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
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.
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
The online geoboard
This applet simulates the use of an actual geoboard without the usual limitations of working with rubber bands. geoboards are used to investigate shapes, area, and perimeter. With this applet, students have choices about the number of pegs on the geoboard and the number of rubber bands. They also may select to have the area filled in within the shapes or merely work with rubber band outlines. Most materials designed for real geoboards may be used with this online version. Copyright 2005 Eisenhow
Pi = 3.14159...
What is Pi? Who first used Pi? How do you find it? How many digits is it?
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
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
The future of energy, environment
The lasting effects of energy consumption on the environment continue to be a problem as the world's population requires more and more energy. This informational piece, part of a series about the future of energy, introduces students to environmental issues related to the use and production of energy. Fossil fuels, nuclear energy, hydropower, and clean air are discussed in the context of environmental quality. Students can read about the development of environmentally friendly vehicles and follo
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
Observe an animation of the Coriolis effect over Earth's surface
This pair of Earth science animations uses airline flight patterns to demonstrate the Coriolis effect in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The animations first show two planes' target destinations and intended flight paths on a stationary Earth. Then, the planet rotates, revealing that the plotted routes would take the plane in the Northern Hemisphere to the right of its intended destination and the plane in the Southern Hemisphere to the left of its intended destination. Accompanying text
Everest : Test Your Brain
This interactive feature from the NOVA Everest Web site lets you take the same brain quizzes that researchers used to test the brain function of climbers on Mount Everest.
The Electromagnetic Spectrum: FRONTLINE
This video segment adapted from FRONTLINE introduces the electromagnetic spectrum and explains how the various types of electromagnetic waves are distinguished by the amount of energy each wave carries.
The Homestead Act of 1862
The Homestead Act of 1862 - Imagine that you can’t feed your family, or maybe you risk persecution for your political or religious beliefs. But, suddenly, you hear the call: Come along to make a new life in a wide-open land. In a few years, you’ll own that land, for yourself and your descendents, free, and forever. This offer turned out to be a cornerstone in the very foundation of America’s heartland.(03:31)