Skulls : structure and function
Skulls have been designed for both form and function. Through the use of text and labeled photographs, this website explains how specific skull adaptations meet the needs of organisms. For instance, visitors will discover that some beaks of macaws are attached to their skull only through ligaments to limit the amount of force put on the skull when the birds crack open nuts. The site also presents a series of skull facts, questions, and answers provided by scientists. A unique feature allows visi
Observe animations of processes that occur along plate boundaries
Here are three animations that reveal how tectonic plates move relative to each other at three types of plate boundaries--transform, convergent, and divergent boundaries. Key features such as the asthenosphere are labeled in the animations. In addition, each animation is equipped with movie control buttons that allow students to play, pause, and move forward and backward through each clip. The animation of a transform boundary shows the North American and Pacific plates sliding past one another,
Lessons on the Lake : An Educators Guide to the Ponchartrain Basin
This resource is designed to educate students, through activities teachers can use, about the environmental importance of Lake Ponchartrain. The main goal is to foster a sense of stewardship in students through learning to identify environmental issues that affect the lake, offer changes, and develop solutions. Although the resource deals with the Lake Ponchartrain Basin, the activities are applicable to students and teachers beyond this local level. The activities and lesson plans cover everyth
Static Charged Two by Fours
How can you move a wooden two-by-four without touching it? This material is part of a series of hands-on science activities designed to arouse student interest. Here students use static electricity to attract and move a wooden two-by-four. The activity includes a description, a list of science process skills and complex reasoning strategies being used, and a compilation of applicable K-12 national science education standards. Also provided are content topics, a list of necessary supplies, instru
Science Sampler : Thinking about students' questions
Asking questions is a vital component in any classroom, but it is absolutely essential in a science classroom. As science teachers, we know that questioning plays a major role in the inquiry process and has a positive impact on students' learning. This article discusses the importance of questioning skills and current research on questioning techniques. In addition, this article will present a series of lessons that were implemented by the author to improve the questioning abilities of middle sc
Virtual Polyhedra and the Real World
Using computer models, paper, cardboard, wood, and other media, students study and construct three-dimensional polyhedra. Students will learn to identify the platonic polyhedra (tetrahedron, cube, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosohedron). Students will also learn to describe complex geometric solids in terms of vertices, edges, and faces.
This interactive planetarium can create sky maps for a given location and a given time. Once the latitude and longitude of the desired area is entered, the Web site creates a map of the sky. The names of cities can be entered in place of longitude and latitude.
Beginner's guide to aerodynamics
This resource is a guide to aerodynamics that defines aerodynamics and it principle applications. The resource provides an in-depth overview of equations of motion, free falling, air resistance, motions, gas properties, and atmosphere. Aerodynamics affects on airliners, model rockets, and a beach ball is discussed.
Observe a lunar eclipse
This Earth science animation enables middle and high school students to observe the events of a lunar eclipse. The introduction explains why the moon's appearance changes as is moves through the Earth's shadow. The animation shows the moon darken as it enters the penumbra, turn reddish-orange as it reaches the umbra, and lighten as it leaves the other side of the penumbra. Movie controls allow students to repeat, pause, or step through the animation, which can give students more time to analyze
Can students predict how many pretzels they can eat in a minute? This material is part of a series of hands-on science activities designed to arouse student interest. Here students learn that pretzels contain a saliva-absorbing compound and are asked to take that fact into consideration when predicting how many pretzels they can eat in a minute. The activity includes a description, a list of science process skills and complex reasoning strategies being used, and a compilation of applicable natio
Pi = 3.14159...
What is Pi? Who first used Pi? How do you find it? How many digits is it?
Warning Signs for Dangerous Times : Exploring the Use of Storm-Tracking Technologies
In this lesson, students explore the use of storm-tracking technologies, research how natural disasters are predicted, and assess the importance of these technologies. A case study of a New England snow storm and its impacts is presented for discussion, along with suggestions for retrieving information about forecasts as well as links to weather prediction and warning sites.
Drift Seeds And Drift Fruits : Seeds That Ride The Ocean Currents
This essay explores seed dispersal by water and describes some of the physical adaptations that evolution has produced in the seeds and fruits that travel this way. There is a background essay, discussion questions, state and national standards, and links to related Teacher's Domain resources.
Part of the larger Imagine the Universe educational site, the Electromagnetic Spectrum site is another great resource from NASA. The site gives clear and easy-to-understand explanations, while providing keywords throughout the page that are linked to a dictionary of terms for easy access to further information. Students will enjoy the colorful illustrations accompanying the text, which vertically follow the spectrum from radio to gamma rays, while teachers will appreciate the related lesson plan
Ozone in the atmosphere : ozone production
Why is ozone needed in the atmosphere? In this informational piece, part of an interactive laboratory series for grades 8-12, students read about the structure and function of ozone in our atmosphere. In one activity, students investigate how altitude affects ozone concentration. A discussion of the zones of the atmosphere provides information on the amount of ozone found in each layer. An animation explores the processes by which ozone is produced and destroyed by ultraviolet light. A second ac
Data Analysis and Measurement: Ahead, Above the Clouds
This is the Educator Guide of an archived NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) CONNECT program designed to help students discover that in predicting severe weather and tracking clouds, NASA engineers and scientists are developing technologies to collect data that will help them better understand Earth's climate. The guide includes an activity in which students play a game that will help them understand the complexity of hurricane forecasting. They will be given the coordinates fo
Cold Clouds and Water in Space
This article from Astrobiology Magazine reports on the discovery of water in cold regions of space. Using data from the European Space Agencys Infrared Space Observatory, astronomers have determined that water is abundant in these cold, or quiescent regions of space where there are no stars, and that the majority of it occurs as ice with a small amount of water vapor. It is thought that these cold regions of space might be the future birthplaces of low-mass stars like our own sun. Links to other
Science Sampler : Thriving in the co-taught classroom
Classrooms are becoming more diverse as students with specific learning needs are moved out of self-contained special education classrooms and into mainstreamed classrooms with their non-disabled peers. The use of the co-teaching model allows for extensive flexibility in structuring instructional activities and responding to the needs of diverse learners. This article provides a summary of co-teaching practices that have been effective and beneficial for many years.
Examine evidence of Earth turning about an axis
Using an animation of the classic pendulum experiment, this resource supplies middle and high school students with evidence of the Earth's rotation on its axis. The introduction explains that although pendulums are known to swing in a fixed path, on Earth their path appears to shift over time. As the animation reveals, it is not the pendulum's swing that changes--it is the Earth beneath the pendulum that moves. The animation contains three screens: two with different views of a pendulum swinging
Observe some products of a Geographic Information System (GIS)
By combining a short paragraph and six enlargeable maps, this resource explains to students what a Geographic Information System (GIS) is. Introductory text explains that GIS technology enables users to plot multiple data sets onto maps of varying scales. Then six sample maps produced through GIS are provided. Among these maps is one that identifies where energy and mineral resources are located globally and another that highlights and labels the rivers that drain into the Mississippi River. Cop