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Why Is Earth Spinning Faster Than Usual?

If you’ve felt like time on earth has been moving by faster than normal — your thoughts are valid and scientists have proof. According to the Seattle Times, a group of scientists operating out of the National Physical Laboratory in England revealed that the Earth is spinning faster than normal. To break it down a bit further, since the beginning of time, the Earth has completed its cycle in 24 hours. Within the last two months, that cycle has been shorter than normal. Per The Guardian, on June 29, that same cycle was 1.59 milliseconds shorter than usual, making it the shortest day since the 1960s, which is when scientists first began using atomic clocks to measure time. The month of June wasn’t the only time that the Earth was spinning at a rate much faster than normal. On July 26, the same thing occurred when the Earth finished its rotation just a few seconds shy of the previous record the month before at 1.50 milliseconds shorter than normal. Since Earth is spinning faster, the...

Aug 4, 2022

Meet Kelly Cross, One of 1,000 of the Most Inspiring Black Scientists in America

Conversations about the STEM field always seems to include rhetoric of how there is a lack of diversity. And while that has been true for many years, today there are thousands of scientists, mathematicians, and engineers who work everyday to make valuable contributions to their industries. One such individual is Kelly Cross, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Nevada Reno. Cross is one of 1,000 Black men and women named as the most “Inspiring Black scientists in America.” The list was culminated by a Community of Scholars at Cell Mentor, an online resource for career advancement in STEM. According to Cell Mentor, the list was created to debunk the idea that there is only a small percentage of Black scientists in the scientific community and “remove the bleach” from our history books. “Growing up, I didn’t know any scientists or engineers, and during my entire engineering education, I never had a Black female professor. I want fewer students to make that...

Mar 8, 2021

This 17-Year-Old Won $400K For Explaining Quantum Tunneling in Science Challenge

How many adults can even explain what quantum tunneling is, let alone a teenager? Well, 17-year-old Maryam Tsegaye just won $400,000 for describing the concept in the annual Breakthrough Junior Science Challenge, according to BOTWC. The challenge is an annual competition for students between ages 13 to 18 to compete by sharing innovative videos about complex science or math principles. This year, topics included physics, mathematics, life sciences, and COVID-19. Inspired by her brother’s gaming, Tsegaye simplified quantum tunneling by touching on traveling small particles, nuclear fusion, and DNA mutation. “Imagine if you could walk through walls in real life,” she says in the video. “And it turns out you can—at a quantum level.” Tsegaye got the good news via Zoom from the founder of Khan Academy, Sal Khan, and astronaut, Scott Kelly. The big prize included a $250,000 scholarship, $100,000 for her school’s science lab, and $50,000 for her teacher. “This is an absolutely...

Dec 22, 2020

The Black In Micro Conference Aims to Highlight the Contributions of Black Scientists in Microbiology

The Black In Micro conference starts Sept. 28 and runs until Oct. 4, 2020. Black In Micro is a virtual event that “seeks to highlight the contributions of Black scientists to microbiology-related fields across all career stages—from undergraduates to tenured faculty and industry professionals,” explains one of the conference’s leaders, Chelsey Spriggs, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Michigan. Led by a rockstar team of Black scientists and allies, the Black in Micro conference aims to showcase Black microbiologists and their work, foster a sense of community among Black microbiologists, and provide a space for discussing the issues that affect Black microbiologists. The free week long event kicks off with a keynote address from Beronda Montgomery, PhD, MSU Foundation Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University. The conference will feature talks on STEM education, virology,...

Sep 29, 2020

Justin Shaifer Breaks Down 10 Ways to Keep STEM-Loving Kids Engaged at Home

With schools closed and summer quickly approaching, parents are most concerned about ways to keep their kids busy and entertained. Thankfully, Justin “Mr. Fascinate” Shaifer , science communicator and STEM personality, has the answers. The Southside Chicago native is the founder and executive director of Fascinate, Inc., a nonprofit that educates underrepresented students about STEM careers. With his expertise and knack for keeping kids engaged, he strives to make science cool for Gen Z through the Magic Cool Bus project, exciting content, and partnerships with organizations, such as Microsoft, Google, and the MIT Media Lab. “I was one of the kids that were really disengaged from STEM because it wasn’t really perceived as cool,” he said. “So it’s really important to engage your kids’ curiosities. Showing kids role models of people in STEM that look like them is a huge part of creating that intrinsic motivation that can make kids understand that a future in STEM is possible.”...

May 20, 2020

Brain Waves of People With Coarse Hair Can Be Better Detected Through New Electrodes Technology

Electrodes weren’t designed with coarse hair in mind – here’s why that’s a problem. On March 11, Science News , an independent American magazine, published an article noting new electrodes technology can now better capture brain waves of people with naturally coarse hair. As innovative as this new technology is, the public response to the announcement revealed a very telling statement about the current state of STEM. The article detailed the design flaws of standard electrodes that exclude people with natural, thick hair and how these flaws pose a threat to proper diagnoses of patients. Engineer Pulkit Grover of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh stated that an electrode redesign was needed. “It’s not intentional. But at the same time, it’s kind of sad,” said Grover. “It’s worth thinking about technology, and about who it has been designed for.” Reactions to the new design across social media included declarations of relief that “finally” this technology exists. However, there...

Mar 17, 2020