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Meet SoCal's Equivalent to Punxsutawney Phil

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Happy Groundhog Day! While we all know the charming story of famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil and his penchant for predicting the weather, here in SoCal, our temperatures don't seem to be tied to the shadow, or lack thereof, of a large rodent. But we do have our own seasonal prognosticating animal - Meet Mojave Maxine - a desert tortoise who resides at The Living Desert animal park in Palm Desert.

Mojave Maxine

Legend has it that Maxine will emerge from her rock-filled burrow when spring, or at least springlike weather, is drawing near. There's a contest on each year, for students across the region, to guess the date and time Maxine will make her first cameo of the year. Go ahead and have your students make their own best guesses!

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Zhenwei Gao stands in front of a broadcast camera with a green screen behind her. The shot is replicated on a screen to the right of the image.

10 Things SRL Alum Zhenwei Gao Learned as a Youth Journalist

Student Reporting Labs program alum Zhenwei Gao of Etiwanda High School in Rancho Cucamonga, CA reflects on the key lessons, takeaways and memories she's gained as a youth journalist for the three past years.
PBS NewsHour National Correspondent William Brangham interviews students on school, raising their siblings and the pandemic.

SoCal Student Featured in PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs Special on COVID's Impact on Education

PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs hosted a special called Disrupted: How COVID Changed Education, where students spoke about the systemic issues they noticed in their schools during the pandemic.
Two Black children lean into something they are working on on a table with paintbrushes and crayons.

Six Ways to Teach Students Engineering from a JPL Education Specialist

Although teaching engineering may appear complex, it is not as daunting as it sounds and teachers don't really need "anything fancy," says JPL ed specialist Ota Lutz. Here are six of her tips on how to get kids enamored with engineering.