Our built world is a pretty remarkable byproduct of humanity. From door wedges to the International Space Station, we’ve become pretty good at making stuff. More recently the maker culture has exploded into many niche categories around the world, everything from custom made knives to walls that display vital health stats. Where did all this begin? What was the first thing that got the world of making going? Perhaps more importantly, who was the first maker?
Question Your World
For nearly 400 million years our planet has been home to spiders. In their time on Earth they have become vital parts of ecosystems, some of nature’s coolest architects, and they’ve even fallen down as rain from time to time. Can it really rain spiders? Listen to this Question Your World radio report produced by the Science Museum of Virginia to find out.
Vision is one of the most useful aspects of life. Overtime the ability to see has guided evolution and allowed for many life forms to survive across the planet. Vision based injuries or degeneration can cause serious problems. While centuries of research have allowed us to understand the eye, we are still trying to figure out many ways to fix damaged vision. Recently scientists worked on an old question, can we give sight to the blind?
With an ever growing population, access to energy becomes a large factor in planning for the future. Many individuals and organizations have tried to bring alternative power methods to the table, but none have caught on just yet. A new option, the Power Wall, was recently introduced to the world and could very well be a game changer in the energy business. It's got a cool name, a slick design, and comes from a very reputable organization, but how does it work? What is the Power Wall?
We all know that polluting the environment has drastic impacts on everyone and every thing including human health. A lot of these changes cause damage that takes generations to address or understand. Our air is one of the most important features of our planet. The stuff that fills so much of our world can get polluted as well. How can we clean up the air to prevent any harm? Listen to this Question Your World radio report produced by the Science Museum of Virginia to find out.
Paleontology is a great gateway to science because it ties together so many disciplines. Medical, biological, geologic, physical, and atmospheric sciences are just a few of the means by which scientists put together the story of life here on Earth. Dinosaurs ruled this planet for hundreds of millions of years, but the gaps in our knowledge have to be filled by using science. This is how over time we’ve started to see a more clear picture of what dinosaurs were really like.
From GPS units to TV broadcasts to exploring the furthest reaches of space, rockets become very important parts of those projects. We use rockets to escape the bounds of gravity in hopes of providing humanity with a better understanding of the natural world while also putting satellites in orbit for our day to day uses. Launches happen all the time, but they remain a very costly venture. Currently it’s approximately $10,000 to put one pound in orbit. Many of these costs are due to the expense of the rocket that takes the payload off the ground.
From ancient tribes beating on drums to Zayn Malik’s upcoming solo project, music has been a vital part of the human experience. The study of music usually refers to mastering composition or a specific instrument, but recently scientists have been studying the brain for a totally different reason. The question they’re asking is can music impact your brain? Listen to this Question Your World radio report produced by the Science Museum of Virginia to learn more.
Artificial intelligence has been appearing in science fiction for a long time. The concept of machines gaining consciousness and acting on their own still seems far fetched, but there are big strides being made quite often. So, how far are we from robots that can learn? Listen to this Question Your World radio report produced by the Science Museum of Virginia to find out.
2015 represents the 30th Year that Outstanding Scientists in Virginia have been recognized by the Governor and the Science Museum. During this period, world renowned men and women have changed the world through their research efforts exploring technology, nature, the vastness of the universe, and some have taken a closer look at the world within us.