STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend – December 15

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Written by Alana Hughes, Digital Marketing Intern. 

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.

STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend - Sign Language Astronomy Dictionary
Photo Credit: International Astronomical Union

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is creating a sign language dictionary to translate astronomical terms for the deaf community around the world. The new dictionary has compiled signs in multiple languages including English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese and Polish. It includes both basic and complex terms related to space and astronomy, some of these terms only have unique signs in a few languages or have no sign language equivalent at all. The IAU is hoping to help communities develop signs for these astronomical words that have no hand sign in any language. Developing new sign language terminology is an incredibly complex process but is one that will help to ensure the future inclusion of deaf communities in all areas of space exploration. Click here to learn more about this awesome project!

STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend - Glowing plants
Photo Credit: Seon-Yeong Kwak

What if you could replace you desk light with a glowing plant? Scientists at MIT are trying to make this happen by embedding specialized nano-particles into the leaves of plants, causing them to give off a dim light. One day, they hope to make plants bright enough to be used as desk lamps. This new research area is called plant nanobionics and involves the embedding of different nano-particles into plants to give them unique features and functions. Once perfected, this could have a valuable impact on the environment and worldwide energy consumption. Scientists may even be able to turn trees into self-powered street lamps! Click here to learn more about this awesome project!

STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend - Giant Penguin
Image Credit: Senckenberg Research Institute

Scientists just discovered the fossil of a giant penguin that was about the size of an adult man! The fossil was found in New Zealand and came from a penguin that weighed 220 pounds and was five feet, ten inches tall. The penguin is part of a newly discovered species known as Kumimanu biceae. Though this isn’t the largest penguin fossil ever found, it is the oldest. Scientist believe this ancient creature lived about 55 million years ago and that the entire species went extinct around 20 million years ago. Click here to learn more about this giant ancient penguin!

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