There are many ways to celebrate New Year’s Day. My family and I celebrate New Year’s with new shoes. We buy new shoes to symbolize putting ourselves on a new path to success.

This year our shoes have a travel theme. We chose a travel theme because we stayed at home almost a year due to the COVID-19 lockdown. The shoes we chose were covered with a colorful map of the world.

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 I saw the Christmas star on Dec. 21! Did you see it? Did you know what it was? Bear Essential  gave Young Reporters the opportunity to interview Steve Kortenkamp, an astronomer at the University of Arizona.

He said that the conjunction happened because Saturn and Jupiter aligned by orbiting the sun and eventually lining up. The moon and the Earth do the same and that is called an eclipse. Some are solar eclipses while others are lunar eclipses. The next time that a nice solar eclipse will happen in Arizona will be in 2024.

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 “....So yeah, just living the dream out here,” says Warrant Officer-1 Emily Gin when asked about her career as a helicopter pilot in training.

The Tucson native was a gymnast and Young Reporter as a child, starting around the age of 7. She says her favorite story she wrote for the newspaper was when she got to visit the tallest horse in the world. She spills that her and the horse got a picture together “and it made me look so small because the horse was really tall!”

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 Have you ever wondered why leaves change color in the fall? Have you ever noticed that when they change color they flutter to the ground? Well, behind all the color changing there is some science involved.

First, the pigments (yellow, orange and other colors in a leaf) have been there the whole time, but the chlorophyll (the green color in a leaf) takes over and the pigments become invisible because green is the strongest color. In fall, the chlorophyll breaks down and you can see other colors or pigments.

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 Being a Bear Essential News Young Reporter is teaching me to be creative, have a strategy, and to use my time wisely. I learned that you can use these same tools in chess when I joined A Tale of Two Kings, a chess academy in Tucson.

It offers individual and group lessons, chess camps, tournaments and now with coronavirus, it also has online options. Chess is almost 1,500 years old but it is still a very popular game around the world.

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 I am going to write about the festive spirit of the season of fall (not capitalizing the word “fall” is actually proper grammar!). So, let’s get into some fall-themed fun!

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 Right now at OdySea in the Desert in Scottsdale, kids have a once in a lifetime chance to see real artifacts from the famous, unsinkable ship of 1912. The Titanic was the largest ship in the world at that time. One terrible night, the unthinkable happened and the ship sunk to the bottom of the ocean. When you see Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, you will be amazed.

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The Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa has a lot of fun things do to. When you go there, you’ll see some cool galleries. One of those galleries is about the early Spanish settlers in Arizona. It also has a dinosaur exhibit, and I liked the cowboy exhibit.

In the early Spanish settlers exhibit, there is a set of Conquistador armor and a replica of an old Catholic Church. In display cases there are weapons like a sword and musket.

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Located in Tres Rios Wetlands, next to the ISM Raceway, March 2–3, theTres Rios Nature Festival was a place to destroy boredom. A nice sunny day with a cool breeze and lots of fun made it a perfect weekend. The festival had many activities for all ages—archery, fishing, paddle boarding, canoeing, zip lining, hands-on and hands-off exhibits, food, drinks, live music andmore!

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