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
"The Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office at the Johnson Space Center is tasked to curate NASA's current and future collections of extraterrestrial samples." The website divides the collections into six categories: Rocks and Soils from the Moon, Meteorites from Antarctica, Stratospheric Dust, Solar Wind, Space-Exposed Hardware, and Stardust Mission Samples. Besides learning how to receive and return the samples, users can find newsletters and information on discoveries made using the s
Design a Parachute
After a discussion about what a parachute is and how it works, students will create a parachute using different materials that they think will work best. The students will test their designs, which will be followed by a class discussion (and possible journal writing) to highlight which paper material worked best.
ECOTOX Database System
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides this database of chemical toxicity. Three individual EPA databases are combined to provide information on chemical-specific toxicity values for aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals. Users can search for research reports by chemical name, species name, or environmental effect. The site has informative help files and browse features. This Web site is useful for evaluating industrial chemicals or for environmental assessment research.
X2000/ MDS: Advanced Avionics and Autonomy for the Future
In contrast to the established practice of designing spacecraft and equipment for their individual missions, the goal of the X2000/ Mission Data System (MDS) is to design one highly adaptable system that can be used for a variety of missions. A project of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the X2000/ MDS is intended to meet the requirements of the next generation of space exploration. The project's homepage has details of technology being developed for the X2000/ MDS. Five papers related to the
MIT OpenCourseWare: Fields, Forces, and Flows in Biological Systems
Materials from this intriguingly titled Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) course about biological systems are freely available to students, educators, and others through MIT's OpenCourseWare. The course covers a variety of topics including "conduction, diffusion, convection in electrolytes; fields in heterogeneous media; electrical double layers; Maxwell stress tensor and electrical forces in physiological systems; and fluid and sold continua: equations of motion useful for porous, hyd
Palomar College: Biological Basis of Heredity
This online tutorial on the Biological Basis of Heredity was developed by Dennis O'Neil of the Behavioral Sciences Department at Palomar College. The tutorial provides information about five main topics: Basic Cell Structures, Cell Reproduction, Recombination and Linkage, Sex Linked Genes, and Molecular Level of Genetics. Students wishing to review content material from the different topic areas can utilize online flashcards and crossword puzzles, which are also available in printed form. The si
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
The 12 Deadly Sins of Site Design
BBC Training and Development released this report on poor Web site design practices in October 2002. It documents the results of a study conducted by the organization, which evaluated over 60 prominent UK Web sites on their ease of use, presentation, and relevancy. While the report was prepared mainly to help companies improve the online experience for their customers, anyone who deals with Web development (even for personal Web pages) can learn some valuable lessons. Some of the most common pit
SandlotScience.com is a Web site devoted to optical illusions. Over 100 online exhibits are available, with a majority of them contained in six main categories: Impossible Objects, Distortions, Contrast and Color, After Images, Ambiguities, and Typographics. Topics include such things as perspective and refraction, as well as many more complex illusions. Although the main page had difficulty loading at times and I could not locate specific information about the maintainers of the Web site, the r
Science Sampler: Multiple Intelligences and Lab Groups
Science teachers who are committed to excellence in the classroom continually seek ways to improve teaching and learning, and the concept of multiple intelligences holds promise as a method for accomplishing this. Acknowledging these intelligences offers teachers an interesting opportunity to appeal to the different personalities and learning styles that are present in the classroom. In this research project, the theory of multiple intelligences was integrated into a seventh grade science curric
This interactive applet operates in one of two modes: auto draw and create shape mode, allowing the user to explore the area and perimeter of non-standard shapes. Immediate feedback is given on answers entered.
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.
Polyominoes (grades 6-8)
This virtual manipulative offers an interactive environment in which the learner can make patterns with squares and investigate symmetry, area, and perimeter. The square tiles may be attached, grouped, rotated, assigned different colors, and enlarged. At the earliest level, children can just enjoy making patterns, dragging squares into the workspace, grouping and rotating them, changing colors, and changing the appearance with the zoom slider. Instructions for using the manipulative, teaching su
A classroom activity (also called 1000 Lockers) aligned to the NCTM and California Standards, to be explored through the use of manipulatives and a ClarisWorks spreadsheet. Students then look for patterns and write the answer algebraically. The problem: imagine you are at a school that still has student lockers. There are 1000 lockers, all shut and unlocked, and 1000 students. Suppose the first student goes along the row and opens every other locker. The second student then goes along and shuts
Assessment and Evaluation : Middle Level Science
This reference for teachers describes the phases of the evaluation process, assessing student progress, student assessment in science, performance-based evaluation in science, record-keeping, program evaluation, and curriculum evaluation. It contains many how-tos for teachers. The reader is guided through the evaluation process phases, which include preparation, assessment, evaluation, and reflection. In the preparation stage, the teacher is given examples of what is good to evaluate. The assess
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
This on-line project is part of the Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) program. As they complete this series of lessons, students will use real-time data to solve a problem, study the correlation between earthquakes and tectonic plates, and determine whether or not there is a relationship between volcanoes and plate boundaries. Musical Plates has four Core Activities that will teach students how to access and interpret real-time earthquake and volcano data and to how u
Three gorges : the biggest dam in the world
Students will understand the following:The enormous Three Gorges Dam is now being constructed in China on the upper Yangtze River.The dam will benefit many people, but it may also cause serious problems.Dams are built according to complex principles of engineering.
This feature, adapted from Interactive NOVA: Earth, follows the path of energy as it is transferred via the food chain from one type of organism to another.