STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend – October 13

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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 - Vika Rat

Imagine a rat four times the size of any city rat you have ever seen! Last week in the Solomon Islands, scientists discovered a new species of giant rat. For years, island natives have told stories of huge rats that live in the treetops but no scientist had ever seen one before and some assumed they had already gone extinct. But after seven years of looking, researchers have finally tracked down this endangered mythical rodent. This rat is unlike any you have ever seen! It weighs about two pounds and can grow up to 1.5 feet long! Scientists are now working to save this new species from extinction. Click here to learn more about the Vangunu giant rat.

You have probably heard of origami before, but have you ever heard of origami robots? Researchers at MIT have designed multi-functional robots with the help of origami exoskeletons! These exoskeletons are each made from plastic sheets that fold and bend into specific “outfits” when heated. Each exoskeleton gives the robot different abilities and is meant to demonstrate a way to make robots more efficient and adaptable in the future. Learn more about their project!

STEAM to Fuel Your Weekend - NASA
Photo credit: NASA.

The universe is huge! There is still so much we don’t know about what’s going on in the far reaches of space, far beyond what the eye can see. Last week, three physicists were awarded the Nobel Prize for their groundbreaking discovery of gravitational waves that will change the way we understand the universe. Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of space-time that are produced by huge cosmic events. The most recent gravitational wave was detected only a few weeks ago when the merging of two black holes caused a distortion in space-time. Even though Albert Einstein suggested the existence of these waves 100 years ago they haven’t been detected until now because by the time they are felt on earth, the distortion is smaller than a proton!

To enjoy more family-friendly STEAM news stories, visit the Thinkery blog!

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