PSRC: Physical Sciences Resource Center
Developed by the American Association of Physics Teachers, "the Physical Sciences Resource Center (PSRC) is a web-based databank that provides K-20 teachers links to a wide range of teaching and learning resources in the physical sciences." Users can search the numerous resources by topics, type, or keyword. With each entry, the website provides a description, information on the author, subjects covered, level, intended users, resource types, possible costs, and other useful facts. Interested in
National Estuaries Day
Get the most out of National Estuaries Day (October 5, 2002) by visiting this Web site from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Follow a link to Estuary Live!, which offers online interactive fieldtrips through a number of estuaries around the nation. Guided tours of eight estuaries will be webcast live October 3 and 4, supplemented by videos from a number of other estuaries. Internet participants "will have an opportunity to see the fascinating creatures that make estuar
As part of the University of California Santa Barbara Library, the Astronomy subject Web page contains dozens of links on the subject. Sites are categorized in indexes and gateways, NASA pages, observatories, organizations and associations, current topics, interactive resources, and periodicals. If all that isn't enough, the site even has an astronomy picture of the day.
Paul Bourke of the Astrophysics and Supercomputing department at Swinburne University of Technology is the author of this massive resource on fractals and chaos. He gives examples of many different kinds and classes of fractals, including the Mandelbrot set and various attractors; and brief explanations accompany each one. A substantial introduction to fractals covers the underlying principles and connection to chaos theory. Many stunning, high resolution fractal image galleries show elaborate p
Created by the Institute for Molecular Virology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this Web site offers high quality virus images that may be used for seminar presentations or any other noncommercial use. Users can choose from American Society for Virology conference poster images, enhanced EM pictures, and images of virology-related book and journal covers. Images may be searched by virus name; the results page will provide links to summary information from the Protein Data Bank and to the
Vision Systems Design
Vision Systems Design is a magazine that provides comprehensive information and analyses about "machine-vision and imaging components, boards, assemblies, software, and systems." Its online version is free and has many Web-exclusive features available. For example, Back to Basics is a series of technical articles about a certain topic; the February 2003 issue has articles on FireWire interfaces, infrared systems used to increase vehicle safety, and much more. Technology news and industry trends
The Solar Decathlon
In October 2002, teams of students from universities around the US competed in the Solar Decathlon, an eleven-day event that challenges the participants "to design, build, and operate the most effective and efficient solar-powered house." The Solar Decathlon homepage features information about the contest, the different designs, and the experiences of each team. Contestants also share their insight into energy conservation and solar power by providing some tips for consumers. An especially inter
The city is often characterized as the antithesis of wilderness. At the same time, many urban areas are home to large populations of various wild animals. In an effort to learn more about the animals living in our midst, this Topic in Depth takes a look at websites concerned with urban wildlife. The first (1) site, from Urban Wildlife Rescue, briefly describes problems related to trapping and relocating wild animals. The site also offers Humane Eviction suggestions for squirrels, foxes, raccoons
Worm Watch is part of NatureWatch (first reported on in the May 31, 2002, NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences), which is series of programs--administered collaboratively by the Canadian Nature Federation, the University of Guelph, and the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network--that "encourage schools, community groups, individuals, naturalists, backyard enthusiasts, Scouts and Guides to engage in the monitoring of soil, air, water and other aspects of environmental quality." For students
Originally developed at the University of Minnesota, personal rapid transit (PRT) systems are now being explored further by a spin-off company called Taxi2000. The system is designed to operate on raised guideways and is set up in grid formations that can easily be expanded. While still in the planning stages, a great deal of information is presented on the Taxi2000 homepage. Many publications can be downloaded, including detailed descriptions of the Taxi2000 concept and a projection for ridersh
Cadbury: Maths in the Factory
What kid can resist chocolate? Certainly not many, and this site from the Cadbury Company uses chocolate to entice children to learn about mathematics. Users must apply their knowledge of basic math concepts to solve different problems in the Cadbury factory. The interactive scenarios, which are guided by a group of chocolate cartoon characters, let children practice their skills in arithmetic, measurement, interpretation of data, and geometric objects. There are also sections for teachers and p
Gas molecule motion
This page describes the relationship between kinetic energy of molecules and temperature.
Bells in Your Ears
Does sound travel better through solids or gases? This material is part of a series of hands-on science activities designed to arouse student interest. Here the student hangs a metal fork from a pencil using string, and then strikes the fork while the eraser end of the pencil is in his or her ear. The activity includes a description, a list of science process skills and complex reasoning strategies being used, and a compilation of applicable national science standards for grades K-12. Also provi
Popcorn : if you like popcorn, which one would you buy?
This third challenge in the Figure This! list of 80 math challenges directs the student to use popcorn to compare the volumes of tall and short cylinders formed with 8- by 11-inch sheets of paper. The challenge points out that it is important to be able to make visual estimates and find volumes. The web page includes links to a solution hint, the solution, other related math questions, and print resources that contain mathematics activities about packaging and wrapping shapes. The Did You Know a
The Factor Game
Students will use a game setting to identify the properties of prime, composite, abundant, deficient, and perfect numbers. This lesson plan includes the objective, overview of the lesson, needed materials including transparency and worksheets, procedures and rules of the game, extensions and connections, resources, and ideas for discussion.
Urban Tree Planting: Soil 101
Ever wondered how trees live amidst city sidewalks? This two-minute radio program from the show Pulse of the Planet focuses on the below-ground challenge that urban trees face--city soil. In the program, which is provided here in audio and text formats, a horticulturalist describes the importance of soil and the soil quality and quantity problems often found in cities. She then talks about a mixture that she and fellow researchers at Cornell University have developed called structural soil, whic
Eratosthenes and the mystery of the stades
This article on the history of mathematics explains the famous measurement of the circumference of the Earth made by Eratosthenes, and discusses the mystery surrounding the accuracy of that measurement. A key element in the discussion is the ancient unit of length used in the measurement: the stade. The in-depth article uses diagrams as well as text to make its point.
Idea Bank : A Big Bang Lab
The authors of "How Far are the Stars," featured in the February issue of The Science Teacher, showed how the measurement of parallax permits scientists to infer astronomic distances. Give your students the chance to make similar inferences through a free module available online that allows students to scale sizes and distances, and then create models from which they calculate inferences that, in simplified form, give results that astronomers obtained similarly in recent times.
What is a polymer, and what are some of its properties? This material is part of a series of hands-on science activities designed to arouse student interest. In this discovery activity students use white glue, water, and borax to make a vinyl polymer and study its properties. 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 content topics,
Whats It Like Where You Live? Desert
This site provides excellent background information on deserts. Large print and superb pictures make this site very appealing to younger students. Topics include: What is a Desert Like?, Types of Deserts, What causes Deserts?, Deserts of the World, Desert Plants, Desert Animals, and links to other desert sites.