Scientific discoveries and research are being published at a head-spinning rate. Helping colleagues and students stay abreast of the rapid change can sometimes be a daunting task. This column focuses on resources designed to help you stay abreast of the scientific world. Be sure to share your favorites via your blog, podcast, web site, or newsletter.
Gene Almanac, www.dnalc.org/home.html, is a masterful site developed by the DNA Learning Center. Here students can use tools to gather their own DNA and investigate the study of human evolution, learn about cancer biology, see animations of key concepts related to the study of DNA, as well as explore a number of other options. A vast number of animation and text resources are included. All the options are extremely well crafted and student friendly. The animations make use of Flash.
Begin exploring the NASA 1SSEarthKAM site, www.earthkam.ucsd.edu, by checking out the Well-crafted student activities. Here science teachers will find materials designed to help students interact with the range of satellite images housed at the site. These activities also serve as models for using the thousands of images available. Consider using the "Locate This Image" selection under the Student menu as a bell ringer or engagement activity for class. In addition, view the "Slide Shows" in the About menu for ideas of ways to capture student attention.
The Atoms Family, www.miami sci.org/af/sln/index.html, is a delightful spoof on the television show The Addams Family, which provides a wealth of information on energy, atoms, light, waves, and particles. Some of the links provide detailed instructions for conducting hands-on experiments with common items. Other links include animations and learning activities. Concept information is very concise and straightforward.
Learn about the science of growing food by visiting The Great Plant Escape, www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/gpe/index.html. Available in English and Spanish, the site contains six cases for the students to solve. Each case includes a case brief listing the goals and ideas presented; then the case facts are viewed. The mystery consists of a series of questions designed to see if the case facts were learned. The information is presented in simple, concise explanations. The animations and interactions will help keep student attention.
Designed by a 7th-grade science teacher, Life Science Connections, www .vilenski.org/science/safari/menu/index.h tml, provides an animated look at animals, plants, fungus, protists, and bacteria. Excellent animations and concise definitions help students gather the vocabulary needed to learn …