Scope on the Skies : Convening with Comets
In February 2004, not only were the four brightest planets visible across the evening skies, but there was a comet rendezvous mission nearly completed while another was just getting started. Comet missions not only provide information about comets and their origins, but they also give us an important insight into the origins of our solar system. This month's Scope on the Skies column describes the Stardust spacecraft mission.
The Big Picture!
Middle School, difficulty level 2. A picture is enlarged to four times its area.
Stomachion -- from MathWorld
The stomachion is a 14-piece dissection puzzle similar to tangrams. It is described in fragmentary manuscripts attributed to Archimedes as noted by Magnus Ausonius (310-395 A.D.). The puzzle is also referred to as the loculus of Archimedes (Archimedes' box) or syntemachion in Latin texts. The word stomachion has as its root the Greek word \sigma\tauo\mu\acute\alpha\chi\iotao\nu, meaning stomach. Note that Ausonius refers to the figure as the...
What do computer programmers actually do? This is the introductory page for a set of materials about computer programming as a career. Here the job of a computer programmer is defined and described. Computer programmers write and maintain computer software. In the rest of the resource, students can examine a specialized job title associated with computer programming: software developer. Students can view a six-minute video clip of the software developer as he works on writing software and debugg
Factoring Special Products
Choose the correct steps to factor a polynomial involving perfect-square binomials, differences of squares, or constant factors. Use the feedback to diagnose incorrect steps.
Observe solar eclipses
This Earth science animation helps students compare three types of solar eclipses: total, partial, and annular. The introduction explains how the type of eclipse is determined by variations in distance and alignment between the Earth, sun, and moon. The animation follows the events of all three eclipses concurrently. Movie controls allow students to repeat, pause, or step through the animation, which can give students more time to compare the eclipse sequences. Copyright 2005 Eisenhower National
Ever Fly a Tetrahedron?
Few things capture the spirit of spring like flying a kite. Watching a kite dance and sail across a cloud-spotted sky is not only a visually appealing experience, it also provides a foundation for studies in science and mathematics. In this kite-building and flying activity, students use inexpensive and readily-available materials to construct a simple tetrahedron kite, then design an experiment to test how changing one variable in the kite's design affects its performance.
Hubble : a view to the edge of space, gallery
This gallery offers 20 photographs of the Hubble Space Telescope operations at the Space Science Telescope Institute and NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The images are presented as enlargeable thumbnails. When enlarged, captions appear that describe the connection between each photograph's contents and the functioning of Hubble. The behind-the-scenes images include some of the clean room where Hubble components were constructed. The opening screen offers a link to a set of interactive panora
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration : Fisheries Homepage
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries is dedicated to protecting and preserving our nations living marine resources through scientific research, fisheries management, enforcement, and habitat conservation. NOAA Fisheries is a leading voice for commercial and recreational fisheries and continues to focus its efforts on sustaining our marine resources as we face the challenges that the new millennium brings. This clearinghouse website highlights the work of NOAA Fisherie
The Pythagorean Theorem
This math site has students try to figure out the Pythagorean Theorem by themselves. Included are review pages, five clues to help them find the relationship, a section that compares their results to other students, a section that gives historical information, and examples and activities for students to solve. Each clue page allows students to check to see if they have the formula correctly relating to the three sides of the right triangle. A template page that contains figures used in three of
Biocomplexity of Frost-Boil Ecosystems
The NSF-funded project seeks to understand the complex linkages between biogeochemical cycles, vegetation, disturbance, and climate across the full summer temperature gradient in the Arctic. Researchers examine the complexity associated with self-organization in frost-boil, complexity associated with interactions between biogeochemical cycles, cryoturbation, and vegetation, and biocomplexity across spatial-temporal scales. The web site includes the project proposal, research objectives, prelimin
The race of microorganisms
This reading, part of a site devoted to the science of cooking, explores how beneficial bacteria are involved in the fermentation process that is used to pickle vegetables. The reading focuses on the competition between those microorganisms that facilitate fermentation and those microbes that damage this food production process. Lactic acid bacteria are key players in the creation of pickles. The reading explains the functions of these bacteria and describes the conditions in a pickle crock--inc
A creative encounter of the numerical kind : A WebQuest for middle grades math students
In this WebQuest, students help an imaginary civilization develop a number system. They work in teams to explore place value, counting, and different number systems. After this preparation, they create and name a set of original number symbols for a base four number system and explain it in a formal presentation.
This site provides an in-depth look at mineral properties and identification. An alphabetical listing of common minerals allows the user to see a picture and view physical properties of the particular mineral. Properties of minerals are explained, including cleavage, hardness, crystal form, and luster. There are also downloadable labs for crystal models and mineral data sheets. Dichotomous and hardness keys are given for easier mineral identification.
Pi = 3.14159...
What is Pi? Who first used Pi? How do you find it? How many digits is it?
Graphing for Area
Middle School, difficulty level 2. Graph six points and find the area of the resulting hexagon.
An Introduction to the Coordinate Plane
This math site has students find points on a number line and graph points in the coordinate plane. Site includes information about negative numbers on a line, changing the scale of a graph, estimating points, and tricky graphs. A glossary of terms, links to other sites, and suggestions on how to use the material can also be found.
This web page focuses on watersheds, the topic of one of the books in the curriculum series that the larger web site accompanies. The page mentions why it can be beneficial for students to investigate local watersheds. The term watershed is defined, and examples of different sizes of watersheds are given. In addition, the page explains why local governments often manage watersheds. Links are provided to water quality experiments, to related online materials on other sites, and to information abo
Light and optics
It doesn t take Superman s special strength to take light and bend it, bounce it, or divide it. Teachers and students can read this series of brief articles to learn how the properties of light allow these optical wonders to happen in everyday life. You can navigate through the sections of the module by clicking on objective statements or connect to additional readings or activities through links at the bottom of the pages. Each article has photographs that represent the objective. For example,
Maximize Student Time On Task
Student time on task is the most influential factor in student achievement. To maximize time on task, teachers need to make decisions about the systems they install in their classroom well before any students enter the room. Beginning the school year by explicitly teaching process skills and having classroom operating systems that reinforce process skills are two strategies that lay the foundation for logical thinking throughout the year, which are discussed in this article.