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Lesson Ideas

4 Scientific Articles in German

Our mission is to let all students have access to real scientific research. That’s why we have articles translated into multiple languages. Providing students age-appropriate adaptations in their native language increases their access to real scientific research!

Each title in this collection of adapted research articles features a German-language translation. Engage students with standards-matched adaptations, introductory video content, comprehension questions, and vocabulary to further your lesson outcomes. Each adapted article also comes with additional suggestions for activities to enhance the readers’ understanding and make the class more exciting.

1. How can cheetahs and farmers get along better?

Abstract: Sometimes humans and animals come into conflict with each other. This can threaten people’s livelihoods and also threaten the animals’ lives. In central Namibia, farmers have a problem with cheetahs. The cheetahs prey on their baby cows (calves). In turn, the farmers often try to kill the wild cats in order to protect their cattle! Wouldn’t it be great if we could study the situation and find a solution that suits both the farmers and the cheetahs? This is what we did. We tracked the cheetah’s behavior. We figured out how farmers could manage their cattle so that cheetahs don’t eat the calves. This could prevent farmers from losing their valuable livestock and stop them from trying to kill the cheetahs.

This article is suitable for middle school and lower high school students. It is available in German and Bulgarian translations, and includes an English-language audio version.

  • Key terms: cheetah, habitat, wildlife
  • Scientific figures: bar graph
  • Scientific method: experiment, field study, GPS tracking, observation

2. How can we simulate a ‘lab-on-a-chip’?

Abstract: Many chemical and biomedical experiments are conducted in labs that need a lot of space, expensive machinery, and special substances. What if this process could fit onto a tiny chip? Wouldn’t that save a lot of time, space and money! So-called ‘labs-on-a-chip’ (also called biochips) already exist but their design is tedious. Researchers still have to manually calculate a lot of the variables, which leads to the creation of lots of different possible chips, some of which won’t prove useful. This ‘trial-and-error’ approach takes a lot of time and money. What if we could create a virtual biochip before we physically make one – so that we know we are always manufacturing the right one? Here we developed a computer simulation for a lab-on-a-chip and compared its predictions to existing biochips. We found out that our approach is great at its predictions, and chip designers could use it to create reliably useful biochips for lots of different experiments.

This article is suitable for middle school and lower high school students. The article and teacher’s key are available in German.

  • Key terms: simulator
  • Scientific figures: pictograph
  • Scientific method: case study, data validation, proxy data, scientific modeling

3. How can we work with quantum computers today?

Abstract: Quantum computers are a new, promising technology still in its infancy. Our conventional computers are already quite powerful. But this new technology could speed things up a lot! Because of this, many computer companies have already started building quantum computers. Unfortunately, they are still rather small compared to what we expect in the future. So how can we prepare programmers and users for this new technology? One way to do so: simulate the quantum computer on our conventional machines. Of course, this is very complex – if it were easy, we would not need a quantum computer in the first place. Here we propose a method that tackles this complexity using so-called decision diagrams. We tested our method by attempting several different quantum computations. Then we compared it to the other existing simulators. Our approach outperforms other solutions in many cases. This allows everyone to simulate quantum computations today – even before the really powerful quantum computers are available.

This article is suitable for upper high school students. The article and teacher’s key are available in German.

  • Key terms: simulator
  • Scientific figures: flow chart
  • Scientific method: scientific modeling

4. How do our outdoor activities impact wildlife?

Abstract: Do you love seeing wildlife when you’re wandering around in the woods? Like a majestic deer, or a beautiful bird? Well, the love might not be very mutual. In fact, many animals avoid us, even if we don’t mean any harm. So, what impact do our outdoor activities have on wildlife? We set out to answer this question by radio tracking the whereabouts of red deer and capercaillie (also called wood grouse—a kind of bird) in the Black Forest in Germany. Deer are common, but capercaillie are on the brink of extinction in that area. We found that both red deer and capercaillie avoided hiking trails in our study areas. Interestingly, the extent of avoidance changed between the seasons, and, in the case of deer, even between day and night! Effective natural area management plans that aim at protecting wildlife and reducing human animal conflict need to take these temporal differences into account.

This article is suitable for middle school and lower high school students. This article is suitable for upper high school students. The article and teacher’s key are available in German.

  • Key terms: forest, human-wildlife conflict, recreation, tourism, wildlife
  • Scientific figures: map
  • Scientific method: data extrapolation, experiment, GPS tracking, representative sampling

That’s Not All!

Check out our map, showing our articles pinned onto their research locations – including research conducted across Germany. Or browse our collection of articles whose research was conducted in Europe.

Title photo by Skylar Kang

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