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Science projects, ideas & topics - Science Made Simple

Grades
K to 12
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This "plain vanilla" looking site offers science help for parents, students, and teachers with simple explanations of science topics and ideas for experiments and projects. There is...more
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This "plain vanilla" looking site offers science help for parents, students, and teachers with simple explanations of science topics and ideas for experiments and projects. There is an extensive section devoted to creating a wonderful science fair that includes project ideas, how to pick a topic, presenting projects, judging, and parent information. There are also many at-home ideas for projects using simple, easy to find materials such as swinging cereal to demonstrate static electricity. You can sign up for their free newsletter to stay informed of new materials added to the site. There is an online store; however, it isn't necessary to purchase materials to use most of the information offered onsite.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colors (79), electricity (88), experiments (71), photosynthesis (33), plants (145)

In the Classroom

Share portions of the site such as how to use a lab notebook or how to do experiments safely on your interactive whiteboard when beginning science projects. Use the site as a resource for classroom experiments with materials that are readily available. Assign experiments for students to do at home, then have them prepare a presentation for the class describing science concepts demonstrated and learned. Secondary teachers can assign students a topic from the Science News portion of the site to read and discuss with the class. Challenge students to create a multimedia project to share with the class using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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International Dark Sky Association (IDA) - International Dark Sky Association

Grades
5 to 8
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The International Dark Sky Association website promotes understanding of light pollution, ways to prevent it, and methods for reducing it. There is information about different projects...more
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The International Dark Sky Association website promotes understanding of light pollution, ways to prevent it, and methods for reducing it. There is information about different projects to reduce and study light pollution. Also, this site contains an Education webpage that provides resources, a glossary, and lesson plans among other features.

tag(s): conservation (127), light (46), pollution (66), stars (61), telescopes (8)

In the Classroom

Try out the lesson plans for astronomy and wildlife. There are power-points, activities and even interactives for students to try. Use one of these lessons as a part of a unit on space or pollution. On the Education page there are links for teachers and kids. Put a link on your class website to the link for kids!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ingenious - NMSI

Grades
9 to 12
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View thousands of old style photos on a range of science and ethical topics. Use this site to bring together images as well as viewpoints to create new insights into ...more
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View thousands of old style photos on a range of science and ethical topics. Use this site to bring together images as well as viewpoints to create new insights into Science and culture. Click on Read to obtain background on various science issues arranged by subject. Click on the Debate tab to look at questions and discussions related to science topics and issues. Find old style photos in the See tab. Create a login to save searches and photos for future use. Be certain to preview whatever you plan to share with your students. At this time of this review, there were some topics that would not be appropriate for some classrooms.

tag(s): debate (41), industrialization (15), medicine (67), natural resources (59)

In the Classroom

Find great information, photos, and possible questions for use in the classroom to stimulate thinking and make connections between content and the use of science in everyday life. For example, the debate "Can we sustain our lifestyles and our planet?" uses content from food chains to technology to natural resources. Additionally the discussion of what every organism needs to survive can bring to light discussions of characteristics of living things and our responsibility to the planet.

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Science.Gov - CENDI

Grades
8 to 12
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This is a searchable database of science research on many topics. It is entirely governmental science research that is available for public viewing. Search over 40 other databases and...more
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This is a searchable database of science research on many topics. It is entirely governmental science research that is available for public viewing. Search over 40 other databases and 200 million web pages of science information. Talk about a one stop shop! It is easy to search - just type and enter!

tag(s): data (148), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Use this as resource when researching for scientific papers, getting ideas for experiments, or just staying apprised of the latest scientific research on a specific topic.

If your students are doing scientific research you might want to supply them with links from Science.gov using Diigo-Education reviewed here.

Comments

Would like to see better search features within subject categories. Kathleen, VT, Grades: 0 - 12

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Selenia: Science comics - University of the West of England

Grades
2 to 8
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This colorful site offers science comics, educational interactives, links for teachers, and more. Engage students with these comics, and encourage them to identify the scientific principles...more
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This colorful site offers science comics, educational interactives, links for teachers, and more. Engage students with these comics, and encourage them to identify the scientific principles found in each. Follow up activities include word searches and other puzzles to reinforce vocabulary. Use the "For Teachers" link to find pdf lesson plans for ideas and experiments that coordinate with the comics. This site was created in Great Britain, so you may notice some slightly different spellings that US English.

tag(s): air (163), comics and cartoons (74), inquiry (37)

In the Classroom

Begin with the comic strip to introduce a concept (share on your interactive whiteboard or projector). Have students note the physical and chemical properties occurring in each frame and to identify the scientific principle being presented. Use as a class discussion and introduction to specific principle. Use the suggested experiments and activities for further inquiry and investigation. When discussing other topics in class, encourage students to create their own comic either traditionally or digitally to demonstrate their understandings of the concept. Try using an online tool for students to create comics, such as the Comic Creator (explained here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Kids Should See This - Rion Nakaya

Grades
K to 8
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This site offers media (found on YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr) on a broad spectrum of topics, not created for kids but appropriate and interesting for children 3 years old and ...more
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This site offers media (found on YouTube, Vimeo, and Flickr) on a broad spectrum of topics, not created for kids but appropriate and interesting for children 3 years old and up. Media isn't divided into categories. The newest items appear first. However, you can search the site by keyword. Information ranges from animal stories of a dog without legs to video of Ella Fitzgerald scatting. Obviously, this site is updated frequently, so contents will change. Students and adults alike will love browsing for interesting stories and information.

tag(s): news (261), speaking (24), video (254), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Check first to be sure the media are not blocked by school web filtering. Choose one item from the site to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a class discussion starter on current topics or as a lead-in to a lesson. (Example: show the YouTube video about order of the planets when beginning an astronomy unit). Share the site with students and let them explore to find interesting topics for research reports. Ask students to choose one item from the site to share with other students as a way to practice oral presentation skills. Use videos or images as writing prompts or blog prompts. ESL/ELL students can practice their language skills by retelling a favorite video. Challenge your students to create their own informative videos on a topic that your class is exploring. Share the videos using a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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Everyday Mysteries - Library of Congress

Grades
3 to 12
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Find answers to the most interesting and intriguing questions that can be asked. Uncover cool science facts by looking at these answers. Enter a search term to find related questions...more
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Find answers to the most interesting and intriguing questions that can be asked. Uncover cool science facts by looking at these answers. Enter a search term to find related questions and answers. Browse categories such as Agriculture, Zoology, Meteorolgy, Home Economics, and Technology. View related resources and other interesting information on each page.

tag(s): agriculture (55), animals (276), climate (92), energy (198), planets (123), plants (145), questioning (31), resources (112), seasons (37)

In the Classroom

Use as a reference to answer questions that students have. Use this site to also apply information learned in the classroom. For example, when discussing light energy and wavelengths, use the explanation of why it is hot in the summer and cold in the winter to apply the information about energy and wavelength. Follow the use of this site with related labs and other activities. Follow up also with more research. For example, after learning about how an hour glass works, research, report, or create other timepieces used throughout history focusing on the advantages and disadvantages as well as the limitations and changes in technology over time.

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Digital Universe Atlas - Hayden Planterarium

Grades
6 to 12
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The Hayden Planetarium has created a free download of their atlas of the universe. The video, which does a great job of showing the scale of what we as humans ...more
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The Hayden Planetarium has created a free download of their atlas of the universe. The video, which does a great job of showing the scale of what we as humans can see in the universe, can be viewed directly from the website. There are three different versions of the download. All are free. Be patient with the download, it takes a little while, however the atlas, educator activities, and simulations are well worth the time it takes. One of the hardest concepts for middle to high school level earth and space science learners to understand is size and scale of the universe. Their misconceptions of color and size stem from both brain development and images that they are exposed to of the solar system from young school ages on to middle school. This video and activity set help to clarify this misconception, and provide your learners with a better understanding of their size within the universe.

tag(s): earth (228), light (46), solar system (119), stars (61), sun (71)

In the Classroom

Try showing the video (on your interactive whiteboard or projector) at the beginning of a chapter or unit on universes and galaxies. Have students discuss what they think is correct or even incorrect about the video. As you work through your unit, use the teacher activities in addition to your traditional curriculum materials. Revisit the video at least twice throughout the unit to "check-in" on your student's understanding and to assess whether their misconceptions are being cleared. Another idea, is to show the video as a writing prompt for science. Pose a question such as, "How big are you? Explain in terms of the universe." Then, have students view the video and write about their ideas generated by the video.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Telescopes and Mirrors - Corning Museum of Glass

Grades
7 to 10
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"Telescopes" (brought to us by the people at the Corning Museum of Glass) is a click-thru tour of telescopes. Rich with historical information and science explanation, this activity...more
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"Telescopes" (brought to us by the people at the Corning Museum of Glass) is a click-thru tour of telescopes. Rich with historical information and science explanation, this activity is interesting in that it combines pictures, text, and different views of outer space through the different types of telescopes.

tag(s): newton (25), space (205), telescopes (8)

In the Classroom

Have students click through the site as the instructional part of the lesson which would be great for introductory physics or physical science. Students can work through the module taking notes as they proceed. Then, have students create a graphic organizer comparing both the microscope differences, and have them use the view of the telescope function. Have students draw or take screen shots using a program such as Jing (reviewed here) of the views from the different telescopes. Have students add analysis bubbles to the pictures comparing the views.
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NFB Kids: The Mission - NFB one

Grades
2 to 8
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Go to the Mission for a great science adventure. Missions involve many concepts in physical science, such as motion and forces. Music can be turned off using the checkbox below. ...more
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Go to the Mission for a great science adventure. Missions involve many concepts in physical science, such as motion and forces. Music can be turned off using the checkbox below. Hover over the eclectic array of devices in "The Lab" to see movement or to enter a portion of the lab. Read the beginning screens carefully for pointers on completing each mission. View related links and other materials in "The Desk." Learn about scientists, scientific facts, and other interesting information in "The Library." While playing the games, help screens do not appear to guide you. You are sent back to the start of the game or the section.

At the time of this review, the link to "Your Log" (at the lab) was not active. You may want students to use "traditional" paper to take notes for their log.

Note that the small black bar across the top of the screen takes you to other NFB ites and may lead students off track. The one notable option is to click "Francais" at top right and discover the same activities in French!

tag(s): electricity (88), elements (36), forces (45), magnetism (36), motion (59), rockets (14), space (205)

In the Classroom

Use these great interactives for individual work or as a group activity. For example, use the "Eyes on the Sky Mission Game" to explore the forces and fuels needed to launch a rocket, identification of various space objects, and other skills. The "Keep your Cool Mission" activity requires players to fill the compressor with freon and put all the articles back in place.

Many topics related to physical science can be researched and discussed from these activities. Discuss forces and motion, different types of fuels, how various appliances work, etc. Bring in related environmental and societal issues, especially changes throughout the years. Research various types of rocket design throughout the years and the technical advancements that caused these changes.

Have students complete multimedia research projects to share their findings. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

French teachers will enjoy the various French language versions of the games to give students practice following instructions and applied language in engaging activities. Great practice!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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GLOBE at Night - The GLOBE Program

Grades
6 to 10
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This site is to help students better understand how to view the night sky, what light pollution is, and what it looks like. This website offers links such as how ...more
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This site is to help students better understand how to view the night sky, what light pollution is, and what it looks like. This website offers links such as how to make a red light to better view the night sky, family activity packets for observing the night sky, and much more!

tag(s): earth (228), globe (14), moon (72), space (205), stars (61)

In the Classroom

Use different activities from the Globe at Night to help students learn about star magnitudes, constellations, and astronomy. Have students record and send in observations of the night sky using the PDF handouts available on the website.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science IQ - Science IQ. com

Grades
8 to 12
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This website features answers to new science questions everyday. If the simple answer is not enough for you, there are helpful links, and suggested additional reading if you would like...more
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This website features answers to new science questions everyday. If the simple answer is not enough for you, there are helpful links, and suggested additional reading if you would like a greater understanding of the concept. Even more information is available through using the categorized science facts found on the left side of the screen. Questions are also searchable by keyword. Subjects include: physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, mathematics, geology, engineering, and medicine.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): area (66), carbon (21), carbon footprint (11), chemicals (40), coal (14), earthquakes (48), energy (198), engineering (124), fossil fuels (18), fossils (44), glaciers (14), machines (30), matter (58), moon (72), natural resources (59), ozone (10), ph (4), planets (123), prime numbers (31), pythagorean theorem (35), questioning (31), space (205), square roots (24), stars (61), sun (71), volume (44)

In the Classroom

Try using this site's questions on a weekly or daily basis in science or math class to start discussions and provoke student thinking. Allow students to view the question on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then brainstorm possible answers. Once enough thoughts have been seeded, share the real answers. Or, allow students to work at the answer as the lesson continues for a few days and reveal the correct answer as a finale to the lesson.

This site could also be used as a learning station for the question of the day or the week.

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Science Bob Experiments - Steve Galgas

Grades
6 to 11
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This website has a list of exciting and simple experiments. The instructions are clear, concise, and printable! Topics include Newton's Law, making a film canister rocket, a levitating...more
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This website has a list of exciting and simple experiments. The instructions are clear, concise, and printable! Topics include Newton's Law, making a film canister rocket, a levitating orb, how to make Slime, optical illusions, bend water with static electricity, and many more for a variety of different sciences. Experiments make good use of cheap, recyclable and other easy to find items. Many experiments have video clips of people doing the experiments.

tag(s): chemicals (40), electricity (88), experiments (71), magnetism (36), newton (25), optical illusions (11), rockets (14), sounds (68), volcanoes (61)

In the Classroom

Print out instructions and have student work through the experiments when relevant to topics. Also, some experiments could be used as demonstrations. Assign cooperative learning groups specific experiments to try out and create a video to share with the class. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
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Science Bob Q&A - Steve Galgas

Grades
3 to 9
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This webpage provides weekly answers to student submitted questions. Answers are student friendly, and offer pictures to help explain the answer. ...more
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This webpage provides weekly answers to student submitted questions. Answers are student friendly, and offer pictures to help explain the answer.

tag(s): questioning (31)

In the Classroom

Use questions as a good bank of "hooks" to start classroom discussions on various topics. Allow students time to expand the question and arrive at their own answers, and then have them view the actual given answer. From here, students can accept or reject the answer by finding more information on the topic.
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Science Master Learning Galleries - The KGM Group, Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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This site is a categorized collection of scientific pictures (and descriptions) to enhance understanding of specific science concepts. This specific page is this site's jump-start for...more
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This site is a categorized collection of scientific pictures (and descriptions) to enhance understanding of specific science concepts. This specific page is this site's jump-start for Earth science. There are also jump start pages for space science, life science, and physical science.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): acid rain (5), carbon (21), climate (92), earth (228), earthquakes (48), fire (25), fossils (44), glaciers (14), hurricanes (35), images (266), natural disasters (20), natural resources (59), rocks (49), tsunamis (16), volcanoes (61), water cycle (33), wetlands (9)

In the Classroom

For a quick use, add images from this site to a PowerPoint. For a more in-depth use of the site, either choose several pictures/topics that would enhance your unit, or allow students to choose a topic they would like to investigate further. Have pairs or small groups of students brainstorm questions they have about the topic. Many of the questions they come up with will be answered when they click on the picture. For the questions that aren't answered on that page, have the student research the answer using the Internet as a resource.

Have student groups make an online Stixy (reviewed here) of things they discover about their picture/topic, and later rearrange the items to "explain" their topic to classmates visually.
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Exploring Earth Visualizations - McDougal Littell

Grades
6 to 12
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View a variety of visualizations about earth processes. Choose from chapters from their popular Earth Science book to find fascinating simulations and interactives that are engaging...more
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View a variety of visualizations about earth processes. Choose from chapters from their popular Earth Science book to find fascinating simulations and interactives that are engaging and educational.

tag(s): atmosphere (26), climate (92), earth (228), earthquakes (48), erosion (17), geology (81), oceans (148), plate tectonics (23), volcanoes (61), water (130), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use "Observe a raindrop traveling through various paths of the water cycle" at the beginning of a unit on the water cycle. Give students the vocabulary terms and have them describe or narrate the path of one drop of water through the interactive. Students choose anywhere to start and after time will realize why it is a cycle. Use "Examine Earth from a new perspective" to view the Earth using a variety of contexts: earthquakes, sea surface temperatures, or seasonal changes in land to name a few. Use the Earthquakes visualization to see where the major earthquakes have occurred over time. Use this visualization to find the pattern in the earth. Use as the start of a unit in plate tectonics or later in the unit when discussing human population in the world as well. (Many are along coastlines where major populations are located.)
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How to Make a Comet - The Nuffield Foundation

Grades
4 to 10
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This page offers instructions on how to create your own comet at home or in class. This activity would integrate nicely into elementary or middle level classes as an introduction ...more
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This page offers instructions on how to create your own comet at home or in class. This activity would integrate nicely into elementary or middle level classes as an introduction to space science. It could also be used with secondary students who are studying astronomy. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. The page is printable as well.

tag(s): experiments (71), space (205)

In the Classroom

It is recommended to use this experiment as a demonstration rather than having students create their own comets. Read safety instructions and practice the demonstration at least once before using it with a class. Have students calculate mass and kinetic energy of their class comet. Then have them speculate on the size of a comet, such as Haley's comet, and research the actual size online.

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How To SMILE - National Science Digital Library

Grades
K to 12
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This site is a compilation of many math and science resources along with a social networking component. Currently there are almost 2000 activities, lessons, and videos and the site...more
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This site is a compilation of many math and science resources along with a social networking component. Currently there are almost 2000 activities, lessons, and videos and the site is constantly growing. There are several ways to use the site both as a registered user or without registration. Without registering for the site you can search and access lessons and information through the different search methods such as keywords, subjects, source institution, and more. Free registration allows the site to become much more personalized. After registering, you can make lists of resources for any different topic, share lists or searches with others, add comments, or add your own resources. Most activities on the site are free; however, there are some searches that deliver lessons that are paid - these are clearly indicated and not frequent enough to discourage use of this site. Searches can also filter out any paid activities and return only free items. Teachers may also want to subscribe to the site's blog and newsletter to receive updated information as it is added to the site.

In case you are wondering about the title, SMILE is the Science and Math Informal Learning Educators pathway of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL).

tag(s): resources (112), social networking (112), STEM (134), video (254)

In the Classroom

This is a perfect way to organize and sort lessons by topic or age range for future classroom use or to share with fellow teachers. Create a community list of lessons to use within your district. Share this site with other teachers in your building or district as a resource for STEM lessons. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Online Conversion - Robert Fogt

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This site is the ultimate resource for any measurement or conversion need. Calculators are included for Math, Science, Cooking, Time, and much more. Categories are listed in alphabetical...more
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This site is the ultimate resource for any measurement or conversion need. Calculators are included for Math, Science, Cooking, Time, and much more. Categories are listed in alphabetical order from Acceleration to Weight/Mass. Within each category are the different converters/calculators. For example, after choosing volume, choices include acres, barrels (dry, federal, liquid, and wine), cubic units, gallons, quarts teaspoons, yards, and more. Other interesting conversions include your weight on other planets, your age in dog years, and translations to and from Pig Latin. You are sure to find exactly the conversion for any need within this site along with others to use just for fun!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conversions (23), measurement (157), temperature (29), time (144)

In the Classroom

Following a lesson on conversions, allow students to access the site to check answers. Mark this site in your favorites and share it on your TeachersFirst public age for quick access. Use as a handy resource on your interactive whiteboard or projector anytime that conversions come up in your classroom. Share this site with students through your class web page or TeachersFirst public page as a resource to use outside of class-- even when cooking with mom or dad!

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Earth Science Teaching Lessons - Compiled by Christy Pratt

Grades
4 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This site contains links to many lesson plans and resources for teaching Earth Science. The top of the page links to different topics of Earth Science such as Astronomy, Earthquakes,...more
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This site contains links to many lesson plans and resources for teaching Earth Science. The top of the page links to different topics of Earth Science such as Astronomy, Earthquakes, Rocks and Minerals, and others. Within each category are links to information, webquests, and videos, as well as lesson plans. One excellent portion of the site may be easy to overlook so be sure to look on the left side of the page for Categories. Here you will find a wealth of information on diverse topics such as historical geography, tsunamis, world records, careers, and more. Within these links are news, videos, and popular items. Note: many of the links will take you to different websites so you will want to review before using with students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): earthquakes (48), erosion (17), fossils (44), hurricanes (35), maps (287), rocks (49), tsunamis (16), volcanoes (61), water (130), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to view videos and images from the site with your class. Use lesson plans provided as additional resources within Earth Science units. Assign students different portions of the site to review and prepare multimedia projects to share with the class. Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Or challenge students to narrate an image using a site such as Thinklink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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