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.
Natural Resources, the Environment, and Ecosystems
This collection of teacher guides includes: Ecosystems and Climate, Wildlife - Just One Piece of the Picture, Integrated Pest Management, Soil and Ecosystems, Sustainable Agriculture, and The Web of Life - Understanding Ecosystems. Each guide includes a subject overview, objectives, and student activities. By the end, students should be able to understand the effect of climate on ecosystems; the interrelationships of animals with components of their natural ecosystem; how ecosystems benefit from
users can create a game spinner with one to twelve sectors to look at experimental and theoretical probabilities.
The Earth's Orbit
These eleven activities relate to the results of the motion and position of the Earth in its orbit, investigating both the causes and the effects of changing seasons. It starts simply by trying to quantify the observation that it is colder in the winter and ends by measuring the tilt of the Earth. This is chapter two of the online book Eyes on the Sky, Feet on the Ground, containing explorations into astronomy as a classroom tool for learning how to theorize, experiment, and analyze data. The ac
Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards: A Guide for Teaching and Learning
This book explores the dimensions of teaching and learning science as inquiry for K-12 students across a range of science topics. Detailed examples help clarify when teachers should use the inquiry-based approach and how much structure, guidance, and coaching they should provide. The book dispels myths that may have discouraged educators from the inquiry-based approach and illuminates the subtle interplay between concepts, processes, and science as it is experienced in the classroom. Inquiry and
Examine the sun at different wavelengths
This Earth science resource enables students to observe and compare the sun's appearance under different types of electromagnetic radiation. Students are instructed to move the cursor across the spectrum to see images of the sun under radio and microwaves; infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light; and gamma rays. Each image includes a label that indicates the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, the wavelength in angstroms and meters, and the layer of the sun in view. Copyright 2005 Eisenhow
El Nino Returns
This web page is an online companion to CNN's special coverage on El Nino for the 1997-98 season. El Nino is a strange but powerful weather phenomenon; tracker and background reports provide the user with the science behind El Nino, its history and impact. Topics covered include: forecast; ground zero (Peru); strange brew (weather); prediction meter; the wet coast (California); and the trackers. Links to other web sites are provided, and users may access more up-to-date El Nino stories by clicki