Ocean Explorer: 2002 Explorations
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Ocean Explorer Web site (last mentioned in the March 8, 2002 -NSDL Scout Report for the Life Sciences_ ) has begun several of this seasons explorations. Six new voyages have been, or soon will be undertaken and the Web pages include daily updates, photos, and videos of the research efforts. Studies include biological monitoring of marine sanctuaries, hydrothermal vents, geological studies, and recovery of a sunken Civil War ship. An in
Journeys & Transformations: British Columbia Landscapes
This website from the Royal British Columbia Museum introduces students to five important environments found in British Columbia: Mountains, Forests, Grasslands, Waters, and Cities. Each environment section includes topical features under the following headings: Nature, First Peoples, and History. Examples of feature topics include Mammals in Winter, Clothing From the Land, Life in the Ocean, and Introduced Species, to name a few. The aesthetically pleasing website keeps text to a minimum as it
Jackson Laboratory - Mouse Genome Informatics: The Gene Expression Database
A very unique biomedical research institution, "The Jackson Laboratory, a non-profit institution, is the world's largest mammalian genetic research facility." As such, Jackson provides universities and hospitals worldwide with millions of mice -- representing more than 2,500 varieties -- each year. This website offering from Jackson Laboratory, located in Bar Harbor, Maine, allows visitors to solicit valuable information on the mouse genome. "The Gene Expression Database (GXD) is a community res
Nonindigenous Aquatic Species
This US Geological Survey database provides information on nonindigenous aquatic species for resource professionals and the general public. Distribution maps and species information for a variety of aquatic vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant species includes photos, description of the life cycle, native and non-native habitat range, and potential impacts the non-native species has on its habitat. The site is easy to navigate; users can find information by species name, state, or drainage basin.
Provided by the Australian Government, Geoscience Australia is an expansive website featuring the research and geospatial information the agency provides for the benefit of economic, environmental, and social communities. Visitors can obtain Australian maps for a variety of geologic datasets including the geomagnetic fields, gravity surveys, and crustal elements. The online tools provide data of recent earthquakes and sunrise and sunset times. Students and teachers can find fun, educational onli
Cerritos College Earth Science On-Line Tutorial Center
At this website, Cerritos College offers a series of straightforward, educational lessons covering basic Earth science topics. Users can learn about clouds through a pictorial tutorial and a review. Students can review the metric system, units of measurement, scientific notation, and other fundamental mathematics used in Earth Science. The site offers a virtual tour of the volcanoes of Hawaii, informative images of various landforms, quizzes on topographic maps, reviews of plate tectonics, and m
Educause: Educating the Net Generation
Educause, a nonprofit organization "whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology," has made available this video file of a talk by their Vice President entitled "Educating the Net Generation" The online abstract describes the presentation as an exploration of "the implications of the Net Generation for colleges and universities as well as how to address the generation gap between faculty or administrators and the Net Gen." The presentati
Modeling & Simulation
Modeling & Simulation is a journal published by The Society for Modeling and Simulation International. The Society has made its 2004 Modeling and Simulation Resource Guide available free to download. The directory provides descriptions and contact information for the many modeling and simulation software packages currently available, as well as listings for various modeling and simulation organizations worldwide. Two guest articles describe techniques for the application of real-time simulation
Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics
This expansive Web site features the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics' research dealing primarily with geometric analysis and gravitation, astrophysical relativity, quantum gravity and unified theories, and laser interferometry and gravitational wave astronomy. After learning about the Institute's origins in 1995, researchers can find out about the institute's intense efforts and hardships in developing a consistent theory of quantum gravity as well as its investigation in gravitat
An introduction to our solar system: the planets, our Sun and our Moon. Students begin by learning the history and engineering of space travel. They make simple rockets to acquire a basic understanding Newton’s third law of motion. They explore energy transfer concepts and use renewable solar energy for cooking. They see how engineers design tools, equipment and spacecraft to go where it is too far and too dangerous for humans. They explore the Earth’s water cycle, and gravity as applied to
Will It Fly?
In this lesson, students will learn about kites and gliders and how these models can help in understanding the concept of flight. Students will design and build their own balsa wood models and experiment with different control surfaces. The goal of this lesson is for students to apply their existing knowledge about the four forces affecting flight and apply engineering design to develop a sound glider. They will also communicate the reasoning and results of any design modifications made.
This lesson will allow students to explore an important role of environmental engineers: cleaning the environment. Students will learn details about the Exxon Valdez oil spill, which was one of the most publicized and studied environmental tragedies in history. In the accompanying activity, they will try many “engineered” strategies to clean up their own manufactured oil spill and learn the difficulties of dealing with oil released into our waters.
Six Minutes of Terror
This lesson discusses how each component of a spacecraft is specifically designed so that a rover can land safely in six minutes. Also, students will learn how common, everyday materials and technology, like nylon, polyester and airbags, are used in space-age technology.
Students learn a simple technique for quantifying the amount of photosynthesis that occurs in a given period of time, using a common water plant (Elodea). They can use this technique to compare the amounts of photosynthesis that occur under conditions of low and high light levels. Before they begin the experiment, however, students must come up with a well-worded hypothesis to be tested. After running the experiment, students pool their data to get a large sample size, determine the measures of
Pointing at Maximum Power for PV
Student teams measure voltage and current in order to determine the power output of a photovoltaic (PV) panel. They vary the resistance in a simple circuit connected to the panel to demonstrate the effects on voltage, current, and power output. After collecting data, they calculate power for each resistance setting, creating a graph of current vs. voltage, and indentifying the maximum power point.
Cars: Engineering for Efficiency
Students learn how the aerodynamics and rolling resistance of a car affect its energy efficiency through designing and constructing model cars out of simple materials. As the little cars are raced down a tilted track (powered by gravity) and propelled off a ramp, students come to understand the need to maximize the energy efficiency of their cars. The most energy-efficient cars roll down the track the fastest and the most aerodynamic cars jump the farthest. Students also work with variables and
The Need for Shelter
In this lesson, the students will build a shelter in order to protect themselves from the rain. After the shelters are built, the class will perform durability and water proof testing on the shelters.
Particle Sensing: The Coulter Counter
Students are presented with a short lesson on the Coulter principle — an electronic method to detect microscopic particles and determine their concentration in fluid. Depending on the focus of study, students can investigate the industrial and medical applications of particle detection, the physics of fluid flow and electric current through the apparatus, or the chemistry of the electrolytes used in the apparatus.
It’s all In the Package
In this activity, students explore the concept of “reducing” solid waste and how it relates to product packaging and engineering advancements in packaging materials. Students read about and evaluate the highly publicized packaging decisions of two major U.S. corporations. They will evaluate different ways to package items in order to minimize the environmental impact, while considering issues such as cost, availability, product attractiveness, etc. Students will explore “hydrapulping” an
Backyard Weather Station
Students use their senses to describe what the weather is doing and predict what it might do next. After gaining a basic understanding of weather patterns, students act as state park engineers and design/build “backyard weather stations” to gather data to make actual weather forecasts.