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 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.
The 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.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!
EarthSky.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.
OK,… 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!
Here are some additional great science sites that you are welcome to checkout!
http://www.kidsites.com/sites-edu/science.htm (Elementary level science)
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!