Topical Science—February 2021

Happy February! Well done for getting through the first month of 2021. We’re looking forward to the days slowly getting lighter and warmer (for everyone in the northern hemisphere). Of course, we’re also looking forward to diving into more fascinating science content this month. Let’s start with our monthly selection of topical science!

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Whole month

Black History/African-American History Month
Street sign of "Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd" against blue sky

This event commemorates the historical achievements, contributions, and trials of African-Americans—moments of history that have often been excluded from history books. This month, why not find new ways to engage all your students in STEM, regardless of background? Watch our webinar “Race and Bias: How to Engage All STEM Learners” to get started: Watch now.

Monday, February 1

National Texas Day

The first day of the month celebrates Texas, also known as the Lone Star State. Texas is well known for its oil production. Its abundant oil reserves led to the Texas oil boom in the early 20th century, but today oil supplies are dwindling. Learn more about the difficulties and environmental impacts of oil drilling in the video “Frontier Oil Exploration”:

Sunday, February 7

National Periodic Table Day

This day celebrates the publication of the first modern periodic table, created by Dmitri Mendeleev in the 19th century. Since then, many more elements have been discovered and added to the table. Learn more in this video:

Wednesday, February 10

World Pulses Day

This day was established by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and aims to celebrate pulses of all kinds—chickpeas, beans, lentils, peas, and more! Pulses aren’t just eco-friendly—they’re also an important part of a healthy diet. Learn more about what makes up a balanced diet in this video:

Thursday, February 11

International Day of Women and Girls in Science
Two happy elementary school girls performing science experiment in lab

Implemented by UNESCO and UN Women, this day celebrates women and girls in science and promotes ways to give them equal access to science—both in school and in their careers. Few girls choose to study STEM at college or university and, as a result, women are underrepresented in STEM careers. But how can you inspire girls to love science? Read our blog post.

National Inventors’ Day
Box of dynamite

This day celebrates inventors all over the word. Past inventors have used their imagination and intelligence to create all kinds of things—including many things that we now take for granted. One of history’s most famous inventors is Alfred Nobel, who invented dynamite. Learn more:

Sunday, February 14

Valentine’s Day
Several heart-shaped red balloons against pink background

Today, Valentine’s Day is celebrated across the world, but it started as a Christian feast day to commemorate Saint Valentine of Rome. In the 14th and 15th centuries it became linked to romantic love, and in 18th century England people started giving flowers, cards, or confectionery to their loved ones. Here are some fun, science-themed facts about the holiday: Read now.

Saturday, February 20

National Love Your Pet Day
Child hugging old, black dog

This unofficial holiday celebrates the love that we have for our pets—whether they’re dogs, cats, birds, or something else entirely! Most of us have a favorite pet, but what is the most popular pet in America? Watch this video to find out:

World Whale Day
Blue whale in the sea

This day celebrates all kinds of whales—from the giant blue whales to the much smaller (but still quite large!) beluga whales. Blue whales are in fact the largest mammals on the planet, and they can weigh up to 160 metric tons! But why are they so large? Find out more in this article: Read more.

Monday, February 22

National California Day
Group of wolves in Yellowstone National Park

Today we celebrate the golden state, California. The most populous state in the US is well-known for its impressive wilderness—such as Yellowstone National Park. On this day, why not learn more about what happened when wolves were released into the park in 1995… Watch now.

Saturday, February 27

International Polar Bear Day
Polar bear on sea ice, looking at the camera

This day raises awareness of the challenges that polar bears face because of global warming. With the increased sea ice loss in the Arctic, the natural habitat of polar bears is quickly changing—and many are struggling to cope. Find out how polar bears have evolved to survive the biting cold of the Arctic in this video: Watch now.

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