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NOVA: Mars - Design a Parachute - PBS

Grades
5 to 12
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The challenge for this hands-on virtual engineering experiment is to design a parachute for a safe landing on the planet Mars. Students must consider volume, drag, strength, and stability...more
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The challenge for this hands-on virtual engineering experiment is to design a parachute for a safe landing on the planet Mars. Students must consider volume, drag, strength, and stability as they create their parachute. There are detailed instructions provided on the main page of the activity. This website is interactive and very cool! The interactive activities require Flash, get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): volume (45)

In the Classroom

Students will love the challenge of creating a safe parachute for the astronauts. Try an interactive whiteboard or partner-shared computers and get ready for an exciting journey. If you use the whiteboard, be sure to ask students to write their lab observations and record data as they experiment. the class can vote on what to try next. As the interactive reminds you, there are "costs" to wasteful experimenting. Perhaps you want to limit the number of class attempts allowed for everyone to receive a high grade. Then watch the debate!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Interactive Whiteboard Resources - Secondary Science - Think Bank Limited

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6 to 12
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This website provides numerous resources that can be downloaded and used in secondary science classes. All of the resources are designed to use on an interactive whiteboard. Specific...more
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This website provides numerous resources that can be downloaded and used in secondary science classes. All of the resources are designed to use on an interactive whiteboard. Specific topics include genetic crossing, writing scientific explanations, mitosis and meiosis, the periodic table, rock cycles and many others. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): energy (198), matter (58), periodic table (50), solar system (119)

In the Classroom

Use these "ready to go" resources on your interactive whiteboard.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Andy's Los Alamos Blog - TeachersFirst

Grades
7 to 12
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TeachersFirst is proud to offer this chance to experience the life of a physics researcher through the eyes and dry humor of our own physics blogger, Andy. As an undergraduate ...more
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TeachersFirst is proud to offer this chance to experience the life of a physics researcher through the eyes and dry humor of our own physics blogger, Andy. As an undergraduate not long out of the high school physics lab, Andy brings us into the "real world" of scientific research but can still connect with the middle or high school student who may be wondering, "When am I ever gunna use this stuff?" Spending the summer of 2007 at Los Alamos National Labs, Andy shares his day-to-day discoveries and gives your students a chance to respond to the blog, perhaps connecting to a "real" scientist for the first time.

In the Classroom

Share this resource with your science students or gifted classes on your teacher web page and encourage them to follow it throughout the summer. Andy promises to keep all of us up to date and, within time constraints, respond to meaningful comments.

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The American Experience: Technology - PBS

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6 to 12
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A companion to a PBS series on the impact of technology on culture, this site links to discussions of three separate innovations: the telephone, the television and the New ...more
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A companion to a PBS series on the impact of technology on culture, this site links to discussions of three separate innovations: the telephone, the television and the New York City subway. There is also a nice technology time line that shows students the explosion of inventions beginning in the 19th century. Teachers' guides within each section provide lesson plan ideas.

tag(s): evolution (100), industrial revolution (25), vision (87)

In the Classroom

The Flash-enabled technology timeline would be a great illustration of the impact of the industrial revolution on American culture. Use this on an interactive whiteboard or projector as you ask students to imagine their worlds without these inventions and predict the next ground breaking technology. While the section on the New York City subway system may seem to be less important, students might be encouraged to think about the relative failure of public transportation in the US and how that impacts the current oil crisis.
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Secrets of the Dead: The Sinking of the Andrea Doria - PBS

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6 to 12
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This site accompanies a PBS episode on the sinking of the Andrea Doria. Following a "crime scene investigation" model, the episode looks at the controversy behind the collision between...more
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This site accompanies a PBS episode on the sinking of the Andrea Doria. Following a "crime scene investigation" model, the episode looks at the controversy behind the collision between the Doria and the Stockholm in 1956, and efforts to examine the wreck off the coast of New England. The site's usefulness is not limited to history teachers, however! There is a significant portion devoted to the science of deep sea diving.

In the Classroom

Use the excellent flash-enabled interactive "Diving Deep" to illustrate the physical properties of deep-sea diving that can endanger the lives of divers. There is also a detailed lesson plan in the Teacher Toolbox section that offers hands-on activities for exploring gas laws that affect divers, and printable handouts that provide questions on the lessons.

As you study the decades of the 20th century, this site could also be an interesting independent project source for a student interested in the 50's. Gifted students as young as upper elementary might find it a springboard for a comparison of maritime disasters.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Robotics: Sensing, Thinking, Acting - Tech Museum of Innovation

Grades
6 to 12
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The Tech Museum of Innovation's online interactive exhibit about robotics includes fascinating history about robots seen from different angles. A video of Hans Moravec of Carnegie Mellon...more
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The Tech Museum of Innovation's online interactive exhibit about robotics includes fascinating history about robots seen from different angles. A video of Hans Moravec of Carnegie Mellon University discusses the components of a robot. Another section of the display examines ethical questions about the line between humans and robots and includes audio files of scientists responding to the questions (requires Quicktime). Site visitors can also respond.If you think you can't be creative with robots, take a look at the robot artists' section and view their creations. Finally, you can try driving your own robot in a virtual simulation. This section requires the Shockwave plugin. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): engineering (125), ethics (16), robotics (25)

In the Classroom

Explore the world of robots as part of a tech ed, gifted, science, or physics class. Be sure to include some of the discussions of ethics and technology as part of your unit. This site would also provide excellent background research for debate topics on technology and ethics. Note: the site was started prior to the 2003 Mars lander problems. Be sure to talk about what we know now about those robots, as well.

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Mad Sci Network - Mad Sci Network/Third Sector New England

Grades
K to 12
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This great reference resource is an attractively packaged compilation of ways to get answers to questions about science. Offerings include a place to ask questions from K-college, access...more
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This great reference resource is an attractively packaged compilation of ways to get answers to questions about science. Offerings include a place to ask questions from K-college, access to a search engine, a list of FAQ's on common topics, a library with links to other relevant sites, a knowledge generator, an archive of lab experiments, and other assistance with science fair projects. The Mad-Sci labs also has a "Guided Tour of the Visible Human" section on human anatomy, with many images of cross-sections and internal organs.

tag(s): air (163), experiments (71), scientists (69)

In the Classroom

Navigate the human body and label parts on an interactive whiteboard, or find the appropriate experiments for all your science concepts. By searching the question archives, you can find answers to questions at all levels. Be sure to include this link on your teacher web page year-round to promote curiosity about science. Teachers of gifted will love this one as a treasury of open-ended ideas on science by scientists.

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Science Presentations - Jefferson County Schools

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K to 12
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This website truly has something for every science teacher. If you are teaching a new science topic or want to review an already introduced science concept - you must ...more
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This website truly has something for every science teacher. If you are teaching a new science topic or want to review an already introduced science concept - you must visit this website. This website provides free PowerPoint presentations on over 100+ science topics. There are presentations for grades K-5 and 6-12. If you do not have PowerPoint siftware, some of these presentations may not open, depending upon how the site-creators saved them.

tag(s): air (163), animals (276), matter (58), periodic table (50), plants (145), solar system (119), water (130)

In the Classroom

Try these ready-to-go PowerPoint presentations on an interactive whiteboard or projector in your classroom. Some may also be well-suited for individual students to run on a single classroom computer for remediation or review. There are games, resources and a lot of information.

The site includes a disclaimer asking to be notified if users find any unauthorized, copyrighted material. TeachersFirst recommends that you NOT download copies but instead use them online, just in case.

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instacalc - instacalc

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6 to 12
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This online tool lets you create(or "share" someone else's existing) online calculations/spreadsheets. You can also display instant graphs of the spreadsheet contents. The spreadsheets...more
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This online tool lets you create(or "share" someone else's existing) online calculations/spreadsheets. You can also display instant graphs of the spreadsheet contents. The spreadsheets are displayed in terms that ordinary people can understand and allow you to "plug in" numbers to see instant results. Some of the shared calculators already online are surface area and volume of geometric solids, interest calculators, body mass index, and more sophisticated business functions. The best way to see how the site works is to read through their "tour" then click to browse through the examples, especially the shared ones. Even if you never create your own, this tool is great!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (251), calculators (41), conversions (23), multiplication (227)

In the Classroom

Visit the site and observe how the shared examples work. If you find one you like, you can get the link (try the little disk icon) to go directly to it. If you are feeling more adventurous, try creating one of your own, perhaps for calculating the class average on a test. Your web-savvy students will love this tool for collaborative lab reports or graphs of statistics. For safety's sake do not use any student names or information if you share calcs online.
 

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World of Teaching

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K to 12
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This website provides numerous teacher-created PowerPoints. Some of the presentations are excellent, while others are just mediocre. The range of topics goes from astronomy, to history,...more
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This website provides numerous teacher-created PowerPoints. Some of the presentations are excellent, while others are just mediocre. The range of topics goes from astronomy, to history, to French and much, much more! There is something good here for every classroom. You MUST have PowerPoint software (not free) to be able to download and edit the shows.

In the Classroom

Use the small blue buttons to find your subject(s). This site is great for finding/sharing an interactive whiteboard activity or projected lesson. Since the PowerPoint shoes are editable, you may want to customize the shows you find. The grade equivalents are listed in the British system: KS1=ages 5-7; KS2=ages 7-11;KS3= ages 11-14;KS4= ages 14-16, A Level=ages 16-18.

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MSTE Online Resource Catalog - University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Grades
4 to 12
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MSTE stands for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education. This is a fabulous website that provides a wealth of interactive activities and printable lessons to use in your classes....more
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MSTE stands for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education. This is a fabulous website that provides a wealth of interactive activities and printable lessons to use in your classes. There are numerous math and science topics (including chemistry, measurement, probability, geometry, data analysis, physics, algebra and much, much more). Some parts of this site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. Many of the interactives use Java Applets. These will run on most computers without additional software.

tag(s): addition (251), division (172), multiplication (227), probability (130), subtraction (208), vision (87)

In the Classroom

Many of these activities would work well with an interactive whiteboard. Read the desciptions of the interactives to see the specific curriculum topics. Many have step-by step lessons included. There is truly something for everyone.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Race to Build the Atomic Bomb - Contra Costa County Department of Education

Grades
9 to 12
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This site is designed to be a resource for teachers and students on the atom bomb. There is an interactive time line, excellent graphics on the physics of the ...more
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This site is designed to be a resource for teachers and students on the atom bomb. There is an interactive time line, excellent graphics on the physics of the atom bomb, biographies of major characters in the story and good teacher resources including lesson plans. This site might be useful to both science and social studies teachers. The graphics on the physics of the atom bomb are great, but the historical context setting and discussion is also excellent. There are links to WebQuests, and information about California state standards met by the lesson plans.

tag(s): cold war (29)

In the Classroom

Consider using this exploration about the development of the bomb as a focus while studying atomic particles or twentieth century history. The webquests are ready-to-go units or you can "cherry pick" sites to feature as a single class activity on laptops or in a lab.

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Submarines, Secrets and Spies - PBS Nova

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6 to 12
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This PBS site has Quick Time 360 degree views of the inside of a submarine, recordings of underwater sounds, a quiz about sound, and first person accounts of life aboard ...more
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This PBS site has Quick Time 360 degree views of the inside of a submarine, recordings of underwater sounds, a quiz about sound, and first person accounts of life aboard a military submarine. The quiz, focused on the science of sound, would be interesting in a science class, but the centerpiece of the site is the Quick Time tour of a military submarine. You can choose either the USS Nautilus, the first nuclear powered sub, or the USS Springfield, a more modern version.

tag(s): engineering (125)

In the Classroom

Although military ships are not a typical curriculum topic, teachers studying technology and engineering topics will want to consider this site as a "real world connection" to illustrate some of the applications of technology and physics, especially for your more concrete learners.

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Meltdown at Three Mile Island - PBS The American Experience

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9 to 12
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PBS site associated with an American Experience episode on the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear power accident in Pennsylvania. There is a Shockwave animation showing how the meltdown...more
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PBS site associated with an American Experience episode on the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear power accident in Pennsylvania. There is a Shockwave animation showing how the meltdown happened, a chronology of events, maps and teacher resources.

In the Classroom

While the site uses the "watch the video and discuss" model, the questions listed in the teacher resources section would be appropriate for a more general discussion on nuclear power. There is a nice map showing the location of nuclear power plants in the United States. The Shockwave animation explaining the meltdown might be useful in a science class discussion on nuclear energy, and would display well on an interactive whiteboard.

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Black Holes: Gravity's Relentless Pull - Space Telescope Science Institute

Grades
6 to 12
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Journey through space using the interactive "Journey to a Black Hole," complete with draggable tools and accompanying sound effects. You and your students will learn about the science...more
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Journey through space using the interactive "Journey to a Black Hole," complete with draggable tools and accompanying sound effects. You and your students will learn about the science of black holes through this tour, a comprehensive black hole encyclopedia, and many interactive questions and experiments about black holes.

tag(s): gravity (46), space (205)

In the Classroom

Teachers will want to check out the Content Overview while planning your lessons. Then fire up a projector or interactive whiteboard to introduce the site and the topic. After that, this site is ideal for students to explore on laptops or in a lab as they seek answers to questions and build understanding about this intriguing space topic. The interactives actually allow them to "collect data" as a real scientist would. Make sure Flash is working on student machines!
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Flash Animations for Physics - David M. Harrison, Dept. of Physics, Univ. of Toronto

Grades
9 to 12
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Find FLASH animations free and available for your Creative Commons Use in your classroom on this simple-but-useful site. Topics include waves, quantum mechanics, vectors, optics, oscilloscope,...more
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Find FLASH animations free and available for your Creative Commons Use in your classroom on this simple-but-useful site. Topics include waves, quantum mechanics, vectors, optics, oscilloscope, nuclear, electricity and magnetism, general mechanics, and more. As explained in the Creative Commons link at the bottom of the page, you are free to copy and/or alter the animations for noncommercial use as long as you give proper credit and are willing to share them in a similar fashion.

In the Classroom

Try introducing these on a projector or interactive whiteboard in class, then have your students use them as part of their own illustrated explanations of physics applications. Armed with digital cameras or video, they can juxtapose these animations together with real-world examples, where appropriate, to demonstrate their understanding of the concepts. Ask them to make PowerPoint shows or videos to "teach" the concepts as review for others! Be sure to include a link to this page on your teacher web site for your visual-spatial students to use while reviewing for tests or doing homework.

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Physics Songs - Mr. White's Grade 12 Physics Class, Rothesay High School

Grades
10 to 12
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Whether you are trying to inspire physics for musicians or give your students an alternate way to study for tests, these student-written songs for physics are certain to be a ...more
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Whether you are trying to inspire physics for musicians or give your students an alternate way to study for tests, these student-written songs for physics are certain to be a hit.

tag(s): songs (52)

In the Classroom

If your classes are into podcasting, this is a great way to involve them in a creative way to show what they know about physics. It also provides options for multiple intelligences.

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Knock on the Door: Physics - EABJM

Grades
9 to 12
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This site, created by and for the largest independent school in France, is intedned to help teachers and students prepare for the IB tests in physics. A team of teachers ...more
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This site, created by and for the largest independent school in France, is intedned to help teachers and students prepare for the IB tests in physics. A team of teachers from the school created the site. It includes extensive resources and readings on physics, as well as review activities. The content is separated into more basic and more advanced sections.

In the Classroom

Make this a reference link from your teacher web page or use the site as a different way to introduce content so students can move at thier own pace.

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NOVA Wings of Madness - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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From a recent PBS Nova episode, this site deals with the early efforts of pioneer aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. Santos-Dumont had the revolutionary idea that enabling humans to fly...more
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From a recent PBS Nova episode, this site deals with the early efforts of pioneer aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. Santos-Dumont had the revolutionary idea that enabling humans to fly would contribute to world peace, because people would experience a new, more pure, perspective on the world from above. A contemporary of the Wright Brothers, Santos-Dumont's designs influenced modern "ultralight" planes of today. The site includes biographical information about Santos-Dumont and a very nice slideshow of failed airplane designs. There is an interactive view of one of Santos-Dumont's planes showing its features. Under the teacher's guide, a classroom activity provides plans for various forms of paper airplanes illustrating principles of aerodynamics.

tag(s): air (163), aviation (38)

In the Classroom

Flying has always fascinated us, and flying failures are sometimes more interesting than successes. Students will know all about the Wright Brothers; they are unlikely to have heard of Alberto Santos-Dumont. The interactives are terrific and the paper airplanes would make a good hands-on activity. The readings about Santos-Dumont would also make good selections for a reading teacher trying to find motivating readings to teach comprehension strategies.
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National Institute of Standards and Technology Virtual Museum - NIST

Grades
9 to 12
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Investigate modern accomplishments in technology through these exhibits of technology accomplishments. Tech Ed and science teachers of all disciplines can highlight these accomplishments...more
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Investigate modern accomplishments in technology through these exhibits of technology accomplishments. Tech Ed and science teachers of all disciplines can highlight these accomplishments as real world connections to classroom learning or ask students to research the application of their classroom learning in the technology world. Of certain interest are topics that explain our systems of weights and measures, the technology time line, and the and stone wall test as a real world application of scientific method for practical purposes.

tag(s): engineering (125)

In the Classroom

Use this as a starting point for a research project or share portions on a projector as you begin units on different science and technology topics.

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