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Beat the Heat at Arizona Science Center
TryScience.com offers an unique energy learning activity called Beat the Heat. This fun and interactive lesson lets users design a house in a particular location and test it in various seasons to best utilize the heat of the sun for energy efficiency. You can choose various types of roofs, windows, solar panels, skylights, and plants, as well as the direction your house faces, to see how each of these variables effects your home's efficiency. This in-depth and intriguing exercise teaches some ve
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Datasheet Locator
With so many electronic components on the market today, it is often difficult to find datasheets with specifications and properties for a particular part. Rather than scouring the Internet for manufacturer's Web sites, Datasheet Locator has links to all the information you will need in one centralized location. The list of manufacturers currently numbers over 700. By directly connecting to the manufacturer's Web site, the information will always be up-to-date. Many of the companies allow searchi
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Graph Theory
Graph theory is widely used in computer science, engineering and of course, mathematics. Wikipedia offers this definition and overview of Graph Theory (1). This next website from Mega-Math (2) reviews some of the Vocabulary of Graphs and highlights some applications for graph theory, such as the design of computer systems and games. Some additional applications for Graph Theory are discussed in this more technical book called Graph Theory with Applications (3). This website from Georgia Tech (4)
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World Soil Resources Map Index
From the US Department of Agriculture's office of Natural Resources Conservation Service, the World Soil Resources Map-Index Web site contains nineteen global maps as well as several regional and country maps related to soil. The global maps include such topics as Global Soil Regions, Soil Temperature Regimes, Water Holding Capacity, and Wind Erosion; the regional maps contain information from Afghanistan, Africa, Albania, Lithuania, and Indonesia. Each map contains information on its specificat
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Smart Card Standards and Interoperability
Simply put, a smart card is a credit card sized piece of plastic with an embedded computer chip. It can store personal data or be used for countless other applications, and the technology is growing at a tremendous rate. Smart Card Standards and Interoperability is a site operated by the Office of Electronic Government. The Smart Card Tutorial given on the site is a great introduction to the technology and its applications. In the What's New section, there are several updates and downloadable re
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Wolfram Research's Mathematical Functions
Wolfram Research, the maker of the popular software Mathematica, recently added a comprehensive database of mathematical functions to its Web site. Currently, there are over 37,000 formulas that can be browsed alphabetically or divided into fourteen categories. Documents explaining general identities and notations used on the site are also available; however, users must sign the guestbook before they can be viewed. Wolfram Research hopes eventually to add a history section for many of the functi
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Desert Plants and Wildflowers
For those interested in the types of plants found in the desert ecosystem, this Web page from the online magazine DesertUSA.com will be a useful guide. Photos and descriptive features of several desert plants are provided in an alphabetical index or can be found through the online field guide organized by flower color. An interesting section also focuses on the types of adaptations that allow plant species to survive in harsh desert conditions. The Desert Plants and Wildflowers section is just o
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Biodiversity and Conservation Research
The Center for Biodiversity and Conservation (CBC) at the American Museum of Natural History aims to "integrate scientific research, education, and outreach so that people, themselves major catalysts in the rapid loss of biodiversity, will become participants in its conservation." The CBC currently conducts biodiversity conservation research in the Bahamas, Bolivia, Madagascar, Vietnam, and in metropolitan New York. Click on What We Do for brief descriptions of each research project. The project
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Final Implementation Report and Recommendations of the Committee on ICANN Evolution and Reform
On October 22, 2002, an attack on the thirteen servers that act as the backbone of the Internet was carried out, briefly disabling nine of them. This drew attention to the often criticized organization that operates these servers, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Coincidentally, an October 2, 2002 report from ICANN addresses the issue of internet security. The committee that prepared the report makes several recommendations for reform, but only time will tell if t
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Maths Challenge.net
Maths Challenge is a fun activity to build mathematical and reasoning skills. Each month during the school year, a new set of math problems are posted online. There are miscellaneous problems at junior and senior levels, cryptography and code breaking problems, and computer programming challenges. Each section is appropriate for a different age range, but the most basic material starts at age eleven and increases from there. To participate in the programming exercises, a simple registration is r
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The Pherobase
The Pherobase was developed by Dr. Ashraf El-Sayed, a research scientist at HortResearch in New Zealand, with the primary objective of providing "coverage of the literature published on chemical communication in insects." The Pherobase is intended for use by both scientific and non-scientific communities and currently contains "over 10000 entries, around 3000 molecules, and over 32000 static html pages that make it the world's largest database of behavior modifying chemicals." The site contains
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IDEERS: Introducing and Demonstrating Earthquake Engineering Research
Introducing and Demonstrating Earthquake Engineering Research in Schools (IDEERS) is a program of the University of Bristol "to communicate the challenge and excitement of earthquake engineering research to young people." Beginning with a detailed explanation of earthquake causes and effects, the Web site provides motivation for designing structurally reinforced buildings. Five recent earthquake disasters are outlined and related to the general impact of earthquakes on society. The material then
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USGS: National Geochemical Survey Database
The USGS's National Geochemical Survey (NGS) is producing "a body of geochemical data for the United States based primarily on stream sediments, analyzed using a consistent set of methods." After learning the history and background of the project, users can access the NGS data by geographic area. The website allows researchers to compare the analytical methods and view national maps illustrating the distribution of these methods for each element. Visitors can easily view maps of the distribution
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Temperature World
Temperature World.com gives in-depth and varied information on temperature. The site offers links to a temperature converter, world city temperatures, a printable temperature conversion table, temperature forecasts, temperature related product recalls, and information on metal temperature by color. It also contains explanations of earth temperature issues, temperature sensors and controls, organizations and standards, temperature tools, and more. A unique and thorough site, it can be enjoyed by
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Classroom Activities
StarDate.org is the public education and outreach department of the University of Texas McDonald Observatory, which offers astronomy resources for teaches on their Classroom Activities site. The various projects are categorized by age and grade level including k-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Each provides a teachers guide, materials needed, a description of the process, any needed links (such as the StarDate Moon Phase Calculator within the Observing the Moon activity), and even printable versions of each l
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School Science
School Science is a UK website, supported by numerous science organizations, offering educational tutorials, worksheets, and activities covering topics in chemistry, physics, and biology. The materials are broken down into three age levels: eleven through fourteen, fourteen through sixteen, and sixteen through eighteen. Among other things, each lesson offers an introduction, an activity, and a short quiz. The Students link offers fun interactive modules where users can see how atoms diffuse, bui
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Bionic Eyes
Both Web sites come from Science@NASA, an online source for news and information about NASA-funded research. The first article describes the work of researchers at the Center for Commercial Applications of Combustion in Space, who are developing artificial bones for long-lasting, pain-free hip and knee replacements. These ceramic bones are touted as "so much like the real thing that they could actually meld with living bone." Earlier this year, researchers at the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center in H
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The World Information Network on Biodiversity
The World Information Network on Biodiversity (REMIB) is organized and provided by Mexico's National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of the Biodiversity. REMIB is a network of shared biological information databases from research centers in Mexico, the US, Costa Rica, and Spain. The databases contain "curatorial, taxonomic, ecological, cartographic, bibliographic, ethno-biological type, use of catalogues on natural resources and other subject matters." Currently, REMIB gathers information o
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Creature Feature: Vampire Bats
This Web site from National Geographic (last mentioned in the October 11, 2002 Scout Report) offers a short multimedia introduction to vampire bats. Geared toward younger kids, this site includes vampire bat audio and video files, Fun Facts in the form of a brief but educational article, a map of vampire bat global distribution, links to bat-related Web sites, and an email postcard. It may be too late to get much Halloween mileage out of this site, but teachers and students should enjoy this qui
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Nutrition Café
Developed jointly by the Pacific Science Center and the Washington State Dairy Council, Nutrition Café offers students three interactive games to explore the world of nutrition. The first game, Nutrient Sleuth, is an entertaining hangman-style game where students try to discover what nutrients different characters are missing based on clues and letter guesses. Another enjoyable offering is Grab A Grape, a Jeopardy-style game where site visitors try to match nutrition-related questions with answ
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