Colorado Water Knowledge
The Colorado Water Knowledge Web site is maintained by the Colorado State University Colorado Water Resources Research Institute. The site allows kids to explore all aspects of water science including general facts, a description of the water cycle, stream processes, Colorado geology and water history, major aquifers of the area, aquatic life in local waters, Colorado water laws and regulations, and much more. Although it isn't graphic intensive, the site does a good job of explaining the wide a
DNA from the Beginning: An Animated Primer on the Basics of DNA, Genes and Hereditary
Maintained by the Cold Spring Harbor Research Laboratory and the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, this animated DNA primer (last mentioned in the February 19, 1999 Scout Report) now has three major sections -- Classical Genetics, Molecular Genetics, and Genetic Organization and Control. Each section covers several concepts by description and in animation, along with interviews and biographies of scientists, a quiz to test your understanding, and related Web links. This is a well-organized site with
IOL: InterOperability Lab
The University of New Hampshire has compiled this excellent collection of resources on networking and computer technology. Over twenty categories are represented, including emerging technologies such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Very high rate Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL), and wireless standards. Many of the resources are papers or tutorials written by researchers at the UNH InterOperability Lab, while others are links to various academic and industry efforts. The site is suitable for a broad audie
Digging into Minnesota Minerals
The Digging into Minnesota Minerals Web site is part of the larger Minnesota State Department of Natural Resources site. These fun and interesting pages explain how Minnesota came to acquire its most common minerals over geologic time, what the basic types of rocks are, mining history of the state, the geology found in state parks, and much more. Included are basic descriptions, photographs, illustrations, and even educational activities for teachers related to the minerals. This well-designed s
Haptics is the science of incorporating touch and physical stimuli into computer applications. A haptics interface can allow the user to feel responses from a program, thereby providing an additional level of perception in a virtual environment, for example. This site hosts the proceedings of the 2003 EuroHaptics conference. Over 30 papers and several more poster presentations are available, spanning the areas of interaction, hardware, algorithms, and psychophysics. Proceedings of the 2001 and 2
Some of the most fascinating natural phenomena in the world are waterfalls. Cascading over and through the geological remnants of the earth's history, the water of the world falls, creating the familiar sounds of gurgling, crashing water. This topic in depth takes you on a tour of a few great websites devoted to waterfalls around the world and the U.S.The World Waterfall Database (1) site, from Bryan Swan and Dean Goss -- waterfall aficionados -- contains all sorts of great information about wat
Yeast Cells Respire, Too (But Not Like Me and You)
Students set up a simple way to indirectly observe and quantify the amount of respiration occurring in yeast-molasses cultures. Each student adds a small amount of baking yeast to a test tube filled with diluted molasses. A second, smaller test tube is then placed upside-down inside the solution. As the yeast cells respire, the carbon dioxide they produce is trapped inside the inverted test tube, producing a growing bubble of gas that is easily observed and measured. Students are presented with
In this activity, students will learn how to read a topographical map and how to triangulate with just a map. True triangulation requires both a map and compass, but to simplify the activity and make it possible indoors, the compass information is given. Students will practice converting a compass measurement to a protractor measurement, as well as reverse a bearing direction (i.e., if they know a tree’s bearing is 100 degrees from you, they can determine what bearing they are from the tree).
River Flow Rate
In this activity, students utilize their understanding and feel for flow rate from the Faucet Flow Rate activity to estimate the flow rate in a local river. The objective is for students to relate laboratory experiment results to the environment. Students will then use the Engineering Our Water Living Lab (accessible through TeachEngineering.com) to determine the actual flow rate data for their chosen river. They will compare their estimate with the actual flow rate. Note: for this activity to b
This lesson introduces the concept of electricity by asking students to imagine what their life would be like without electricity. Two main forms of electricity, static and current, are introduced. Students learn that electrons can move between atoms, leaving atoms in a charged state.
In this activity, students learn how engineers use solar energy to heat buildings by investigating the thermal storage properties of some common materials: sand, salt, water and shredded paper. Students then evaluate the usefulness of each material as a thermal storage material to be used as the thermal mass in a passive solar building.
Pointing at Maximum Power for PV
Student teams measure voltage and current in order to determine the power output of a photovoltaic (PV) panel. They vary the resistance in a simple circuit connected to the panel to demonstrate the effects on voltage, current, and power output. After collecting data, they calculate power for each resistance setting, creating a graph of current vs. voltage, and indentifying the maximum power point.
Cars: Engineering for Efficiency
Students learn how the aerodynamics and rolling resistance of a car affect its energy efficiency through designing and constructing model cars out of simple materials. As the little cars are raced down a tilted track (powered by gravity) and propelled off a ramp, students come to understand the need to maximize the energy efficiency of their cars. The most energy-efficient cars roll down the track the fastest and the most aerodynamic cars jump the farthest. Students also work with variables and
Two Sides of One Force
Students learn more about magnetism, and how magnetism and electricity are related in electromagnets. They learn the fundamentals about how simple electric motors and electromagnets work. Students also learn about hybrid gasoline-electric cars and their advantages over conventional gasoline-only-powered cars.
Oceans, climate and weather
What is the difference between weather and climate? What do the oceans have to do with them? Weather is the day-to-day state of the atmosphere and its short-term (minutes to weeks) variation. Climate is typically described by the regional patterns of seasonal temperature and precipitation over 30 years. The averages of annual temperature, rainfall, cloud cover, and depth of frost penetration are all typical climate-related statistics. The oceans influence the worlds climate by storing solar ener
How Do Seasonal Temperature Patterns Vary Among Different Regions of the World?
The purpose of this resource is to have students use GLOBE visualizations to display student data on maps and to learn about seasonal changes in regional and global temperature patterns. Students learn how sunlight spreads over the Earth at different times of the year, emphasizing the solstices and the equinoxes. Students investigate the effect of the Earth.s tilt on the spread of sunlight by modeling different tilts using a three-dimensional polyhedron which they construct from paper. Students
What Is Energy? Short Demos
Three short, hands-on, in-class demos expand students’ understand of energy. First, using peanuts and heat, students see how the human body burns food to make energy. Then, students create paper snake mobiles to explore how heat energy can cause motion. Finally, students determine the effect that heat energy from the sun (or a lamp) has on temperature by placing pans of water in different locations.
Green Science: Investigating green—Creating surveys to answer questions
Being green means different things to different people. Some suggest that being green means saving energy, not wasting paper towels, going solar, harnessing wind, using less fertilizer, or buying products that are organically grown. Given that being green can mean a lot of things, what does “being green” or “going green” mean to both you and your students? To find out, we need to make informed decisions by collecting data. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to become familiar with
Geologic Time: Eons, Eras, and Epochs
This resource guide from the Middle School Portal 2 project, written specifically for teachers, provides links to exemplary resources including background information, lessons, career information, and related national science education standards. This publication contains resources designed to do three things. The first is to complement teacher content knowledge and its relationship to the nature of geologic science. Geology is not a laboratory based science lending itself to traditional notions
View satellite movies of air masses moving across North America
This pair of animated satellite images allows Earth science students to follow the movement of polar and tropical air masses across the United States. The introduction explains how air masses can bring clear weather or precipitation. One animation shows the movement of the polar air mass over the eastern part of the country, and the other follows the movement of the maritime tropical air mass over California. Color is used to indicate precipitation levels. Control buttons allow students to repea