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Teach Coal - American Coal Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Energy is always a hot topic, and what better way to learn about one of America's main resources than to visit this site? The American Coal Foundation's site includes facts ...more
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Energy is always a hot topic, and what better way to learn about one of America's main resources than to visit this site? The American Coal Foundation's site includes facts about coal mining in the U.S., and also, equips teachers with practical lesson plans (linked to National Standards) and experiment ideas. Of course this organization has its own views on coal, but the lesson ideas are solid. The lesson plans include all grade levels. Click on the tabs to find comprehensive information, such as, facts, glossary, and the latest coal news. There are also countless links to other sources about coal. Some of the links require QuickTime or Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): coal (14), energy (198), fire (25), plants (145)

In the Classroom

If you or your students need lumps of coal for experiments, use the website links provided. Any coal company would be glad to accommodate that request. Use the ready-to-go lesson plans in your class. Have students research coal and complete multi-media projects about the benefits or coal. As energy and "gong green" receive more and more media attention, this study can be part of your class debate.
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Windows Into Wonderland - National Park Service

Grades
5 to 8
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Take one of many virtual field trips to Yellowstone. Though the site suggests registration by a teacher, it is not required for the eTrips. View field trips such as "Getting ...more
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Take one of many virtual field trips to Yellowstone. Though the site suggests registration by a teacher, it is not required for the eTrips. View field trips such as "Getting Into Hot Water," "Yellowstone Exposed," "Where The Bison Roam," and "Geyser Quest." Many of the field trips have video and audio components and last approximately 50 minutes. Free registration provides more resources, including a link with lesson plans for teachers. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): national parks (16)

In the Classroom

View aspects of Yellowstone to learn about the Biology and Geology of the park. Illustrate concepts such as biodiversity, adaptation, and many environmental issues as shown in the Yellowstone National Park. Assign student groups to collect "evidence" to use in a class debate on fictitious proposed environmental legislation to change the park.
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Science For Kids - American Chemical Society

Grades
1 to 6
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This great science site includes interactives (Avogadro's Element Hunt, Meg A. Mole's Bouncy Ball Factory, or Plant It for the Planet, among others). There are also countless downloadable...more
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This great science site includes interactives (Avogadro's Element Hunt, Meg A. Mole's Bouncy Ball Factory, or Plant It for the Planet, among others). There are also countless downloadable (PDF) activities. The general science topics available at this site include Chemical and Physical Change, Characteristics of Materials, Solids, Liquids, & Gases, Motion & Energy, Planet Earth, Your Body, Art & Toys, and What Chemists Do. Most topics include many specific activities. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): energy (198), human body (121), motion (59)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free site. Share the interactive games (which are called "games," but are highly educational) on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students work with a partner and explore the "games" that relate to your current science unit. Why not save the site in your favorites on classroom computers or your class web page, so students can easily access the site. You could use these interactives as a learning station. Use the PDF activities in your class. They are easy to follow, offer step-by-step instructions, materials lists, and more. You could set up science centers focused on each of the activities.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Virtual Courseware: Global Warming - Virtual courseware for Earth and Environmental sciences

Grades
9 to 12
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This site is an interactive resource designed to explore the concepts of global warming and the impact on the temperatures of the Earth. Choose "Demonstrations" to explore background...more
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This site is an interactive resource designed to explore the concepts of global warming and the impact on the temperatures of the Earth. Choose "Demonstrations" to explore background information. Demonstrations include "Energy Budget" and "Future Climate." Students use the demonstrations to create data. Run the "Energy Budget Model" to follow directions in the Assignment tab, View Background information, and write in the Journal. Tutorials are available as well as other functions such as printing. Instructors can register for free on the site to view student assessments at the end of the activity. Click "Instructions" to walk through the registration and use. This site requires Java and Flash. Click the "System Requirements" button to test these programs on your computer before proceeding. If you need Java or Flash, you can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): climate (92), climate change (64), energy (198)

In the Classroom

Share this site on individual computers or as a whole class on projector/whiteboard as you discuss global climate change and the data analysis that goes along with it. Use the simulation to determine how present day temperatures are shown with the global warming model. Most students do not trust that a model predicts accurate temperatures. Showing it with current trends and past data allow students a chance to determine whether a fictitious set of data can provide valid results.
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Drought Monitor - University of Nebraska

Grades
6 to 12
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Working with NOAA, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln has created one of the best looking drought monitoring sites we've seen. There are maps showing drought severity, crop data,...more
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Working with NOAA, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln has created one of the best looking drought monitoring sites we've seen. There are maps showing drought severity, crop data, rainfall, and related topics over a wide variety of time series, and the quality of the graphics is well beyond that of most similar sites. If your students are studying weather - or just complaining about the summer heat - this site can shed some light on the problem.

tag(s): agriculture (55), climate (92), fall (16), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Share the maps on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

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3D parks - USGS

Grades
1 to 12
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Make landforms and geology REAL to your students. This site offers a rich collection of 3D photography and tours of the geology of U.S. National Parks. Use these activities with ...more
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Make landforms and geology REAL to your students. This site offers a rich collection of 3D photography and tours of the geology of U.S. National Parks. Use these activities with a variety of ages of students. Choose National Parks to view or print pictures. Pictures (anaglyphs) are best viewed with cheap 3D glasses (just like the movies!) Non 3D images are also found on the site. Pictures are not copyrighted and can be used for any presentation or format as long as you give credit to the site and the USGS. The site includes a tutorial on making anaglyphs. Each National Park has a link to the 3D image, regular image, link to the park website, and a link to other information that includes stratigraphy, virtual tours, or other links. Click "Suggestions for Teachers and Students" for ideas at different grade levels.

tag(s): geology (81), landforms (45), national parks (16)

In the Classroom

Students can look at pictures and decide upon common features they see. Display images side by side on your interactive whiteboard and note the features using the pen tools. Research or explanations about the features can lead to additional research into the natural processes that created them. Students can write "what is it?" clues to identify specific National Parks for others to identify. Share them on your class wiki for others to solve. Since the images are in the public domain, students can download them to include on the "answers" page of the wiki! Create class anaglyphs with pictures and Adobe Photoshop (if available), using the directions provided on the site.

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Dinosaur Dig - National Museum of Natural History

Grades
4 to 12
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Your students can dig dinosaur bones right from their computers. This site has two interactive three-dimensional tours: 1) a tour of a museum room featuring dinosaur artifacts where...more
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Your students can dig dinosaur bones right from their computers. This site has two interactive three-dimensional tours: 1) a tour of a museum room featuring dinosaur artifacts where you can scroll your mouse over the contents to learn more; and 2) from the ground to the museum, you can dig bones out west and then unwrap them for display at the Smithsonian. Of course, with a click of the mouse, your students have a vast amount of information for research or fun, including an interactive dinosaur tree of life. Audio and Flash are necessary. They can be obtained from here: TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): dinosaurs (57)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to effectively show and discuss the dinosaur dig and museum to your class. This Smithsonian website also features a fossil lab slide show if your students crave to learn about this branch of science. Have your students research different types of lesser known dinosaurs and create interactive presentations to share with the class. Rather than a presentation about the research, have students write a fictitious blog post from their researched dinosaur to a large animal of today (such as the elephant). What characteristics do they share? What makes them different?

Teachers of gifted students-- even younger ones-- will want to steer their dinosaur-obsessed students to this site for independent projects.
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Water Cycle - EPA

Grades
3 to 7
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Follow the parts of the water cycle and interactivity with living things, the earth, and the processes that occur in the water cycle. Through the interactive information, students learn...more
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Follow the parts of the water cycle and interactivity with living things, the earth, and the processes that occur in the water cycle. Through the interactive information, students learn the vocabulary and interrelatedness of the water cycle on the Earth. This site requires flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): water (130), water cycle (33)

In the Classroom

Students can be divided into groups to view the four different areas presented. Students can view the section and create study guide questions for the rest of the class. Students can ask questions after viewing using a KWL chart and search for answers to their questions. Students can create a presentation using traditional media (posters or bulletin board) or using multimedia (web page, wiki, video, powerpoint, etc.) A weather report style newscast would be an entertaining method for presentation for the class.
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Nature Detectives - Heritage Lottery Fund

Grades
1 to 6
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Have fun with educational nature games! Try your hand at a variety of activities such as spotted pacman, bubble bug, concrete poetry, a tree's memory, changing bloom, badger wood, or...more
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Have fun with educational nature games! Try your hand at a variety of activities such as spotted pacman, bubble bug, concrete poetry, a tree's memory, changing bloom, badger wood, or dragon wood. Quizzes are found throughout the site on topics such as leaves, weather, or twigs. Educational activities and worksheets can be found on the site as well. Many of the games reinforce basic science concepts. The concrete poetry interactive is a new angle on a classroom creative writing favorite. Click schools for curriculum links and other items to use with students. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): environment (317), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Review material learned in class with related interactive activities. Students can try the activities and create strategy instructions for players to follow. Include the concrete poetry activity as a language arts connection to science class for your elementary students.
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Stormpulse - Stormpulse

Grades
6 to 12
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Scroll through the earth to watch the current paths of tropical storms/hurricanes. View satellite imagery, news, up to date coastal weather, or view storm archives from 1850 to present....more
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Scroll through the earth to watch the current paths of tropical storms/hurricanes. View satellite imagery, news, up to date coastal weather, or view storm archives from 1850 to present. This is not considered an actual weather source but is an aggregate of information on storms. Probabilities of storms and hurricanes are given, based upon weather movement. This interactive site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): hurricanes (35), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Watch storm movement and predict potential path. Use archives to determine common paths, areas where storms are more prevalent, change in numbers of hurricanes in different decades, etc. Use this site as a springboard for further research and better understanding of causes of hurricanes, factors that change the movement, destruction from hurricanes, or how best to prepare for hurricanes. Students can create traditional (poster, bulletin board) or multimedia presentations (newscasts, wiki, blog) on storms or even "create" a mythical storm of the future that follows predictable patterns, documenting it on a class weatherwiki.
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Science Labeling - Scholastic

Grades
2 to 6
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This simple site offers five challenging labeling activities: layers of the Earth, structure of a flower, anatomy of a fish, the respiratory system, and layers of the atmosphere. Each...more
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This simple site offers five challenging labeling activities: layers of the Earth, structure of a flower, anatomy of a fish, the respiratory system, and layers of the atmosphere. Each activity shows the students the labeled item (fish, flower, etc..) for a short period of time, to preview. Then the labels are taken away, and student must click and drag the correct labels to the correct boxes on the diagram. The labels will only "drop" into the correct blank. Activities are also available in Spanish. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): atmosphere (26), earth (228), fish (24)

In the Classroom

There are five possible topics to explore at this site: if you are learning about the layers of the earth, plants, fish, respiratory system, or the atmosphere, use this site to review the terms learned during your unit. This site could also be used as an introduction to a new unit. During science class, have students explore this site on individual computers. Allow students to choose which topic they wish to "label." Don't forget the headsets.
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We can change the world challenge - Siemens

Grades
5 to 8
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Use the virtual lab activities on the Siemens Challenge website to investigate energy-related topics. Choose from "Wow, Windmills," "How Big Is Your Footprint," "Ponder This," "Everyday...more
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Use the virtual lab activities on the Siemens Challenge website to investigate energy-related topics. Choose from "Wow, Windmills," "How Big Is Your Footprint," "Ponder This," "Everyday Fossil Fuels," "The Ever-changing River," and more. Each activity begins with an introduction, investigation where factors are changed, and results. Registration and login is not required for the virtual labs. A teacher section contains great lesson plans dealing with fuels and biodiversity as well as many others. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): biodiversity (38), conservation (127), diversity (36), ecology (135), energy (198), fossil fuels (18), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Introduce units with the virtual lab to build background information. Assign each group a different factor to manipulate, and have them report back to the class with their results. Students can then identify factors needed to understand the concept as well as questions. Have students research or provide them the information to answer their questions. Use the lesson plan and extension activities for understanding. Students can join in the Siemens Challenge or create a proposal in their community or school to improve use of natural resources and biodiversity.
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Saving electricity - Michael Bluejay

Grades
7 to 12
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Learn the basics of electricity: the meaning of kilowatt hour, reading bills, and identifying how different appliances use electricity. Students can browse a wealth of resources written...more
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Learn the basics of electricity: the meaning of kilowatt hour, reading bills, and identifying how different appliances use electricity. Students can browse a wealth of resources written in easy-to-understand terms on energy saving devices, carbon footprints, and alternate forms of energy.

tag(s): climate (92), climate change (64), conservation (127), electricity (89), energy (198)

In the Classroom

Students can work in groups to research various issues regarding electricity use. Students can create powerpoints, multimedia presentations, or wiki pages to demonstrate what they have learned. Have your students present to members of the class and follow up with a town hall debate concerning household, local, and other decisions concerning electricity use and production.

Have students learn to read their electricity bill and create an action plan to save electricity. Have students journal or blog the changes that were made and the savings in money and pollution. Identify energy wasters at school and formulate a plan to save money and resources. an to save money and resources.

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Water Busters - Saving Water Partnership

Grades
K to 4
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Teach basics of water conservation with this free online game. Use your keyboard arrows to move Phil Dumpster through his house and yard to find water wasters and waste water ...more
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Teach basics of water conservation with this free online game. Use your keyboard arrows to move Phil Dumpster through his house and yard to find water wasters and waste water problems. Find tools for Phil's toolbox to fix the problems. Students will have to find the problems and fix them before the leaking water runs out. As the game plays, students can also find members of Phil's family wasting water. Learn tips for water conservation at the end of each of the four levels. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): conservation (127), environment (317), water (130)

In the Classroom

Have student identify ways that their family can conserve water and specific water wasters at home. Students can then play the game and add additional items to their list. Have groups of students create a poster, multimedia presentation, or wiki/blog entry about specific ways to conserve water. Have students create a plan for their families that encourages water conservation. Students can even read the water bill with their parents and compare water usage before and after making changes.

Click on the link for more information about teaching conservation and other resources.
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Weather Watch - Scholastic

Grades
2 to 6
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This site provides an interactive weather maker. Once you have read the "how to" page, simply click Start to use the interactive weather maker. At the interactive, students use...more
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This site provides an interactive weather maker. Once you have read the "how to" page, simply click Start to use the interactive weather maker. At the interactive, students use the Equator ward Temperature, Pole ward Temperature, and Relative Humidity to create days of sunshine, snow, rain, wind, and more. Simple descriptions and reference information is provided during the weather changes. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): climate (92), temperature (29), weather (188)

In the Classroom

If your class is learning about the weather, check out this simple site. Challenge your students (on individual computers or with a partner) to create days of sun, rain, snow, and wind. Have students keep a "weather log" describing what factors created the various types of weather. If individual computers aren't available, use an interactive whiteboard or projector and have students take turns "changing the weather."
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Moon Olympics - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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This intriguing website shows you various cartoon video clips of sports (such as weight lifting, diving, golfing, and others) being played on Earth. Then you try the same sport on ...more
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This intriguing website shows you various cartoon video clips of sports (such as weight lifting, diving, golfing, and others) being played on Earth. Then you try the same sport on the moon. You are given multiple choice answers to choose from to determine the outcome of the same sport on the moon. Learn about the atmosphere, air, water, gravity, and more.

tag(s): air (163), atmosphere (26), moon (72), sports (97), water (130)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. This is a perfect addition to a physics unit or while teaching about the atmosphere. Take your students to the moon to play a different sport each day and then discuss the science behind that sport on both Earth and the moon. Ask students to predict what will happen before you start the game.
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Project Vulcan - Purdue University

Grades
9 to 12
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This site shows carbon dioxide emissions across the U.S. One graph shows the differences in CO2 emissions in different seasons. Another has a list and graph of the top emitting ...more
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This site shows carbon dioxide emissions across the U.S. One graph shows the differences in CO2 emissions in different seasons. Another has a list and graph of the top emitting counties across the U.S. A YouTube video liked from the site explains the project, discusses its parameters and results, and displays maps of the U.S. which show different types of noxious sources on a very close-up scale. Vulcan project scientists plan to do similar mapping for Mexico and Canada. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), pollution (66)

In the Classroom

Use the video and data graphics when studying the effect of man-made energy burners on the ecosystem. Share the video on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Also, students studying different types of non-static graphs can analyze the different displays of the effects of CO2 on the atmosphere and weather.
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StarDate Online - McDonald Observatory

Grades
K to 12
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Use this comprehensive site to learn about the planets of the solar system as well as other objects. Use the "Stargazing" tab to view "Weekly Tips," "Sky Almanac," "Constellation Guide,"...more
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Use this comprehensive site to learn about the planets of the solar system as well as other objects. Use the "Stargazing" tab to view "Weekly Tips," "Sky Almanac," "Constellation Guide," "Moon Phases," "Beginner's Guide," and more. Under the "Teacher's" tab use resources such as "Lesson Plans," "Classroom Activities," "StarDate in the Classroom," or "Teacher Workshops." Materials in the teacher section provide activity directions, materials needed, as well. as documents in Adobe pdf format. There are lessons from K-12. In the "Resources" section, you will find a wealth of information and pictures about the Sun, inner planets, outer planets, and minor bodies. View past and future planned space missions. Links to keywords allow for a greater understanding of the material. Activities in the "Resources" section are listed along the side with appropriate ages. Ask Merlin provides questions and their answers. A tab to the "Gift Shop" is available, so students should be cautioned. Some of the classroom activities require Adobe Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): planets (123), solar system (119), space (205)

In the Classroom

Use the activities in the Teacher's resource section to provide background material for understanding Astronomy. Many activities may already be known to the teacher, but these are thoroughly explained. Students could even teach the concepts to their classmates and use these activities as a demonstration.
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Hurricane Hunters Association - Hurricane Hunter Association

Grades
4 to 12
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Hurricane Hunters is a resource to find photos and data from past hurricanes. Hurricanes and data are archived by year. Find photos from above a hurricane with logs and information...more
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Hurricane Hunters is a resource to find photos and data from past hurricanes. Hurricanes and data are archived by year. Find photos from above a hurricane with logs and information from the planes that follow the storms. Research more information about science and meteorology by using the multitude of links provided. Real time data of current storm conditions in the world are available on the website. View spectacular photos in the "Photos" section or click on "Questions" to read the most often asked questions and their answers. In the "Questions" is a link to a cyberflight that walks through the before, during, and after of a Hurricane Hunter flight. This site is mostly text and pictures.

A link to a "Hurricane Hunters Gift shop" is found on the main page and students should be advised to avoid such an advertisement. The site requires Flash for storm updates. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): hurricanes (35), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Compare numbers of hurricanes of various years. Plot locations, and storm paths on the same chart (or in Google Earth) to determine the origination point and landfall or end point of the hurricanes to draw conclusions. Use the information to determine the physical characteristics of the hurricanes (instead of looking them up in an encyclopedia). Determine the areas of the world where hurricanes occur in order to understand factors responsible for hurricane formation. Have students track a current hurricane and use information learned on this site to predict the spot where it will make landfall and provide reasoning for their choice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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National Renewable Energy Laboratory - US Department of Energy

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Learn about alternative technologies such as "Advanced Vehicles and Fuels," Basic Sciences," "Biomass," "Buildings," "Energy Analysis," "Geothermal," "Hydrogen and Fuel Cells," "Solar,"...more
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Learn about alternative technologies such as "Advanced Vehicles and Fuels," Basic Sciences," "Biomass," "Buildings," "Energy Analysis," "Geothermal," "Hydrogen and Fuel Cells," "Solar," and "Wind." Use the site for some great background information on alternative technologies as well as links to other information. View publications in Adobe pdf that can be downloaded for additional information. Adobe Acrobat is available at the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): ecology (135), energy (198), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Divide the class into groups to read and decide information that should be presented in class. Use the information to make recommendations to their families, school district, or the community for future energy change. Use these discussions to determine how they can best meet energy needs of the future. In government class, ask student groups to prepare a policy statement on energy for a hypothetical political candidate.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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