The Virtual Sky Viewer is sponsored by The Center for Advanced Computing Research at the California Institute of Technology and the Microsoft Corporation. The Web site allows users to view "stunning, seamless images of the night sky; not just an album of popular places, but the entire northern sky at high resolution". Although reading the help link before attempting to use the viewer is recommend, the powerful application gives fascinating and unique views of the sky that most people have never
Lancaster University Aquatic Chemistry Research Group
At this website, the Lancaster University Aquatic Chemistry Research Group discusses its goals "to apply basic physico-chemical principles to further understanding of aquatic chemistry, particularly of trace metals, redox sensitive elements, radionuclides, and nutrients." Users can find short introductions along with Curriculum Vitas for the researchers and students involved. The website presents in-depth explanations of three of the group's current research projects such as the Transport Reacti
International Center for Gibbon Studies
The International Center for Gibbon Studies Web site has a variety of information to advocate the study, preservation, and propagation of this highly endangered primate. General information is included about the Center and about gibbons, along with a bibliography of scientific literature authored or co-authored by the Center's director. Several photo galleries include photos of the Center's gibbons and text about the various species.
NASA: Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has undertaken the Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment (ASE) to "demonstrate the potential for space missions to use onboard decision-making to detect, analyze, and respond to science events, and to downlink only the highest value science data." The website features ASE updates, publications, and a list of the potential impacts of this research. Users can discover the autonomy software components that are aboard the ASE flight. The site includes links to informati
University of Cambridge: Mathematics Enrichment (nrich)
University of Cambridge offers this website, Mathematics Enrichment (nrich), with problems, games and articles on mathematics for students ages 5 to 19. The problems are organized by Tiers (1 to 3) and follow the UK education system, but a guide for international educators is given in the Help section. Each problem includes a question, related resources, pictures or diagrams, a form for students to submit their solution, hints for students having difficulty, and notes for parents and teachers. T
Java Digital Signal Processing Editor
Professor Andreas Spanias of Arizona State University has supervised the development of this online digital signal processing (DSP) system simulation utility. This utility has many functions that allow the user to generate various signals, create filters, and analyze the responses. Other functions include Fourier Transforms, convolution, autocorrelation, and several speech processing tools. The interface is well designed and easy to use, and there are plenty of examples and documentation. Howeve
Pea Soup Ponds
In this activity, students will learn how water can be polluted by algal blooms. They will grow algae with different concentrations of fertilizer or nutrients and analyze their results as environmental engineers working to protect a local water resource.
Straining out the Dirt
In this activity, students build a water filter with activated carbon, cotton and other materials to remove chocolate powder from water.
Power to the People
Students read and evaluate descriptions of how people live “off the grid” using solar power and come to understand better the degree to which that lifestyle is or is not truly independent of technological, economic and cultural infrastructure and resources. In the process, students develop a deeper appreciation of the meaning of “community” and the need for human connection. This activity is geared towards fifth-grade and older students and Internet research capabilities are required. Po
Let’s Bag It
Students observe and discuss a vacuum cleaner model of a baghouse to better understand how this pollutant recovery method functions in cleaning industrial air pollution.
Designing a Thermostat
Students investigate circuits and their components by building a basic thermostat. They learn why key parts are necessary for the circuit to function, and alter the circuit to optimize the thermostat temperature range. They also gain an awareness of how electrical engineers design circuits for the countless electronic products in our world.
The Boxes Go Mobile
To display the results from the previous activity, each student designs and constructs a mobile that contains a duplicate of his or her original box, the new cube-shaped box of the same volume, the scraps that are left over from the original box, and pertinent calculations of the volumes and surface areas involved.
Does Weight Matter?
Using the same method for measuring friction that was used in the previous lesson (Discovering Friction), students design and conduct an experiment to determine if weight added incrementally to an object affects the amount of friction encountered when it slides across a flat surface. After graphing the data from their experiments, students can calculate the coefficients of friction between the object and the surface it moved upon, for both static and kinetic friction.
Analyze the Data
Students go through the logical process of quantitatively analyzing data from the FasTracks system. They gain experience identifying problems with the current design based upon their earlier observations and experiences in activities 1 and 2. Students discuss the flaws that they find in the system. This activity requires the use of the FasTracks Living Lab, a web portal to interactive train (transit) traffic data for a major metropolitan city.
What Do Bread and Beer Have in Common?
Students are presented with information that will allow them to recognize that yeasts are unicellular organisms that are useful to humans. In fact, their usefulness is derived from the contrast between the way yeast cells and human cells respire. Specifically, while animal cells derive energy from the combination of oxygen and glucose and produce water and carbon dioxide as by-products, yeasts respire without oxygen. Instead, yeasts break glucose down and produce alcohol and carbon dioxide as th
Seismic Waves: How Earthquakes Move the Earth
Students learn about the types of seismic waves produced by earthquakes and how they move the Earth. The dangers of earthquakes are presented as well as the necessity for engineers to design structures for earthquake-prone areas that are able to withstand the forces of seismic waves. Students learn how engineers build shake tables that simulate the ground motions of the Earth caused by seismic waves in order to test the seismic performance of buildings.
Students will be challenged to design and construct a tower out of newspaper. They will have limited supplies including newspaper, tape, and scissors since engineers are often restricted by economic reasons as to how much material they can use in their building. The students will be building for height and stability, and their towers must be designed to withstand a lateral “wind” load.
Students will design and build a device to protect and accurately deliver a dropped egg. The device and its contents represent a care package that must be safely delivered to people in a disaster area with no road access. In a similar fashion to a team of design engineers, students will design their devices using a number of design constraints including limited supplies. The activity emphasizes the change from potential energy to kinetic energy of the device and its contents and the energy trans
"Put your books away,"
This issue of Middle Ground looks at different forms of assessment.,Volume 12, Number 2
We've Got the Power
In this lesson, students will research various sources of renewable energy. They will discover how each source can be used to generate electricity, the potential benefits and drawbacks of each and which source might best power their home or school. This lesson can be completed in 1-2 class periods.