Chili Pepper Science

by Kathryn on June 7, 2016

Sometimes, an article just seems to write itself. That was the case with my most recent piece, “The Cool Science of Hot Peppers.” Usually, my articles for Science News for Students go through at least three rounds of substantial edits. It can be a long, painstaking process to make the article the best it can be. But this time, the process went quickly. The structure made sense from the beginning and I was able to fit in lots of fun facts.

My favorite: chili peppers burn humans and mammals, but not birds!

SNS-Chili-peppers

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News Reporting: Teen Health

by Kathryn on April 25, 2016

A couple of months ago, I started reporting on news stories for Science News for Students. My first few topics ranged from nuclear energy to sea otters. Recently, though, I seem to have stumbled onto a theme: health news. My last few stories have looked at obesity, acne, and tooth decay.

Health has never been an area I’ve focused on in the past. It was interesting to talk to doctors and dentists instead of scientists. It’s actually easier to find experts because most hospitals and medical research facilities have PR offices willing to track someone down for you. In addition, most of the medical researchers I’ve spoken with see patients in addition to their research work, so they have a different perspective from someone who is always focused on research.

Newly discovered microbe keeps teeth healthy
Science News for Students, April 18, 2016

From zits to warts: Which disturb people most?
Science News for Students, March 25, 2016

Teens eating better but gaining weight
Science News for Students, March 4, 2016

Explainer: What is metabolic syndrome?
Science News for Students, March 4, 2016

Health-news

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From Crazy Critters to Magic Potions

March 25, 2016

This spring, I have three silly activities coming out in Muse magazine. Writing an activity is always a fun break from working on a feature article. Especially when I get to try out the experiment myself and take pictures! The first game, appearing in the March 2016 issue, challenges kids to figure out which creatures are [...]

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Cutting Edge Technology

February 18, 2016

Last spring, I wrote two books in three months. While also caring for my then-5-month-old son full time. Craziness! Today, I got to see the final product. These two beautiful books came in the mail: The books are part of a larger series on Cutting Edge Science and Technology from ABDO publishing. A book packager contacted [...]

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Animal Ethics

January 28, 2016

Usually, as a science writer, I cover topics that are pretty non-controversial. (To the general public, anyway. You’d be surprised how riled up some researchers get about seemingly mundane topics such as acne). In this month’s issue of Muse, however, the theme was ethics. And the editor asked me to cover animals. I wrote a [...]

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My First Infographic

January 15, 2016

My six-year-old nephew is obsessed with volcanoes and other disasters. I was so touched when my sister sent me a picture of him devouring my latest article in the January 2016 issue of Muse magazine! I got to write about his favorite topic. But it wasn’t a regular feature article. The editor asked me to develop [...]

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News Reporting: from Dogs to Nuclear Energy

December 29, 2015

I recently started covering news stories for Science News for Students. Usually, I have anywhere from a couple of weeks to over a month to research a topic, conduct interviews, write, and revise an article. As a news reporter, though, I have to turn around a story within a couple of days. That keeps me [...]

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Fun with Bacteria: From Acne to Bioreactors

November 20, 2015

I spent a good portion of August and September learning about bacteria. I wound up writing three articles all with a similar theme: bacteria are good for us… except when they go bad. The first article came out November 3 on Science News for Students: Slime Cities. It’s all about biofilms. I’d covered this topic [...]

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Einstein’s Anniversary

November 10, 2015

In 1915, Einstein published his theory of General Relativity. Our understanding of the nature of reality changed. Space and time merged, and we learned that each entity’s experience of space and time could be different depending on mass and speed. I still remember the day I learned in school that gravity results from the shape [...]

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EmTech MIT

November 3, 2015

I braved the commute into and out of Boston yesterday to attend an incredible conference at MIT. One of the greatest things about being a journalist is being able to get a press pass to attend this type of event. I was mostly interested in the morning session on artificial intelligence (AI), because I’m working [...]

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