Currently during the COVID-19 pandemic, masks have been a suggestion by scientists and health officials to help prevent the spread of the virus, along with hand washing and socially distancing. Here is information regarding the science of how mask wearing helps prevent the spread and which materials are best. The information included is from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and other relevant websites.

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 Girls in 6th-12th grades are invited to join a free “Girls Who Code” club hosted by Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) at UArizona. This year the club will meet online, so girls anywhere can join. “Students with all levels of coding experience are welcome, though the program is designed as a first introduction to coding,” explained Amanda Bertsch, the Lead Facilitator of the club.

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 Think you know everything there is to know about light rail? Think again! Late last year, I went on a tour of the Valley Metro Operations and Maintenance Center, guided by Debby Thacker, assistant manager of Rail Operations. My first glimpse of the OMC was from a conference room with a huge glass window looking down on a giant mechanics shop. I was so amazed to see a whole train inside the building, along with a lot of fascinating machinery that does many incredible jobs.

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 National Twins Days 2020 happened Friday, Aug. 7 through Sunday, Aug. 9. This event occurs on the first full weekend in August each year.

Being a twin is special because you have someone that understands you. Your twin gets you through hard times and is always there by your side to help you, no matter what.

Another special part that we love about being twins is that we get to share special moments together, like our birthdays (even though Ellie is nine minutes older!)

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Isabella, the older twin (by minutes!)

Hello, my name is Isabella and I have an identical twin sister named Gianna! Since National Twin Day is in the month of August, I am going to tell what it’s like being a twin. First of all, I am the older twin by three minutes, but my sister was born a quarter of an inch taller than me. Though we have a lot of similarities, we actually have a lot of differences.

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 Recently I was able to attend the first Chief Science Officer (CSO) Math Festival. CSO Sahiba helped to plan the event and presented to those in attendance. Students were able to select two 45-minute breakout sessions to attend in addition to being a part of the general session for everyone. The available sessions included: Interactive Math Problems, Problem Solving Strategies, Math Theory, and Math in Real Life.

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 Do you recognize yourself in a mirror? Does your dog? Scientists have determined that most children recognized themselves in a mirror by the age of 2, but what about animals?

In 1970, a scientist named Gordon Gallup Jr. created the Mirror Test or MSR Test to see if animals had self-awareness. It works like this: a mark is painted on an animal in a place they cannot see, like their face, and then they are placed in front of a mirror. If the animal recognizes the mark as being something that shouldn’t be there and attempts to remove it, then they have self-awareness.

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 Composting. It's important and useful for gardening Compost is made up of different things we eat. But not just anything. To make compost you can use old fruit and vegetables, for instance beans, bread, apples, bananas, etc. You also need water to make compost.

Once you have compost, some of you may ask, “Why do I need it?” Well, compost is used for plants. When you add all the right food scraps, water and more, over time it breaks down and becomes a rich soil. The soil is then used to help plants. It gives them the nutrients that then help them grow strong and healthy.

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Milkweed bugs are my favorite bugs. Maybe you have seen them in your yard. They are red and gray with a black circle on their backs. The circle has two white dots, side by side in its center. They are oval shaped, with short antennae, and small, round eyes. Did you know milkweed bugs have wings, and are able to fly? The first time I saw a milkweed bug fly, I didn’t know what it was, and it scared me a little.

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 Did you know that April was animal awareness month? It is important that people help to take care of their community and other people, but we should also be taking care of our animals. You might be surprised by the important roles animals play in our environment.

For example, dogs and rats can be trained to sniff out dangerous explosives in the ground and bees pollinate one-third of everything we eat. Sadly, bees’ numbers are dropping and, since 1974, your chances of seeing a bee are 50% less likely.

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