meet and greet.” He and his dad took a long drive to see Ron Paul at Keene State College, but Paul seemed “more interested in talking to adults,” said Ari. As a consolation, Ari’s dad took him for some pizza and ice cream. He and his dad were not able to talk to Michele Bachmann, but they hope to when she is back in New Hampshire.
Today, people in Iowa gather in the Iowa caucuses, the first election event and chance for people in Iowa to pick the Republican they want on the ballot to face off against President Barack Obama this fall. The 2012 presidential election is many months away and will be held on November 6, but the Republican candidates have already spent a lot of time on the campaign trail in 2011.
Ari thinks the election process is interesting, but he doesn’t think kids should be allowed to vote. “Kids don’t know anything about the candidates and might just like their name,” he said. Most of his friends aren’t interested in the election.
Don’t forget to fall back this Sunday! Daylight saving time ends for most of the U.S. on November 6 this year. The law says that people must set their clocks back to standard time at 2 a.m. on the first Sunday in November. That means changing the clock back one hour at 2 a.m. During the winter months, there will be a bit more light in the morning, but the sun will set earlier in the evening.
Some places, like American Samoa, Hawaii, and most of Arizona, don’t mess with Father Time. But why do we move our clocks one hour forward in the spring anyway? There was no standardized time until train travel became common. The U.S. railroad industry established time zones with standard times in 1883, and Congress made the railroad’s system a law in 1918. The next year, the decision of whether or not to observe daylight saving time was left up to individual jurisdictions.
When updating legislation in the 1980s, Congress noted that daylight saving time has many benefits, including “more daylight outdoor playtime for the children and youth of our Nation.” Not everyone agrees that this is beneficial, however. Till Roenneberg, a chronobiologist at Ludwig-Maximillans University in Munich, Germany, says that our bodies never really adjust to the different light schedule during daylight saving time.
Photograph by Christian Loidl, My Shot
Sunday is the tenth anniversary of 9/11. On September 11, 2001 terrorists hijacked four planes and flew two of them into the World Trade Center in New York City, another crashed into the Pentagon building near Washington, D.C., and the remaining plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. The National Geographic Society was directly affected that day, as two Society employees were on one of the planes. Many people will be remembering the events of that day. The memorials at the World Trade Center site and at the Pentagon will continue to help people remember 9/11 long into the future.
National Geographic Kids magazine interviewed students from a school four blocks away from the World Trade Center when they returned to their school five months after 9/11. In the September 2011 issue, you can find out what some of the students are doing ten years later.
Photograph by Matt McClain, The Washington Post/Getty Images
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar designated six new national natural landmarks last week. One of the new landmarks, Lake Billy Chinook in Oregon, is pictured above. In a statement, Salazar said “By designating these remarkable sites in Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington as national natural landmarks, we help establish and pass down to future generations those awe-inspiring places that make America truly beautiful.”
Photograph by Buddy Mays, Alamy
Snowmelt and heavy rainfall in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota have swollen the Mississippi River to near-record levels. Flooding has occurred in Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Some rural areas have been flooded by opening spillways on the river. Doing this might help keep flood water out of big cities.
Photograph by Patrick Semansky, AP
Do you know how someone becomes President of the United States? Well, a lot of kids ask that question on the website, Kids.gov. Now is your chance to help explain how the process works as part of a contest on Kids.gov. Create a poster or infographic (information graphic) containing the information on how the presidential election works and submit it to kids.gov. The winner of the contest will receive $2,500, and their entry will be featured on Kids.gov. The entry period ends on November 3, 2010.
Learn more about the poster contest on the Kids.gov website.
If you were President for a day, what kind of zany stuff might happen? Add your words to this Funny Fill-In to create your own story.
Image courtesy kids.gov
This summer, kids participating in the Junior Ranger programs at national parks across the country can earn a special sticker designating them Let’s Move Outside Junior Rangers! All you have to do to get your sticker is do a physical activity while working towards your Junior Ranger badge. Check the Let’s Move website and see if a park near you participates.
Learn more about Let’s Move Outside on the Let’s Move! website.
How much do you know about the national parks?
Quiz Your Noodle and find out!
Photograph courtesy of the National Park Service
Have you seen ladybugs near where you live? Did you know that the ladybugs you see may not be from a native ladybug species? Over the years, native ladybugs have become rare, while species of ladybugs that come from other places have become more common. The Lost Ladybug Project is looking for native ladybugs (and counting invasive ladybugs, too) to find out why the native species are becoming so rare.
You can help by finding and photographing ladybugs! Visit the Lost Ladybug Project website with your parents to learn how to find ladybugs and send in your pictures.
Get the facts on ladybugs in the Creature Feature.
Photograph by Paul Garcia, My Shot
On May 18, 1980, the Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington State erupted. The eruption (which was heard hundreds of miles away) blew off the top of the mountain, destroyed miles of forest, and killed 57 people.
In the 30 years since the eruption, scientists have been able to study how an ecosystem recovers from a volcanic eruption. What was once a desolate, gray blast zone in 1980 is now home to many plants and animals. Although it has not had an eruption of the same size since 1980, Mount St. Helens is one of the most active volcanoes in the United States and could erupt again.
Read more about the potential danger from Mount St. Helens on National Geographic News.
See a gallery of images of Mount St. Helens on National Geographic.
Think you know volcanoes? Quiz Your Noodle and prove it!
Photograph by Peter Lipman, USGS and Gene Iwatsubo, USGS
This weekend is the perfect opportunity to pitch a tent, take a hike, or tour a national park near you to celebrate National Park Week, from April 17 to April 25. The park service is also waiving the entrance fees at all 392 parks in the U.S., and many parks are holding special events during the week, including some Earth Day activities.
Learn more about National Park Week on the National Park Service website.
Photograph by Caity Lynch, My Shot
Yesterday morning, First Lady Michelle Obama had a town hall meeting to talk about childhood obesity. Our reporter Reed, along with other kids from around the country, attended the meeting at the White House to talk with Mrs. Obama about her Let’s Move program and eating healthy foods. Here’s Reed’s report from the town hall meeting.
REED: Michelle Obama got inspired to work on ending childhood obesity because she is a mom, and she wants to improve the health of all kids. Changing school lunches so that there are healthy foods will really help, and recess should never be taken out the school day because it’s exercise. Kids shouldn’t always watch TV or play video games. Get outside, because exercise is just moving! The longer you do something unhealthy, the harder it is to break the habit. Kids should start good habits, not bad ones.
How did kids grade President Obama on his first year as President? Read the News Bite and find out.
Photographs by Jason Golomb and Evan Vucci/AP Photo
Have you ever hiked or camped in a national park? Then you probably have seen a park ranger on duty. The National Park Foundation wants kids ages 9 to 12 to enter a contest and write an essay answering this question: If you were a National Park Ranger for a day, how would you describe the national parks to someone who’s never been before?
The winner of the contest will receive $200 in Merrell gift certificates, an Olympus camera, and an America the Beautiful pass. The pass allows free entry to all of America’s recreation lands.
Learn more about the contest on the National Park Foundation website.
Want some inspiration? Visit the photo gallery to see great shots from the parks, then Quiz Your Noodle and see how much you know about these national treasures.
What is a decennial census? It’s a count of the population of the United States that only happens once a decade (10 years). The first official count of the 2010 census took place in Noorvik, a remote village in Alaska that is in the Arctic Circle. In the photo above, you can see U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves traveling to meet with Noorvik residents by dogsled.
Many of the people living in Alaska’s remote villages leave for hunting or fishing grounds during the spring thaw, so the census traditionally begins earlier there than the rest of the United States. People living in bigger Alaskan cities will receive the census form by mail in mid-March, along with the rest of the country. Taking a national census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Census data is important for determining how many seats a state gets in the House of Representatives, as well as how to distribute funds for schools and hospitals.
Learn more about the 2010 decennial census on the U.S. Census Bureau website.
How much do you know about the Iditarod, the famous yearly dogsled race? Quiz Your Noodle and find out!
Photograph courtesy U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office
The 2009 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony begins today 5 p.m. EST today. There will be musical entertainment (including Jordin Sparks and Sheryl Crow) during the event, and for the finale, President Obama will light the National Christmas Tree. The giant tree doesn’t stand alone. There are also 56 smaller trees representing each state and territory, as well as the District of Columbia.
TV stations across the country will broadcast the ceremony. You can also watch the ceremony online at www.thenationaltree.org. Will you be tuning in?
Read more about the National Christmas Tree on the National Park Service website.
How much do you know about winter holidays? Quiz Your Noodle and find out!
Photograph by Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP
Photograph by Lisa Poole, AP
Daylight saving time ends for most of the U.S. on November 1. But why do we change our clocks by one hour in the spring in the first place? “In the early 19th century … localities set their own time,” said Bill Mosley, a public affairs officer at the U.S. Department of Transportation. There was no standardized time until train travel became common. The U.S. railroad industry established time zones with standard times in 1883, and Congress made the railroad’s system a law in 1918. The next year, the decision of whether or not to observe daylight saving time was left up to individual jurisdictions.
Some places, like American Samoa, Hawaii and most of Arizona, don’t mess with Father Time. For those places that do observe it, though, the law says that people must set their clocks back to standard time at 2:00 a.m. on the first Sunday in November. This Sunday, the sun will set an hour earlier. The switch to daylight saving time again on the second Sunday in March “adjust[s] daylight hours to when most people are awake and about,” Mosley said. During daylight saving time months, there’s less light in the morning and more light in the evening. Although more light in the evening isn’t helpful to everyone (like farmers), research shows that longer daylight hours decrease traffic accidents and crimes.
When updating legislation in the 1980s, Congress noted that daylight saving time has many benefits, including “more daylight outdoor playtime for the children and youth of our Nation.”
Read more about daylight saving time on National Geographic News.
Read about atomic clocks on National Geographic News.
Spend your extra hour this weekend reading a book! Get recommendations from other kids on the DogEared Books Blog.
Read about an invention that wakes you up with bacon on National Geographic Kids.
Beginning in 2010, coin collectors will be able to collect a series of 56 new quarters that will depict national sites in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The mint worked with state officials to select the sites and collaborated with the U.S. Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The first five quarters in the series will depict:
- Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
- Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
- Yosemite National Park, California
- Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
- Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon
Get the release dates for all 56 quarters on the United States Mint website.
Quiz Your Noodle and find out how much you know about the national parks.
Photograph by Gerald Herbert/AP
This morning, President Barack Obama welcomed kids across the country back to school. He stressed the importance of getting an education in his remarks, saying “…no matter what you want to do with your life – I guarantee that you’ll need an education to do it.” He also challenged students to take charge of their own educations by setting goals for themselves and working hard to achieve them.
Was today your first day of school? Did you set new goals for this school year?
Read President Obama’s speech on the White House website.
Malia and Sasha Obama now have the dog their dad promised them on election night. Their new puppy is a 6-month-old Portuguese water dog. The girls have named their new pal Bo. Soon he’ll be running around the White House lawns–maybe he’ll even visit the vegetable garden!
Learn more about Portuguese water dogs on the American Kennel Club site.
Quiz Your Noodle on other dog breeds!
Photograph by Pete Souza/The White House/AP
Happy Opening Day! Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a
professional mascot? How about one of the running presidents for the
Stephanie Montgomery, a National Geographic employee, tried out to be a racing president in February. During tryouts, the four “presidents” (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt) had to run a race around the baseball diamond. in full costume while wearing a giant head! Montgomery says that the giant head “was not as heavy as I had feared, but it was very awkward. I had listened to some tips
from some of the other folks who had run already, and knew that you
should lean back for balance and comfort, but push your head forward
for vision. It also seemed that small choppy steps were the way to go.
Photograph courtesy Kate Baylor
Read the whole post »
Photograph by Ron Edmonds/AP
First Lady Michelle Obama broke ground on a new vegetable garden on the White House lawn last week with help of students from Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, D.C. The last time there were veggies growing at the White House was when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was President in the 1940s.
Over 50 different vegetables, fruits, and herbs will be grown in the White House Kitchen Garden. There will also be two beehives for honey. Some of the green goodies will be added to the menu by the White House chefs, and others will be donated to Miriam’s Kitchen, a Washington, D.C. soup kitchen.
Learn how to plant your own veggies and flowers!
See photos of the First Lady working on the garden on the White House Blog.