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Interactives & Simulations: Weather, Climate & Atmosphere Education - UCAR Center for Science Education

Grades
5 to 12
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This site provides a small, but worthwhile, selection of interactives and simulations related to the weather and climate. Choose from interesting activities such as launching a virtual...more
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This site provides a small, but worthwhile, selection of interactives and simulations related to the weather and climate. Choose from interesting activities such as launching a virtual balloon to examining layers of the earth's atmosphere, or "building" a tree using different climate options. Each activity includes a full explanation and many include additional links or extension activities.

tag(s): arctic (42), atmosphere (28), carbon dioxide (17), climate (97), climate change (61), hurricanes (36), solar energy (34), sun (68), trees (29)

In the Classroom

Introduce Interactives & Simulations on an interactive whiteboard or projector then allow students to explore on their own. Be sure to provide a link on your class website or blog for students to explore at home. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to demonstrate information learned from this site. Alternatively students could create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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MinuteEarth YouTube Channel - Henry, Alex, and Peter Reich, Emily Elert, Ever Salazar

Grades
4 to 12
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This YouTube Channel is the place to find answers about science and stories about our awesome planet. Browse through the video list to learn why we just see one side ...more
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This YouTube Channel is the place to find answers about science and stories about our awesome planet. Browse through the video list to learn why we just see one side of the moon, discover the secret social life of plants, and understand why rivers curve. Subscribe to MinuteEarth to receive notification when new videos become available. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. Since this is YouTube, there are public comments.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): atmosphere (28), earth (223), moon (67), oceans (137), planets (114), plants (137), video (214), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Share videos on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or as a link on your class website or blog. To share a single video from this site without all the YouTube clutter, use a tool such as SafeShareTV, reviewed here, and create a shortcut to the SafeShare page directly on the desktop. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to share information learned from videos. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos about your curriculum topics and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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Describing Earthquakes - iknowthat.com

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4 to 8
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Explore the effects of earthquakes with this interactive. Be sure to notice the red handle at the top. Click the lever to the "Illustration" side to view the movement of ...more
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Explore the effects of earthquakes with this interactive. Be sure to notice the red handle at the top. Click the lever to the "Illustration" side to view the movement of an earthquake. Click the word "play" to begin the animation. Read more information about earthquakes on the right side of the page. Move the lever towards "On Shaky Ground." Choose the magnitude of the quake, and then view the resulting damage. Want to print the information? Click the print button at the top.

tag(s): earthquakes (46), forces (38)

In the Classroom

Use these activities to learn about earthquakes before discussing in class as a way to create more connections with the material. Allow time for students to play with "On Shaky Ground" and create a simple sentence to describe what they learned. Encourage students to determine the types of buildings or materials that will best weather an earthquake. Use the information learned about earthquakes or earthquake preparedness to create an informational web page using a tool like Studeous reviewed here or Jimdo, reviewed here.
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Creative Educator - Tech4Learning

Grades
1 to 12
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Creative Educator offers articles, lesson plans, and resources for many different ways to put creativity into the curriculum. Explore four main topics: Creativity, Digital Storytelling,...more
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Creative Educator offers articles, lesson plans, and resources for many different ways to put creativity into the curriculum. Explore four main topics: Creativity, Digital Storytelling, 21st Century Classrooms, and Project-based Learning. Curriculum related areas such as Literacy, English Language Aquisition, and Stem resources will grab your interest. Find a variety of lessons in Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies to integrate technology and pique students' interest.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (234), creativity (100)

In the Classroom

Creative Educator, designed for teachers, helps you move past stale worksheets to get inspired! Be sure to look at this site to help you discover ways to integrate technology and creativity into lessons. Work with a partner to make the lessons fit in your situation. Share at staff meetings and offer new ideas. Look for ways to bring a new focus to your gifted students. Give as a resource to students, so they can choose a multimedia product to share the content knowledge they are learning.

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energy4me - energy4me

Grades
1 to 12
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Energy4me offers a large variety of resources for teaching and learning about oil and energy. Click on the little book titled About Energy and Sustainability to find an interactive...more
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Energy4me offers a large variety of resources for teaching and learning about oil and energy. Click on the little book titled About Energy and Sustainability to find an interactive about those topics. Clicking on the Into the Classroom book takes you to download-able lesson plans and more. Lesson plans are for all grade levels, in several languages, and all are correlated to US National Science Education Standards. Be sure to explore this site to find additional classroom resources, videos, and presentation materials. Choose from several interactives to test your energy IQ.

tag(s): careers (120), energy (186), engineering (100), fossil fuels (17), oil (46), STEM (90)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans (and interactives, of course). Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. Share videos from the site as part of your career unit. Be sure to provide a link to interactives on classroom computers and your class web page for students to explore on their own.
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Aim a Hurricane - University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Grades
4 to 12
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Learn how winds work together to determine where a hurricane will strike with this online interactive. Click next and begin play. Move low and high-pressure systems in place with the...more
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Learn how winds work together to determine where a hurricane will strike with this online interactive. Click next and begin play. Move low and high-pressure systems in place with the hurricane over the Atlantic Ocean. Correctly position all three to receive a start button and view the storm track for your location. Use check boxes to turn audio off and on and to view with or without winds.

tag(s): hurricanes (36), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge at the start of the study of hurricanes and weather. Create a link to Aim a Hurricane on classroom computers for student use as a center. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, to track hurricanes during hurricane season. With Animaps, students can add text, images, and location stops!
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Mapmaker Interactive - National Geographic

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6 to 12
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If you love maps, you'll spend hours tinkering with Mapmaker Interactive! Start with a map of the world. Zoom in or out to capture just the area you want. Then ...more
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If you love maps, you'll spend hours tinkering with Mapmaker Interactive! Start with a map of the world. Zoom in or out to capture just the area you want. Then choose from dozens of layers related to climate, population, culture, economy, or weather and add information to the map. You can choose which layers come first, and how opaque the information is related to that layer relative to other layers. Use drawing and text tools to annotate your map, and then print it. When you've finished, hit "reset map" and start again!

tag(s): climate (97), ecology (138), energy (186), industrialization (15), map skills (83), population (56), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Having the ability to present a map with just the information you've chosen to illustrate and projecting it on an interactive whiteboard is invaluable. Show students information about immigration, crops, or population. By adding layers, you can look for correlations between different attributes. For example, want to know whether there is a connection between the habitat of big cats and the amount of artificial light visible during night time hours from space? Put both layers on the map, and find out. This is a great way to get students making inferences and drawing conclusions between varying data points!

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Create-a-Cane! - University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Grades
4 to 10
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Use this interactive to create a hurricane by choosing ideal weather conditions such as wind, latitude, moisture, and sea temperature. Click on the question mark under each of these...more
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Use this interactive to create a hurricane by choosing ideal weather conditions such as wind, latitude, moisture, and sea temperature. Click on the question mark under each of these to learn more about these conditions and their effect on hurricanes. Once your score reaches 80 a tropical depression forms, triggering events to begin a hurricane. Answer a few more questions to create your full-strength hurricane!

tag(s): hurricanes (36), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start a study of hurricanes and weather. Create a link to Create-a-Cane on classroom computers for student use as a center. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, to track hurricanes during hurricane season. Students can add text, images, and location stops with Animaps!
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Absorb Content - Crocodile Clips, Ltd.

Grades
9 to 12
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Find great interactives and content about a variety of topics! Click on the different content areas at the top of the page: Electronics, Mathematics, Physics, Advanced Physics, and...more
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Find great interactives and content about a variety of topics! Click on the different content areas at the top of the page: Electronics, Mathematics, Physics, Advanced Physics, and Chemistry. On each content page, click on the "Free Sample Units" link to view a variety of resources for that content area. Scroll down the page for the Free Resources header and click the word "Here" to go to the free interactives. Click on each resource, view the description, and then choose to view online or download each interactive. Find free interactives also by clicking on Resources on the top menu of each content page. With the paid version, get additional curriculum material. Some of the interactives require Flash, though the site itself does not.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chemicals (34), earth (223), electricity (80), equations (149), forces (38), geology (79), geometric shapes (147), motion (56), newton (23)

In the Classroom

Use these interactives when discussing various topics in the content area you choose. Identify the relationship shown in the interactive. For example, under mathematics, choose the interactive for using a Protractor or Balanced Equations. In physics, find many interactives including Earth's Rotation and Factors Affecting Stopping Distance, among many more. In Chemistry, Forming Ionic Bonds and Electrolysis interactives are some of many that are free on this site. These interactives are great for use with an interactive whiteboard or projector for sharing with the class.
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Mystery Science - Keith Schacht & Doug Peltz

Grades
3 to 5
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"Do" science with these engaging, hands-on science lessons. The creators of Mystery Science believe in capturing a child's curiosity and forming it into the ability to think scientifically....more
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"Do" science with these engaging, hands-on science lessons. The creators of Mystery Science believe in capturing a child's curiosity and forming it into the ability to think scientifically. Mystery Science has activities for third through fifth grade. It is set up so the average elementary teacher, with no specialization in science, can deliver intriguing, inquiry-based science lessons. Each grade level has a collection of themes with four to eight lessons. The lessons are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and support the Common Core ELA standards. They include activities, videos and discussions, and extras. The extras include additional activities, informational reading, and more. Keep your eye on Mystery Science! They have four complete units (plants, animals, astronomy, forces) and will be releasing the next unit within a few weeks. Every couple of months throughout the summer and all next school year they will be releasing other new units. Teachers may use all of these, FREE.

tag(s): adaptations (15), animals (259), chemicals (34), dinosaurs (51), erosion (13), forces (38), geology (79), habitats (78), life cycles (26), magnetism (31), matter (49), minerals (14), moon (67), motion (56), natural disasters (20), planets (114), plants (137), rocks (46), stars (58), sun (68), water cycle (33), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Share the Exploration video and discussion questions with your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the excellent activity provided either as a class or in small groups. Some of the Optional Extras (activities, reading, more videos) are outstanding so be sure to look through those to plan ahead. As students work through each unit, you may want to incorporate even more Common Core ELA standards by having them keep a digital journal about what they are learning. One way to do this would be to keep a class (or individual student) blog. A good blogging tool for third through fifth grade is Kidblog, reviewed here. If you have not started blogging yet, check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics. Build thinking skills with a challenging culmination piece. Have pairs or small groups of students use their blog entries to create a field (or nature) notebook. Consider using a tool such as Page Flip-Flap, reviewed here, for this project. Some activities require simple supplies such as brads, sticky tack, and plant seeds.
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Great videos and easy to follow activities. Delaine, TX, Grades: 0 - 12

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Africa - The Nature Conservancy

Grades
7 to 12
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Journey deep into Africa's environmental challenges and solutions in this blog-style offering from the Nature Conservancy. Learn about initiatives to save the elephants, promote sustainable...more
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Journey deep into Africa's environmental challenges and solutions in this blog-style offering from the Nature Conservancy. Learn about initiatives to save the elephants, promote sustainable grazing, establish fisheries, protect and conserve water, and much more. Don't miss the interactive section about the elephants accessible by clicking "#SaveElephants." Much of the Nature Conservancy's efforts focuses on raising funds for their endeavors. However, the many articles and rich images on this site explain and illustrate the issues well.

tag(s): africa (179), animals (259), earth day (110), environment (309), water (125)

In the Classroom

With reading levels from middle to high school, the many posts and articles on this site would be excellent background information for students exploring environmental issues around the world, in this case in Africa. Some of the sections are more image-heavy and could even be accessible with an upper elementary class on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Challenge students (or small groups) to delve into an issue of their choice and explain what has caused the problem and how people are trying to solve it. Their explanation could be a traditional oral presentation, an infographic created with Easel.ly, reviewed here, or a creative video using a tool from the TeachersFirst Edge. Offer this site as an optional extension for your more able students who are passionate about animals and/or the environment. Share it around Earth Day as an option for students to create posters or even raise funds for an environmental cause.

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Great site for science and social studies correlation! Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

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Weather Maker - iknowthat.com

Grades
3 to 8
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This simple animation demonstrates the weather effects that occur when the polar temperature, the tropical temperature, and the relative humidity changes. Use the sliders to change...more
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This simple animation demonstrates the weather effects that occur when the polar temperature, the tropical temperature, and the relative humidity changes. Use the sliders to change the thermometers for the polar and tropical temperatures and the water drop slider to move the relative humidity to a new value. Click Go and observe the weather that results.

tag(s): temperature (30), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use this interactive as an introduction to weather patterns and wind movements on the Earth. Provide time for each student or groups of students to play with the controls and make observations about the weather that results. Make this assignment an online lab activity including an analysis portion about what temperature variations create similar weather outcomes. If they are able, have students research online, or use a textbook, to look for reasons for the weather patterns. This activity can also be used after a class discussion to check for understanding of the concepts.
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Sound Waves - iknowthat.com

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4 to 12
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See sound waves moving through molecules in the air with this interactive. Be sure to notice the red handle at the top. Click the lever to the Illustration side to ...more
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See sound waves moving through molecules in the air with this interactive. Be sure to notice the red handle at the top. Click the lever to the Illustration side to view sound waves moving through the air. Click the word "Clap" to see the sound movements. Moving your cursor around the resulting sound wave will display labels for the areas, items, and a definition. Read information about sound to the right. Move the lever towards Exploring Pitch and Volume. Choose to Strike hard or Strike gently, then click a glass. View the sound waves and the frequency of the sound. Want to print the results? Click the print button at the top.

tag(s): sound (92), waves (22)

In the Classroom

Use these activities to introduce sound before discussing in class as a way to create more connections with the material. Allow time for students to play with Exploring Pitch and Volume and create a simple sentence to describe what they learned. Encourage students to predict what will happen first before striking the glass!
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Science Behind the News - NBC Learn

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5 to 12
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The twelve videos on this site explore the science, technology, engineering, and math found in current events. These videos look behind the news at topics such as tornadoes, opinion...more
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The twelve videos on this site explore the science, technology, engineering, and math found in current events. These videos look behind the news at topics such as tornadoes, opinion polls, allergies, and drug-resistant bacteria. Each video includes a transcript that opens or closes for use while watching videos.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bacteria (31), computers (61), foreign policy (13), news (178), planets (114), plants (137), politics (92), STEM (90), tornadoes (16), video (214)

In the Classroom

Introduce the videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask students to form small groups depending on which video topic they are interested in further exploring. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here, to present what they learned to their classmates. Have older students use these videos as a springboard for further research into the topics found.
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OneGeology Kids - OneGeology

Grades
1 to 5
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Explore different parts of geology through OneGeology's cartoon-like characters. Each character provides information about topics such as rocks and minerals, energy, and earthquakes....more
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Explore different parts of geology through OneGeology's cartoon-like characters. Each character provides information about topics such as rocks and minerals, energy, and earthquakes. Click on the character and go to their page. Pages include a short overview of information, links to more information, photos, and maps with additional detail.

tag(s): dinosaurs (51), earthquakes (46), energy (186), fossils (44), geology (79), maps (272), rocks (46), volcanoes (58), water (125)

In the Classroom

Share OneGeology on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to introduce your geology unit to students. Have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here. Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore on their own. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to explain different geologic phenomenon.

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The Radix Endeavor - MIT's Education Arcade and Scheller Teacher Education Program

Grades
6 to 12
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The Radix Endeavor is a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) for STEM learning in middle and high school. Players interact within the designed environment in which activities take...more
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The Radix Endeavor is a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) for STEM learning in middle and high school. Players interact within the designed environment in which activities take place correlated to biology and mathematics topics. There are options to create an account using email as a private participant or under a teacher account. There is a thorough FAQ section and video tutorials. The tutorials are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): biomes (120), ecology (138), ecosystems (82), engineering (100), measurement (159), money (184), plants (137), STEM (90)

In the Classroom

Create a teacher account to find additional curriculum resources. Add your class and reserve class time. Share The Radix Endeavor with your students as part of STEM teaching lessons. Encourage interested students to become experts and share game-play information with other students. Use The Radix Endeavor as part of your after school math program or with gifted students to extend learning. Be sure to read through the Teachers portion of the site for additional ways to use The Radix Endeavor in the classroom.
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Mosa Mack Science Detective - Lissa Johnson

Grades
5 to 9
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Mosa Mack Science is a web-based library of animated science mysteries with hands-on activities. All are aligned to Science standards. Each unit contains a short animated film, discussion...more
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Mosa Mack Science is a web-based library of animated science mysteries with hands-on activities. All are aligned to Science standards. Each unit contains a short animated film, discussion guides, and engineering design challenges in addition to the hands-on activities. Create your free account using email and a password to access the four free units with topics of photosynthesis, climate change, food webs, and diabetes.
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tag(s): climate change (61), food chains (20), photosynthesis (28), STEM (90)

In the Classroom

Download materials from Mosa Mack lessons to supplement your current teaching materials. View videos on your interactive whiteboard and post a link on your class website for students to view at home. If you have a flipped classroom, have students view videos before coming to class and beginning lessons. Use ideas from this site for science fairs and projects.
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Molecular Workbench - Dr. Charles Xie and The Concord Consortium

Grades
8 to 12
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The Molecular Workbench is a free downloadable software resource for designing and conducting computational science experiments. Download the software and create your own activities...more
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The Molecular Workbench is a free downloadable software resource for designing and conducting computational science experiments. Download the software and create your own activities or explore and use the many existing materials. The software covers a range of topics from gas laws through quantum phenomena. Explore the Showcase to find already-created simulations including directions for use and exploration. Be sure to allow Java to run on your computer when prompted.

tag(s): atoms (55), chemicals (34), experiments (65), gravity (48), mass (22), matter (49), science fairs (23), scientific method (59)

In the Classroom

The Molecular Workbench is perfect for use on interactive whiteboards or projectors. Share simulations with students and explore options for within each simulation to view changes. Create a link to simulations on your class website and allow students to explore at home. Challenge students to download the software and create their own explorations. Use Molecular Workbench as an excellent option for challenging gifted students or for use when creating science fair experiments.

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The Encyclopedia of Earth - Environmental Information Coalition

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Looking for a quality resource about the Earth, organisms, the natural environment, and their interaction with society? This Encyclopedia is a free, quality collection of articles written...more
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Looking for a quality resource about the Earth, organisms, the natural environment, and their interaction with society? This Encyclopedia is a free, quality collection of articles written by professionals, educators, and experts. The project is a collaboration, and articles are reviewed by other experts. Though written by professionals, the articles are not technical, proving useful to students and educators. It is also helpful to other professionals as well as the general public. View the authors and editors attributed to the articles. Be sure to notice the featured articles found in the center of the page. Find chapters or topics along the left side that cover every aspect of the natural and physical world as well as the many issues of human interaction with the Earth. Besides articles, find more at Encyclopedia of Earth including ebooks, lectures, and speeches.

tag(s): agriculture (49), animals (259), biodiversity (41), disasters (39), earth (223), ecology (138), ecosystems (82), energy (186), environment (309), forests (27), plants (137), pollution (69), water (125), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use this resource when students are working on projects that pertain to any part of living things, the natural world, and man's role on the Earth. Be sure to bookmark this site on a class computer or your class website. Be sure to review the authors of the articles, following the links to their biographical pages to look at their expertise. Use this as an exercise in identifying whether information on the Internet is reliable and developing researching skills. As a challenge to your high achieving students, consider asking them to write entries that you can submit to this encyclopedia on classroom topics of interest to them. Students will have to analyze their language and writing style with more scrutiny than other assignments. Consider creating an encyclopedia with content created by students modeled after the style of this tool. Use an online tool such as Weebly, reviewed here, to create a class encyclopedia. Note: As with other resources like Encyclopedia of Earth, content on the site is considered Attribution-Share Alike. Students should always cite their sources in accordance with this type of copyright.

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Global Climate Change - NASA

Grades
3 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Find great background information on Climate Change with this site. Find up to date information about sea and land ice cover, amount of deforestation, carbon dioxide amounts in the...more
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Find great background information on Climate Change with this site. Find up to date information about sea and land ice cover, amount of deforestation, carbon dioxide amounts in the atmosphere, sea level rise, and more along the bottom. Scroll down to view News and Features, What is Climate Change (and find your answers to the Evidence, Causes, Effects, and Solutions), and explore interactives and other information.

tag(s): climate (97), climate change (61)

In the Classroom

Use this resource for some excellent background information on climate change. Create public service announcements outlining the key points from this site. Create a campaign for making small changes in our lives that can add up to a big difference. Assign small groups to explore one facet of this site and create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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