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A New Kind Of March Madness Hits Schools

NPR – Kat Lansdorf

“March Mammal Madness was created five years ago by Katie Hinde, an evolutionary biologist at Arizona State University, though now, she says, the competition depends on a whole team of volunteer scientists and conservationists: biologists, animal behaviorists, paleoanthropologists, marine biologists. Hinde’s team meets every year for a Selection Sunday of its own. Team members pick the animals that will compete and even decide who will win, though they keep it a secret. That’s because a whole lot of research has to be done. Each scientist is assigned a specific battle, then studies up and writes a battle story based on facts. “Then the battles are live-tweeted as a dynamic, play-by-play story, much like someone would watch a basketball game,” Hinde says. Those tweets link to scientific articles, videos, photos, fossil records — whatever the team can use to drop knowledge into the story. That’s why so many teachers, including Michelle Harris, have begun using the brackets in class.”(more)

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