The Schoolyard Solar System
"The Schoolyard Solar System was developed to demonstrate the solar system to scale; to show the relationship between units of thousands, millions, and billions; and to accomplish these goals with student involvement that will re-enforce the lessons." Students and educators can find images of the Sun and the nine planets in our solar system. The website presents bulk, orbital, and observational parameters as well as additional facts for the objects. By printing out the materials and following th
EPA: RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) Online
The RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) "online database is designed to enable users to locate documents, including publications and other outreach materials, that cover a wide range of RCRA issues and topics." Users have three search options: Topics, Full Text, or Advanced searches. For those having trouble finding needed materials, the website offers a handy two-page reference guide. The What's New link offers information on the latest system changes and lists of the most recent or u
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
As part of the ExploreLearning organization, ExploreMath offers an outstanding collection of interactive activities for students in "elementary algebra through pre-calculus." The online multimedia applications are easy to use and demonstrate almost 40 concepts across twelve general categories. One activity, for example, explains some fundamentals of probability by randomly throwing darts and showing how many hit the target. Instructions and topic overviews are given for each activity. Some addit
MGNet "is a repository for information related to multigrid, multilevel, multiscale, aggregation, defect correction, and domain decomposition methods." In short, the material offered on the site is mainly used to solve partial differential equations. There are many resources given on MGNet, including tutorials, a preprint archive, and information on upcoming conferences. Quite a few software packages can be downloaded from the site; however, they require a specific decompression utility. MGNet 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
Backyard Weather Stations
Learn how to build your own backyard weather station with complete directions provided by FamilyEducation.com's Web site, Backyard Weather Stations. The site shows exactly what you'll need and how to build the necessary components (e.g., rain gauge and barometer), as well as how to keep records of the data collected. Parents and teachers will enjoy watching the kids "learn the basics of scientific observation and record-keeping while satisfying their natural curiosity about weather."
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.
Linear Function Machine
This activity allows the user to explore simple linear functions. This Java applet requires a Java-capable browser. If you don't see the applet Java may not be functional in your browser or on your machine.
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.
Polar Bears International Photo and Video Gallery
This page links to video intervews of the researchers and photographers, videos of polar bears taken with the polar cam, and images of polar bears.
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.
Tortoise and Hare Race
users step through the tortoise and hare race, based on Zeno's paradox, to learn about the multiplication of fractions and about convergence of an infinite sequence of numbers.
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
What's a quick way to unroll a roll of toilet paper? This material is part of a series of hands-on science activities designed to arouse student interest. Here students use Bernoulli's principle and an electric leaf blower to force air over the top of the toilet paper to quickly unroll it. 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 c