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CNN 10

International Search for Malaysian Airlines Plane; Cameras Watching Earth from Space; Figure Skating and Tutoring for Girls in Harlem

Aired March 20, 2014 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: There are many theories about what happened to a missing Malaysia Airlines plane, but confirmed information is hard to come by. We`ll tell you what we know today on CNN STUDENT NEWS.

It`s been 13 days since the flight with 239 people aboard vanished over Southeast Asia. There are 26 countries involved in the search. The area is almost 3 million square miles from Eastern Europe to the Southern Indian Ocean. It even extends to the pilot`s house. A flight simulator was there, and yesterday, Malaysian officials said some files have been deleted from its hard drive. Investigators are trying to recover those to see if they hold any clues, though it could be just another dead end. U.S. officials say the aircraft`s most likely location is the bottom of the Indian Ocean.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The big complete area is still enormous. You are still talking about an area around the size of the United States. But the area they are focused on most today is about the size of Arizona. Remember, we`ve talked about these two arcs out here, the northern and southern arcs. This is along the southern arcs. And they are specifically focused on this area about 1400 miles or so away from the West Coast of Australia. This is a moving target, by the way. This was bigger yesterday. You put it on the floor now. And it was a little bit further to the West, but because of drifting patterns and things like that, they adjusted with the hours. This is all based on something from mathematics called Bayesian theory, which is basically saying, as all of your parameters change hour to hour, day to day in a search, you adjust the probability of where you will find it. And now that equation has led them to focus most on this area.

And one of the reasons we know they are focusing on it so far or so hard right now, is this, this airplane. This is the P8 Poseidon, it`s made by the Navy, or the Navy has them out there. This is the result of a $35 billion program. Each plane costs around a quarter billion dollars. And many people consider this the most effective sub-hunting plane in the world now because when it looks down at all this water, which you and I would look at with our eyes, we would see sunlight glinting off, and making it hard for us to see things. And we might see white caps. And all sorts of things that make it visually hard to see something. It uses radar to scan many, many, many miles of this. Thousands in a day to spot even little tiny items. So, the fact that this plane, this quarter billion dollar plane has been moved down to search that specific area, shows you that their sense of probability that it could be one of the more important search areas has reason substantially. It doesn`t mean they are going to find anything, but it means they think they might fight debris on the surface. But remember, even if you find something on the surface, even if all the calculations by NTSB and everybody else says it should be down here somewhere, if you find something, the bigger challenge lies ahead, because this plane vanished over about 200 feet of water. But if you fly into this part of the Indian Ocean, and you keep going down below the surface, look what you get - you get the kind of topography that you would get on the surface. A geography of hills and ridges and valleys and all sorts of places where that pinger that they might search for could be difficult to locate.


AZUZ: The families of the missing are in anguish. They are frustrated with the lack of search progress. Some accused the Malaysian government of withholding information. There is some technology that was launched too late to help with this incident. But astronaut Chris Hadfield describes how it could help in the future.


CHRIS HADFIELD, RETIRED CANADIAN ASTRONAUT: Five weeks ago, the space station released 28 little tiny satellite cameras that are now orbiting the world. They are about the size of a long skinny shoebox. And each of them goes around the world every 90 minutes, and they can see things down maybe to about the size of a car.

The beauty of those will be, they will take a picture of basically every second, and you go five miles a second. So, every five miles they will take a picture of the world and continuously stream that information back to us, giving us a look at the planet like we`ve never before.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time for the "Shoutout." What`s the world`s oldest currency still in use? Is it, the British pound, Indian rupee, Japanese yen, or Swiss franc? You`ve got three seconds, go!

The British pound was established more than 1,000 years ago when Anglo- Saxon kingdoms began using sterlings or silver currency. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."

AZUZ: There`s a new pound in town, at least there will be in 2017, and here it is. 12 sides, two metals, two tone. The United Kingdom made the change in hopes of confounding counterfeiters. This is supposed to be the world`s most secure coin. Britain`s Royal Mint estimates that three percent of the pound coins currently in circulation are fakes. That would total out to about 46 million pounds or $76 million. Making the new coin will cost the country. New machinery will be needs. And wending machine operator will have to alter their machines to accept the new coin. And that will cost them. But one expert says, it`s also wending machines that tend to be ripped off the most by fakes.

The current pound coin was introduced 30 years ago. At today`s exchange rate it`s worth about a $1.66.

Now, if converting currency or doing any kind of math for that matter really, really bothers you, it just might be in your genes. As in genetics. A new study out of Ohio State University looked at people`s anxiety levels when it comes to math. It found that the genetics aren`t the main reason why some people dread numbers or angles or solving for X. But it may account for 40 percent of the reason. That if your parents or your siblings struggle with math, you might two. Other reasons for math anxiety may be even bigger reasons include environment. So, if you don`t get enough support at school, for example it may make you anxious. And if others in your family get that way about math, it could make the problem worth.

Why does this matter if you`ve still got to learn and then do math? Researchers say that the more aware educators are about students anxiety, the more prepared they`ll be to tailor their lesson plans to help.

There`s plenty of math in figure skating from the triple axels and quad touloups (ph) we saw in the Sochi Olympics to angular momentum and vertical velocity. Physics, that`s factored in to those jumps. But there`s a broader reason why Sharon Cohen is getting young people involved. She`s working to help a group of girls in Harlem, on and off the ice. She`s a CNN Hero and a woman improving other women`s life this women`s history month.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love the crispy feeling of the air. The sound of my skate crunching on the ice. Skating relieves me from everything. I just want to fly, I just don`t want to stop.

SHARON COHEN: I heard that there were some girls who wanted to figure skate in Harlem. Growing up I was a competitive figure skater and I knew that skating was not a diverse sport. There was not access for kids in low-income communities. They were so eager to get started I began teaching them and it was really inspiring to me. Now, we serve over 200 girls a year.

Wow! Look at those spins! You did it!

The best part about skating is that it gives you qualities that you use for the rest of your life. They gain discipline, perseverance.

Step, cross. Step, cross. Excellent, girls.

They fall down and they get back up and they learn they can do that in anything. It`s a building block. Skating is the hook, but education comes first.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that how you spell when?


COHEN: Before they even get on the ice, they have to get their homework done, they get tutoring. The minimum of three afternoons a week.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So that`ll be Z minus 12.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Algebra was not my best subject and I failed it. Ms. Sharon hired a special tutor for me that felt like, hey, you have to get back up.

It was that simple?

Now, I`m doing way better in school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ladies and gentlemen, Harlem Ice.

COHEN: We want girls to believe and know they can do anything they put their hearts and minds to.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not all about skating. Miss Sharon is teaching us to be the best we can be in life.


AZUZ: We are headed west for today`s CNN STUDENT NEWS roll call like really far west. In the Pacific state of Hawaii, we`ve got the bulldogs on today`s roll. They are watching from Le Jardin Academy in Kailua (ph). Back in the continent, hello to Roosevelt Junior High School in Roosevelt, Utah. That`s Roosevelt isn`t teddy because these are the rough writers. And one state south, it`s all about the bears and grizzlies. They are online in Shonto Preparatory Middle and High School in Shonto, Arizona ...

Probably, you can`t get college credit for this, especially from the professors who wrote some of these books. But a group of students in Poland did get a Guinness world record for knocking them down like dominoes. They lined up 4998 books, don`t know why they didn`t just go for an even 5,000, but with one quick tip they toppled the previous record of 4845 books. And earned themselves a place in the record. Book. Might not be the most productive chapter in their lives, but the experiment didn`t put them in a bind, it fell together nicely, it moved at a steady page. They were domino problems, even though they had a lot of ground to cover. I can read your thoughts from here. We`ve reached the tipping point with these puns. So, we`ll close the book on today`s show and hope you`ll book ten minutes with us again on Friday.