The first Web site is an article from the New York Times (1) detailing some recent fossil discoveries that are shaking the paleontological world (free registration is required). Another relatively recent article from Guardian Unlimited (2) discusses a scientific debate surrounding the question of whether "a Western lifestyle now protects humanity from the forces that used to shape Homo sapiens." The third resource (3) includes a likely timeline of events in the history of hominids and a tour of
Stats for Schools
Stats4schools, developed by the United Kingdom's Office of National Statistics, "is about helping teachers and pupils to get more from statistics." The project has posted here datasets collected by the Office for National Statistics as part of the Omnibus survey and made them available for students to download free of charge. Teachers will also find lesson plans, worksheets and datasets that can be used in their classrooms. The lesson ideas are organized by topics and involve using statistics to
Numerical Recipes: Books On-Line
Three complete textbooks are provided on this site. They cover numerical methods, applications, and data analysis in the C, Fortran 77, and Fortran 90 programming languages. Each book is structured in nearly the same way, with similar chapters and topic arrangement. The only feature missing from the online version of these books is the sample source code. There are some restrictions on permitted use of these books; users should read the disclaimer at the bottom of the Web page.
Captology: Computers as Persuasive Technologies
"The Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab creates insight into how computing products -- from websites to mobile phone software -- can be designed to change what people believe and what they do." This unusual field of study is called captology, and the subject is explored in detail on the lab's homepage. The Key Concepts section provides a brief overview of captology and links to another page with nine topic papers published by researchers at the lab. In a series of examples demonstrating how comp
Search the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
The USDA Agricultural Research Service Nutrient Data Laboratory presents the National Nutrient Database, which has an easy-to-search interface that quickly retrieves nutritional data for every food item that contains a specific keyword. For instance, searching for "soybean" calls up a long list of food items for which soybean is an ingredient: various margarines, salad dressings, and oils; raw soybeans; steamed soybeans; roasted soybeans; and so on. The complete nutrition report for each item ca
The California Academy of Sciences (last mentioned in the July 5, 2002 Scout Report), offers this well-designed and comprehensive Web site about skulls. Visitors will learn about skull structure and function, skull diversity, the living tissue associated with bones, and the role of the academy's skull collection in scientific research. This Web site is made especially appealing by its liberal use of sharp, well-presented skull photos. Many of the images can be rotated for a full 360 degree view
Cell Biology and Cancer
The National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, has recently released this curriculum supplement as part of a series designed to "deepen students' awareness of the importance of basic research to advances in medicine and health," as well as foster critical thinking and an understanding of how scientific discoveries affect their own lives. The Web site offers five outstanding student activities (grades 9-12) regarding cancer and cell biology. Some of these activities hav
Discussions of cyborg technology tend to be relegated to science fiction literature and TV programs like Star Trek. This Topic in Depth looks into current issues and developments in the area of cyborg technology. The first website, from the UC Santa Barbara Department of English, (1) lists a variety of resources on cyborgs, from philosophical articles and literary criticism to current scientific practices. A related area of research is brain-computer interfacing (BCI), which is described on this
Wired: New Browsers, Same Unwanted Ads
This article from Wired News reports on current trends in spyware and adware. The author discusses how people who stopped using Internet Explorer and started using alternate browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox, to avoid advertisements and improve internet security, may find that "spyware and adware writers are also making the switch." The author argues that as Mozilla gains more users, writers of spyware and adware programs will start writing for those browsers as well. On the positive side, the a
Learning math : Measurement
This college level course, developed for elementary and middle school teachers, begins with the fundamentals of measurement, then examines standard units in the metric and customary systems. Online workshop sessions cover measurement of a circle, area and volume formulas, angle measurement, and indirect measurement encountered in trigonometry. The final session explores ways to apply these concepts to K-8 classroom teaching. Each of its ten sessions contains video programming, problem-solving ac
This single-page resource addresses the topic of biodegradation. The word biodegradation is broken down and defined. Composting, wastewater treatment, and bioremediation are discussed as undertakings in which humans capitalize on biodegradation processes. A link is provided to information about Decay and Renewal, a book in the Cornell Environmental Inquiry curriculum series. The resource then ends with two groups of links to information and activities about biodegradation and landfills.
This Java applet enables students to develop tessellations, which are patterns on a plane that do not overlap. The student is given a square that can be distorted into quadrilateral shapes by dragging its corners. Users can select colors for the alternating quadrilateral pattern, and a button displays information about the quadrilateral in a second window. The window lists the coordinates of the vertices, angle measurements, side lengths, area, and perimeter of the quadrilateral. From the applet
A Mathematics Fantasy: The Million $ Mission
This math site has students study exponential growth. Students are provided with two payment options, one cent on the first day, two cents on the second day, and double their salary every day after that for the thirty days, or they can choose exactly one million dollars. Included are two versions, a one page version that has the calculations worked out and a multi-page version that is appropriate for printing so students can use their own calculations. An exponential growth graph, a formula to f
Keeping Cool at Deep-Sea Vents
This Astrobiology Magazine article reports that a research team of marine scientists has determined that water chemistry controls the location and distribution of two species of weird worms inhabiting deep-sea hydrothermal vent sites: the tubeworm (Riftia pachyptila) and Pompeii worm (Alvinella pompejana). The article includes color images of the worms and monitoring equipment, links to related web pages and other astrobiology resources, and an MP3 machine text-to-speech function.
Statistics and probability. Grades 6-8 assessment
This assessment material is designed to help the mentor determine what a grade 6-8 student understands about statistics and probability. The material contains a set of seven short assessment activities that require the use of paper and pens. Also found is an inventory for use by the student's classroom teacher and a mentor planning guide. Answers to assessment questions are correlated to specific activities available in the related instructional unit. Copyright 2005 Eisenhower National Clearingh
Science Sampler : Rockin' around the rock cycle
The following inquiry-based activities were designed as part of a unit intended to aid students in understanding the rock cycle, with the assumption that, after being taught the lessons in the unit, students would have gone beyond a rote memorization of the rock types and rock cycle. The ultimate goal of this hands-on lesson is that students will know and be able to discriminate between them.
New York Times Daily Lesson Plan: Mathematics
These lesson ideas from the New York Times offer suggestions for ways to draw on real world issues and statistics to develop lessons in mathematics. For example, in one lesson students convert statistics about gun injuries into visual presentations, then use these as the basis for a poster campaign to teach children about the dangers of guns in home while another lesson idea involves designing brochures that are intended to explain specific mathematical concepts to a popular audience. Each lesso
Soil Litter: The Food Web
Teachers could incorporate this brief radio program into a variety of learning settings. For example, teachers living in the temperate deciduous forest biome can play the program for students when leaves begin to fall in autumn. The program could also be used whenever students anywhere are learning about food webs or soil. Teachers can choose to use either the audio or text version (or both) to give students listening or reading practice.
Don't Crack Humpty
Student groups are provided with a generic car base. The groups then design a device/enclosure that will protect an egg on or in the car as it is rolled down a ramp at increasing slopes. Students will be expected to perform basic mathematical calculations using their data.
Compare Human-made Objects with Natural Objects
In small groups, students will experiment and observe the similarities and differences between human-made objects and nature. The students will compare the function and structure of hollow bones with drinking straws, bird beaks, tool pliers, bat wings and airplane wings. A classroom discussion can be held to discuss similarities and differences that were observed along with follow up assessment activities such as journal writing and Venn diagrams.