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NanoOpto Technology
NanoOpto is a company using "nano-optics and nano-manufacturing technology to design and make components for optical networking." On this site, NanoOpto offers two white papers that describe some of the methods and techniques. The first serves as an introduction to Subwavelength Optical Elements (SOEs), which allow for improved performance and possibly new features in optical systems. The second white paper is more detailed and delves further into the application of these SOEs. A brief registrat
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Coral Reef Information System: Discover NOAA's Data
Part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coral Reef Information System (CoRIS), this Web site is "designed to be a single point of access to NOAA coral reef information and data products, especially those derived from NOAA's Coral Reef Initiative Program." With Discover NOAA's Data, users can access information by a text search of metadata records, or by a spatial search using an Arc IMS application. The two approaches share many of the same data sets. With the text search,
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The Allergy Authority
The Allergy Authority, created in collaboration with Healthology.com and funded by an educational grant from Schering-Plough (the makers of Claritin), offers "information necessary to make informed decisions about the control of allergy symptoms." The Web site describes the different types of allergies, how allergies develop, the difference between chronic and seasonal allergies, the side effects of allergy medications, and more. The site's main sections -- The Basics of Allergies, Seasonal or C
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4 Girls Health
The Office on Women's Health in the US Department of Health and Human Services offers this Web site, which focuses on "many health topics that respond to adolescent girls' health concerns and motivates girls to choose healthy behaviors using positive, supportive and non-threatening messages." Topics covered include everything from puberty to stress relief to body image. Far from the outdated reel-to-reel films some of us had to endure in 5th grade health class, this Web site is a well-designed c
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Dream Anatomy Learning Station
This Web site contains the educational materials for Dream Anatomy, a new exhibit at the National Library of Medicine. Viewable online, the exhibit offers a somewhat macabre but undeniably fascinating survey of changes in anatomical representation over the last five centuries. Recently added to the main Dream Anatomy Web site, Learning Station provides lesson plans and activities intended for 6-12 graders. The material can be used exhibit or its online version. The lesson plans titled Beginnings
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The Accidental Scientist: Cooking
Another great Web site from the Exploratorium in San Francisco (last mentioned in the August 16, 2002 NSDL MET Report), The Accidental Scientist: Cooking is the first in a series of "Web-based projects focusing on the science behind everyday life." Offering a mind-boggling array of food-related information and activities, foodies and science-lovers alike should find this Web site extremely engaging. Life science-related material includes an exploration of taste and smell; the biological properti
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Highlight of Biochemistry: Molecular Structures Made Visible
This Web site from the University of Hamburg Faculty of Biology offers useful three-dimensional images of molecular structures, many of them animated. The dozens of images included in this site should help visual learners understand molecular structure and function in a number of contexts, including virology, immunology, neurology, photosynthesis, genetics, and more. Detailed descriptions and related information accompany each image. This Web site also provides links to three tutorials covering
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NCBI Trace Archive
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) of the National Library of Medicine offers the Trace Archive -- "a repository of the raw sequence traces generated by large sequencing projects." The Trace Archive is the sole source of raw sequence data for projects that rely on a Whole Genome Shotgun strategy. Users can search the archive by BLAST or by a number of other query options. The archive offers trace files, fasta files, quality scores, and ancillary data. The Web site also incl
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A Thin Blue Line: The History of the Pregnancy Test
In today's world, the test for pregnancy is only a pharmacy, and minutes, away. This wasn't always the case, however. Until 1978 no definitive means existed for at-home pregnancy testing. This site, from the National Institutes of Health, traces the history of the test back to its earliest roots at NIH. The site includes historical information on the early Egyptian practice of women urinating on wheat and barley to the more modern research into human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), the so-called p
Author(s): Leavitt, Sarah A.

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SoloTrek XFV: Exoskeleton Flying Vehicle
Anyone who ever dreamed of flying with the birds should peruse the SoloTrek Web site. The vehicles shown online are either conceptual or in a prototype version, but they are intriguing nonetheless. Making its "proof-of-concept" test flight in December 2001, the Exoskeleton Flying Vehicle (XFV) is probably receiving the most attention. A technical primer describes the operation of the XFV and lists the specifications and components of the design. The vehicle's significance is outlined according t
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International HapMap Project
An international coalition -- with scientists from Canada, China, Japan, Nigeria, the U.K., and the U.S. -- the HapMap project seeks to "develop a haplotype map of the human genome, the HapMap, which will describe the common patterns of human DNA sequence variation." At the site, visitors can take advantage of the bulk downloads of data available here, including several datasets of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), genotype and frequency data, SNP assays, and more. Some of the data require
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Microbiology Current Issues: Water Quality
This well-designed Web site from the American Society for Microbiology offers a comprehensive introduction to microbial contamination of the water supply. Visitors to the site will find information on water-borne pathogens and the diseases they cause, where our drinking water comes from, how water becomes contaminated, scientific advances that could make our water supply safer, and much more. The information in this Web site is clearly explained and does not require an active interest in microbi
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UW-Arboretum: Earth Partnership Program: Prairie Fire Survey
This website presents an educational Prairie Fire Survey that was developed by the Earth Partnership Program (EPP) of the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, home to the oldest restored prairie in the world. The goal of the survey is "to help students understand the role and change fire plays in the prairie." To this end, the site provides background information on forces that have shaped prairies over time and reasons why fire benefits prairies. The website describes two activities, including ne
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Botany Online: The Internet Hypertextbook
Originally in German, this online guide to the botanical sciences from the University of Hamburg is now partly available in English, with newly translated chapters and additional material continually added. The forty-five currently available chapters cover "all plant anatomy, classic genetics, organic chemistry and plant biochemistry, intercellular communication, interactions between plants, fungi, bacteria, and viruses, evolution, and a part of ecology." Once you find the Table of Contents (kee
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Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards
ExploraVision is a competition sponsored by Toshiba, Inc. and the National Science Teachers' Association (NSTA). The competition, which is open to all students in grades K-12 attending a school in the U.S., Canada, U.S. territory or a Department of Defense school, provides students a chance to "develop skills that will prepare them well for the 21st century workplace." Through ExploraVision, students work in teams to select a technology, research how it works and why it was invented, and then gi
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The Algodones Dunes, California
The Center for Biological Diversity blends "conservation biology with litigation, policy advocacy, and an innovative strategic vision" in efforts to protect endangered species and wild places, focusing on the western US. This Web site contains a slide show of images from the Algodones Dunes, California's largest dune system. The fourteen slides show images of the area's natural history and environmental threats, such as effects from off-road vehicles. Each slide is accompanied by a brief descrip
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Duke University Robotics
This website highlights robotics research from the Robotics and ManufacturingAutomation Laboratory at Duke University. Their work is "devoted to thedevelopment of command and control systems for cooperative robots." Theirwebsite provides descriptions and some demonstration videos of their work inmultiple industrial robot control, mobile robot development, sensor fusion,robot-World Wide Web interfacing, sensor integration, among other relatedprojects. A bibliography of publications by Lab researc
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Academy for Educational Development (AED)
The Academy for Educational Development (AED) (see also Scout report for June 30, 1995) released a report in the fall of 2004, which evaluated a teacher professional development program called Teacher Leaders for Mathematics Success, or TL=MS. The study "shows significant mathematics achievement gains among students in low-income schools in the Bronx, N.Y." after participation in the program. A summary of the findings and the full report are available from this website. The report provides an ov
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Conservation International: Biodiversity Hotspots
The nonprofit organization Conservation International (CI) aims to "conserve Earth's living natural heritage, our global diversity, and to demonstrate that human societies are able to live harmoniously with nature." This Web site from CI's Center for Applied Biodiversity Science explains how biodiversity hotspots are designated and offers visitors a look at efforts to protect "these biologically rich areas around the world under significant threat of destruction." The highlight of this site is t
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Chocolate Exhibition
Chicagos Field Museum invites educators to use the enticing subject of chocolate to teach your class about the intriguing relationship between nature and culture. Click on Educators Resources to access 12 downloadable lesson plans, 6 of which focus specifically on the relationship between chocolate and the environment. Not only do these lesson plans offer students a fun way to learn about botany, ecology, and agriculture, they also demonstrate how an everyday item we all take for granted is more
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