(CNN Student News) -- March 27, 2008
Cracks in the Ice - Travel to Antarctica to check out the continent's latest icy breakup.
Political Space - Learn how politics could impact the future of the U.S. space program.
Fifth Grade Finance - Discover how some fifth graders are learning about money management
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Hi, I'm Carl Azuz. However you are watching this edition of CNN Student News, we're glad you are. Thanks for tuning in this Thursday.
AZUZ: First up, we're heading south to Antarctica, where it's cold, but apparently not cold enough. A huge chunk of ice broke away from the continent this week, and some scientists are blaming it on the changing climate. Now, since Antarctica is south of the equator, summer just ended down there. So, this is the time when major events like this are most likely to happen. Emily Chang has more details now on the icy breakup.
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EMILY CHANG, CNN REPORTER: Scientists fly over a giant chunk of Antarctic ice as it cracks and collapses. The chunk is enormous, about 7 times the size of Manhattan, 160 square miles. It was part of the Wilkins ice shelf, the biggest on Antarctica yet, scientists say, to fall victim to global warming.
DAVID VAUGHN, BRITISH ANTARCTIC SURVEY: Watching Wilkins ice shelf disappear at the moment, we learn a lot more about how ice responds to climate change.
CHANG: The ice is just a small fraction of the Antarctic ice sheet, but it broke off well before scientists predicted, a sign they say that climate change might be happening faster than expected. One expert told us last year...
LONNIE THOMPSON, GLACIOLOGIST: I think what we do know is that ice is probably the best sensor of these large scale changes taking place. And in many ways, I think we're in uncharted territory.
CHANG: Ice plays a vital role in cooling the Earth's temperature and regulating sea levels. As it's lost, the planet gets warmer, sea levels rise and more ice is threatened; a vicious environmental circle. By the end of the century, many experts project sea levels will rise between 7 and 23 inches, and temperatures could increase by up to 7 degrees Fahrenheit. But some say those estimates are too conservative.
JAMES HANSEN, NASA CLIMATE SCIENTIST: There are glaciologists now who are getting very worried. But they haven't really come out and said what they think.
CHANG: This part of the Antarctic is warming about five times faster than the rest of the world. Six other ice shelves have been lost entirely, and scientists say the Wilkins shelf could be next. Emily Chang, CNN, London.
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DON LEMON, CNN REPORTER: When talking about Antarctica, you need to get at least one fact straight: It's home to the South Pole. That other ice box, the North Pole, is found in the Arctic. Another difference: Antarctica is a continent surrounded by ocean. The arctic is an ocean surrounded by continents. Think superlatives when considering Antarctica. It's the coldest continent, with the Earth's lowest ever temperature of minus 128 degrees Fahrenheit recorded there. Antarctica is also the windiest and driest continent, averaging less than 0.157 inches of precipitation a month; about the same as the Sahara desert. It's also the highest, averaging about 7,500 feet above sea level. Among the seven continents, Antarctica is the fifth largest. Despite its size, Antarctica was the last continent to be discovered in the early 1800s. Seven nations now claim territory in Antarctica. Other nations, including the U.S. and Russia, don't recognize those claims and make no claims of their own, but reserve rights to do so in the future. Since the early 1960s, Antarctica has been administered under the Antarctic Treaty, with the aim of preserving it for peaceful scientific study.
AZUZ: They're grounded, in a good way. The crew of the space shuttle Endeavour is safely on the ground, after wrapping up their 16-day mission to the international space station. That's the longest trip ever for a shuttle to the ISS. During that time, the crew took five walks in space and installed a Japanese laboratory and a Canadian robot on the station.
AZUZ: This was the 122nd shuttle flight in NASA's history, but it also might be one of the last. You see, the shuttles are scheduled to be mothballed in just a couple years. John Zarrella looks at how the race for the White House could impact the space program.
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JOHN ZARRELLA, CNN REPORTER: As the Endeavour astronauts prepared to come home, they took a time-out for a chat from space. With shuttles being retired shortly after a new administration is coming in, I asked if they hoped the next president would continue the plans to go back to the moon and beyond.
ROBERT BEHNKEN, MISSION SPECIALIST: I find it really exciting, and just hope that the next administration will continue on with the same sort of vision that we already have, a plan for NASA to continue our footsteps out throughout the solar system.
ZARRELLA: Back on Earth at the Kennedy Space Center, workers are just hoping vision leads to a light at the end of the tunnel. Under the best of circumstances, thousands here alone will be laid off during a five-year transition from shuttle to the new vehicle, called Orion. Terry White isn't crazy about what he hears so far from the candidates.
TERRY WHITE, SHUTTLE VEHICLE PROCESSING: I haven't seen anyone really take a hard stand and commit to launching the next vehicle.
ZARRELLA: Since the first shuttle flight, White has worked with his hands on the shuttle's delicate thermal tile system. Now, his future is out of his hands. So, who would be the most space-friendly president?
HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't think we can afford to take a time-out to delay the next generation of spacecraft.
ZARRELLA: John McCain wants NASA to better prioritize; not everything will be funded, he says.
JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So I would, as president, probably make sure we sat down with the smartest people we can find and say, What's do-able? What's the cost?, etc.
ZARRELLA: Barack Obama goes further, by delaying the moon program and putting that money into education until he's satisfied with NASA's direction.
BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to use some of that money to train engineers and scientists who are going to be able to take us to those next new frontiers.
ZARRELLA: There won't be a new U.S. manned space vehicle until at least 2015, leaving space workers skeptical at best.
WHITE: We want to see the real hardware, and we want to launch the real hardware.
ZARRELLA: No matter who is the next president, that won't be anytime soon. John Zarrella, CNN, at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
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Is this Legit?
MICHELLE WRIGHT, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this Legit? When a business is "in the red," it's losing money. Totally true! If the business starts making money, it moves from the red into the black.
AZUZ: If you want to transition out of the red and into the black, one of the first things you need to do is make a budget. Figure out how much money you're making and how much you're spending. That's what some Massachusetts students are doing. But their money management includes more than their allowances. We're talking the cost of groceries, mortgages, even health care. Jackie Brousseau of affiliate WWLP fills us in on the fiscal fun.
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JACKIE BROUSSEAU, 22NEWS REPORTER: Fifth graders at Stony Hill Elementary School in Wilbraham are being taught how to budget their money using real-life scenarios. Each student chooses a profession, dresses the part and learns how to allocate a $40,000 a year salary, paying for everything from a mortgage to a car payment to groceries. Eleven-year-old Elizabeth Judycki chose to be a fashion designer and can't believe how much everyday necessities cost.
ELIZABETH JUDYCKI, STUDENT: Health. I always thought your insurance would pay for it, but sometimes you have to pay for it.
BROUSSEAU: The goal of the pilot program, taught by Country Bank, is to encourage kids to think about their future.
JODIE GERULAITIS, FINANCIAL EDUCATION OFFICER, COUNTRY BANK: Hopefully, they're not gonna be having bad credit reports. They're learning the consequences now.
BROUSSEAU: The program not only teaches students how to budget, but it also how to write checks and open a real-life savings account. Some of the students say it's taught them what it's like for their parents.
DAVID PETRUZZELLI, STUDENT: They must have to pay a lot of bills.
JUDYCKI: If you have a lot of money, you can't spend it all in one place. You have to still pay all your bills first.
BROUSSEAU: Teacher Michele Mistalski says she can tell the program is working just by looking at the shock on her students' faces when they see how much things cost. She believes it is a crucial life lesson that should be taught in every classroom.
MICHELE MISTALSKI, FIFTH GRADE TEACHER: It's everyday math. This is not anything that will go away from their lives. They will have to do this for the rest of their lives.
BROUSSEAU: The program is so successful that modified versions of the financial lesson will soon be taught to students in every grade at Stony Hill. I'm Jackie Brousseau for 22 News.
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AZUZ: So, what about you? Are you operating in the black, or could your budget could use a little balancing? Find out with our free Learning Activity! It helps students put together a financial plan and see how their spending measures up against their earnings. You can check out the resource at CNNStudentNews.com!
AZUZ: That's gonna wrap things up for today. Have a good one. I'm Carl Azuz. E-mail to a friend