Frost Science

FaviconFrost Science Receives Hearst Foundations Grant for Online Educator Pilot Program 2 Dec 2019, 12:17 pm

The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is proud to announce that it is one of 73 recipients of a Fall 2019 grant from the Hearst Foundations. The museum was selected to pilot an online professional development program for preschool educators.

“We deeply appreciate this grant award from the Hearst Foundations as it makes it possible for us to create and pilot a series of online professional development videos for preschool teachers who are using Early Childhood Hands-On Science (ECHOS®) curriculum, developed here at Frost Science,” said Cheryl Lani Juárez, Senior Director of Professional Development at Frost Science.

Currently, online professional development is not available for the early childhood educators at preschools, children’s museums and science museums across the country that implement the ECHOS® curriculum. The Getting Started with ECHOS® program will ensure that educators who use the ECHOS® curriculum have access to high-quality training for implementation that will create more reliable results, while providing the flexibility for already busy educators to learn more about the curriculum on their own timeline.  

The Heart Foundations serve as a national philanthropic resource for organizations and institutions operating in the fields of culture, education, health and social service. Millions of dollars are awarded quarterly to help people of all backgrounds lead healthy, productive and inspiring lives.  

Click here to learn more about ECHOS.® 

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FaviconInspiring Underserved Youth: New Maker/STEM Education Support 2 Dec 2019, 12:09 pm

The Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is pleased to join the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in announcing $1.9 million in new funding from the US Department of Education, expanding an initiative that introduces underserved youth to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and making-based activities. The New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) leads this project through a cooperative agreement with IMLS. Frost Science served as a test site in the project pilot  in 2014 and participated in the 2017 implementation. We’re thrilled to be included in this new iteration of the project!

The project provides students in grades 3-6 with engaging activities to inspire an interest in STEM with the aim of improving retention in those disciplines. Frost Science is partnering this year with the 21st Century Community Schools afterschool programs at Citrus Grove Elementary School, Coral Way K-8, Downtown Miami Charter School and Orchard Villa Elementary School.  

This national project, now expanded both in scope and scale, will equip children’s museums and science centers with making activities, resources, tools and training, enabling them to train up to forty 21st Century Community Learning Centers across eight states, with the goal of reaching up to 1,000 students. A new survey, part of the third-party evaluation, will assess the outcomes of the project, including changes in interest, skills, and behaviors related to STEM and making among youth participants. 

“STEM-based learning is vital for young people to thrive in today’s world, no matter their interests, backgrounds, or the professions they may ultimately choose,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. ”By strengthening the inquiry skills that are inherently part of STEM learning, museums are uniquely positioned to spark curiosity among youth about the way their world works.” 

Six other children’s museums and science centers are partnering with NYSCI to deliver the program in the 2019-2020 school year: 

  • The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
  • Arizona Science Center in Phoenix, Arizona 
  • Science Works in Ashland, Oregon 
  • Betty Brynn Children’s Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin 
  • Scott Family Amaze in Bentonville, Arkansas 
  • Children’s Museum of Houston, Texas 

“This multi-layered, cross-sector collaboration brings together the best possible resources from children’s museums, science centers, and afterschool providers,” said Paula Gangopadhyay, Deputy Director of Museum Services. “By leveraging collective learning and making significant programmatic improvements, we are looking forward to impacting more than double the number of underserved students than before.” 

The post Inspiring Underserved Youth: New Maker/STEM Education Support appeared first on Frost Science.

FaviconFrost Science Expands Restoration Work with National Fish and Wildlife Foundation 15 Nov 2019, 1:41 pm

Frost Science is proud to announce a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for its Museum Volunteers for the Environment (MUVE) program to restore a unique subtropical wetland and dune ecosystem on Virginia Key North Point Beach Park (VKNP) through the removal of invasive vegetation and replanting of native plants. The project will engage 700 volunteers to restore 2.8 acres and plant 4,000 native plants, including transitional dune plants, mangroves and coastal hammock trees!

The grant to Frost Science was among 46 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program grants awarded this year to support projects that develop community stewardship of natural resources and address water quality issues in priority watersheds across the country. The 2019 grant winners were selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 190 applications.

The City of Miami’s VKNP occupies the northern promontory of the namesake barrier island. Since 2013, MUVE, the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County DERM and our numerous partners and volunteers have restored 12 acres of coastal habitat, mainly coastal dune and maritime hammock. VKNP was selected due to its remarkable diversity of habitats. These include maritime hammock, coastal strand, dune/beach and a freshwater wetland.

There are a handful of invasive species overtaking this area including Australian pine (Casuarina sp.), seaside mahoe (Thespesia populnea), Latherleaf (Colubrina asiatica) and beach naupaka (Scaevola taccada). Once these are removed, the installation of native plants will enhance the area, offering expanded habitat for marine, terrestrial and avian species.

Volunteers will be from partnering organizations, such as Native Plant Society, schools, including MAST Academy, and the general public that the museum reaches through outreach. The objective of the project is to make the wetland and dune ecosystems more accessible for educational and ecological purposes serving the local community while ensuring the continued protection and preservation of these critical, unique and essential natural resources.

Currently, MUVE has engaged over 8,000 volunteers in planting over 40,000 native dune plants on VKNP and we are thrilled to now we have the opportunity to continue this important work. Because of this award, we can continue not only restoring these vital ecosystems, but including the community in our efforts to bring back these habitats and the essential ecosystem services value they provide.

The post Frost Science Expands Restoration Work with National Fish and Wildlife Foundation appeared first on Frost Science.

FaviconPersonalized Medicine: Treatment Tailored to the Patient’s Unique Genetic Makeup 8 Jul 2019, 4:55 pm

Frost Science invited Daria Salyakina, PhD, Associate Director, Personalized Medicine Initiative & Research Institute, and Marilyn Brown, MPH, Lead Operations, Personalized Medicine Initiative, of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital to give their insight about the Personalized Medicine Initiative. Discover more about the human microbiome at The Secret World Inside You exhibition at Frost Science.

As part of the Personalized Medicine Initiative team at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, our goal is to offer the children in the care of our hospital the most state-of-the-art treatments and services. Personalized medicine is driven on the foundation that each individual has a unique genetic makeup. The field is focused on using genomic testing and the resulting data to tailor medical treatment and management for an individual’s needs. “The right medication for the right patient at the right time” has become a sort of catch phrase characterizing this.

In our rapidly expanding field, a new phrase, “second genome,” has recently come into use. If you’re perplexed on what this could possibly be, don’t worry, we had a similar reaction! Second genome actually refers to our human microbiome, a source of microbial diversity with a unique genomic blueprint in every individual. The microbes that make up our microbiome can impact health, change risk of disease, or even cause a disease.

Traditionally scientists needed to use bacterial culture to identify bacteria that could be causing disease. In a common example, your doctor may take a throat swab if you have a sore throat. This helps determine if your sore throat is actually strep throat, caused by the bacterium streptococcus pyogenes. In most cases, sore throats are actually viral in origin, meaning an antibiotic would be useless for treatment. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, whereby bacteria evolve such that medication is no longer effective. Additionally, inappropriate use of antibiotics can harm the healthy bacteria that make up an individual’s microbiome.

Photo of a young boy.

New technologies, such as whole genome sequencing (WGS), are used to yield a complete genetic picture of a person. This can be extremely helpful in rare genetic disease, where a disease may not easily be recognized by a patient’s doctor. Likewise, WGS can also be used on bodily fluids to identify and characterize the bacteria inside your body or your microbiome, including pathogens that may be causing illness. Knowing the exact bacterium or virus causing an illness can be crucial when determining the best treatment!

Nicklaus Children’s is currently participating in a study using WGS provided by precision medicine company IDbyDNA to help diagnose central nervous system (CNS) infections, such as meningitis, in partnership with lead study site Rady Children’s Institute of Genomic Medicine. Understanding the cause of the illness helps our doctors determine the best course of treatment. For example, this technology could identify causative bacteria in a case of meningitis that could help our doctors select the most effective antibiotic. For CNS infections, diagnosis is extremely time-sensitive and high stakes for the health of a child. Our hope is that this technology will show a better diagnostic rate and clinical outcomes, paving the way for it to be recognized as the standard of care.

Working in pediatric research is intense but always rewarding. We pride ourselves on bringing the children that enter our hospital doors access to some of the most advanced treatments, with the ultimate purpose of providing the best care.

Family exploring "Secret World Inside You" exhibit at Frost Science museum.

The Secret World Inside You will be on view through Sunday, September 8, 2019 inside the Hsiao Family Special Exhibition Gallery on the first floor of the museum. Admission to The Secret World Inside You is included with all museum admission tickets. The Secret World Inside You is presented locally by Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. The exhibition is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (amnh.org).

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FaviconFrost Science Partners with NFL and Others to Build Coral Restoration Site 1 Jul 2019, 5:28 pm

Coral reefs are some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. They support 25 percent of all marine species on the planet and play an important role in protecting our city from full-force waves. But between warming seas, dangerous run-off pollution and disease, South Florida’s coral reefs are under attack. Nearly 50 percent of the local coral ecosystem has died off, with countless other organisms at risk of facing a similar fate.  Not only could their extinction cause billions of dollars in infrastructure damage to South Florida, it’s estimated that close to 71,000 workers interacting with South Florida’s coral reefs could lose their jobs, and nearly $10 billion in annual income could also be lost.

A new initiative launched at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in June, carried out with the help of various local stakeholders, is hoping to mitigate this coral disaster – and while our efforts are just getting started, we’re already making some significant progress toward repairing and restoring some of our most precious natural resources.

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As part of the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee’s Ocean to Everglades (O2E) environmental initiative, Frost Science joined forces with NFL Green, the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science’s Rescue a Reef program and FORCE BLUE to replant 100 staghorn corals in waters adjacent to Rainbow Reef, a colorful, expansive coral reef located just off Key Biscayne. The coral restoration project commemorates the NFL’s 100th season and the league’s sustainability mission to leave a lasting legacy in Miami, which will host Super Bowl LIV on February 2, 2020.

FORCE BLUE, a non-profit organization providing mission-based opportunities for retired combat divers from all military branches as the perfect opportunity to re-engage highly skilled servicemen. With additional support from NFL sponsor Verizon Wireless and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, alongside O2E initiative partner ABSOLUT VODKA®, a group from Frost Science, FORCE BLUE and UM joined the effort, collected the fragments of staghorn coral specimens growing at Rescue a Reef’s underwater coral nurseries and re-planted them near Rainbow Reef. These activities will hopefully encourage the growth of new coral reefs, while additionally giving Frost Science and our partners at Rescue a Reef actionable data from which to measure the success of the program.

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The mission was a huge success, receiving widespread media coverage and kicking off what we hope will be fruitful growth within our delicate coral reef ecosystems. Reviving Rainbow Reef will not only help biodiversity in the area and protect Miami’s shoreline, but will also provide a location for divers and snorkelers to enjoy. The effort is part of the museum’s commitment to environmental conservation and the restoration of coral reefs across South Florida.

Back at the Frost Science headquarters, Dr. Rivah Winter, a Curator of Aquarium Content & Marine Science at Frost Science and an in-house Inventor in Residence, is at work in our coral research laboratory at the Inventors in Residence Lab, conducting experiments to increase the efficiency of existing reef restoration efforts by improving the thermal tolerance of nursery-grown corals.

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If you’re interested in learning more about our conservation and habitat restoration efforts, all you have to do is ask! Simply reach out to muve@frostscience.org to learn how you can get involved.

The post Frost Science Partners with NFL and Others to Build Coral Restoration Site appeared first on Frost Science.

StarDate Online - Your guide to the universe

FaviconMoon and Venus 27 Jan 2020, 1:00 am

The crescent Moon is in the southwest early this evening. It pairs up with Venus, the brilliant “evening star,” creating a beautiful scene for a winter’s night.

FaviconMoon and Venus 27 Jan 2020, 1:00 am

Mining for gold and other minerals is risky. Miners can never be sure if they’re going to get rich — or go bust.

If astronauts go mining on the Moon, they can’t afford to go bust. They’ll be prospecting for water — the key to survival on the lunar surface. So scientists and engineers are looking at possible ways to extract the most water with the least effort.

The water forms big deposits of ice at the lunar poles. They’re inside craters that never see sunlight. The ice could be melted for drinking water, and split apart to make hydrogen and oxygen for rocket fuel and oxygen to breathe.

NASA’s funding a couple of small studies of innovative ways to process the ice. One approach, for example, would put giant solar mirrors on the rims of the craters, where they’d be in perpetual sunlight. They’d reflect sunlight onto areas with known ice deposits. That would vaporize some of the ice below the surface. The water vapor would be captured as it rose to the surface.

Another study would use a similar approach. The energy would come from rovers on the crater floors. They’d beam microwaves and other forms of energy into the ice, then capture the vapor in tanks as it reached the surface.

Both studies are in their early stages — first steps toward ensuring successful mining on the surface of the Moon.

And the Moon is in the southwest early this evening. It pairs up with Venus, the brilliant “evening star” — a beautiful scene for a winter’s night.

 

Script by Damond Benningfield

StarDate: 
Monday, January 27, 2020
Teaser: 
Zapping ice on the lunar surface

FaviconUnicorn Clouds 26 Jan 2020, 1:00 am

The Rosette Nebula, named for its resemblance to a red rose, is a stellar nursery more than 100 light-years across. It’s visible through telescopes in Monoceros, the unicorn, which is below bright Orion this evening.

FaviconA Big Rose 26 Jan 2020, 1:00 am

Billowing clouds of gas and dust form the Rosette Nebula, a stellar nursery named for its resemblance to a rose. The nebula spans more than 100 light-years, and is giving birth to new stars. Several hot young stars inside the nebula produce ultraviolet energy that causes the surrounding gas to glow. The visible nebula is part of a much larger complex of gas and dust known as the Rosette Molecular Cloud. In all, it's given birth to about 2,500 stars in the last few million years. This view also shows ribbons of cold, dark dust, where new stars are most likely to be taking shape. [Nick Wright (University College London)/IPHAS Collaboration]

Unicorn Clouds
Rosette Nebula

FaviconUnicorn Clouds 26 Jan 2020, 1:00 am

Rosette Nebula

Billowing clouds of gas and dust form the Rosette Nebula, a stellar nursery named for its resemblance to a rose. The nebula spans more than 100 light-years, and is giving birth to new stars. Several hot young stars inside the nebula produce ultraviolet energy that causes the surrounding gas to glow. The visible nebula is part of a much larger complex of gas and dust known as the Rosette Molecular Cloud. In all, it's given birth to about 2,500 stars in the last few million years. This view also shows ribbons of cold, dark dust, where new stars are most likely to be taking shape. [Nick Wright (University College London)/IPHAS Collaboration]

To the eye alone, the unicorn is a bust — there’s just not much to see. Look deeper, though, and the constellation Monoceros offers plenty to see. The list includes a couple of colorful stellar nurseries, which have given birth to thousands of stars.

The Rosette Nebula is named for its resemblance to a red rose. It’s a cloud of gas and dust that’s more than a hundred light-years across. Several young stars inside the nebula are especially hot and bright. They produce ultraviolet energy, which zaps hydrogen gas in the cloud, causing it to glow.

The visible nebula is part of a larger complex of gas and dust, known as the Rosette Molecular Cloud. It’s given birth to about 2500 stars, all within the last few million years.

Another big cloud in Monoceros is giving birth to new stars, too. It consists of several parts. There’s the Snowflake Cluster, which shines brightly. Nearby are the stars of the Christmas Tree Cluster, which — not surprisingly — form the outline of a Christmas tree. And a finger of dark dust extends “above” the tree — the Cone Nebula. It’s a cloud of cold dust that forms a silhouette against the warmer gas around it.

The nebulae should continue to churn out stars for millions of years — providing colorful decorations for the unicorn.

Monoceros is in the southeast as night falls, below and to the lower left of Orion the hunter. You need dark skies to see its stars — and a telescope to see its busy nurseries.

 

Script by Damond Benningfield

StarDate: 
Sunday, January 26, 2020
Teaser: 
Young stars for the unicorn
Rosette Nebula
Rosette Nebula

ESOcast HD

ESOcast is a video podcast series dedicated to bringing you the latest news and research from ESO, the European Southern Observatory. Here we explore the Universe's ultimate frontier.

FaviconESOcast 215 Light: Interstellar Thread of One of Life’s Building Blocks Revealed 15 Jan 2020, 6:00 am

Phosphorus, present in our DNA and cell membranes, is an essential element for life. But how it arrived on the early Earth is something of a mystery. Astronomers have now traced the journey of phosphorus from star-forming regions to comets using the combined powers of ALMA and the European Space Agency’s probe Rosetta.

FaviconESOcast 214 Light: A Black Holes' Breakfast at the Cosmic Dawn 19 Dec 2019, 6:00 am

Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope have observed reservoirs of cool gas around some of the earliest galaxies in the Universe. Watch this video to find out why this discovery is important.

FaviconESOcast 213 Light: Stunning stars in the Milky Way central region 16 Dec 2019, 11:00 am

ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has observed the central part of the Milky Way with spectacular resolution and uncovered new details about the history of star birth in our galaxy. Watch this video summary to find out more about the stunning image captured with the HAWK-I instrument on the VLT and the discoveries made about star formation in the central region of our Galaxy.

FaviconESOcast 212 Light: First Giant Planet around White Dwarf Found 4 Dec 2019, 1:00 pm

Researchers using ESO's Very Large Telescope have, for the first time, found evidence of a giant planet associated with a white dwarf star. The planet orbits the hot white dwarf, the remnant of a Sun-like star, at close range, causing its atmosphere to be stripped away and form a disc of gas around the star.

FaviconESOcast 211 Light: ESO Telescope Reveals What Could be the Smallest Dwarf Planet in the Solar System 28 Oct 2019, 12:00 pm

Astronomers using the SPHERE instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope have revealed that the asteroid Hygiea could be a dwarf planet. Find out more about this fascinating object in the new ESOcast Light.

HD - NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

High-definition (HD) videos from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory feature the latest news on space and science findings from JPL and NASA. Topics include discoveries made by spacecraft studying planets in our solar system, including Mars, Saturn and our home planet, Earth. Missions also study stars and galaxies in our universe.

FaviconNASA's Spitzer Space Telescope: Unveiling the Universe 15 Jan 2020, 3:00 am



After 16 years of unveiling the infrared universe, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has left a singular legacy.



FaviconNASA's New Planet Tracker, NEID 8 Jan 2020, 3:00 am



A new NASA-funded planet-hunting instrument has been installed on the WIYN telescope, on Arizona’s Kitt Peak.



FaviconWhat's Up - January 2020 31 Dec 2019, 3:00 am



What are the skywatching highlights of January 2020?



FaviconFirst Drive Test of NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover 18 Dec 2019, 3:00 am



On Dec. 17, 2019, engineers took NASA’s next Mars rover for its first spin.



FaviconWhat's Up - December 2019 26 Nov 2019, 3:00 am



What can you see in the December sky? Beautiful pairings of Venus, Saturn and Mars with the crescent Moon throughout the month, at sunrise and sunset.