Student Features

Honey, I Shrunk the Beach!
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The Tree House Detectives are at it again. This time they're solving "The Case of the Disappearing Dirt."

Image to left: Learn more about geosciences with the tree house detectives! Credit: NASA

While playing sand volleyball, the young sleuths from the NASA SCI Files™ notice that something has changed. There isn't as much sand on their beach as there used to be. Could the beach be shrinking?

NASA SCI Files™ is a series of educational TV shows for kids in grades 3-5. The shows combine math, science and technology in a fun format.

Each 60-minute episode features a cast of kids from different backgrounds. The kids are known as the Tree House Detectives. They use sound science to solve the mysteries of Earth and space.

In "The Case of the Disappearing Dirt," the detectives leave no stone unturned. They travel far and wide to find out what happened to their sand and whether it will return. They learn what sand is made of and how minerals form. They also learn how different parts of the Earth system affect each other.

The detectives also visit NASA's Johnson Space Center. There they learn about rocks on Earth and on the moon. Later, a trip to Alaska reveals even more helpful facts. NASA's Kids Science News Network™ looks into the sand shortage, too.

Visit for more information. The Web site has lots of fun stuff related to the different episodes.

The 2005-06 season of NASA SCI Files™ airs on PBS-member TV stations. You can also watch it online. Your teacher or parent can get the details by going to . Then click "Start" at the top left of the page, and choose "About the Series."

Related Resource:
Kids Science News Network™
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Dan Stillman, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies