Welcome Friends of NBC Learn!

February may be the shortest month of the year, but this month’s newsletter is jam-packed with stories you can use (and re-use) in your classroom. From marking Black History Month with the “Finishing the Dream” series and African American Studies collection, to a new collaboration with the National Science Foundation on the “Human Water Cycle,” to the science of chocolate for Valentine’s Day, we think you and your students are going to enjoy these inspiring, compassionate stories.


The NBC Learn Team

Finishing the Dream

This Black History Month explore the major milestones of the Civil Rights Movement with NBC Learn’s original collection, “Finishing the Dream,” produced in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. From the arrest of Rosa Parks, to the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., these primary source news reports can help bring the tensions and triumphs of this era to life.  In addition, NBC Learn subscribers should also explore the African American Studies collection, which includes additional current, archival and original stories covering the extraordinary events that have helped shape the African American Experience. 

Human Water Cycle

Water is an essential building block of life constantly moving in a hydrologic cycle that flows in a continuous loop above, across and even below the Earth's surface. But water is also constantly moving through another cycle, the human water cycle, which powers our homes, hydrates our bodies, irrigates our crops, and processes our waste. NBC Learn’s newest original collection, “Human Water Cycle,” produced in partnership with the National Science Foundation, looks at the vital connections between water, food and energy, and examines how each element depends on one another to produce a safe and reliable water supply.   

Science of Chocolate

It’s been adored since the time of the Mayans and craved by most of us every moment since. Indulge yourself in the guilt-free enjoyment of chocolate this Valentine’s Day by uncovering the science behind the world’s most famous candy. How does worldwide consumption of chocolate affect global trade patterns? Why does chocolate ‘melt in your mouth’? NBC Learn’s original collection, “Chemistry Now,” produced in 2011 with the National Science Foundation, answers these questions and many more, while taking your class on a journey from the Central American jungles where cacao trees are harvested for their seeds, to the industrial factories where the finished product is packaged into romantic and delicious treats.

Parent Toolkit

Calling All SEL Teachers!

In honor of Valentine’s Day holiday, our friends at Parent Toolkit are talking compassion for their monthly #ToolkitTalk Twitter chat. Join the conversation from 7-8PM ET on Tuesday, February 21st and share your thoughts on teaching (and raising) compassionate kids. Follow @EducationNation on Twitter for reminders leading up to the chat. And if you can’t make it live, check in on the recap which is posted to the Parent Toolkit blog the following day.

President's Day

Monday, February 20th is President’s Day. Catch some of the biggest moments in presidential history with a specially curated playlist from NBC Learn. Watch live coverage of the presidential events that have shaped modern American history, and jump back in time with primary-source documents that shed light on the heavy burden that every president has carried throughout their time in office.

College Wrestler

Wrestling with adversity is something that Jaime Miranda got used to in life. Having grown up homeless with a single mother, who later died of cancer, Jaime found a sanctuary in wrestling. Now the co-captain of Central College’s Wrestling Team, Jaime has found his most recent challenges in the classroom to be relatable to his peers and seemingly ordinary, and that’s a refreshing change.

Subscriber Spotlights

This month’s subscriber spotlights features Heather Robinson, a science teacher at Staunton River Middle School in Moneta, Virginia and Beth Leishman, an English instructor at Northwest Community College in Mississippi. Heather is using NBC Learn resources to personalize her instruction by providing her students with the option of watching different videos. Beth shows her students profiles from the NBC News archive about famed authors such as Stephen King and Robert Ludlum to help them further understand how to write their own profile pieces. 

How are you using NBC Learn as a teaching and learning resource? E-mail us at with examples of NBC Learn videos that especially engaged your students or summaries of your lessons.  We may feature you in a future K-12 or Higher Ed Subscriber Spotlight!

Want to read more Subscriber Spotlights? On the Home page of NBC Learn K-12 or NBC Learn Higher Ed, look under the heading NBC Learn in the Classroom.

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