Throughout the challenge we are planning on bringing subject related resources to you as well as general resources.   Today let’s look at some great Science websites!  Instead of having one primary tool and a short list of additional options, I’m going to cover several sites and give you a look into what you’ll find.  Then we can have a nice chat about all of your great ideas as to how we can use the websites to help our kids learn.  Let’s get to it!

Project Noah

Noah

 

“Project Noah is a tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.”  Basically it is a collection of crowd sourced images of wildlife called “spottings” that users upload to the website.  It is easy to search by type of animal, species, or even by geographical area.   Additionally you can easily sign up as a teacher using your google, facebook, or twitter account logins.  You can search for images and information without an account, but having an account as a teacher really gives you more cool options.   Once you have a teacher account you have access to lesson plans with common core standards (including writing standards).  There are some great cross curricular pieces here.   Creating a free teacher account also allows you to add student accounts and create “missions” where you ask others to help add spottings of anything you want.  Some mission examples include: National Geographic’s Great Nature Project, Global Urban Biodiversity, and The Color Blue.

FYI, the featured “Puffin” image above is from this website and the terms of the website allow educational use of the images.

 

Evidence

ExplorationThe link is to a website (www.exploratorium.edu/evidence) that is generally geared toward older students (not elementary).  The site is an extensive set of videos about research for evidence of human evolution.  The reason I gave this site as an example is because of the in depth knowledge conveyed in a fairly simple package to the average user.    The site is sponsored by grants from the National Science Foundation among others.  Additionally there is some really good graphical information presented on understanding research, the scientific process, how to know if scientific claims are true, etc… which leads to a good literature conversation ;)

 

Zygotebody

3d BodyZygotebody.com is a super basic 3D interactive model of the human body.  Don’t kid yourself that basic means there isn’t much there.  With this 3D model you can look at any anatomical structure in the body and get a name for it.  Last year I presented another similar website for a 3D human model, but I like this one even better because there is no login required.  You can turn on and off views of different systems of the body like skeletal, muscular, and nervous systems with a simple slider on the left side of the screen.  You can also zoom and pan using your mouse.  FYI there is an app that has even more info and features, but it is about $28,…  the website is free!  Check it out!

Earth Sky

earthskyEarthSky.org is essentially an earth and space science blog.  Each day the site gives current events and news from around the world that is science related.  There are some interesting Halloween articles featured right now, but I think this is a great way to see what scientific happenings are going on around us on a day to day basis.

 

Interactive Sites

Interactive SitesOK,… This site actually has a lot of subjects other than science….  math, language arts, music, social studies, art, etc… However, I love interactive simulations (sims) that students can do on their own.   This site is a collection of interactive sims that are generally geared to the elementary grades, but can be useful at the middle school level as well.  Basic concepts are given in an engaging format so that they can be repeated until the concept is mastered.  The sims require flash player, so they won’t work on an iPad or iOS device, but most computers should be able to access them easy enough.  There are lots of options on this site, so check it out!

Honorable Mention

Here are some additional great science sites that you are welcome to checkout!

http://www.kidsites.com/sites-edu/science.htm (Elementary level science)

http://extremescience.com/

http://www.earthday.org/

http://www.space.com/

Your Challenge

Explore a site that catches your attention and share a project that you could use it on in your classroom.  Remember, even if you are not a science teacher, there are cross-curricular activities that you could do using these sites that still reflect your subjects standards.  You just have to be creative and find them……  Consider yourself challenged!

 

51 COMMENTS

  1. Interactive Sites is absolutely a wonderful source for all teachers. My first thought was a pre designed Webquest!
    If the students are learning about cells, they can explore and research cells within the one page. Teachers would otherwise spend hours seeking out these resources!

    The classroom teacher would benefit from this greatly. Fifth grade teachers plan and teach several subjects. Interactive Sites is another great resource for supplemental materials!

  2. I would use Interactive Sites(ex. Float or Sink) with elementary students that are
    constantly using excuses to avoid taking responsiblity. The student would explore the site and determine which item would float or sink…create a visual. I would then ask the student to give me their excuse/s and let them explain how their decision/s will either help their behavior stay afloat of sink it.

  3. I could use Interactive Sites’ Brainteasers. Elementary counseling small groups could use Simon for visual clues, tracking and following sequences.

  4. I absolutely love Project Noah. I co-sponsor an outdoor club and with winter setting on, we will be moving indoors a little more. This will be a great site to inspire plans for warmer weather and to research what photos are available for our area of the world and how we can add to the information already avaialble. The kids are all about taking pictures on our nature walks and this will be an excellent platform for them to share their photos and information. I can’t wait to show this to them.

  5. I was impressed by these sites! Project Noah has beautiful, vibrant pictures that capture your attention. The 3D models on Zygotebody were so real and detailed. Evidence was a bit over my head, but it was PACKED with thought proving information and an interesting layout. I found the articles on Earth Sky interesting and easy to read.

    I teach business, but we are encouraged to complete weekly writing prompts with our classes. I am always looking for new ideas and interesting topics for the students to write about. Finding interesting non-fiction reads can be challenging, but I think Earth Sky would be perfect for this. I read several articles myself while investigating the site. I could assign the students a particular article to read and write about or I could let them explore and find something that interests them.

    I also thought I could do something similar with Project Noah. I could have the students find a picture they like and then create a story using the picture as their inspiration.

    Our school is moving towards 1-to-1 for next year, so the interactive sites are a MUST! I will be sharing all of these sites with my co-workers!

  6. I thought the Interactive Sites and the Extreme Science would be the most useful with my students. The teachers may be interested to try the fun learning games on Interactive Sites. The Extreme Science site looks good for all levels of students I work with due to the great pictures and videos that could capture their attention.
    On Interactive Sites, I would recommend the “colors, animals, dinosaurs”.

  7. I love the project Noah. I will use it as a resource for the students when they research Hispanic countries. It will be a great place for them to find the species that live there.

  8. I also liked the Interactive Sites. It’s hard to find good resources for inclusion students that cover physics and many other areas covered in 7th grade now. Pfet has simulations for my higher students so I now have a source for everyone.

  9. From a high school science teacher side, I have really enjoyed using the site BrainGenie.ck12.org. It has topics for Bio, Chem, Physics, Math at many levels. They include video explanations and then practice questions around a very wide range of topics in each subject. You can create classes with student logins that then allows you to create “goals” or assignements and then track progress. It has been a great way to add some digital work to the regular classroom work. and the best part is that it is free

    Another site I have been using for Physics is Physicsclassroom.com. It just for physics but it has a lot of extras that all coordinate with the online text. All offered for free.

  10. After checking the Interactive Websites for ones I could use in an English class, I went back to the science sites. Mock trials are a big part of the Junior Block of the Shepard Academy. Zygotebody might be just what we’re looking for when we need an visual during the coroner’s testimony.

  11. Ok where were all these last year when I was the Science Teacher! Just kidding I love this new addition. I can see using the Project Noah with my second graders who are studying adjectives and having them pick a picture and then type adjectives that go with the pictures. I like that someone said earlier to then use these into the Blended Space. I am presently working with the Art teacher and having them create an adjective Wordle about their picture. I will have to share the Project Noah site for pictures with her and the Zygotebody as a reference for her Art Class and drawing faces which the 2nd graders also have to do. I can also see many teachers using these as writing prompt starters. I personally immediately went to my Protopage where I keep all my links for my students, kind of like a Symbaloo, and put the Interactive Sites for Education on all my Science tabs. I also like the other subjects that it provides and might just add to those tabs as well. This was a fun one because not only am I am computer nerd but a Science nerd as well

  12. I also really like the Interactive Sites for Education page. I spent a great amount of time trying out the activities. Many of them would be great for differentiated instruction.

  13. I really like Zygotebody as a PT. It provides a great visual and could be used as an educational tool for teachers and parents on specific anatomical conditions.

  14. I think the interactive sites are a great way to keep students engaged and add interest to the science units I teach in my adapted science class. I also think Project Noah would be a great tool to use cross-curricularly to get students engaged in writing.

  15. I cannot wait to share Zygotebody with my class when we do the unit on the Human Body in January. This will give my students more resources to explore and getting the laptops out in Science class will be a treat! Plus with the free website and no required login, using zygotebody to study at home will be a breeze!

  16. I think the Project Noah would be great to use with our pen pal program. We are currently connecting with students in Colorado, New Hampshire, Uganda, Italy, and Romania. Using our pen pals’ locations, we can see what wildlife is in their area, we can also post what is native in our region.

  17. YEAH!!!! I am a science teacher and I love these sites. The Earth Sky site is fabulous. There were some great pictures of the solar eclipse that just occurred. We just finished studying the sun and the moon and I can’t wait to show my kids these pictures. I also loved the Interactive site. I use an interactive mimo board in my room that I like to drop in interactive websites for my students to do in the middle of my power point slides.That website just made my life soooo much easier. Thanks so much.

  18. I was a bit concerned with a science challenge but, like my students, once I explored the material, I found myself digging deeper and deeper as to how I could use these sites. The Project Noah and the interactive education sites are great resources for studying habitats that my 3-4 graders research. They can also tie this in with the climate/temperature info provided on the Earth and Sky site.

    The Zygotebody site I found extremely difficult to maneuver through. I did forward it onto a friend who is studying nursing – maybe she can figure it out.

  19. I spent a good deal of time just browsing the sites you listed. I think my students would be able to use the interactive sites for science the most. I created a tile on my symbaloo for the forces and motion games. I just started created my symbaloo page this year. I have created 4 pages for science, one for each unit we study in the year. The first quarter we studied life science and that page is full of great online sites I have found. Here is the link: http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/lifescience5. The page for our second unit, force and motion is under construction and I added a link to the interactive site for force and motion. There are several simulations on the site that deal with friction, magnetics, and forces. By the end of this grading period this symbaloo page will hopefully be full. Link: http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/energy13. I frequently post the link to My Big Campus for my students to read something, watch a video, do a virtual lab, etc. I also liked the earth sky website, especially the photos. There are some clear photos showing Venus and Saturn after sunset. Also, there are some interesting photos of Earth and the moon taken from a satellite near Saturn. I also posted a link to this on my Symbaloo page for the solar sytem which we will study in January-February.

  20. One of best things about being a language arts teacher is that you can pretty easily connect with just about any other subject – science is no exception. Any of the sites could provide lessons on choosing reliable sources, navigating a webpage, researching data for expository writing, etc. I really found the Extreme Science site interesting. It’s often difficult to find material for middle school boys, but the biggest, baddest, etc. of anything usually catches their attention. This site would be a great resource for a fact-finding scavenger hunt…maybe even one they create themselves. I know several boys who would just enjoy reading it during SSR time.

  21. Wow, cool sites. I explored the earth sky blog. IMMEDIATELY I saw potential. Taking the gorgeous colors, and design of nature. My elementary art students could use the pictures and information as inspiration in a of work. You could also use the information to write a song to go along with your art piece ( AS one of my music standards is to make up and create songs.)

  22. After looking through all the sites, the one that I enjoyed the most was Zygotebody! When my children were little, they had to learn all of the bones in the body. Using this site would make it so much simpler, to actually see where the bones are located on the body. Looking at all of the muscles and nerves were really cool too. I do not teach science, but I have already sent this to our science teacher at school.

  23. I could see using Project Noah with my elementary science classrooms. It would fit in very well with some of our Foss Kits. I can see students taking the iPads with them on an expedition and photographing various species of bugs/plants, that can then be share. Then you could pair these with informational text pieces and some descriptive writing assignments. For that matter, I liked another reply that used blendspace to tie it all together.

  24. Being an art teacher, Zygotebody and Project Noah caught my eye. Project Noah has some beautiful pictures that could be used as inspiration for both photography and drawing/painting.
    Zygotebody— it is so hard to draw a human figure. This would be a great site for students to use when trying to draw the details of a person. It is great that the figure turns to see all angles. It is also nice that there is no need to log on to the site….it is just there ready to use!

  25. While I personally enjoyed exploring the science sites and hope the English sites offer as nice a selection, it was a bit of a challenge to come up with a meaningful lesson using the sites in my English class. I decided that I could use the Noah project to help my students practice descriptive writing. We could take on the mission of “Global Schoolyard Bioblitz” and explore our schoolyard for items and work on writing vivid descriptions of those items. This is a meaninful task since students could be asked to write descriptive essays on the ECA. It would be a fun project as well to engage students.
    Tracy Speer-Horn

    • Great connection! Though it is difficult to find connections, it is important to keep pressing ourselves to find new and engaging ways to connect with our kids. Don’t worry, the Science teachers are going to have an equally difficult time soon enough ;)

  26. I really like Project Noah to get students actively involved with environmental issues covered in biology I. Our students have an ipad2 and could easily snap photos of wildlife around them and see feedback on the citizen science projects through this site. In my classroom, I would use this site in combination with Blendspace to a kind of project-based project. Citizen Science will help students with current research on a specific organism, while Blendspace provides a format for students to present researc including vocabulary from class, a video and quiz they create, and showing steps of the scientific method.

  27. Wow what a terrific list of sites! I am a 5th grade Science and Social Studies teacher and would definitely use the Interactive Sites on a daily basis. Our students all have access to technology daily, so they could really add to our Science units with the activities on this site, particularly the animal classification, body systems, cells, and earth, moon, and sun sections. I could also find a lot of uses for investigation of the body systems on Zygotebody. I think this would really help the students to understand the body systems unit more fully.

    I am really appreciating all of these great new resources that are being provided through the 30 day challenge. Thanks!

  28. I love project noah.. I think it is so cool how the students can get on and see all these different real pictures. I think it would be a neat idea to do with students who had iPads. The teacher could create a mission and the students could upload their photos along with several other photos from the same topic. Then the students could do a writing project about the specific mission they had during their real world wild life experience. What a neat site.

    • I put my favorite one on the list first! This site was recommended to me by another teacher on My Big Campus… Mr. Wright at Rolla Wyman Elementary school in Rolla, MO. I love the exploration that anyone can do. I also like your competition idea for engagement.

  29. I really like these sites. I was just searching the other day for some neat science sites for my self contained students. This is exactly what I needed. I looked at the Interactive sites which is a great fit for my class. This can reinforce a topic we are studying in a fun way.
    I also looked at Earth Sky and thought the current events were really neat. I myself was interested in reading what they had posted. I would think the students could get on that site and find something that is happening on that day and report to the teacher or class. Students could take turns being the reporter.

  30. I took some time to explore the Project Noah site. Loved the “Global Schoolyard Bioblitz” mission for elementary students. I can see grades K-5 easily exploring playgrounds and participating. Gotta love using technology to encourage kids to get outdoors and observe nature. Maybe even have grade level or school-wide competitions to see who can log the most entries. Great way to incorporate descriptive writing when entering the creature you’ve discovered.

  31. Science is a field that is ever changing. From the new pictures and exploration happening right now on Mars to studies of endangered species, Science cannot merely be taught from books and textbooks, as they become quickly out of date. In order to teach using an inquiry-based approach, resources such as the ones presented above are essential to providing a rich learning experience. Whether you have a 1:1 program at your school or students work in groups huddled around 1 Chromebook, the key is getting students access to this material, so they can see and interact with relevant information.

  32. Lot’s of amazing sites…I chose the Earthsky site to use in a Business class while we are using Excel. I will have them gather info about the morning sky (stars and planets) on a weekly basis for a month. Then I will have them chart and insert graphics for their project. This site has amazing graphics. Thanks!

    • I agree with your comment about the images. Remember to be cautious about just grabbing images from the web. You need to verify that the images are able to be used for other uses.

  33. Zygotebody.com and earthandsky.org look like awesome websites to use for a science class. I love how the zygotebody has the different layers of the human body. This would be a great discovery learning project for the students to label each and every part of the body.

    • The Zygotebody site is dear to me as a former biology teacher. I really like that you can pinpoint and zoom in on any structure in the body. While it is generally more of an advanced anatomy piece, I think it would be beneficial to help younger students visualize how the body works as well.

  34. I think some of the other sites (especially the 3D body) look useful, but Project Noah stuck out to me immediately. I am one of those naturally curious people who looks up everything he wonders about. I want to know a little bit about everything, and I try to instill that curiosity in my students.

    We do a Google World Wonders webquest in my English basic skills class, and I could see doing a webquest on this site, too. Students could use the “nearby spottings” section to find out which creatures naturally live close to one other. They could even look into the relationships between those species–predator/prey, symbiotic, etc.

    I could also see myself using it as a resource for arguments in that class. Students could find an organism they fall in love with, and write arguments about why it should be better preserved or what we can do to keep its habitat safe.

  35. I teach Language Arts, but I found that the Interactive Sites would be the most useful to me. I have my students read Into the Firestorm: A Novel of San Francisco, 1906. It is an easy read, so it lends itself to a lot of great projects. As a part of this unit, I have my students do a research project. I give them a list of natural disasters and they have to choose one. This site would be very beneficial in showing them how the different disasters are formed. Also, I have shared this site with the Science teacher on my team, so hoepfully we can work together during my unit, to really enlighten the students.

    Also, my classroom is a computer lab, so I’ll be able to use this site on a daily basis to enhance the novel.

  36. I am a math teacher who tries to do a lot of cross curricular type word problems to bring math into other subjects. Science is an easy one at times to tie concepts too. It’s been a couple of weeks ago we discussed hypothesis and conclusion in terms of science before I taught it for proofs and logic. Around Earth Day, all the geometry teachers at my school do a recycle projects with 3-D shapes and we tie in recycling statistics so I could see to use the Earth Day site you had in Honorable Mention with a few tie ins. And then don’t forget conversions… they cross many areas with science, foods, and even words per minutes typed now. This is the kind of stuff my brain goes crazy with- how can I make something into math from another grade or subject!

  37. I really like the Interactive Sites for Education page. It drew me in and I started doing some of the activities – some are more basic than others but a site I already forwarded onto my science department at school to be in the know and incorporate as a side activity. It would work at the elementary level better which I sent the link to someone at that level to explore too.

    I’ve let them both know about the #30DC13 challenge so hopefully they will join too. :)

    TGIF

    • Yeah, I kinda’ cheated on the interactive sites page.. Lots of cross-curricular stuff there. It is geared to lower grade levels, but they are still very good. Thanks for sharing it out!

  38. Since I teach English, I was worried about this posting, but I enjoyed flipping through EarthSky. There were so many interesting articles and blog posts. They were easy to read but very informative. I could see where I could even integrate a part of that into my English class as a source for non-fiction works. Thanks for sharing that with us non-beaker types!

Leave a Reply