Climate Change: How Doomed ARE We?

From Above the Noise. Climate change is THE existential question that humanity is facing. But are we too late? Has climate change reached the point of no return? Are we doomed? TEACHERS: Get your students in the discussion on KQED Learn, a safe place for middle and high school students to investigate controversial topics and…

Is the Electoral College Killing Democracy?

From Above the Noise. There’s been 5 times in U.S. history where the guy who became president lost the popular vote, but won the electoral vote. And two of those times were just in the last 20 years. And with a new presidential election coming up, there’s lots of chatter about the value of the…

Are Zoos Good or Bad for Animals?

From Above the Noise. Zoos are great, right? You get to be up close and personal with some amazing animals that you’d pretty much never get to see in the wild. Clearly, zoos are a win for people. But when it comes to the animals, zoos might cause more harm than good. Should zoos exist?…

Is the Internet Making You Meaner?

From Above the Noise. If the Internet’s making you feel meaner, you’re not imagining it. People really do act differently online than they do in person. Here’s why. Co-produced with Common Sense Education @CommonSenseEd TEACHERS: Get your students in the discussion on KQED Learn, a safe place for middle and high school students to investigate…

Screen Time: How Much Is Too Much?

From Above the Noise. Co-produced with Common Sense Education @CommonSenseEd Even by conservative estimates, the average American spends over 6 hours per day staring at a screen. That’s a lot of time. What does the scientific research say about it? Is it good or bad for us? TEACHERS: Get your students in the discussion on…

False Equivalence: Why It’s So Dangerous | Above the Noise

From Above the Noise. Co-produced with Data & Society Research Institute @datasociety Special thanks to Amelia Acker and Whitney Phillips, Data & Society Affiliates False equivalence: what does it mean, and why is it helping to spread misinformation online? TEACHERS: Learn more about this topic and how you might teach it with your students via…

Oakland Sideshows: Should They Be Legal?

From Above the Noise. What do you get when you mix car stunts, youth culture, and Oakland? Sideshows! Sideshows have become big in Oakland, where drivers will block major intersections to perform car stunts like donuts and figure eights, while large crowds gather to watch. But here’s the catch– they can be real dangerous and…

How Much Homework Much Is Too Much?

From Above the Noise. It’s not hard to find a high school student who is stressed about homework. Many are stressed to the max–juggling extracurricular activities, jobs, and family responsibilities. It can be hard for many students, particularly low-income students, to find the time to dedicate to homework. So students in the PBS NewsHour Student…

When Do School Dresscodes Go Too Far?

From Above the Noise. With #dresscoded and #Imnotadistraction, school dress codes are coming under fire from students who say these policies can be sexist and racist. But many argue strict dress codes are necessary for a safe learning environment. So, how should schools decide on dress code policies? TEACHERS: Get your students in the discussion…

Gene Editing & CRISPR: How Far Should We Go?

From Above the Noise. In late 2018, a Chinese researcher revealed that he created the first ever genetically edited babies. He altered the DNA of twin girls before they were born. In response, the world kind of went nuts, raising a HUGE bioethical question. When is gene editing OK? How far is too far when…

Is Free College As Good As It Sounds?

From Above the Noise. College costs are insane these days. It’s getting to the point where unless your last name is Bezos or Zuckerberg, a college education kinda feels like a pipe dream. One answer is FREE COLLEGE paid for by the government, which many liberals and even some conservatives are getting behind. But, “free”…