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Sea Monsters Virtual Dig - National Geographic

Grades
3 to 12
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Students are always fascinated and intrigued about animals that are extinct. Follow the actual work of paleontologists in this interactive site. Choose a fossil dig site to start from...more
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Students are always fascinated and intrigued about animals that are extinct. Follow the actual work of paleontologists in this interactive site. Choose a fossil dig site to start from "Giant fish's last meal," "Deadly dinosaur duel," or "Dinosaur nest." Read introductions and background information about paleontology. Use the basic tools of paleontology to uncover fossil remains. Move the tools (hammer, pick, and brush) to areas you wish to use them. After clearing enough of the structures, the fossil will automatically be revealed. Move on to the view the steps for the preparation of the shipment of the fossil and the reporting of the findings .

Follow the links along the top to resources and lesson plans for all levels in pdf documents, pictures, movie trailers, and an interactive time line. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): fossils (46), paleontology (42)

In the Classroom

Use this site to share information about fossil digs. Students can fit these animals into time lines of other animals discussed in class. Use during a unit about ecosystems and food chains as well as how the remains of fossils have become the fuels of today.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Map Collections Home Page - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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The Library of Congress offers this searchable database of historical maps, which includes a large collection of city maps, maps of military battles and campaigns, maps related to transportation...more
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The Library of Congress offers this searchable database of historical maps, which includes a large collection of city maps, maps of military battles and campaigns, maps related to transportation and communication, and maps focused on exploration and discovery. Within each category, you can search geographically or by time period. Each map accessed can be navigated using a zoom feature for better viewing. Maps cover a wide range of national and international subjects.

tag(s): battles (17), environment (319), maps (289), transportation (41)

In the Classroom

Teachers with interactive whiteboards or projectors will find these maps a natural companion to lessons involving history, geography, and cultural changes. Sometimes seeing a map drawn at the same time as the event under discussion can lend a whole new understanding of the culture of the people being studied. It's far more dramatic to imagine sailing into the unknown on a voyage of discovery while you look at the only maps available to those aboard.

Be sure to have students use the whiteboard tools to draw in their own "corrections" or annotations showing the movement of people or strategies used in battles. Since thee resources are in the public domain, you are allowed to copy them into your whiteboard software and keep the student annotations atop the maps, as well. The maps also make good visuals for "mock" blog entries by historical figures!

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Showing Evidence: Analyzing and Evaluating Information - Intel Education

Grades
3 to 12
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Give your students the skills to analyze and evaluate information with Intel's free "Showing Evidence tool." "Showing Evidence" provides a visual framework to help students learn how...more
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Give your students the skills to analyze and evaluate information with Intel's free "Showing Evidence tool." "Showing Evidence" provides a visual framework to help students learn how to construct well-reasoned arguments and prove their case with credible evidence. Students are prompted to consider the quality of the evidence and the strength of the evidence to support their claim. When an argument is complicated, the components of the tool help students think through justifying a claim.

This web-based tool is accompanied by detailed lesson plans designed for elementary, middle, and high school students. A variety of subject areas and projects are ready to adapt for the classroom or implement as-is. Explore the project ideas, instructional strategies, assessment tips, and research to help you plan a project of your own. Registration is free and creates a teacher workspace in which to build the class project. The password-protected workspace is accessed through the internet where students log on with the teacher-created ID, team ID, and password. Students can access the project workspace from home or though other Internet access points such as the public library.

Be sure to disable your popup blocker, as the site needs to show popup windows during the project. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat Reader. Get these tools from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): debate (43), folktales (65), shakespeare (131), thinking skills (18)

In the Classroom

Teachers can use the comprehensive tutorial to learn the features of the tool and use the workspace to practice with the tool. Take advantage of the detailed unit plans that provide usable handouts and student work samples. Or just browse through several shorter project descriptions for project ideas that suit your classroom.

Make a shortcut to this site on your desktop and student computer desktops for easy access. Use the "Showing Evidence "tool to explore themes such as why do we explore, what happens next, is everything we read true, and what is freedom? Have student teams stage debates using their visual diagrams to show their thinking processes to the class using an interactive whiteboard or projector.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Fossil Mysteries - San Diego National History Museum

Grades
2 to 10
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Learn all about fossils and paleontology. For the online information and interactives, choose "Activities Online" from the left side navigation menu. Choose "Who moved the Body" to...more
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Learn all about fossils and paleontology. For the online information and interactives, choose "Activities Online" from the left side navigation menu. Choose "Who moved the Body" to learn how dinosaur fossils are made and unearthed. Click on "What Am I" to learn how paleontologists determine the names of the bones and the dinosaur identified from a fossil. The "Fossil Field Guide" provides extensive information about many extinct animals, their ecology, characteristics, and where they used to live. The "Geologic Time line" on the right side allows you to explore the different geologic time periods and the organisms that would be found there. "Educational Resources" can be used to visit "Dinosaur Dig," to view frequently asked questions, play "Jurassic Jumble" for interactive puzzles (requires Java), view a slide show, or "Name that Reptile." The educational resources contain a large and varied amount of information that includes many other titles such as "The Science of Jurassic Park." ." Younger readers will need help with many of the text passages. Several printable resources are available and require Adobe PDF. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): dinosaurs (58), geology (82), paleontology (42)

In the Classroom

Students can use the information in the Fossil Field Guide to create dioramas, posters, or digital media by using Make Beliefs Comics to create a fictional story of the extinct animal. Students can also use this information to show adaptations of organisms or similarities and differences between them. The information can also be used to identify structures that are also present in today's animal kingdom. Create a class time line that stretches the room and plots the animals that were present during each time period.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Ozone Resource page - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Grades
8 to 12
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Use this site to understand the ozone and how it affects our air quality and life here on Earth. Satellite imagery of ozone holes includes an updated daily picture and ...more
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Use this site to understand the ozone and how it affects our air quality and life here on Earth. Satellite imagery of ozone holes includes an updated daily picture and comparison over the last decades. NASA facts listed on the side include an opportunity to learn more about the information presented, watch satellite images from the last 7 days, view animations, compare year-to-date, and look at the annual records since 1979 using "Ozone Hole Watch." Information about the ozone and how it is measured is explained in detail here. "Explore the ozone with NASA" by viewing a short video that outlines the ozone and discusses new research and climate change. Use the "Resources for News Media" to view the Multimedia gallery for pictures of the largest ozone hole on record, the Arctic vortex, and Earth's Atmospheric Layers. Information about ozone depleting chemicals and ozone chemistry is also found here. View video of the ozone missions from NASA. "Ozone Hole 101" provides basic content about the ozone that is easy to understand for students. Read interesting information such as "Ozone levels drop when hurricanes are strengthening" and "Ozone hole is a double record breaker." This site requires Quicktime and animations require Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): earth (231), earth day (111), environment (319), ozone (10)

In the Classroom

Students can use the resources in "Ozone Hole Watch" to determine the trends in the ozone either daily or over the years. Further research involving political, consumer, and environmental trends can bring insights into effects on the ozone layer. Using the wealth of material on the site, students can use the information to create a "Handbook of the Earth" (as an example) to understand how the ozone affects us in our current and future lives. Students can also work in groups and be assigned portions of the content to study. They can then present their findings to the rest of the class (using a multi-media presentation). Students can use this information in conjunction with environmental or Earth Day activities in or out of class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Footprints Science - Footprints Science

Grades
4 to 12
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Footprints Science consists of simulations and interactives on many key concepts that are difficult to visualize and understand in Science. The site offers purchase of different modules...more
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Footprints Science consists of simulations and interactives on many key concepts that are difficult to visualize and understand in Science. The site offers purchase of different modules or the complete collection. Samples, however, are free to use. Biology samples include "DNA drag and drop," "Kidney animation," "Fertilisation animation," and "Breathing animation." Chemistry samples include "Periodic Table interactive activity," "States of matter animation," and "Atomic structure activity."Physics samples include "Forces animation," "Power Station animation," and "Phases of Moon animation." Coursework includes "Variables," "Planning," "Graph," and "Line of best fit." More animations and interactives for each subject are available. The items are designed to be used with instruction to make the concepts more engaging. Interactives use drag and drop labeling with immediate feedback and allow pausing to stop the animation. Quizzes and games are also available. Graphics are very well done and easy to see, making difficult concepts much easier to understand. Interactives can be viewed as a large screen. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), dna (68), forces (46), matter (61), moon (74), periodic table (51), variables (22)

In the Classroom

The resource is an exciting add-on to teacher lessons and exceptional when used on an interactive whiteboard or projector. The samples can be used as a pre-lesson for students to obtain the general gist of the concept and brainstorm key points that they recognize from the simulation or interactive. Teachers can then use the student insights to discuss the content being presented and piece together the information. Teachers can also use the samples after original discussion of the content to reinforce material that students should learn and offer a visual representation of the topic. The simulation can also be used as reinforcement. Students can watch the simulation and then "explain the experiment" by putting the concept into their own words to demonstrate understanding.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Volcanoes: Can We Predict Volcanic Eruptions - Annenberg Media

Grades
8 to 12
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This website highlights the many active volcanoes worldwide and answers the question, "Can we predict volcanic eruptions?" The highlight of this website is the "case files" students...more
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This website highlights the many active volcanoes worldwide and answers the question, "Can we predict volcanic eruptions?" The highlight of this website is the "case files" students read through to predict an eruption. Other topics include Melting Rocks, Dynamic Earth, Judging Hazards, Forecasting, & Coping With Risk . One of the video clips requires QuickTime, some of the interactive activities also require FLASH. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): plate tectonics (25)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to take your students on this volcanic adventure. Have your students take on the role of "weather chasers." Study the case files together, read about the warning signs, and see if your students can "track the volcano."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Guns Germs, & Steel - PBS

Grades
9 to 12
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Jared Diamond's book Guns Germs & Steel won a Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. This website presents an overview of some of the major threads of Diamond's thesis as ...more
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Jared Diamond's book Guns Germs & Steel won a Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction. This website presents an overview of some of the major threads of Diamond's thesis as presented in the PBS special based upon the book. Diamond suggests that geography may have been the single most important factor in the rise and fall of civilizations over the course of human history. The site examines some of the variables that have contributed to the success or failure of societies through history, including crops, animals, technology, and climate. There are lesson plans tied to national standards associated with each of the televised episodes. While viewing the series is an option, much can be gained by examining the lesson plans even without watching the series.

tag(s): cultures (106)

In the Classroom

The information contained here will be most helpful in planning lessons on the interdependence of culture, geography and technology. Students may find information here for research purposes, but this site should be considered mostly for its usefulness to teachers in advance of unit planning.

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Rock Cycle - Annenberg Media

Grades
6 to 10
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This website takes students on a virtual "rock hunt." Throughout the journey, students learn about the three main types of rock - sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. Specific examples...more
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This website takes students on a virtual "rock hunt." Throughout the journey, students learn about the three main types of rock - sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. Specific examples of each type of rock are highlighted. Other topics of interest include "How Rocks Change" and "The Rock Cycle Diagram." There are animations that demonstrate the effects of extreme heat or cold on a rock. Volcanoes are used to demonstrate some of the changes. Weathering, erosion, compacting, and cementing are also discussed. There are several interactive "rock" activities along the way. The final activity is a review "test" about the interactive "rock hunt." Many of the activities throughout the "rock hunt" require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): acting (27), erosion (17), rock cycle (10), rocks (50), volcanoes (64), weather (194)

In the Classroom

Wow! If your class is studying rocks and the rock cycle, do yourself (and your students) a favor and take advantage of this wonderful resource. Use your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to take your students on this virtual "rock" journey. This website would also work well as a learning station for cooperative learning groups. Why not set-up several stations all about rocks. Use this website as one station on a cluster of computers, have a "hands-on" rock center with examples of each type of rock and testing equipment, make a literature/research center with books about rocks and samples to identify. Other centers could include watching a short documentary on rocks and volcanoes, a lab-report writing station, and many others.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The College of Exploration - Video Showcase - The College of Exploration

Grades
6 to 12
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This phenomenal website provides twelve short videos about a variety of oceanography and marine biology topics. Specific video topics include: Predators Among Us, Hawaiian Hotspots,...more
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This phenomenal website provides twelve short videos about a variety of oceanography and marine biology topics. Specific video topics include: Predators Among Us, Hawaiian Hotspots, Maritime History, Shipwrecks of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, A Polynesian Story, Saved by a Shark, Biodiversity, SPLASH: Monitoring Humpback Whales, Exploring Plate Tectonics, Volunteer Monitoring, Marine Protected Areas, and SIMoN Says. Each video is only a few minutes in length and could easily be incorporated into your lessons. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): biodiversity (38), diversity (36), hawaii (7), marine biology (33), oceans (150), whales (16)

In the Classroom

Use one of these videos (or several) as an anticipatory set for a science lesson on one of the topics, sharing the video on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Students will enjoy the "up close" look at the ocean and its many creatures. Or have students work in cooperative learning groups and choose one of the videos to view as a group. Have the groups share the information from their video clip. If you are looking for a science research project, why not assign one of the twelve topics to each of your students and have them further investigate the specific topic.
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NOVA: Science Now - Hurricanes - PBS

Grades
5 to 12
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This fascinating website presents middle and high school students with concise but eclectic information about hurricanes. Topics range from Hurricane Katrina, to an online quiz, to...more
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This fascinating website presents middle and high school students with concise but eclectic information about hurricanes. Topics range from Hurricane Katrina, to an online quiz, to a 12-minute video clip. The video explains the "how" behind predicting a hurricane's direction and path. It also explains how the intensity affects various cities (such as New Orleans). The video clip requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): hurricanes (38), weather (194)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check out the "Teachers Guide." There you can click on "Classroom Activities" to find a lesson plan, additional links, and explicit standards. Use the additional links included with the lesson plan for students to do further research about hurricanes. Have them work in pairs to research various "famous" hurricanes and add them to a class "disaster" or "weather" wiki.
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Underwater Exploration - University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute

Grades
6 to 12
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This informative website examines the facts of underwater exploration. Specific links include cool science, diving, experiments, quizzes, timelines, and tools/gear. The timeline provides...more
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This informative website examines the facts of underwater exploration. Specific links include cool science, diving, experiments, quizzes, timelines, and tools/gear. The timeline provides historical information about underwater exploration from prehistoric times through the 2000s. A lot of this information relates to the Great Lakes. However, the website also informs users of general underwater exploration (not specific to the Great Lakes area). Dive on in and take a peek!

tag(s): oceans (150), water (131)

In the Classroom

The experiments link provides some quick and easy (offline) experiments. Use one of these experiments as an anticipatory set for this lesson or an entire unit about underwater exploration. Be sure to use your projection screen (or interactive whiteboard) to share the wealth of information and activities available at this website. As you learn about natural resources, have one group investigate underwater exploration while another looks into challenges underground and another into space.

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NOVA Online: The Perfect Pearl - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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The "Perfect Pearl" was created to coincide with a PBS broadcast. However, the information is useful and informative without viewing the program. The topics include "What's Killing...more
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The "Perfect Pearl" was created to coincide with a PBS broadcast. However, the information is useful and informative without viewing the program. The topics include "What's Killing the Oysters," "Culture of Freshwater Pearls," "How Many Pearls," and "The History of Pearls." The "How Many Pearls" activity combines the science of pearls with higher-level math skills.

tag(s): environment (319), japan (61)

In the Classroom

This website would make an excellent "mini-research" project or a case study into real world ocean science and the problems of determining man's possible impact on nature. Divide your class into cooperative learning groups. Have the groups delve into one of the four main topics discussed. Then have each group present the information to the remainder of the class or prepare a "presentation" for world gem traders on the future of pearls. Check out the Teacher's Guide for additional ideas about how to integrate this website into your lessons.

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NOVA: Science Now - Stronger Hurricanes - PBS

Grades
5 to 12
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This site explores the connection between global warming and intense hurricanes. There are two FLASH video clips (4-6 minutes each): "Hotter Oceans, Fiercer Storms" and "Hurricane Katrina."...more
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This site explores the connection between global warming and intense hurricanes. There are two FLASH video clips (4-6 minutes each): "Hotter Oceans, Fiercer Storms" and "Hurricane Katrina." Get FLASH from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. There is also an audio slideshow that examines the connection between the rising temperatures of the sea and more powerful storms. PBS provides some of the original broadcast video clips, as well, in multiple file formats.

tag(s): climate (92), climate change (64), hurricanes (38)

In the Classroom

What an excellent website to use if your class is studying climate, weather, or Hurricane Katrina. Use an interactive whiteboard (or projector) to share the video clips with your class. Don't forget to turn up the volume. After viewing the video clips, have your students write a letter or blog entry explaining their fictitious "experience" with a hurricane, using three facts that they learned from the video clip. Or turn down the sound and have students write and perform a news-story style narration of their own for a video clip from the site.
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Maps and Graphics - United Nations Environment Programme

Grades
9 to 12
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Looking for a way to graphically display world or environmental problems? These world maps can be used to view complicated topics in a way that students can "see." Choose Freshwater,...more
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Looking for a way to graphically display world or environmental problems? These world maps can be used to view complicated topics in a way that students can "see." Choose Freshwater, Diversity and Conservation, Climate Change, Pollution, Environment and Poverty, and Urban Issues. Search global and regional data to create your own interactive map. View materials and maps by region, category, or collection. Graphics can be downloaded in pdf (readable in Acrobat Reader) or graphic png files (readable in Picture/Fax viewer or your built-in image program).

tag(s): climate (92), conservation (128), data (148), environment (319), pollution (67), statistics (123), water (131)

In the Classroom

Use a graphic comparison between different areas of the world as a starting point for environmental or social problems discussions. An interactive whiteboard with drawing and highlighting tools will allow your students to "work" with the data both visually and tactilely. Students can gain a global perspective to problems and better grasp the meaning of data. Students can then research specifics or reasons behind the statistics shown on the graphic. For example, use a map of Population of World by Poverty. Students can then research the populations of the countries as well as the possible reasons for the poverty. Students can calculate the percent differences between countries or different years. Have students make comparisons into multimedia or traditional presentations. Students can also have class discussions, debates about policies, or create a wiki to show information and sides of the issues and to make the data "show" something more meaningful than a simple number.
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Who Dung It? - BBC

Grades
6 to 10
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Use logical reasoning, your knowledge of prehistoric animals, and the scientific approach of a paleontologist to match the type of ancient "dung" to the animal who produced it. After...more
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Use logical reasoning, your knowledge of prehistoric animals, and the scientific approach of a paleontologist to match the type of ancient "dung" to the animal who produced it. After finding out if you are right, read about the creature whose droppings are featured. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): dinosaurs (58), fossils (46), paleontology (42)

In the Classroom

Hook your reluctant scientists and readers with this interactive challenge. This is a great way to introduce scientific approach and provide students with practice in the logic scientists use. Share the site on a projector or laptops as a whole class or partner activity to introduce your "what is science" unit, especially with skeptical middle schoolers.
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Air Data - United States Environmental Protection Agency

Grades
9 to 12
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This website allows students to view the air quality of any state in the USA. Choose a region of the US, a state, or a specific zip code. The site ...more
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This website allows students to view the air quality of any state in the USA. Choose a region of the US, a state, or a specific zip code. The site provides a detailed information sheet (Air Data Report). The website allows you to choose several states (or regions) to compare and analyze the data. Visit the Air Data Home Page to learn about the various features and information available at this website. This site requires FLASH. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): air (163), data (148), environment (319), pollution (67)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous authentic instruction tool for any science class studying air quality or pollution. Why not divide the students into groups to investigate a specific pollutant or to compare different regions of the United States. Use this tool to enable students to generate data, analyze the data, research trends, create a plan of action to improve air quality, investigate surrounding landforms, or other lesson ideas.
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Planet Science - NESTA

Grades
K to 12
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This MUST SEE interactive science website features eight specific areas. The "News" section includes weekly news updates and features. "Wired" has challenging interactive games for...more
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This MUST SEE interactive science website features eight specific areas. The "News" section includes weekly news updates and features. "Wired" has challenging interactive games for grades 4-12. "Sci-Teach" provides countless resources for teachers of all grades. "Out There" takes you to the "back garden of science delights," including inventors, sound, vampires, and the flu. "Parents" has useful ideas - even science experiments for children's parties. "Under 11s" is geared for younger students, an excellent collection!. The activities teach traditional science topics using new multimedia. The "Next Steps" link challenges students to think about their future careers (both science and non-science). There are printable pages and interactive activities for elementary, middle, and high school students. The "Library" link features countless online science resources.

Nearly every one of the activities requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): inventors and inventions (97), planets (126), sports (97), water (131)

In the Classroom

Nearly all of the activities are ideal for interactive whiteboards (or projectors). This site is so rich it may be overwhelming. If you are an elementary teacher, start at the "Under 11s" link. Otherwise, visit the "Sci-Teach" link first for some excellent ideas, resources, and science fun. Preview this site before starting any science unit to find related activites and extensions.
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Celebrating NASA's 50th Anniversary - NASA

Grades
4 to 12
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Celebrate NASA's 50th anniversary by learning about its major feats and heroes. While this site has pages of information through fact sheets, its greatest asset is the interactive...more
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Celebrate NASA's 50th anniversary by learning about its major feats and heroes. While this site has pages of information through fact sheets, its greatest asset is the interactive time line where students scroll through the years of space exploration using their mouse, and then clicking on the blocks to learn more about NASA's accomplishments.

tag(s): moon (74), nasa (40), space (213)

In the Classroom

Celebrations for NASA's 50 years continue throughout 2008, so put this unit on your calendar early. Check out the calendar of events to coordinate your lessons with NASA events. In addition, the NASA Links section found at the left is your portal to all NASA websites and web pages.
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Who's Got What? - sciencemuseum

Grades
3 to 12
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This interactive website displays the natural energy resources found throughout the world. This website is appropriate for any grade studying and/or researching natural resources and/or...more
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This interactive website displays the natural energy resources found throughout the world. This website is appropriate for any grade studying and/or researching natural resources and/or forms of energy. To use the map, you simply click on one of the eight symbols at the bottom left-side. Resources include gas, oil, sunshine, uranium, wood, coal, wind, and geothermal. This site requires FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): coal (14), earth (231), earth day (111), electricity (91), energy (202), natural resources (59), oil (45), resources (112)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous resource for any class studying various forms of energy and natural resources found throughout the world. This would be an excellent addition to a science class studying about energy, or a geography class learning about the resources found on the various continents of the world. Even earth science classes can locate resources and explain how the geology of these areas provides the resources.
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