USC Institute for Creative Technologies: Graphics Lab
The Graphics Lab is part of the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies. The lab performs research on computer graphics and modeling techniques such as image-based lighting, range scanning, and animation. This is all made possible by a U.S. Army contract "to advance the state of immersive training simulation." The Lab's homepage offers many details on the various projects within each research area; there are several publications that can be downloaded to complemen
Sloan Digital Sky Survey
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey "will map in detail one-quarter of the entire sky, determining the positions and absolute brightnesses of more than 100 million celestial objects" as well as "measure the distances to more than a million galaxies and quasars." The website details the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC) mapmaking strategies, timelines, survey progress, and project goals. Visitors can view the many fantastic images collected at the Apache Point Observatory, the site of the SDSS tel
Museum of Southwestern Biology: Mammals
The Mammal Collection at the University of New Mexico's Museum of Southwestern Biology (MSB) "contains over 118,000 specimens, mostly from the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central and South America, but there are also large holdings from other portions on North America, Japan, Africa, and Eurasia." MSB offers a searchable database of the Mammal Collection with search fields for Order, Family, Species, Continent/Ocean, Country, Sex, Season, and more. MSB specimen loans are available to "re
ARS Water Database
From the Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory of the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) comes the ARS Water Database Web site. The database is a collection of precipitation and streamflow data from small agricultural watersheds in the United States, including variable time-series readings sufficient in detail to reconstruct storm hydrographs and hyetographs. Users can choose from any US state to view available data. Each station is listed along with its location, coverage area in acres,
PSRC: Physical Sciences Resource Center
Developed by the American Association of Physics Teachers, "the Physical Sciences Resource Center (PSRC) is a web-based databank that provides K-20 teachers links to a wide range of teaching and learning resources in the physical sciences." Users can search the numerous resources by topics, type, or keyword. With each entry, the website provides a description, information on the author, subjects covered, level, intended users, resource types, possible costs, and other useful facts. Interested in
National Estuaries Day
Get the most out of National Estuaries Day (October 5, 2002) by visiting this Web site from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Follow a link to Estuary Live!, which offers online interactive fieldtrips through a number of estuaries around the nation. Guided tours of eight estuaries will be webcast live October 3 and 4, supplemented by videos from a number of other estuaries. Internet participants "will have an opportunity to see the fascinating creatures that make estuar
As part of the University of California Santa Barbara Library, the Astronomy subject Web page contains dozens of links on the subject. Sites are categorized in indexes and gateways, NASA pages, observatories, organizations and associations, current topics, interactive resources, and periodicals. If all that isn't enough, the site even has an astronomy picture of the day.
Created by the Institute for Molecular Virology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this Web site offers high quality virus images that may be used for seminar presentations or any other noncommercial use. Users can choose from American Society for Virology conference poster images, enhanced EM pictures, and images of virology-related book and journal covers. Images may be searched by virus name; the results page will provide links to summary information from the Protein Data Bank and to the
The Solar Decathlon
In October 2002, teams of students from universities around the US competed in the Solar Decathlon, an eleven-day event that challenges the participants "to design, build, and operate the most effective and efficient solar-powered house." The Solar Decathlon homepage features information about the contest, the different designs, and the experiences of each team. Contestants also share their insight into energy conservation and solar power by providing some tips for consumers. An especially inter
Worm Watch is part of NatureWatch (first reported on in the May 31, 2002, NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences), which is series of programs--administered collaboratively by the Canadian Nature Federation, the University of Guelph, and the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network--that "encourage schools, community groups, individuals, naturalists, backyard enthusiasts, Scouts and Guides to engage in the monitoring of soil, air, water and other aspects of environmental quality." For students
Gas molecule motion
This page describes the relationship between kinetic energy of molecules and temperature.
Popcorn : if you like popcorn, which one would you buy?
This third challenge in the Figure This! list of 80 math challenges directs the student to use popcorn to compare the volumes of tall and short cylinders formed with 8- by 11-inch sheets of paper. The challenge points out that it is important to be able to make visual estimates and find volumes. The web page includes links to a solution hint, the solution, other related math questions, and print resources that contain mathematics activities about packaging and wrapping shapes. The Did You Know a
The Factor Game
Students will use a game setting to identify the properties of prime, composite, abundant, deficient, and perfect numbers. This lesson plan includes the objective, overview of the lesson, needed materials including transparency and worksheets, procedures and rules of the game, extensions and connections, resources, and ideas for discussion.
Urban Tree Planting: Soil 101
Ever wondered how trees live amidst city sidewalks? This two-minute radio program from the show Pulse of the Planet focuses on the below-ground challenge that urban trees face--city soil. In the program, which is provided here in audio and text formats, a horticulturalist describes the importance of soil and the soil quality and quantity problems often found in cities. She then talks about a mixture that she and fellow researchers at Cornell University have developed called structural soil, whic
Eratosthenes and the mystery of the stades
This article on the history of mathematics explains the famous measurement of the circumference of the Earth made by Eratosthenes, and discusses the mystery surrounding the accuracy of that measurement. A key element in the discussion is the ancient unit of length used in the measurement: the stade. The in-depth article uses diagrams as well as text to make its point.
Idea Bank : A Big Bang Lab
The authors of "How Far are the Stars," featured in the February issue of The Science Teacher, showed how the measurement of parallax permits scientists to infer astronomic distances. Give your students the chance to make similar inferences through a free module available online that allows students to scale sizes and distances, and then create models from which they calculate inferences that, in simplified form, give results that astronomers obtained similarly in recent times.
What is a polymer, and what are some of its properties? This material is part of a series of hands-on science activities designed to arouse student interest. In this discovery activity students use white glue, water, and borax to make a vinyl polymer and study its properties. 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,
Whats It Like Where You Live? Desert
This site provides excellent background information on deserts. Large print and superb pictures make this site very appealing to younger students. Topics include: What is a Desert Like?, Types of Deserts, What causes Deserts?, Deserts of the World, Desert Plants, Desert Animals, and links to other desert sites.
Natural Resources, the Environment, and Ecosystems
This collection of teacher guides includes: Ecosystems and Climate, Wildlife - Just One Piece of the Picture, Integrated Pest Management, Soil and Ecosystems, Sustainable Agriculture, and The Web of Life - Understanding Ecosystems. Each guide includes a subject overview, objectives, and student activities. By the end, students should be able to understand the effect of climate on ecosystems; the interrelationships of animals with components of their natural ecosystem; how ecosystems benefit from
users can create a game spinner with one to twelve sectors to look at experimental and theoretical probabilities.