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West Nile Mapping - USGS

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6 to 12
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This USGS site offers regularly updated, state-by-state maps showing the spread of West Nile virus in birds, animals, and humans. Apart from its news value, the site offers an interesting...more
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This USGS site offers regularly updated, state-by-state maps showing the spread of West Nile virus in birds, animals, and humans. Apart from its news value, the site offers an interesting glimpse into the ways in which diseases spread through populations of different species.

tag(s): diseases (66)

In the Classroom

Try letting your students develop their own hypotheses about what might happen next.

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Insolent Invaders - WhyFiles

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4 to 12
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Here's a site with both timeliness and that special "Yuck" factor that students love. The WhyFiles has created profiles of a handful of species whose presence outside their natural...more
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Here's a site with both timeliness and that special "Yuck" factor that students love. The WhyFiles has created profiles of a handful of species whose presence outside their natural environment threatens to play havoc with the ecosystems they invade. The site offers a great "hook" into a serious ecological issue.

tag(s): ecology (135), ecosystems (88)

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Savage Seas - WNET

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6 to 12
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This companion site to the PBS program of the same name offers nuggets of information on a broad range of topics about the ocean, including weather phenomena, navigation problems, and...more
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This companion site to the PBS program of the same name offers nuggets of information on a broad range of topics about the ocean, including weather phenomena, navigation problems, and life in the seas. Broadband users will find short video clips on many of the topics. While there is no separate education section, elements of the site may be useful in an ocean study unit.

tag(s): marine biology (33), oceans (150)

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Global Climate Change - Exploratorium

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6 to 12
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The Exploratorium's climate change site is a data analysis goldmine. There are dozens of examples of how the earth's climate has or has not shifted over the past 100 years, ...more
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The Exploratorium's climate change site is a data analysis goldmine. There are dozens of examples of how the earth's climate has or has not shifted over the past 100 years, and most of these have detailed graphs illustrating the data. Middle and high school teachers will find this one a great tool for illustrating both the science and the math behind the efforts to monitor the earth's climate.

tag(s): climate (92), weather (189)

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California Sea Otter - The Otter Project

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4 to 12
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Learn about the life and ecosystems that support the California Sea Otter at this site dedicated to the preservation of these creatures. Besides being undeniably cute, otters occupy...more
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Learn about the life and ecosystems that support the California Sea Otter at this site dedicated to the preservation of these creatures. Besides being undeniably cute, otters occupy a complex niche in marine ecosystems. Learn more here.

tag(s): california (27)

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Poseidon's Library - Ocean.com

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6 to 12
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This reference page from Ocean.com offers a continually changing collection of stories about people who work at sea and the creatures that live in the oceans. Nicely illustrated, this...more
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This reference page from Ocean.com offers a continually changing collection of stories about people who work at sea and the creatures that live in the oceans. Nicely illustrated, this would be a good supplement to an oceans unit.

tag(s): marine biology (33), oceans (150)

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NOAA Fisheries Shark Site - NOAA

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3 to 12
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Here's a factual information site about sharks that offers a strong dose of reality for those concerned about shark attacks. You can find details on the species most common on ...more
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Here's a factual information site about sharks that offers a strong dose of reality for those concerned about shark attacks. You can find details on the species most common on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Hawaiian coasts, along with explanations on why many of these species are threatened or endangered.

tag(s): oceans (150)

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NOAA Ocean Explorer - NOAA

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6 to 12
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Try this one if you're interested in a site offering "what's happening right now" content. NOAA uses this space to chronicle dozens of past and current ocean research projects - ...more
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Try this one if you're interested in a site offering "what's happening right now" content. NOAA uses this space to chronicle dozens of past and current ocean research projects - providing daily logs and images for each activity. You can read daily dispatches from researchers and follow along to see how "doing science" on a daily basis works.

tag(s): marine biology (33), oceans (150)

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KidsNet's Seaweb - KidsNet

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4 to 12
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This site offers a three-part unit on the oceans that emphasizes the effects that humans can have in destroying or preserving marine ecosystems and species. There are detailed lesson...more
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This site offers a three-part unit on the oceans that emphasizes the effects that humans can have in destroying or preserving marine ecosystems and species. There are detailed lesson plans and supplementary materials. There are also numerous sound clips to accompany the lessons, and we had difficulty making these work properly. That said, the content is perfectly sufficient without the sound.

tag(s): ecosystems (88), marine biology (33), oceans (150)

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Monetery Bay WebCams - Monetery Bay Aquarium

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4 to 12
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Monterey Bay aquarium offers several live webcams showing ongoing activities in the facility. Users can watch the penguins swim, and watch the otters watch the people. There are many...more
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Monterey Bay aquarium offers several live webcams showing ongoing activities in the facility. Users can watch the penguins swim, and watch the otters watch the people. There are many things to see here, and there are also lots of instructional activities that can go along with the tour. A high-speed connection is s must for this one, though.

tag(s): oceans (150)

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By the Sea

Grades
3 to 8
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This is a somewhat different look at seashore environments from the Oceans and Fisheries department that works in Canada's Atlantic provinces. There is information about shoreline habitats,...more
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This is a somewhat different look at seashore environments from the Oceans and Fisheries department that works in Canada's Atlantic provinces. There is information about shoreline habitats, the impact of development on shoreline environments, and the life forms and ecosystem of shoreline areas. There is also a variety of lesson information.

tag(s): oceans (150)

In the Classroom

This site would be a nice comparison to a similar site from a southern or tropical location. How does the environment differ in the two locations?

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Froguts

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6 to 12
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This is by far the best web-dissection site we've seen. The site lets students do a hands-on dissection, complete with detailed explanations of each step. Better yet, this site is ...more
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This is by far the best web-dissection site we've seen. The site lets students do a hands-on dissection, complete with detailed explanations of each step. Better yet, this site is available in either of two forms - a straightforward dissection or an expanded version that includes pretests and quizzes intermixed with the dissection content. If you have more students than frogs, this one's for you.

tag(s): dissection (10)

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The Secret Life of the Brain - PBS/WNET

Grades
6 to 12
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The companion site to the PBS series of the same name boasts a huge information archive, and more importantly, suberb interactive animations showing various regions of the brain and...more
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The companion site to the PBS series of the same name boasts a huge information archive, and more importantly, suberb interactive animations showing various regions of the brain and the functions they control.

tag(s): brain (73)

In the Classroom

It may be hard to fit this content into standard curricula, but if you can do it, it will be worth the effort.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Ocean Oasis

Grades
6 to 12
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This companion web site to an IMAX film about Baja California and the Gulf of California offers a surprisingly extensive collection of student lessons and activities, as well as many...more
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This companion web site to an IMAX film about Baja California and the Gulf of California offers a surprisingly extensive collection of student lessons and activities, as well as many illustrations and explanations about the ecosystems of these two regions. Useful in any study of ecosystems, particularly if you're in the southwestern US.

tag(s): biomes (116), deserts (11), ecosystems (88), oceans (150)

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Polar Science Station

Grades
6 to 12
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This site is home base for a polar expedition to search for evidence of long-term pollutants in Antarctica. As the expedition proceeds, students will be able to track progress of ...more
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This site is home base for a polar expedition to search for evidence of long-term pollutants in Antarctica. As the expedition proceeds, students will be able to track progress of various experiments. The site also includes a good deal of background information on the types of pollutants for which scientists are searching.

tag(s): antarctica (29), arctic (44), ecology (135), polar (19), pollution (66)

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Bet the Farm! - Columbus Science Museum

Grades
6 to 12
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This farming simulation is no leisure game. It blends biology, weather, and economic concepts to produce a sophisticated simulation of a farming environment. It's a great exercise to...more
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This farming simulation is no leisure game. It blends biology, weather, and economic concepts to produce a sophisticated simulation of a farming environment. It's a great exercise to illustrate all the factors that go into any business, and the presentation is sure to hold students' attention. From the Columbus Science Museum. The site requires FLASH and may take some time to open. If you do not have the most current version of Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): business (58)

In the Classroom

There's lots of depth to this one. A thorough preview will help you decide how deeply students should work.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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K-W-L - A Strategy for Learning

Grades
4 to 12
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While this exercise is from a site on science and optics, the KWL strategy - a structured form of questioning and answering - is applicable to the study of many ...more
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While this exercise is from a site on science and optics, the KWL strategy - a structured form of questioning and answering - is applicable to the study of many topics other than science. Teachers will like this one because it outlines multiple strategies for both inquiry and presentation, giving examples from science, literature, and art.

tag(s): inquiry (37), inventors and inventions (97)

In the Classroom

If you're not familiar KWL, this is a great starting point.

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Genetic Phenotypes of the Super-heroes - TeachersFirst

Grades
7 to 9
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This unit lets students relate physical characteristics to genetic and environmental factors. Phenotypes are the physical characteristics that we develop from our genotype (our genetic...more
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This unit lets students relate physical characteristics to genetic and environmental factors. Phenotypes are the physical characteristics that we develop from our genotype (our genetic makeup). Both the environment and our genotype interact to make us what we are. Any genetic unit can incorporate this lesson as an activity to introduce genotype and phenotype. This lesson plan was one of the winners in a lesson plan contest sponsored by TeachersFirst. TeachersFirst editors have added technology options where appropriate.

tag(s): genetics (90)

In the Classroom

Students this age will love the technology options in this lesson plan. Don't be afraid to learn some of the newer tools together.

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Planet Ocean - Discovery.com

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4 to 12
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This site on oceans is a web resource for the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit for grades 4-8. ...more
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This site on oceans is a web resource for the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit for grades 4-8.

tag(s): biomes (116)

In the Classroom

Try the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit to get your students involved and engaged with their own research. Have them work alone or with a partner on laptops or in a lab.

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Monterey Bay Aquarium

Grades
2 to 12
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A fabulous site about ocean life, this site is a web resource for the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. It...more
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A fabulous site about ocean life, this site is a web resource for the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit. It also includes several webcams and several activity options under Teachers and Kids.

tag(s): biomes (116)

In the Classroom

Try the TeachersFirst interactive Biomes of the World Unit in grades 4-8 to get your students involved and engaged with their own research. Have them work alone or with a partner on laptops or in a lab. Use a webcam with younger students, asking them to observe and record animal behavior as a center on your classroom computer or a whole-class activity on a projector.

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