KidsAstronomy.com was created by astronomy buff and elementary school teacher Hiram Bertoch. Her goal of creating a kid friendly Web site that is balanced between text and tech was definitely achieved. Interactive, visually pleasant, and content rich, the site provides kids a great learning resource that is fun to explore. One of the activities "How Big is the Universe" shows a picture of a man in the grass and lets you zoom out by powers of ten to finally see the whole universe. Teachers will a
Global Water Crisis
As mentioned in this Web site -- a free Web Focus from the journal Nature -- over one billion people in the world already lack access to clean water, a crisis that will only intensify as the global population swells and freshwater resource continue to dwindle. Nature offers an analysis of the situation with news stories, features and editorials, interactive graphics, and an archived article from the journal.
Texas A&M University: A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects
Hosted by the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University, this well-organized website provides basic information about many common insects found in Texas, and in numerous other states as well. The website is based on a book titled, _A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects_ by Drs. Bastiaan M. Drees and John A. Jackman. The site contains concise descriptions and good-quality images of a variety of insects including roaches, weevils, dragonflies, stoneflies, silverfish, walkingsticks, and more
The University of Tennessee at Martin has one of the most expansive sites devoted to prime numbers and their significance. This page "is an exciting collection of curiosities, wonders and trivia related to prime numbers." As of December 2002, there are nearly 2,000 numbers with at least one curio. Some of the smallest numbers are interesting to peruse; however, reading every curio or researching other numbers to submit to the database is probably left to the mathematicians. One thing is certain,
Protecting Applications against Malice Using Adaptive Middleware
Security in distributed computing systems is a very important area of research, especially as malicious behavior is a growing cause of concern for businesses and organizations. This paper addresses an emerging method of maintaining security in untrustworthy environments. Until recently, the operating system was the only means of protecting data; the authors discuss a more elaborate technique of using middleware as a second level of security. "When integrated effectively, this multi-level approac
DesignNotes.com: Design Archives
This novel site gives examples of circuits for a wide range of applications. It is suitable for people looking for specific instructions for a predetermined project or for anyone with an electronics hobby. Circuit diagrams, component lists, and a concise explanation are provided for each item. Many of the circuits were submitted by other visitors to the site, and further contributions are encouraged. Several categories are shown, including audio, motor control, and digital signal processing. Alt
Problems to Enjoy
Problems to Enjoy presents an enormous selection of mathematics problems for middle and high school students. Teachers will find it especially useful; divided into four categories and three grade levels, the problems are easily searchable. Eventually, the site's creators hope to "build up a comprehensive library of problems in a format that is simple to access, download and customize." The collection is already quite substantial. Number problems, algebra, geometry, and statistics are the main to
Educator's Corner: Engineering and the Guitar, Part I
This series of five introductory modules comes from Agilent Technologies' massive Educator's Corner Web site. It is mainly intended to teach high school students about some of the most fundamental principles of engineering, using a guitar to demonstrate concepts like frequency and tensile strength. At the same time, the material stresses the importance of critical thinking and taking an analytical approach to problems -- characteristics that are the sign of a good engineer. To encourage this men
As part of the North Carolina State University Department of Computer Science, Mimesis is a project that "explores the use of computer game engines...as test-beds for research in artificial intelligence, interactive entertainment and educational software." A detailed overview of the Mimesis system architecture can be found on its homepage, as well as a few examples of virtual worlds created with the system that demonstrates different application areas to which it can be applied. A large collecti
Earthguide is an educational resource for students and teachers developed by the California Space Institute at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the University of California San Diego. Features include in-depth stories, brief topics, and news -- all related to a variety of oceanic and atmospheric science subjects. The section of links and resources is quite valuable, with a large number of links organized by topic, many with brief descriptions.
Department of Energy Research and Development Accomplishments
For those users interested in the history of a wide variety of notable inventions and discoveries, the US Department of Engery's (DOE) Research and Development Accomplishments Web site should provide unique insight into topics like the video game, CAT/ MRI scans, and the Human Genome, among others. The site's primary focus is its accomplishments database, which contains "searchable full-text and bibliographic citations of documents reporting accomplishments from DOE and DOE contractor facilities
EROS: The Extremely Reliable Operating System
The Extremely Reliable Operation System (EROS) "is a capability-based operating system designed to support the security and reliability needs of active systems." The EROS homepage has documentation about the system's development and principles, as well as source code and links to download the software. Developers will find tutorials, installation instructions, and manuals on programming for EROS. John Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania are the two main contributors to the proj
American Bird Conservancy
The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is a nonprofit organization working to "conserve wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas." The ABC website provides informative and useful features such as the Bird Conservation Directory, a searchable directory of contact information for professionals engaged in bird conservation throughout the Americas, and the downloadable Birdwatcher's Guide to Global Warming (last mentioned in the June 28, 2002 NSDL Scout Report for the Life Sciences). The s
Online Maps and Data
From the California Geological Survey, the Online Maps and Data site contains information focused on natural hazards. Topics include minerals, earthquakes, and landslide and erosion hazards. The site also includes the General Location Guide for Ultramafic Rocks in California. The site also has links to a publications page and a new interactive mapping program called the Seismic Hazards Mapping Web page.
Center for International Earth Science Information Network
Columbia University offers the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (last mentioned in the February 16, 2001 Scout Report), which specializes in online data and information management, spatial data integration and training, and interdisciplinary research related to human interactions in the environment. Their Data and Information page contains links to data, data applications, online tools, and information involving climate change, environmental health, land use, and more.
The Platypus: A Very Special Australian
The Australian Platypus Conservancy, "an independent organisation dedicated to conserving the platypus and its freshwater habitats," offers this informative Web site about "one the world's most unusual animals." Visitors can learn about platypus biology and ecology in the Platypus Fact File; find out how to become involved in platypus conservation efforts; read the latest platypus-related news in Ripples, the organization's newsletter; and more. The Platypus Fact File is particularly comprehensi
NASA's Cosmochemistry Program (CCP) assists cosmochemical investigations that involve laboratory studies of extraterrestrial materials, examine the geochemistry solar system bodies, and/or study the formation and development of the solar system. Visitors can read abstracts of the proposals that have been awarded funding. The website offers a detailed strategy for the implementation of the program, which includes discussions of the facilities and methods, demographics, management, and challenges.
Dr. Dobb's Embedded Systems
Embedded Systems is one of the specialized sites stemming from Dr. Dobb's Journal. In addition to serving as an excellent source of news and product development articles, the site is a portal to many other Internet resources on embedded system applications. Information tailored to specific programming languages, like C++, Java, and many others, is grouped into separate categories. There are also focuses on Linux-driven handhelds and other embedded operating systems. A list of toolkits for embedd
Finding Science in Ice Cream -- An Experiment for Secondary School Classrooms
Get the scoop on Ice Cream Science. Dr. Doug Goff, a professor of food science at University of Guelph, Ontario created this site to provide educators with supplemental information for a classroom experiment on ice cream making. This website provides information on many aspects of ice cream including the history, composition, manufacturing process, and structure. This site is designed for teachers from different disciplines and illustrates how ice cream making has applications to various scienti
NCBI Trace Archive
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) of the National Library of Medicine offers the Trace Archive -- "a repository of the raw sequence traces generated by large sequencing projects." The Trace Archive is the sole source of raw sequence data for projects that rely on a Whole Genome Shotgun strategy. Users can search the archive by BLAST or by a number of other query options. The archive offers trace files, fasta files, quality scores, and ancillary data. The Web site also incl