This is a companion website to the Captain Astounding books, which are "richly illustrated" books intended to make mathematics enjoyable for undergraduate students and adult learners. The books are described as humorous stories addressing topics in math, which the website argues makes them not text books. The website provides information about the books, contests and useful links, as well as a section highlighting some math topics from the featured book. For February, 2005, the featured book is
MIT Space Systems Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created the Space Systems Laboratory (SSL) in 1995 to engage in "cutting edge research projects with the goal of directly contributing to the present and future exploration and development of space." Users can find materials on current and past flight projects such as the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) and the Interferometry Program Experiment (IPEX). The website also features SSL's ground programs and re
As the name implies, the colorfully animated Switcheroo Zoo -- produced by Tubehead, an interactive multimedia studio -- allows you to swap the heads, legs, or tails of various zoo animals to create fantastical new creatures. Not just a place to watch cool morphing animation, this Web site has educational applications as well. Click on Educators' Resources, and scroll to the bottom of the page for a simple lesson plan geared toward younger students. The lesson plan is designed to "expand student
Great Lakes BeachCast
The Great Lakes Information Network developed this website to "broadcast critical information about beach closings and educational content on human health concerns." The website provides the latest news on erosion control projects, contamination and cleanup efforts, beach testing efforts, and other environmental news. Users can explore monitoring data and maps by location. The website also contains the proceedings from the Great Lakes Beach Conferences from 2001 and 2002 and the US EPA's Beach P
Computer Aided Instruction Project
Central Connecticut State University maintains several tutorials and lecture notes about different programming languages and mathematics. Some of the material, most notably the Introduction to Assembly Language, is primarily intended for computer science students. However, much of the site can be useful for anyone; programming guides for Java and QuickBasic are provided, as well as tutorials on vector mathematics and finite-state automata. All of these topics are presented separately and are qui
NOAA Satellite and Information Service
"The Satellite Services Division of the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) provides real time access to satellite data and products for the public and government." Users can locate Hazard Mapping System (HMS) Fire Analysis, real-time satellite fire monitoring, Web-based GIS fire analysis, and additional fire products. The OSEI (Operational Significant Event Imagery) link supplies archived and current images of flood events, severe weather, tropical cyclones,
Soil Landscapes of Canada
The Canadian Land Resource Networks (CLRN) online mapping application, Soil Landscapes of Canada, utilizes GIS technology to view the major characteristics of soil and land for the country and is "organized according to a uniform national set of soil and landscape criteria based on permanent natural attributes." Users can view coverage from eighteen areas and ten different attributes -- including soil development, surface material, slope, and vegetation cover; with or without cities and roads; a
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.
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
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