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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 (253)

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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ITSI - SU - Concord Consortium

Grades
6 to 12
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ITSI-SU is a portal for using and creating interactive web-based labs and simulation activities. Brought to you by the research staff of the Concord Consortium, this free online programing...more
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ITSI-SU is a portal for using and creating interactive web-based labs and simulation activities. Brought to you by the research staff of the Concord Consortium, this free online programing uses an assortment of data collection tools from molecular modeling software and web-based simulations to computer sensors (which would need to be purchased if not already in the classroom). Interactives are standards based, thorough, and created with "backward design" in mind. Each activity begins with an inquiry question and a picture with real world relevance. One of the strengths of this program is that it can be used "as is," however all existing activities can be modified by the teacher using them. Any teacher can create new activities of their own as well. Once these activities are created and saved, they can be accessed by other teachers under the "DIY:Other activities area" of the Activities. This added value is something that is rarely found in online lab software. One warning for using this program: it is Java based so modules have to be downloaded. The download takes time and requires tat you "allow" it. Some school computers may block such downloads.

tag(s): modeling (9), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

There are different levels of use of this site with incremental time and effort. The most basic users will need to create an account. Once the account is created, the user can create classes in the "Home" section of the site. This can be found on the left side of the screen. Beside "My Classes" choose "add a class." Here you will create different sections of students. Name your courses what you wish, but remember the sign-up word. You will give this to students when they create their accounts, and it will automatically enroll them into your class. Once they have signed up, their names will show up in the "My Students" section. Once the class is named, choose the activities you would like to have in your ITSI-SU class. Save your choices and the sign-up word will be shown in green print on the screen. Again, save this word. (You can go back into class information to find it if you forget, but you can save yourself time by remembering it.) From this point, basic users need only to show the site to the students and perhaps make some instructions for signing up for their students. Modules are ready to go. As the teacher, you can view the students' work and answers once they have completed the activity they are assigned. More adventurous users can modify activities by following onscreen instruction or even creating their own.

The only thing that could snag the use of this program is that the Java download may be prevented by your district's web filtering software. Please try this first ("preview activities"). One other concern is that downloading the Java app to every computer in a class of twenty students or more can pull a lot of bandwidth in a network. If your school's internet is not exactly top of the line, try running six computers with students working in groups to accommodate the internet capabilities. Have other students sit at their seat and work on preparing materials, so all students are learning and being productive. This program should be tried for the first time by the teacher to avoid any "tech" complications. Teachers who must request software installation by tech staff may want to try this tool at home so they can explain and convince administration of its educational value.

A great way to use this programing, on the smallest scale, is to share the initial lab question and picture to start a classroom discussion. Have students speculate about the possible answers to the question and possible "whys." Have students ask questions about the picture and attempt to explain its relevance to the question, and coincidentally the activity. From this point, you can have students log into the site and create accounts. Either as individuals or have groups of students create a group log in, name, and password. (Student passwords are available to the teacher at any time from the teachers homepage. Please warn students of this when they are choosing passwords so that they choose something school-appropriate.) Another way to use this portal is to pick a modeling lab as an ongoing science enrichment project for students.

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National Phenology Network - USA National Phenology Network

Grades
8 to 12
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What is Phenology? It is the study of cycles in nature from bird and animal migration to changing of leaf colors. Many of our actions on the planet are affected ...more
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What is Phenology? It is the study of cycles in nature from bird and animal migration to changing of leaf colors. Many of our actions on the planet are affected by phenology. This site invites the general public to become observers. Identify the variety of plants and animals in your region and submit data after registering. You can also help in recoveringand recording historical data by entering scanned observation cards into a database.

tag(s): environment (317), food chains (22), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Identify global issues and their consequences through participation on this site. Learn about seasonal changes with animals and plants, adaptations of organisms, and the interrelationships among organisms. Ask students the following questions: Could using herbicides and pesticides at other times of the year yield a better result? What cycles would you need to look at? What natural resources can be managed more efficiently if we followed cycles? What animal or plant cycles have been affected by environmental changes? Students can enter the information from the scanned cards for a community service project or a graduation project. By looking at data such as when insects emerge and when migrating songbirds arrive, students could also learn about the interdependence of plants and animals, and possibly more importantly, the consequences when that interdependence is interrupted by human activity. Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate a specific topic on this website and make a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Or challenge student groups to make an infographic that depicts the impact of a specific human activity.

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Virtual Visit to a School Garden - TeachersFirst/Meriwether Lewis Elementary

Grades
3 to 8
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Watch the archived version of a live webcast from Meriwether Lewis Elementary School garden on Earth Day 2009, a cooperative project with TeachersFirst. See students explain concepts...more
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Watch the archived version of a live webcast from Meriwether Lewis Elementary School garden on Earth Day 2009, a cooperative project with TeachersFirst. See students explain concepts of organic vegetable gardening, natural building with cob, composting, rainwater collection, planting their new bioswale, Pacific Northwest native plants, and more. TeachersFirst's complete how-to information for making your own video field trips is linked from this page, as well.

tag(s): earth day (112), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Scroll down to a list of suggestions for using this archived webcast in your classroom. Talk about local sites where you might be able to take a team of students to create a local student created "video field trip" to share with other classes both in and outside of your school. See TeachersFirst's complete how-to information to try one of your own.

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DNA From the Beginning

Grades
9 to 12
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This is an extensive, well-designed site which lets users create their own personalized study of genetics and DNA. Students can proceed at their own pace through an extensive set of...more
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This is an extensive, well-designed site which lets users create their own personalized study of genetics and DNA. Students can proceed at their own pace through an extensive set of topics, each with explanation, animations, visual materials, and quizzes.

tag(s): dna (69), genetics (90)

In the Classroom

The content is "real world" and could also be a great review or brush-up for teachers who haven't encountered this material in a while.

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Curiosity - Discovery Channel

Grades
8 to 12
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See fascinating questions contributed to Discovery by actual people. View the multimedia answers to understand the facts about to the question. Apply to become an expert to help answer...more
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See fascinating questions contributed to Discovery by actual people. View the multimedia answers to understand the facts about to the question. Apply to become an expert to help answer questions. Select subject topics along the bottom to view questions. Warning: there are sexually related questions. You will want to preview before sharing in class. And you may also want to make this site a teacher-lead activity only.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): questioning (31), sexuality (14)

In the Classroom

Looking for an answer to a student question? Check here first. The answer may be waiting for you! Promote scientific curiosity by featuring a question a week as a class intro. Consider creating a similar page on your class site (or wiki) sharing student questions to guide student research and presentation of answers in an engaging manner. Challenge more able students to add their own thinking questions/answers as alternatives to curriculum they have already mastered. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Environmental Graffiti - Chris Ingraham Brook

Grades
6 to 12
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Looking for interesting stories and tidbits about the environment and its inhabitants? Find information and facts at this blog. Click "Submit Your News" if you have interesting information...more
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Looking for interesting stories and tidbits about the environment and its inhabitants? Find information and facts at this blog. Click "Submit Your News" if you have interesting information that would be a good story. Find stories that can easily apply to any science subject.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ecology (135), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Use these stories as writing prompts, prompts for further research, or sparks to learn about something new. Consider assigning students to find and share related information to share with the rest of their class. One idea for students to show they understand the consequences or implications of an article would be to have students write diary entries, in the first person, much the same as Diary of a Worm reviewed here. Have students publish their diary with Simplebooklet, reviewed here,to share with classmates and parents.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Gnowledge - Gnowledge Sdn. Bhd.

Grades
2 to 12
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Create, assign, and practice tests easily with this resource! Create and manage your tests as well as view activity reports about those who have taken the test. Create your new ...more
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Create, assign, and practice tests easily with this resource! Create and manage your tests as well as view activity reports about those who have taken the test. Create your new test defining the name, subject, and whether it is your test material or from a third party. Create questions, add images, and include bits of text snippets. Help options are found on the question pages. Enter the questions, answer choices, and actual answer as well as answer explanations will be provided. Be sure to look at all the question type options in the tabs above: Fill in the blanks, Match, Multiple Choice, and True/False. When finished, be sure to click Apply New Changes, Make Visible. Note: All created tests are made public but need not be turned on until needed. Students can take tests and go back later if needed.

tag(s): quiz (85), quizzes (97), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Use this resource as a way to practice material and improve students' scores in preparation for an actual test. Use this resource to practice involved questions that like those found on the state tests. Practicing with various question formats builds confidence and improves performance. Create quizzes and tests that students must pass before moving on to other content or other harder tests. Use these as progress steps along the way to help students learn the content as they progress through a unit. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small groups to create their own "practice" quizzes before major tests.

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Everyone can create, publish, share and take tests of any subject or syllabus on this site. Kudos! John, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Edheads - Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery - Edheads

Grades
8 to 12
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This interactive simulation of deep brain stimulation surgery is incredibly detailed. From the background information to the real life surgery pictures, this site is engrossing. The...more
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This interactive simulation of deep brain stimulation surgery is incredibly detailed. From the background information to the real life surgery pictures, this site is engrossing. The simulation of the brain stimulation can either be followed through from the launch of the page or can be navigated using the top line of the page.

While testing this site, one reviewer noticed a pop up game. It appears to be intermittent. However, do warn your students to ignore it, or have the site already open on your classroom computers or on the computers in your school's computer lab. Note: Surgery pictures are not for those weak of stomach.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brain (72), mental health (26), operations (126)

In the Classroom

Use this in health class to learn more about the brain and its function as an organ, and about how surgery is performed. View the introductory information with students on your interactive whiteboard or projector, then follow up by having students complete the surgery individually on laptops. Or, you may want the students to pair up to explore this surgery with one student's computer on this site, and the other student's computer on Postica (reviewed here), a program used to create web-based sticky notes on a sticky board. Have the students take notes on Postica about brain functions. Use the sticky boards as visual prompts for review and to help with any misunderstandings or questions the students may have. Headphones for students are highly recommended for this activity.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Your Expedition - Access Water Project

Grades
3 to 9
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This site follows polar explorers and educators on a trek across Antarctica. Through information and facts, learn how each person can make a difference, understand other cultures, and...more
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This site follows polar explorers and educators on a trek across Antarctica. Through information and facts, learn how each person can make a difference, understand other cultures, and empower others to understand the importance of water and concerns for the planet.

tag(s): antarctica (29), natural resources (59), oceans (148), resources (112), water (130), water cycle (33)

In the Classroom

Click on Journal to read updates and learn new information. Click on Education to subscribe to updates and to find curriculum on Peaceful Conflict Resolution, Dare to Dream (setting and achieving goals,) and about Antarctica.

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The Stem Cell Debate - TIME

Grades
9 to 12
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The conduct and funding of stem cell research raises an interesting set of scientific and ethical issues. The website details political decisions, the science of stem cell research,...more
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The conduct and funding of stem cell research raises an interesting set of scientific and ethical issues. The website details political decisions, the science of stem cell research, and both sides of the argument. Teachers interested in discussing the controversy in science or other classes will appreciate this special section from TIME which outlines the key issues as well as the potential this line of research holds.

tag(s): dna (69), engineering (125)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of ethics. As a class, go through some of the information provided that details how stem cell research works, and afterward use the information provided as a spring board to create a classroom debate. Teachers can also use this information to create a lively class debate in politics, biology, and philosophy classes. Because the websites provides so many different perspectives, it is applicable in all of the aforementioned subjects.

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Death - The Last Taboo - Australian Museum

Grades
8 to 12
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This interactive site shows how parts of an actual autopsy are done. The site does have a disclaimer that the content may be too graphic for some viewers. However, the ...more
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This interactive site shows how parts of an actual autopsy are done. The site does have a disclaimer that the content may be too graphic for some viewers. However, the "person" is a computer drawn, faceless character. You can click through the site, screen by screen, following the onscreen instructions to complete the autopsy. This includes removing the organs and weighing them. The site also includes a short video about an actual forensic scientist. Average metric weight of some human organs is also included in the site.

tag(s): forensics (27), halloween (40)

In the Classroom

This site could be used as an alternative to dissection, an enrichment activity, or as part of a unit that uses crime scene investigation as part of its delivery technique. Anatomy classes could use this practice and review for quizzes or tests on the human body organs and systems. Show the site using the interactive whiteboard or projector as an introduction to human anatomy or to dissection. If you teach high school biology, this would be a great site during Halloween season, as well: teach anatomy with a creepy feature!
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Classroom Jeopardy - superteachtools.com

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for an easy to use free jeopardy game? Look no further than this site. Download the application for free or create the activity to be played online. View and ...more
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Looking for an easy to use free jeopardy game? Look no further than this site. Download the application for free or create the activity to be played online. View and try activities already created online. If you like your project you can save it to a folder on your computer. There is a short video in the "How To" section that will walk you through the process of making, saving, and playing a Flash Jeopardy game. Those of you who have used the PowerPoint Jeopardy will find this flash version much less time consuming to create and to recreate new Jeopardy games.

tag(s): grammar review (37), matching (24)

In the Classroom

Use this great resource to create Jeopardy games for any content area. This resource is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector with a student emcee. Use for vocabulary/terms, identifying parts of anything, and reviewing for any curriculum topic. Use as an opener to a unit to determine what students already know. Play as a review game to assist learning for all students. Encourage students to create the clues and answers to their own Jeopardy review games as a creative way to review and reinforce. Learning support teachers may want to have students create review games together.

You or your students can copy and paste the HTML code for any game on your web page, wiki, or blog for easy access to any Flash Jeopardy Game.

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National Lab Network - Tides Center

Grades
6 to 12
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This site provides access to interactive science projects going on around the country. It will help students increase their resources, knowledge base, and give them another link to...more
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This site provides access to interactive science projects going on around the country. It will help students increase their resources, knowledge base, and give them another link to bringing the outside world inside school walls. This website is meant to link you and your students with the resources and expertise of working scientists. This free initiative allows teachers to post projects, and "put out the call" for professional scientists' help.

tag(s): mentoring (12), science fairs (25), scientists (68), service projects (25)

In the Classroom

You could post an assignment that would benefit from the expertise of a working scientist. There is a sign up page, but there is no cost to do so. Once the project is posted, it is a matter of time before being connected to a scientist. Consider asking the scientist if he/she will consider having a Skype reviewed here conference. Skype makes FREE audio/video phone calls from computer to computer anywhere in the world. Skype with students in another state or country. Be sure to use your projector so the entire class can see the expert! Have your students start brainstorming questions they will want to ask the expert. Be sure they know how to frame their questions so they don't end up with a yes or no answer.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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So What Does It Mean To Be Human? - Smithsonian Institute

Grades
9 to 12
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Explore a wealth of images, research, and information about human origins in this visually rich site from the National Museum of Natural History. View "Human Evolution Evidence," "Human...more
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Explore a wealth of images, research, and information about human origins in this visually rich site from the National Museum of Natural History. View "Human Evolution Evidence," "Human Evolution Research," and "Human Characteristics," as well as other resources. Don't miss the 3D views of fossils. It's even better than an actual museum visit, since you can move and rotate the objects yourself.

tag(s): evolution (100), fossils (44)

In the Classroom

View specific topics such as "Tools and Food" under "Human Characteristics." Read the material as it explains the science behind the time and use estimations. Challenge students to describe how scientists have derived at an explanation provided. Follow up with "Fossil Forensics: Interactive" under "Human Evolution Research" to see the specific portions scientists are talking about. Here, 3D pictures including microscopic views have details circled for better understanding. You may want to have this set up at a computer in your room as a "center," or have the url on your website, where students can make further investigations on their own.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Who Did It? - Building Lab Skills with Forensics - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 12
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"Who Did It?" uses an introduction to forensics as a tool to build analytical and laboratory skills in students who are still mastering scientific method. This is a large ...more
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"Who Did It?" uses an introduction to forensics as a tool to build analytical and laboratory skills in students who are still mastering scientific method. This is a large unit: there are eight different activities including a DNA web quest and lab session. Each activity is based on a different "crime" and type of forensic analysis. The culminating project is a lab practical. Complete rubrics and printable handouts round out this unit.

tag(s): forensics (27), scientific method (64)

In the Classroom

Mark this unit in your Favorites to inspire students with scientific inquiry. Add new dimensions to the unit with technology options, such as keeping a lab journal on your class wiki and documenting steps with digital pictures. Students could also upload and "narrate" their lab pictures on Thinglink, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Scirus - for Scientific Information Only - Elsevier

Grades
9 to 12
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Scirus is basically a science search engine. It only scans science only information The searches happen quickly and can be limited using the menu on the left of the screen. ...more
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Scirus is basically a science search engine. It only scans science only information The searches happen quickly and can be limited using the menu on the left of the screen.

tag(s): resources (112), search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Use as a teacher or professional resource to expand understanding and knowledge of current research so that you can share the information with your students. Have older students search for information on research topics. Have students compare the Scirus with a regular search engine such as Google with the same search word before having them use the tool. It will show them the advantage of using a more science specific tool.

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BiosciEdNet - American Association for the Advancement of Science

Grades
K to 12
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Find creative commons licensed photographs tagged with a variety of key terms. Search by subject or topic and view photos and related photographs to the subject matter. Read descriptions...more
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Find creative commons licensed photographs tagged with a variety of key terms. Search by subject or topic and view photos and related photographs to the subject matter. Read descriptions about the topic for better understandings of what they mean. For some topics, you are required to click several times before you are lead to the picture.

tag(s): agriculture (54), ecosystems (88), environment (317), images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Search for pictures that are tagged with specific words related to your topic or subject. Be sure to credit the site with the actual web address of the picture when using these photographs for class or student use. Students can search these pictures to use in projects or materials. As they search their terms, they also will learn basic information about the subject or terminology as well.
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Global Clouds - Kyucon.com

Grades
4 to 12
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See where clouds form throughout the globe. Rotate the globe to view the clouds at the moment. This site updates the cloud maps every three hours. Watch the movement and ...more
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See where clouds form throughout the globe. Rotate the globe to view the clouds at the moment. This site updates the cloud maps every three hours. Watch the movement and location of clouds around the Earth.

tag(s): climate (92), deserts (10), earth (228), water cycle (33), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use this tool as part of a lesson on the weather, water cycle, or desertification with this 3D globe. Provide time for students to identify where clouds seem to form, the direction that they move, and the type of clouds. Use to help determine the wind patterns on the Earth and where the water cycle begins. Follow with a more extensive look at weather patterns in the local area or at specific places across the globe. Focus on hurricane formation off Africa or winter weather patterns. Create conventional or multimedia posters that shows the types of clouds and portions of the weather cycle. Have students or student groups create an online, interactive poster known as a "glog," using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here.
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Energyville - Chevron

Grades
6 to 12
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Try this simulation where players must make decisions to balance environmental concerns with their community's power needs. Need help in with this interactive? Start by using "Guided...more
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Try this simulation where players must make decisions to balance environmental concerns with their community's power needs. Need help in with this interactive? Start by using "Guided play." Create a city name, drag and drop various sources of energy for your city and be certain to gauge the economy, environment, and security of your city as you play. Click on the question marks along the side for more information about these scores. Compare impacts among these using the icons on the bottom right. Be sure to read the information that comes up as you make your choices. Click on How to Play for more game tips.

tag(s): energy (197), environment (317), nuclear energy (24), solar energy (38)

In the Classroom

Identify the trade offs in economic, environmental, and security concerns with the various types of energy used to power the city. Research the types of energy, including the advantages and disadvantages to each. Provide time for students to play and brainstorm the problems certain cities have and the mix of energy sources that seem to work. Research the various technologies and where they are currently used including research into uses around the world and comparisons among countries. Use as a part of a unit on the environment or energy. Follow up with a debate about the type of power generation that should be used in your community.

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