Teacher's Corner

Dear Teacher,

The site is designed as a resource for kid-friendly science on the web. Links from the site have been chosen because of their suitability for intermediate and middle grade readers.

You can use this site to introduce your students to some of the best kid-science web sites. You can also use it to teach your students the basic techniques for navigating the web. Clicking on the buttons of the bar below will give you a quick overview of the resources available from this site. Besides descriptions of the linked science sites, you'll find suggestions about how to use them with your class.

Matt's Links | Wei Ling's Links | A.J.'s Links | Rosa's Links | Newton's Links

I hope you enjoy using this site as much as I enjoy producing it. Please feel free to send me your comments and suggestions.

Steve@blackholegang.com


   

Introductory Lessons: Exploring the Site

1. Give your students a chance to explore the site. If you'd like, you can have your students keep records about what they find. At the end of the lesson, have a class discussion and make a list of the types of information your students found.

2. Suggest that each student choose one character to focus on. A class discussion at the end of the lesson, and questions about what kinds of science each character seems to like, could lead to a discussion of the names and branches of the various sciences (e.g., geology, zoology, botany, chemistry, physics).

3. Each of the links from this site should have enough information to keep a student engaged for an entire class session. After your class has had a chance to find out what kinds of links are available, you might want to have a discussion on which sites are most relevant to your curriculum or class interests--and choose a few to explore together as a group.














   
Matt's Links

Matt's Corner

The Virtual Cave

Welcome to the Planets California Institute of Technology/NASA

The National Earthquake Information Center: United States Geological Survey

This Dynamic Earth: United States Geological Survey

Sport! Science @ The Exploratorium

National Earthquake Information Center (earthquake maps)

Starchild: A Learning Center for Young Astronomers: NASA

The Geology of the Grand Canyon

The Weather Underground

Matt's Links | Wei Ling's Links | A.J.'s Links | Rosa's Links | Newton's Links














   
Wei Ling's Links

Wei Ling's Corner

Bat Conservation International

Butterflies of North America: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

A Bouillabaisse of Fascinating Facts About Fish: Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Hummingbirds

Endangered Pandas: American Museum of Natural History

Spiders of Northwest Europe

Matt's Links | Wei Ling's Links | A.J.'s Links | Rosa's Links | Newton's Links














   
A.J.'s Links

A.J.'s Corner

The Secret Garden

Scanning Electron Microscope: Museum of Science, Boston

Kids Corner: Rainforest Action Network

Fruit Nutrition Facts: Dole Food Company

Leonardo Home Page Museum of Science, Boston

Saguaro National Park

Desert Plants: Desert USA

The Elements of Machines Museum of Science, Boston

Matt's Links | Wei Ling's Links | A.J.'s Links | Rosa's Links | Newton's Links














   
Rosa's Links

Rosa's Corner

Periodic Table of the Elements

Einstein Revealed: Nova Online

The Beginner's Chess Page

The Particle Adventure Homepage

Benjamin Franklin as a Scientist

SharkCam

Matt's Links | Wei Ling's Links | A.J.'s Links | Rosa's Links | Newton's Links














   
Newton's Links

Newton's Corner

Cat Breeds: Cat Fanciers' Association

Book Recommendations: Multnomah County Library KidsPage

Dog Products: PetQuarters, Inc.

Matt's Links | Wei Ling's Links | A.J.'s Links | Rosa's Links | Newton's Links



















Matt's Links

The Virtual Cave

The Virtual Cave has dramatic photographs of a variety of cave minerals. Your students may already know something about stalactites and stalagmites--but most have probably never heard of (or seen) cave popcorn, cave pearls, or cave draperies. There's also information here on how each type of mineral is formed. After your students have explored this site, you could have them

Visit: The Virtual Cave

Welcome to the Planets

This site showcases some of NASA's most impressive photos of the planets. The images are spectacular. The site also has statistics for each of the planets, including information on mass, diameter, mean surface temperature, etc. The information could be used to create charts and graphs comparing the characteristics of each planet.

Visit: Welcome to the Planets California Institute of Technology/NASA

National Earthquake Information Center

A good starting point at this site is the FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Earthquakes page. After this introduction, students can follow page headings to find answers to other, more specific, questions. Examples of things you'll find here include records of the largest known earthquakes in the United States and the world, information on California faults, tsunamis, and earthquake preparedness. Some of the information here gets rather technical, but there's quite a bit of interesting material on a variety of topics. Student activities could include:

Visit: The National Earthquake Information Center: United States Geological Survey


This Dynamic Earth

This site provides information on the theories of continental drift and plate tectonics. Because some of the information is a bit technical, it is most useful for students who've had some exposure to these ideas. Interesting features of this site are the background information on how the theories developed and the diagrams showing how geologists believe the continents once fit together. After exploring this site, students might enjoy using tracing paper to copy the outlines of the continents on a globe or map, cutting them out, and moving them around to visualize how they might have once fit together.

Visit: This Dynamic Earth: United States Geological Survey

Sport! Science

Whether your students are interested in baseball, hockey, bicycling--or just how having a long big toe can make them a better sprinter--this is a good place to turn them loose. Pictures, well-written text, and interactive features help introduce them to many of the science concepts involved in athletics.

Visit: Sport! Science @ The Exploratorium

Earthquake Map

This link will take students to a world map with the locations of recent earthquakes. After examining these maps, students might enjoy:

Visit: National Earthquake Information Center: Current Earthquake Data

Starchild

The name of this site and its rather young-looking characters might lead some intermediate/middle students to think they're too old for this link. But there's plenty of good information here for older and younger students. Visitors can access information at either level one or level two. Level one has large text with content designed for lower readers Level two has small text and more technical information. Excellent photos, quiz questions, and some animations make this a rich site for both beginning and experienced young astronomers.

Visit: Starchild: A Learning Center for Young Astronomers: NASA

The Geology of the Grand Canyon

There's lots of geological information on this site, but two good reasons to take students here are to show them a classic landscape formed from layers of sedimentary rock and to look at the animation of continental drift. A bonus is that the names of the rock layers are fun to try to pronounce. After students have had a chance to explore this site, you could have them:

Visit: The Geology of the Grand Canyon

Weather

Find the current weather conditions for just about anywhere on planet Earth at this site. Temperature, humidity, air pressure, conditions/cloud cover--it's all here. You can use the information to add a sense of reality to cities, countries, or geographic regions you're studying in social studies. If you run across an unusual city in a novel or magazine article you're discussing in class, send someone over to the computer to check out the current weather conditions there. Or have students choose a city anywhere in the world and graph changes in weather conditions over a period of time.

Visit: The Weather Underground

Matt's Links | Wei Ling's Links | A.J.'s Links | Rosa's Links | Newton's Links








Wei Ling's Links

Bat Conservation International

Your students will be intrigued by the large color picture of a bat that appears as the homepage of this site loads--and there are plenty of other interesting bat photos here as well. These pages also contain a wealth of information on bat biology, conservation, and the ongoing projects of Bat Conservation International. The pages are updated regularly, so you can find information on bat workshops, expeditions, and even an occasional bat festival. The "Adopt-a-Bat" program provides an opportunity for your class to focus on a particular kind of bat--and get involved in helping protect it.

Visit: Bat Conservation International

Butterflies of North America: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

You can use these pages as an electronic field guide to the the butterflies of the lower 48 states of the United States, as well as Hawaii and northern Mexico. Students can click on the state of their choice to find lists and photographs of the butterflies found there. Another valuable feature of this site is the ability for users to select first the state and then the county of choice. A list of butterflies found in that county can then be generated. If you aren't an entomologist, and you've ever tried to identify a butterfly from multiple pages of similar specimens in a print field guide--you know that having a list of butterflies occurring in your county can make the job a lot easier!

Visit: Butterflies of North America: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

A Bouillabaisse of Fascinating Facts About Fish: Northeast Fisheries Science Center

When you turn your students loose on this site, they'll encounter a collection of interesting facts about fish--and many remarkable photos as well. The question and answer format is good for engaging students, and the questions cover a wide variety of topics. Activities could include having:

Visit: A Bouillabaisse of Fascinating Facts About Fish: Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Hummingbirds

This is a wonderful place to send students who have questions about hummingbirds--or to generate interest in hummingbirds in your classroom. There are pictures of all breeding species of the United States and Canada and links to sites with photos of tropical hummingbirds. In addition, your students can find migration maps, natural history information, and practical advice on how to attract hummingbirds. One possibility for a class project would be to use the information from this site to plan, plant, and maintain a hummingbird garden somewhere on your school's grounds.

Visit: Hummingbirds

Endangered Pandas: American Museum of Natural History

The pages on this site provide a brief overview of panda natural history and information on why the animal has become endangered. The site also lists the kinds of steps necessary to ensure the panda's survival. The habitat issues described here are the same ones facing most endangered animals (loss of habitat because of encroaching human activities and fragmentation of existing habitat). So, the information on this site could be used as a springboard to discussing habitat needs for a variety of plants and animals.

Visit: Endangered Pandas: American Museum of Natural History

Spiders of Northwest Europe

Intermediate and middle school students will probably initially be attracted to this site by its remarkable selection of spider photos. In addition to the photos, however, there is also quite a bit of spider natural history here. Steer your students to the sections on spider anatomy, spider silk, and the steps in weaving an orb web--as well as links to pages on Australian spiders and American orb-web weavers.

Visit: Spiders of Northwest Europe

Matt's Links | Wei Ling's Links | A.J.'s Links | Rosa's Links | Newton's Links








A.J.'s Links

The Secret Garden

This site has a selection of stunning radiographs (x-ray images) of flowers. It would be a perfect site to take students to after they'd been studying the parts of a flower. It's also an inspiring site for students to visit before doing flower art or making botanical drawings of flowers.

Visit: The Secret Garden

Scanning Electron Microscope: Museum of Science, Boston

This site provides students with a good introduction to scanning electron microscopes. There's a slide show on how the microscope works, a gallery of interesting images, and a teacher section with additional links/resources. Your class can even send a specimen to the Boston Museum of Science where it will be photomicrographed and the image placed on the web (see teacher resources section). Like the flower radiographs in The Secret Garden site, this is science and art.

Visit: Scanning Electron Microscope: Museum of Science, Boston

Kids' Corner: Rainforest Action Network

This is a rainforest site with an emphasis on activism. As well as information on rainforest plants, animals, and Native People, students are encouraged to take actions to protect rainforests. Sections of the site are entitled "Your actions can change the world" and "Eight steps kids can take." There is also an art gallery where rainforest pictures created by students is displayed. Teachers can find additional rainforest resources here, and the sound of the croaking rainforest frogs is a fun bonus!

Visit: Kids' Corner: Rainforest Action Network

Fruit Nutrition Facts: Dole Food Company

These pages are a good source of information on the nutritional value of a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. But this is also a great resource for students to learn about the history, cultivation, and harvesting of fruits and vegetables. Steer your class to the link called "5 A Day Fruit and Vegetable Characters." Clicking on any of the characters will provide text, pictures, and sometimes even games that will teach students about specific fruits or vegetables.

Visit: Fruit Nutrition Facts: Dole Food Company

Leonardo Home Page Museum of Science, Boston

On the home page you'll find a "Teacher's Page" with suggestions about how to use the site. There's a biography of da Vinci, notes on his painting techniques, and interactive pages where students can experiment with perspective. There are also several lesson plans published here that can be used with this site.

Visit: Leonardo Home Page Museum of Science, Boston

Saguaro National Park

Students will find an excellent introduction to the saguaro cactus and Saguaro National Park on these pages. There are many pictures here, and you'll have to have a bit of patience while they're loading. But if you wait, you'll have the chance to see a good selection of saguaro photos, as well as the desert vegetation of the area. If you're studying deserts of the southwest United States--or you have a student who likes to draw desert scenes, this is a place that deserves a visit.

Visit: Saguaro National Park

Desert Plants: Desert USA

This site can be used as an electronic field guide to common plants of the southwest U.S. deserts. By clicking on the name of a plant, you can see a picture of it, as well as learn about its range, habitat, description--and sometimes its use by Native Americans and early Spanish settlers. Other links provide information on a variety of other desert natural history topics.

Visit: Desert Plants: Desert USA

The Elements of Machines Museum of Science, Boston

This is a section of the Leonardo da Vinci page described above. It has excellent pictures and brief, easy-to-understand descriptions of the types of simple machines. After students have had a chance to study the photos and text, they can follow a link to picture of various tools--and take a quiz to see how many of the simple machines are used in each tool.

Visit: The Elements of Machines Museum of Science, Boston

Matt's Links | Wei Ling's Links | A.J.'s Links | Rosa's Links | Newton's Links








Rosa's Links

Periodic Table of the Elements

The two links in this section will take your students to two different electronic versions of the Periodic Table of the Elements. The tables can be used to find out background information about various elements. These pages will make the most sense to students who have had some sort of introduction to the Periodic Table. The first link covers only the first 18 elements. It is the most kid friendly, however, and would be a good introductory site. The second link is a complete online reference to the Periodic Table. Although it has more complete information, it is not nearly as kid-friendly.

Visit: Periodic Table of the Elements

Visit: Periodic Table of the Elements

Einstein Revealed: Nova Online

Most intermediate and middle students have at least a vague idea that Einstein was "a really smart guy." This site will help introduce them to both the man and his ideas. A time line identifies important dates and events in Einstein's life. An essay highlights the remarkable list of Einstein's scientific accomplishments. And some games and question/answer links provide students with a little background about some of Einstein's ideas.

Visit: Einstein Revealed: Nova Online

The Beginner's Chess Page

Here's a place to send your beginning (and not-so-beginning) chess players. There's a section on rules, chess notation, and a place to practice tactics. If you, as a teacher, are interested in teaching chess in your classroom, be sure to read the FAQs on the page titled "Chess Advice for Parents, Coaches, and Tutors."

Visit: The Beginner's Chess Page

The Particle Adventure Homepage

This site really is an adventure. Using humor, cartoons, and good, plain language, it discuss atoms and what they're made of--the fundamental building blocks of the universe. If your knowledge of atomic structure is limited to protons, neutrons, and electrons, the information here will be a real eye-opener.

Visit: The Particle Adventure Homepage

Benjamin Franklin as a Scientist

These pages provide information on Benjamin Franklin's scientific studies. By following the "electricity" link, students reach a page called "Electrified Ben," where they can listen to the sound of thunder, read about Franklin's experiments with electricity, and be introduced to Faraday's and Edison's electrical work as well.

Visit: Benjamin Franklin as a Scientist

SharkCam

ÒComputers can even help you keep an eye on the sharks at HawaiiÕs Waikiki Aquarium. Check out whatÕs showing up on the SharkCam...Ó

Visit: SharkCam

Matt's Links | Wei Ling's Links | A.J.'s Links | Rosa's Links | Newton's Links








Newton's Links

Cat Breeds: Cat Fanciers' Association

This site has a remarkable catalog of cat breeds. By clicking on the name of the type of cat (and there are some great names), you can see a picture and learn about the breed. Even students who aren't necessarily fond of cats will find the pictures and information interesting.

Visit: Cat Breeds: Cat Fanciers' Association

Book Recommendations: Multnomah County Library KidsPage

These pages contain recommendations of books by students at both the elementary and middle school level. Visitors have the chance to see what books other students have enjoyed--and to read comments about the book. This is a good site for everyone in your class to spend some time browsing.

Visit: Book Recommendations: Multnomah County Library KidsPage

Dog Products: PetQuarters, Inc.

This isn't a science site, but, in keeping with Newton's character--I sneaked in a site about dog toys. I had no idea that there were so many things you could buy a dog...

Visit: Dog Products: PetQuarters, Inc.

Matt's Links | Wei Ling's Links | A.J.'s Links | Rosa's Links | Newton's Links