STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend – December 16

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Written by Kristin Kish, 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-wang-lei-xinhua-alamy
Photo Credit: WANG LEI/XINHUA/ALAMY.

Did you know that all pandas belong to China, and that the Chinese government loans pandas to zoos around the world for up to $500,000 a year? And if a panda is born in another country, it must be returned to China by the time it turns four. Recently, twin giant panda cubs Mei Lun and Mei Huan were sent to their new home in China. Mei Lun and Mei Huan are the first twin pandas ever to be sent from the U.S. to China.

Money earned from pandas like Mei Lun and Mei Huan goes toward the research and protection of this long-endangered species. So, why are pandas endangered? Well, habitat destruction is mostly behind their decline—the logging and clearing of forests wiped out bamboo supplies long ago. Today, conservation efforts are helping the panda population recover.

Dry Zone Toque Macaque (Macaca Sinica Sinica) group portrait

Scientists found that a special genus of monkeys found in Asian and Africa, the Macaques, are physically capable of talking. If Macaques could talk, scientists believe they would sound something like this. Researchers determined their vocal range of motion using special X-ray machines.

Another interesting thing that they discovered is that monkeys don’t talk because of a limitation of the throat, but instead because of a limitation of the mind. These findings hint that the key to language development might be the combination of experimenting with sound and a brain capable of remembering and interpreting sounds.

steam-to-fuel-your-weekend-wind-farm

The first U.S. offshore wind farm is expected to make real power by the end of this year! The wind farm is located on Rhode Island’s Block Island. Although tiny, this island is set to make history as soon as it begins using electricity from the wind farm!

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