Lecture (Level 4) – A young inventor’s plan to recycle Styrofoam

by Ashton Cofer

Ashton and his teammates recently won the 2016 Google Science Fair’s Scientific American Innovator Award.   He has a passion for science and technology, and in addition to inventing, he also competed in FIRST LEGO League robotics and teaches robotics workshops to local area youth in his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

First, preview the vocabulary below.  Then do the exercise by first reading a single question and then listening for the answer.  When you hear the answer, pause the video and answer the question.  Then read the next question and do the same thing.  If you get the answer wrong, then go back to where the answer is given and listen again.

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freeking out:  panicking (idiom)
littered:  with garbage everywhere
Styrofoam:  a brand name for expanded polystyrene foam
landfill:  the place where garbage goes
degrade:  turn back into dirt
accumulations:  large amounts
contaminated:  impure, unclean, poisonous
nonrenewable:  cannot be made into something useful
feasible:  capable of being done, possible
viable:  practical, useful
ordinances:  local laws
insulating:  protecting from heat or cold
repercussions:  results, effects
hypothesized:  formed a theory
activated carbon:  a form of carbon (C) that absorbs tiny bad things
micropores:  very tiny holes
literally:  as the words truly mean
vaporized:  turned into gas
exploded:  expanded with great force and noise
gave up:  stopped trying (idiom)
persevere:  continue trying
inspired:  made to want to work harder
funding:  money to support the work
patent:  legal protection of an invention