Published: The Scientific American; December 22, 2011 You will need to google the article to find it as the link below seems not to be working. I have contacted the magazine and will correct the link when I hear back
Level of difficulty: ** This is the preintermediate version of The Guardian reading on a similar topic.
Time allowed: 35 minutes
1. What two events concerning space travel have not been included in the top ten science stories of 2011?
2. What future use of Watson could benefit mankind?
3. Why exactly will the year to come be a difficult one for solar companies?
4. What are the three success stories related to gene therapy?
5. The recent success of Apple is due to a change of attitude as far as Jobs is concerned. What is this change?
6. Where is the US planning to send spacecraft in the next 20 years?
7. What is the Higgs mechanism?
8. Extreme weather in 2011 has not only been dangerous but also ……………………………
9. Do the majority feel Einstein’s special theory of relativity is the cosmic speed limit or not?
10. How exactly did researchers reach the conclusion that Twitter served an important function in regime change?
11. What have been the consequences in terms of the international community of Japan’s nuclear crisis?
THE TOP TEN SCIENCE STORIES OF 2011 / KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
Various magazines and newspapers have published their own picks of the top ten science stories one of which has already been posted on this blog. This earlier reading task based on a text out of The Guardian is significantly harder than this one. This reading task is, however, well suited to preintermediate level students 2 to 3 months into the course, depending on how rigorous a reading syllabus is being implemented. At intermediate level, it should be attempted earlier in the year.
1. The discovery of new worlds beyond our solar system including Kepler 22 b; the discovery of the first Earth size exoplanets; the Messenger spacecrafts photos of the planet Mercury
2. Its use in the health care industry
3. Because of the end of the government’s subsidy program.
4. The treatment of hemophilia b; treating children born with serene combined immune deficiency; the discovery of new ways of delivering missing genes.
5. He decided to ease up slightly on the compulsiveness button.
6. The moon or an asteroid
7. The leading hypothesis for why the elementary particles that make up atoms, people and planets have mass.
9. They do.
10. Analyzing millions of tweets, looking for words like revolution, liberty and Ben Ali.
11. It slowed the pace of nuclear plant construction; set back efforts to combat climate change; it created the world’s newest nuclear park.