Welcome Friends of NBC Learn!

“Autumn…. The year’s last, loveliest smile.”

William Cullen Bryant

With fall now officially upon us and the days growing shorter, we might be forgiven for peering at the calendar and wondering how could it be October already? In this month’s newsletter, we offer a wide mix of teaching and learning resources related to National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party’s founding, the start of the NHL hockey season, an inspiring civics campaign called “Goal to Be Greater” by our friends at the Parent Toolkit, and the aftermath of the first 2016 presidential debate.  Of course, we’ll also be sharing a lot of treats – as well as a few science tricks – related to Halloween.

And be sure to join our Twitter Chat on October 12th to learn more about how NBC Learn is covering the 2016 presidential election.


The NBC Learn Team

Decision 2016

By now you – along with more than 80 million of your fellow citizens – have probably had a chance to watch the first 2016 presidential debate between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. We’ll leave the post-debate analysis to the pundits.  Instead, we’d like to point out where you can find resources about the debate on NBC Learn: in Current Events (K12, HE), Decision 2016 (K12, HE), and U.S. Government & Politics (K12, HE).

In each of these areas, you will find the complete and unedited 90 minute debate [Full Broadcast] (K12, HE), as well as news coverage from the days following the debate, a compilation of the “best zingers” between the candidates, and a story about the history of presidential debates (“How Candidate Appears in Debates Can Matter More Than What Is Said”).  If the full debate, itself, is too long to share with your class, consider using our new clipping tool to share just a portion of it.

For more than a year, NBC Learn has been busy compiling news reports, raw speeches, political ads, public opinion polls, candidate profiles, and much more, in its comprehensive Decision 2016 collection.  This great resource is updated every week day and is a go-to place for information about the candidates ahead of Election Day on Tuesday, November 8th.

Goal To Be Greater Campaign

With civics so much in the news, we invite you to join an inspiring campaign by our friends at the Parent Toolkit. Teachers, students and families across the country are participating in their “Goal To Be Greater,” and you can, too! Whether you’re donating old clothes to charity, or pledging to spread kindness in your school, every action counts. For every goal received, NBC is donating $1 to charity and Pearson is matching. Which charity? You tell us! Whoever submits the most creative goal gets to choose the charity that receives the total amount.* Charities include teacher-friendly options like Donors Choose and Adopt-a-Classroom, among others. So spread the word, increase the donation, and set your #GoalToBeGreater today at Together, we can all make a difference.

ENTER OR WIN. Void where prohibited. Open only to legal residence of the 50 US or DC who are 18 or older. Begins September 6, 2016 at 10amET and ends September 30th, 2016 at 11:59pmET. Limit 1 entry per person. For Official Rules, including odds and prize descriptions, visit Sponsor: NBCUniversal Media, LLC 

Bullying Prevention Month

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. The event has grown in prominence over the years, with educators, students, parents, and the general public calling attention to this serious issue and sharing strategies to help identify and prevent bullying. On NBC Learn, you can share several stories about stopping bullies, from First Lady Michelle Obama’s 2011 White House Conference on School Bullying (K12, HE), to the heartwarming story of Haley Kilpatrick, a young woman who started an organization that helps middle school girls overcome their anxiety and fear of “mean girls.”

Black Panthers

October 17th marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party, the revolutionary black nationalist and socialist group that was started in Oakland, California by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. The group’s original purpose was to defend African American neighborhoods from police brutality, but also grew to include social programs that offered hot breakfasts to children, medical services to the poor, education about black history, and more. While the group disbanded by the 1980s, the Black Panthers are still relevant today, especially with the focus on police mistreatment of African Americans, racial inequality in the criminal justice system, the Black Lives Matter movement, and protests by black athletes during the national anthem. We invite you to watch an overview of the BPP by NBC’s Lester Holt (K12, HE) and to try a keyword search (“Black Panthers”) to find other stories about the history and legacy of the group. We also invite you to explore Current Events for recent stories on the relevant and recurring issues impacting African Americans today. 

Current Events Thought Starter

Need more ideas about how to incorporate current events into your teaching? Looking for a way to spark more vigorous discussion and debate in the classroom?  Try our Current Events Thought Starters, a helpful resource that features a few of the top current events news stories from the past month paired with engaging questions for your students.

Science of NHL

This month, the puck drops on a new NHL season.  You and your students can explore the science and math behind the fastest game on ice with NBC Learn’s original 10-part series, “Science of NHL Hockey,” produced in partnership with the National Hockey League and the National Science Foundation. How much power does an NHL player need to rip a 100 mph (60 km/h) slap shot? Why does the gyroscopic effect make an NHL wrist shot more accurate? How quickly does an NHL goalie need to react in order to stop a shot? Find out about these and many other STEM concepts with this exciting video series.  Video-specific lesson plans are included. All you have to do is open the video, and click on the “Lessons” tab. 


October 31st is Halloween, that awesomely thrilling night of costumes, candy, and…. chemistry?  On NBC Learn, we have several science and other stories related to this favorite fall holiday.  Check out the “Chemistry of Fear and Fright” and the “Chemistry of Chocolate” in our Chemistry NOW original collection (K12, HE). The Today Show featured some exciting do-it-yourself Halloween science experiments (K12, HE). Nightly News did a story on the booming business of Haunted Houses (K12, HE). And NBC Learn also created a “Word Roots” called Phobos (K12, HE) that animates 16 terms for different phobias, which should be a fun activity for Language Arts teachers.

Subscriber Spotlights

This month we feature two educators: Mary LaSita, a librarian at Port Jefferson School District in New York, and Cathy Henderson, a professor of business at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. See how Mary teaches her students valuable research skills. And how Henderson uses NBC Learn to create active learning opportunities in her courses!  

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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