Magazine article Multimedia & Internet@Schools

Science Online

Magazine article Multimedia & Internet@Schools

Science Online

Article excerpt

Located online at: www.fofweb.com/ subscription.

Company: Facts On File, Inc., 132 W. 31st Street, 17th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Phone: (800) 322-8755; Email: custserv@factsonfile.com; Internet: www.factsonfile.com.

Price: $8 per student for a 1-year, renewable subscription. Volume discount pricing is available. A 6-month subscription is offered for parents and home-schoolers. A free trial is available online.

Audience: Grades 6-12.

Format: Text, graphics, and photographs.

Minimum System Requirements: A Windows or Macintosh computer with Internet access and an Internet browser. PC systems must have Internet Explorer 6.0, Netscape 6.0, or Firefox 1.0.3; Macintosh computers require at least Safari 1.0.

Description: Science Online is a comprehensive subscription database providing an overview of science-related topics through definitions, essays, diagrams, illustrations, images, biographies, experiments, and activities.

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access: Registered users are required to enter a user ID and password to gain access. I experienced no difficulty with the site. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: A recent redesign has brought new features to Science Online, including tabbed search results and new browse features, in-depth essays, a new section on mathematics, and new experiments, diagrams, and biographies.

The Science Online home page provides access points to content through a keyword search, subject exploration, or browsing by resource (diagrams, experiments, biographies, and timeline). Thumbnail views are provided in a gallery for easy access and may be enlarged or downloaded as PDF files for clear printing.

The content is organized by scientific discipline--biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, environmental science, forensic science, mathematics, physics, space and astronomy, and weather and climate. A general overview precedes each in-depth essay. The content adheres to the National Science Standards.

A science dictionary defines key terms or complex concepts. An advanced search feature allows users to conduct complex searches.

Experiments and activities providing hands-on learning opportunities are accessed through the database's Experiments link. These materials are organized by subject category, grade range, and time required.

Special features include an Editor's Selection of the Month highlighting timely information. A Focus On feature provides an in-depth chapter-by-chapter overview of a selected topic.

The Page Tools feature offers the ability to save, print, or email material. A citation link makes it easy to cite information sources. Each entry includes related links and suggested searches.

A Further Information feature, located at the bottom of each entry, provides additional materials suggested by leading academics and professionals.

Classroom Applications

Research is always a major part of every middle and high school science program. One way to enhance research is to offer independent-study projects to interested students. After researching a topic, students can choose a project using criteria established by a teacher/student-designed rubric. The final product can be shared with the entire class in a presentation format of the student's choosing.

Cooperative-learning groups can select a topic related to the class curriculum to explore. Each student in the group can become a resident expert, researching a specific area of information. …

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