The Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe - The Fate of the Universe
Dr Paul Francis sheds some light on some of life's big questions in this new web series - The Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of the Universe. In this second episode, he addresses the question 'What's the Ultimate Fate of the Universe?' Each episode will explore a mystery in-depth, in an accessible and light-hearted way. Dr Francis will also be delving into some of the comments left on his previous video to answer some viewers' mysteries. If you have a universal mystery you'd like Paul to have a lo
Scope on the Skies: Urban Legends
Urban legends become widespread from people simply not asking “Are you sure?” or looking into the topic and learning more before making a decision. But urban legends are also a great way to teach students to become good questioners—skeptics if you will—whenever they hear or read about these kinds of claims. A recent urban legend is generating interest due in large part to statements made by doomsday predictors, news media, and—coming to a theater near you—a movie celebrating our demi
Breakingviews: Is Google cruising for a bruising?
Breakingviews columnists discuss how close the search giant is to stepping over a major legal line.
Accelerators and Nobel Laureates
This online article written by Sven Kullander at the Nobel e-Museum discusses the importance of particle accelerators to physics in a historical context. After studying their basic operatation, users can then learn about the many accelerator inventions and their assistance in various discoveries such as x-rays and electrons. The website provides links to descriptions of the many Nobel Prize winners who have utilized accelerators in their important work. Users can view images of the large acceler
SGR: Scientists for Global Responsibility
Scientists for Global Responsibility (SGR) have created a site depicting the belief that "science and technology should be used responsibly in a way that contributes to justice and peace in human society and to the long-term well-being of the wider environment". Scientists can download reports that the group, consisting of 600 scientists, has written such as Cleaner Technologies: A Positive Choice. Students can learn about how to make wise career choices that will be both rewarding and environme
Peabody College of Education: Department of Teaching & Learning
This website for the Peabody College of Education: Department of Teaching and Learningat Vanderbilt University describes current projects in mathematics education research. Findings and innovations developed from several projects are available from this website. Current and completed projects include: Investigating Multimedia Case Studies as a Tool for Pre-service Teacher Development, Multiplicative Reasoning as a Foundation for Stochastic Reasoning, The National Research and Development Center
The Grapes of Staph: Biology Tutorials
These online Biology Tutorials were created by Dr. Gary E. Kaiser, a Professor of Biological Science at The Community College of Baltimore County. The Tutorials are part of Kaiser's larger Microbiology Website, entitled The Grapes of Staph (reported on in the November 10, 1999, Scout Report for Science & Engineering). The Tutorials are organized into three sections under the headings of Eukaryotic Cell Structure, Metabolism, and Genetics. Tutorial titles include: Energy Conversions; Polypeptides
The Space For Nature Wildlife Gardening Forum
This informative Space For Nature Wildlife Gardening Forum website was developed for naturalists, horticulturalists and others interested in creating garden habitats for wildlife. The site editor is Richard Burkmar, who received his PhD from University College of Cardiff in avian ecology, and believes "that gardens are an increasingly valuable habitat in real terms for wildlife, and that they are uniquely positioned, as accessible natural spaces, to influence our behaviour and attitudes towards
Digital Promise Project: Proposal for the Digital Opportunity Investment Trust (DO IT)
The Digital Promise Project, led by leaders in fields of communications and humanities (whose extensive backgrounds are described in the Principals section), has spearheaded a proposal to the U.S. Congress to create the Digital Opportunity Investment Trust (DO IT). Addressing the technology needs of learning in the 21st century, the charge of this nonprofit, nongovernmental agency would be "to unlock the potential of the Internet and other new information technologies for education in the broade
Get A Grip On Robotics
Get A Grip On Robotics is a wonderful site for both children and adults to learn about robots. The site focuses mainly on industrial applications of robots -- their most common and practical use. The exhibit covers robot basics, the five main parts of a robot, how they move (i.e., "degrees of freedom"), and current and future outlooks for the technology. There are several animations that show a jointed-arm robot in action and how it compares to a human arm. One section of the site addresses the
Students further their understanding of the salmon life cycle and the human structures and actions that aid in the migration of fish around hydroelectric dams by playing an animated PowerPoint game involving a fish that must climb a fish ladder to get over a dam. They first brainstorm their own ideas, and then learn about existing ways engineers have made dams “friendlier” to migrating fish, before being quizzed as part of the game.
Building Tetrahedral Kites
Working in teams of four, students build tetrahedral kites following specific instructions and using specific materials. They use the basic processes of manufacturing systems – cutting, shaping, forming, conditioning, assembling, joining, finishing, and quality control – to manufacture complete tetrahedral kites within a given time frame. Project evaluation takes into account team efficiency and the quality of the finished product.
The Mummified Troll: Devising a Protection Plan
Students are introduced to the parameters of an engineering challenge in which their principal has asked them to devise an invisible security system to cost-effectively protect a treasured mummified troll, while still allowing for visitor viewing during the day. Students generate ideas for solving the grand challenge, first independently, then in small groups, and finally, compiled as a class.
Will It Fly?
In this lesson, students will learn about kites and gliders and how these models can help in understanding the concept of flight. Students will design and build their own balsa wood models and experiment with different control surfaces. The goal of this lesson is for students to apply their existing knowledge about the four forces affecting flight and apply engineering design to develop a sound glider. They will also communicate the reasoning and results of any design modifications made.
Power, Work and the Waterwheel
Waterwheels are devices that generate power and do work. Students construct a waterwheel using two-liter bottles, dowel rods and index cards, and calculate the power created and work done by them.
Design Your Own Rube Goldberg Machine
Engineer and cartoonist Rube Goldberg is famous for his crazy machines that accomplish everyday tasks in overly complicated ways. Students use their new understanding of types of simple machines to design and build their own Rube Goldberg machines that perform simple tasks in no less than 10 steps.
The Boxes Go Mobile
To display the results from the previous activity, each student designs and constructs a mobile that contains a duplicate of his or her original box, the new cube-shaped box of the same volume, the scraps that are left over from the original box, and pertinent calculations of the volumes and surface areas involved.
The purpose of this activity is to demonstrate some of the different parts of an airplane through the construction of a paper airplane. Students will build several different kinds of paper airplanes in order to figure out what makes an airplane fly and what can be changed to influence the flying characteristics of an airplane.
A Merry-Go-Round for Dirty Air
Students observe and discuss a cup and pencil model of a cyclone to better understand the science behind how this pollutant recovery method functions in cleaning industrial air pollution.
Engineering for the Earth
Young students are introduced to the complex systems of the Earth through numerous lessons on the Earth’s natural resources, processes, weather, climate and landforms. Key earth science topics include rocks, soils and minerals, water and natural resources, weather patterns and climatic regions, wind, erosion, landforms, and the harvesting of fossil fuels — all presented from an engineering point-of-view. (See the Unit Overview section for a list of topics by lesson.) Through many hands-on ac