Design a Parachute
After a discussion about what a parachute is and how it works, students will create a parachute using different materials that they think will work best. The students will test their designs, which will be followed by a class discussion (and possible journal writing) to highlight which paper material worked best.
A prodigious author of computer science books presents several introductions to computers and computer-related technologies at this site. Eight different guides are available, which cover topics including digital data, motherboard logic, and the computer input/ output interface. The text and accompanying illustrations are not overly technical in nature, and are therefore suitable for almost any audience. A section on digital imaging is under construction as of March 2003; it has information on p
Geoboard : coordinate (grades 6-8)
This virtual manipulative features an interactive grid where the student can mouse over points on the grid to display their coordinates and form shapes using virtual rubber bands. The online geoboard has a measure function that displays area and perimeter for shapes and, for single bands connected to two virtual pegs, distance and slope. Shapes may be colored as a way to sort or enhance them. The site features activities to explore slopes, construct reflections, and find an inscribed parallelogr
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
Examine the phases of the moon from Earth and space
This animation is designed to help Earth science students correlate the moon's phases with its orbit around the Earth. The introduction explains that, while the sun always illuminates one half of the moon, the moon's appearance depends on how much of the sunlit moon is facing the Earth. The split-screen animation includes two views of the moon: one from Earth and the other of the moon's orbit around the Earth. Students may toggle between an oblique view of the earth-moon system and a view from a
Calculate the difference between the times given by two analog clocks. Rotate the hands of the clocks to change the time and see how the calculation changes.
Mortality rate of captive-bred and released carnivores is 70%
This January 25, 2008 entry in the NSDL Expert Voices blog Connecting News with National Science Education Standards deals with survival rates of captive-bred carnivore released into the wild. It points to modifications breeders should make to decrease mortality rates. Additional links to teaching resources related to populations, ecosystems, and diversity are provided
Place constraints on a triangle and determine what classifications must apply to the triangle.
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.
This simple description of the chemical and physical properties of water was produced by the U.S. Geological Survey. It includes a brief quiz to assess prior knowledge, diagrams of water molecules, and important numerical data about water.
Wisconsin Fast Plants Program
This is the homepage of the Fast Plants organization. Fast Plants are inexpensive seeds which take approximately 2 weeks from planting to flowering. The website includes seed ordering, growing directions, and activities.
This website describes how water towers work. It includes colorful photographs of water towers and a diagram of how water travels through them.
Critical Evaluation of a Web Site : Middle School Level
This is a checklist designed to help middle school users critically evaluate web resources. By answering the questions in the checklist, students can then assess if the site would be a good one to use for their science research projects. There is a series of How does it look? questions and a series of What did you learn? questions that challenge students to think critically about what they are looking at and then summarize the effectiveness of the web site.
Solving a problem
This informational piece, part of a series about the future of energy, introduces students to a three-stage process for problem solving. The three stages are identify the problem, test the solutions, and evaluate the results. A student tip sheet explains each stage and enables students to work through the processes in a step-by-step manner while seeing how the information is tied together. A graphic organizer provides students with an opportunity to evaluate the problem-solving solutions they ha
Who Was Charles Darwin?
In this lesson, students will learn firsthand, by reading his journal entries and letters, how Darwin arrived at his theory. They also will gain a better sense of Darwin's journey and the role it played in his scientific career. In the first activity, Darwin's Great Voyage of Discovery, students will read his account of his voyage on the Beagle and see how this experience inspired him to devote the rest of his life to developing and refining the theory of natural selection. The second activity,
This site provides information on plate boundaries, which are found at the edge of the lithospheric plates and are of three types: convergent, divergent and conservative. Wide zones of deformation are usually characteristic of plate boundaries because of the interaction between two plates. The three boundaries are characterized by their distinct motions which are described in the text and depicted with block diagram illustrations, all of which are animated. There are also two maps that show the
The National Math Trail
The National Math Trail makes available problems created by K-12 students as they explore their communities and ask math questions that relate to their own environments. Teachers submit the problems to the site, along with photos, drawings, sound recordings, and videos. Problems can be accessed through an interactive map of the United States.
Interactive atmosphere lab
The ozone layer makes up an important part of our atmosphere. This informational activity, part of an interactive laboratory series for grades 8-12, explores changes in ozone concentration with altitude. Students view a diagram that shows the layers of the atmosphere with a temperature scale running from the surface of the Earth to the outermost reaches of the atmosphere. After reading introductory material, students are presented with nine questions about the layers of the atmosphere and intera
Fractal Musicand Fractal Music Lab
This first website offers a collection of fractal music using images created by G.W.F. Albrecht. The technology and mathematics which this presentation draws on is described on the second website. The second website, developed by David Strohbeen, offers some basic information about fractals and fractal music. He has also posted some samples of his music and invites visitors to download software for creating fractal music and to submit their own compositions.
Racing Game with Two Dice
Two players each roll a die, and the lucky player moves one step to the finish. Parameters: what rolls win and how many steps to the finish line.