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Build a Solar System - The Exploratorium

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4 to 12
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Here's a nifty tool that calculates the measurements you'll need for an exact scale model of the solar system. Just enter the size of the Sun and the page calculates ...more
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Here's a nifty tool that calculates the measurements you'll need for an exact scale model of the solar system. Just enter the size of the Sun and the page calculates everything else. Because of the vast size differences involved, it may be difficult to create a model in a small space, but just comparing the numbers can be instructive.

tag(s): planets (123), solar system (119), sun (71)

In the Classroom

Those teaching space or earth science will find this one a great tool for developing models and comparisons.

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Virtual Sky

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6 to 12
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This site offers a diagram of the night sky that varies based on your location. We've not confirmed its accuracy, but it could be useful tool as part of an ...more
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This site offers a diagram of the night sky that varies based on your location. We've not confirmed its accuracy, but it could be useful tool as part of an introduction to astronomy or star-gazing.

tag(s): stars (61)

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ExploreScience - ExploreLearning

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9 to 12
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This is a collection of well-written instructional modules that introduce scientific concepts, primarily in physics and life sciences. All modules use Flash/shockwave animation, and...more
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This is a collection of well-written instructional modules that introduce scientific concepts, primarily in physics and life sciences. All modules use Flash/shockwave animation, and they can be used to teach or reinforce principles. Each module includes interactive elements that require students to participate in the presentation.

tag(s): genetics (90), mass (23), optics (13)

In the Classroom

These modules will be challenging content for some students, but the quality of both content and presentation is excellent. There are lesson plans associated with each module.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Planetary Image Catalog - NASA

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4 to 12
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NASA offers an easy-to-use collection of images of the planets, their moons, and other comets, asteroids, and similar objects that pass by from time to time. Many of the images ...more
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NASA offers an easy-to-use collection of images of the planets, their moons, and other comets, asteroids, and similar objects that pass by from time to time. Many of the images are indexed by the mission which obtained them, but the thumbnails will help you find what you're looking for. Great image resource for a solar system unit.

tag(s): moon (72), planets (123), solar system (119)

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NASA Express Lesson - NASA

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6 to 12
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This page is the "front door" to a collection of NASA lesson units dealing with assorted topics in astronomy, aeronautics, and science. Each unit contains a collection of on-line and...more
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This page is the "front door" to a collection of NASA lesson units dealing with assorted topics in astronomy, aeronautics, and science. Each unit contains a collection of on-line and classroom materials. You'll find the typical NASA depth of content; the challenge is fitting it into available time and resources. Still, these lessons can be a great resource.

tag(s): aeronautics (13), space (205)

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Project Starshine - NASA

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6 to 12
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NASA's student-participation satellite project has enlisted students to help polish mirrors for a series of satellites students can actually spot from space. The site includes information...more
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NASA's student-participation satellite project has enlisted students to help polish mirrors for a series of satellites students can actually spot from space. The site includes information on how to spot a satellite, how to participate in a mirror polishing assignment, and the objectives of the starshine spacecraft. Try it for a hands-on space study.

tag(s): nasa (39), stars (61)

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NSF Classroom Resources - National Science Foundation

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4 to 12
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This is a collection of science and math lessons and web resources ranging from how the Internet works to nanoscience, engineering, biology, and principles of physics and chemistry....more
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This is a collection of science and math lessons and web resources ranging from how the Internet works to nanoscience, engineering, biology, and principles of physics and chemistry. The content is predictably detailed, "real science" based on topics and phenomena that will interest students. These are the best of the best lessons and resources with applicability to lots of settings.

tag(s): antarctica (29), arctic (44), biomes (116), chemicals (40), computers (95), cultures (105), earth (228), engineering (125), environment (317), fractions (239), geometric shapes (163), numbers (204), origami (17), planets (123), robotics (25), space (205), symmetry (55)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site as a reference site for finding further material. Under each subject find a varity of formats from forums and articles, to videos, interactives, podcasts, experiments and more. Some of the resources on this site may lead to a starting point for individual or group projects. Use parts of this site at a center. Share this site with staff (especially new teachers) and parents looking to extend science and math activities at home.

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Strange Stuff Explained - PBS

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9 to 12
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This section from a larger site about Stephen Hawking offers a layman's description of some of cosmology's more common, yet puzzling, terms. What is a black hole, anyway? Can you ...more
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This section from a larger site about Stephen Hawking offers a layman's description of some of cosmology's more common, yet puzzling, terms. What is a black hole, anyway? Can you see a quark, and if so, for how long? Find the answers here.

tag(s): planets (123), stars (61)

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NASA Lunar Prospector - NASA

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6 to 12
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This is the home site for the NASA lunar prospector spacecraft, launched in early 1998. It provides pictures and resources on both the current project and the history of lunar ...more
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This is the home site for the NASA lunar prospector spacecraft, launched in early 1998. It provides pictures and resources on both the current project and the history of lunar exploration.

tag(s): moon (72)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans hosted on this site! This would be a great resource for science class during a unit astronomy or space exploration.

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The Mir Spacecraft - Terror in Space - PBS

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6 to 12
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The Russian Mir space station is how history, but this site from the PBS NOVA series provides a nice overview of the first permanent space station and how it fell ...more
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The Russian Mir space station is how history, but this site from the PBS NOVA series provides a nice overview of the first permanent space station and how it fell victim to the changes in Russia's economy and politics. Great images and interviews, too.

tag(s): space (205)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center or station during a unit on space exploration. The activity can be very time consuming if inclusive of everything on the site - to be more efficient pre-select which sections you want students to explore. To guide students along the site we recommend using a graphic organizer. For help finding easy to make or pre-prepared organizers, we recommend Graphic Organizer Maker, (reviewed here).

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ISS Virtual Tour - NASA

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6 to 12
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This is NASA's virtual reality tour of the space station exterior. You'll need a VRML plug-in (available at the site), but the demonstration lets users explore the entire exterior....more
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This is NASA's virtual reality tour of the space station exterior. You'll need a VRML plug-in (available at the site), but the demonstration lets users explore the entire exterior. Your students will master the quirky controls more quickly than you do, and it's a great exploration.

tag(s): space (205)

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Real-time Tracking - NASA

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6 to 12
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NASA's real-time data site lets you see where the space station is right now, and it gives pertinent data on space station and shuttle missions. Links from this page take ...more
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NASA's real-time data site lets you see where the space station is right now, and it gives pertinent data on space station and shuttle missions. Links from this page take you to more details on the space station and shuttle.

tag(s): space (205)

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Images from Nasa - NASA

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2 to 12
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This is a nicely indexed, searchable collection of NASA photos whose topics range from aeronautics to space, the planets, and beyond. Most are copyright-free, since they were created...more
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This is a nicely indexed, searchable collection of NASA photos whose topics range from aeronautics to space, the planets, and beyond. Most are copyright-free, since they were created for government use. While some image sizes are quite large, this could be a wonderful resource for creating web projects, student use, or other space and astronomy applications.

tag(s): air (163), images (266), space (205)

In the Classroom

Use the images on this site to create a visual discovery activity in your classroom, introducing the topic of Solar Flares, or another outer space related topic. Select 3-5 images from this site, choosing the most powerful and moving images. Placing the images on individual slides, allow students 1-2 minutes to observe each image. During that time period, students should be taking notes based on what they observe, predict and infer about each image. The more powerful and detailed the image is, the more information students can take out. After the class has observed all the chosen images, have a class discussion based on the notes students took. This is a great way to introduce content in a way that gets students thinking, as well as avoiding the typical lecture format.

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Hubble Space Telescope Site

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6 to 12
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This site is an educator's home page for the Hubble space telescope. In addition to a collection of fabulous photographs, the site offers descriptions of the Hubble's various missions...more
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This site is an educator's home page for the Hubble space telescope. In addition to a collection of fabulous photographs, the site offers descriptions of the Hubble's various missions and the information it has collected since an in-flight repair several years ago restored its "eyesight." Well worth a visit, especially for the images.

tag(s): telescopes (8)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on classroom computers, for use during a unit on space exploration. Begin the unit by introducing the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector before allowing students to explore it on their own. Have students create an online graphic to share using Tabblo reviewed here, to show what they have learned.

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Galileo's Villa

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6 to 12
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This site uses Galileo's Villa as the starting point for a lengthy description of the famous astronomer's life, times, and scientific obsevations and achievements. The site is by no...more
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This site uses Galileo's Villa as the starting point for a lengthy description of the famous astronomer's life, times, and scientific obsevations and achievements. The site is by no means new, and it consists mostly of text. That said, the articles will retain the attention of an interested student.

tag(s): galileo (7)

In the Classroom

Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. Post the resource on your teacher web page to allow students to use it for research both in and out of the classroom. This site would be a great source for any student working on a biography of Galileo, a report on the Inquisition, or the beginnings of astronomy.

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Galileo Galilei from the History of Science Museum - Florence, Italy

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9 to 12
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This Italian site includes a display of historical artifacts relating to the studies of Galileo Galilei. The link changing it to English can sometimes be a bit tricky so be ...more
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This Italian site includes a display of historical artifacts relating to the studies of Galileo Galilei. The link changing it to English can sometimes be a bit tricky so be sure to test it before using it in your classroom!

tag(s): galileo (7)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an introductory activity during a unit on the famous astronomer. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector to provide some context to his revolutionary ideas. This would be a useful resource for a World history or Physics classroom.

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Exploring Earth's Magnetosphere - NASA

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9 to 12
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This is a high school level introduction to the earth's magnetosphere, covering topics such as solar wind, sunspots, and electromagnetic activity in space. While the writing is dense...more
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This is a high school level introduction to the earth's magnetosphere, covering topics such as solar wind, sunspots, and electromagnetic activity in space. While the writing is dense and technical, the author makes no special assumptions about previous exposure to mathematics or physics. The unit can be used for self-study, or for students interested in pursuing this phase of physics and astronomy in more depth. This site has a sister-site, From Stargazers to Starships.

tag(s): atmosphere (26)

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Expanding Universe Search Tool

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6 to 12
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This Canadian site offers a searchable "library" of information related to Astronomy. Several sub-indices are included. Useful site if searching for specific information on an event,...more
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This Canadian site offers a searchable "library" of information related to Astronomy. Several sub-indices are included. Useful site if searching for specific information on an event, technique, or definition of a term.

tag(s): space (205)

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Encyclopedia Astronautica

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6 to 12
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For technical and historical information about space travel and technology, this site is probably without peer. There are hundreds of pages, images, and minutely detailed chronologies...more
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For technical and historical information about space travel and technology, this site is probably without peer. There are hundreds of pages, images, and minutely detailed chronologies of the people, programs, and equipment which have contributed to space travel in countries around the world. It's an outstanding research site, and a wealth of information.

tag(s): space (205)

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Auroras: Paintings in the Sky - The Exploratorium

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6 to 12
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This web site shows and tells all about auroras, seen both from the earth and from space. A self-guided tour explains how and why they occur and includes sound clips ...more
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This web site shows and tells all about auroras, seen both from the earth and from space. A self-guided tour explains how and why they occur and includes sound clips from a NASA scientist. The pictures are excellent, text is well-written, and links to other aurora information are included. You can also post your own ideas here. Sound files are accessed with RealAudio, available in the TeachersFirst toolbox.

tag(s): space (205)

In the Classroom

A special section for teachers gives classroom suggestions and ideas for assignments based on this site. You can also post your own ideas here. Sound files are accessed with RealAudio, available in the TeachersFirst toolbox.

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