STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend: August 5

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Between school, homework, practice and spending time with loved ones, it’s easy to miss out on the latest in science, technology, engineering, art and math. But don’t worry, Thinkery’s got you covered. Here are some of our favorite STEAM discoveries from the previous week. It’s fuel for your weekend.

Photo credit: Dacian Groza, courtesy of Wolfgang Buttress.
Photo credit: Dacian Groza, courtesy of Wolfgang Buttress.

Everyone is buzzing about the brand-new STEAM sculpture in London’s Kew Gardens. Artist Wolfgang Buttress’ new sculpture, “The Hive,” is a 56-foot, 44-ton structure controlled by lived honeybees.

Yes, honeybees.

Made from approximately 170,000 pieces of aluminum, the sculpture features more than 1,000 flickering LED lights that respond to the activity of a nearby beehive. The neighboring bees, outfitted with tiny, vibration-tracking accelerometers, go about their day. The instruments track their activity, which is then measured and translated into the lights and sounds seen inside the interactive sculpture.

The meditative, immersive experience highlights the incredible importance of pollinators and sheds light on the troubling issues plaguing their rapidly-shrinking populations.

STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend - Perseid
Photo credit: NASA/JPL.

Every year, Earth collides with debris left behind from Comet Swift-Tuttle. The resulting meteor shower, the annual Perseids, is a late-summer favorite for stargazers everywhere—and this year’s display promises to be better than ever. The 2016 Perseid meteor shower could see up to 200 shooting stars per hour during its peak, which takes place the night of August 11 and the morning of August 12.

How, you ask? Scientists believe Jupiter’s gravity has tugged the meteor’s debris trail closer to Earth—the reason for this year’s particularly spectacular shower, or “outburst.”

STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend - Daniel Kordan
Photo credit: Daniel Kordan.

Russian photographer Daniel Kordan recently traveled to the Altiplano region of South America and captured some of the most jaw-dropping pictures we’ve ever seen. The area, a large swath of land covering Bolivian, Peruvian, Chilean and Argentinean territory, is the second largest mountain plateau in the world.

It’s also home to the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat and the beautiful backdrop behind Daniel’s latest photo shoot. Using a special astrophotography camera, Daniel was able to capture the dark, mesmerizing skies of the Altiplano. The magnificent Milky Way, mirrored in the salt flats, shines in these breathtaking images. Take a look!

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