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Africa - The Nature Conservancy

Grades
7 to 12
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Journey deep into Africa's environmental challenges and solutions in this blog-style offering from the Nature Conservancy. Learn about initiatives to save the elephants, promote sustainable...more
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Journey deep into Africa's environmental challenges and solutions in this blog-style offering from the Nature Conservancy. Learn about initiatives to save the elephants, promote sustainable grazing, establish fisheries, protect and conserve water, and much more. Don't miss the interactive section about the elephants accessible by clicking "#SaveElephants." Much of the Nature Conservancy's efforts focuses on raising funds for their endeavors. However, the many articles and rich images on this site explain and illustrate the issues well.

tag(s): africa (180), animals (276), earth day (112), environment (317), water (130)

In the Classroom

With reading levels from middle to high school, the many posts and articles on this site would be excellent background information for students exploring environmental issues around the world, in this case in Africa. Some of the sections are more image-heavy and could even be accessible with an upper elementary class on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Challenge students (or small groups) to delve into an issue of their choice and explain what has caused the problem and how people are trying to solve it. Their explanation could be a traditional oral presentation, an infographic created with Easel.ly, reviewed here, or a creative video using a tool from the TeachersFirst Edge. Offer this site as an optional extension for your more able students who are passionate about animals and/or the environment. Share it around Earth Day as an option for students to create posters or even raise funds for an environmental cause.

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Great site for science and social studies correlation! Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

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Science Behind the News - NBC Learn

Grades
5 to 12
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The twelve videos on this site explore the science, technology, engineering, and math found in current events. These videos look behind the news at topics such as tornadoes, opinion...more
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The twelve videos on this site explore the science, technology, engineering, and math found in current events. These videos look behind the news at topics such as tornadoes, opinion polls, allergies, and drug-resistant bacteria. Each video includes a transcript that opens or closes for use while watching videos.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bacteria (30), computers (94), foreign policy (16), news (261), planets (123), plants (144), politics (99), STEM (134), tornadoes (16), video (253)

In the Classroom

Introduce the videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask students to form small groups depending on which video topic they are interested in further exploring. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here, to present what they learned to their classmates. Have older students use these videos as a springboard for further research into the topics found.
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The Radix Endeavor - MIT's Education Arcade and Scheller Teacher Education Program

Grades
6 to 12
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The Radix Endeavor is a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) for STEM learning in middle and high school. Players interact within the designed environment in which activities take...more
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The Radix Endeavor is a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) for STEM learning in middle and high school. Players interact within the designed environment in which activities take place correlated to biology and mathematics topics. There are options to create an account using email as a private participant or under a teacher account. There is a thorough FAQ section and video tutorials. The tutorials are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): biomes (116), ecology (135), ecosystems (88), engineering (125), measurement (159), money (193), plants (144), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Create a teacher account to find additional curriculum resources. Add your class and reserve class time. Share The Radix Endeavor with your students as part of STEM teaching lessons. Encourage interested students to become experts and share game-play information with other students. Use The Radix Endeavor as part of your after school math program or with gifted students to extend learning. Be sure to read through the Teachers portion of the site for additional ways to use The Radix Endeavor in the classroom.
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Mosa Mack Science Detective - Lissa Johnson

Grades
5 to 9
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Mosa Mack Science is a web-based library of animated science mysteries with hands-on activities. All are aligned to Science standards. Each unit contains a short animated film, discussion...more
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Mosa Mack Science is a web-based library of animated science mysteries with hands-on activities. All are aligned to Science standards. Each unit contains a short animated film, discussion guides, and engineering design challenges in addition to the hands-on activities. Create your free account using email and a password to access the four free units with topics of photosynthesis, climate change, food webs, and diabetes.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): climate change (64), food chains (22), photosynthesis (33), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Download materials from Mosa Mack lessons to supplement your current teaching materials. View videos on your interactive whiteboard and post a link on your class website for students to view at home. If you have a flipped classroom, have students view videos before coming to class and beginning lessons. Use ideas from this site for science fairs and projects.
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Molecular Workbench - Dr. Charles Xie and The Concord Consortium

Grades
8 to 12
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The Molecular Workbench is a free downloadable software resource for designing and conducting computational science experiments. Download the software and create your own activities...more
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The Molecular Workbench is a free downloadable software resource for designing and conducting computational science experiments. Download the software and create your own activities or explore and use the many existing materials. The software covers a range of topics from gas laws through quantum phenomena. Explore the Showcase to find already-created simulations including directions for use and exploration. Be sure to allow Java to run on your computer when prompted.

tag(s): atoms (55), chemicals (40), experiments (71), gravity (45), mass (23), matter (56), science fairs (25), scientific method (64)

In the Classroom

The Molecular Workbench is perfect for use on interactive whiteboards or projectors. Share simulations with students and explore options for within each simulation to view changes. Create a link to simulations on your class website and allow students to explore at home. Challenge students to download the software and create their own explorations. Use Molecular Workbench as an excellent option for challenging gifted students or for use when creating science fair experiments.

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The Encyclopedia of Earth - Environmental Information Coalition

Grades
4 to 12
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Looking for a quality resource about the Earth, organisms, the natural environment, and their interaction with society? This Encyclopedia is a free, quality collection of articles written...more
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Looking for a quality resource about the Earth, organisms, the natural environment, and their interaction with society? This Encyclopedia is a free, quality collection of articles written by professionals, educators, and experts. The project is a collaboration, and articles are reviewed by other experts. Though written by professionals, the articles are not technical, proving useful to students and educators. It is also helpful to other professionals as well as the general public. View the authors and editors attributed to the articles. Be sure to notice the featured articles found in the center of the page. Find chapters or topics along the left side that cover every aspect of the natural and physical world as well as the many issues of human interaction with the Earth. Besides articles, find more at Encyclopedia of Earth including ebooks, lectures, and speeches.

tag(s): agriculture (54), animals (276), biodiversity (38), disasters (39), earth (228), ecology (135), ecosystems (88), energy (197), environment (317), forests (29), plants (144), pollution (66), water (130), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use this resource when students are working on projects that pertain to any part of living things, the natural world, and man's role on the Earth. Be sure to bookmark this site on a class computer or your class website. Be sure to review the authors of the articles, following the links to their biographical pages to look at their expertise. Use this as an exercise in identifying whether information on the Internet is reliable and developing researching skills. As a challenge to your high achieving students, consider asking them to write entries that you can submit to this encyclopedia on classroom topics of interest to them. Students will have to analyze their language and writing style with more scrutiny than other assignments. Consider creating an encyclopedia with content created by students modeled after the style of this tool. Use an online tool such as Weebly, reviewed here, to create a class encyclopedia. Note: As with other resources like Encyclopedia of Earth, content on the site is considered Attribution-Share Alike. Students should always cite their sources in accordance with this type of copyright.

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Global Climate Change - NASA

Grades
3 to 12
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Find great background information on Climate Change with this site. Find up to date information about sea and land ice cover, amount of deforestation, carbon dioxide amounts in the...more
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Find great background information on Climate Change with this site. Find up to date information about sea and land ice cover, amount of deforestation, carbon dioxide amounts in the atmosphere, sea level rise, and more along the bottom. Scroll down to view News and Features, What is Climate Change (and find your answers to the Evidence, Causes, Effects, and Solutions), and explore interactives and other information.

tag(s): climate (92), climate change (64)

In the Classroom

Use this resource for some excellent background information on climate change. Create public service announcements outlining the key points from this site. Create a campaign for making small changes in our lives that can add up to a big difference. Assign small groups to explore one facet of this site and create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
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Audubon Adventures - Audbon.org

Grades
1 to 6
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Connect your students with birds, nature, and the environment with the online Audubon Adventures. Find detailed articles, quizzes, and games about hummingbirds, raptors, and sea birds....more
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Connect your students with birds, nature, and the environment with the online Audubon Adventures. Find detailed articles, quizzes, and games about hummingbirds, raptors, and sea birds. A naturalist dictionary gives you a leg up on all the environmental lingo. Find activities, assessments, and resources for teachers with accompanying standards. An optional periodical is available for a fee.

tag(s): birds (50), conservation (127), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Introduce more nonfiction text into your classroom. Following the presentation of the hummingbird, raptor, and sea bird, challenge your students to create a report on a different animal. Make your own class blog with animals in your area, endangered animals, or invasive animals. If you have not started blogging yet, check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics. Investigate the local Audubon Society activities for classes and teachers. Use as a multiple resource for text analysis. Determine text features and text structure with the articles.
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Book Gold Mine - Double Time Software

Grades
8 to 12
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Find over 300 free ebooks, lectures, and notes in the areas of biology, business, computer science, math, and physics. Find many other subjects and topics in the right menu titled ...more
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Find over 300 free ebooks, lectures, and notes in the areas of biology, business, computer science, math, and physics. Find many other subjects and topics in the right menu titled Latest Resources and Most Popular. Some of those have a fee. Subscribe to the RSS feed to keep up with the latest resources.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ebooks (41)

In the Classroom

Challenge your advanced students to dig deeper and learn more while checking into the latest on Book Gold Mine. During research projects challenge your advanced students, Book Gold Mine provides a free resource for further study or research..
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Thematic Mapping Engine - Bjorn Sandvik

Grades
6 to 12
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What is a .kmz file and how do you make one? A .kmz file, when opened, launches Google Earth and the files needed to view specific portions of the globe, ...more
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What is a .kmz file and how do you make one? A .kmz file, when opened, launches Google Earth and the files needed to view specific portions of the globe, map overlays, and other information. There are several ways to create a .kmz file to share with others for specific content to be learned. Thematic Mapping Engine provides you with a very simple way to create Google Earth .kmz files. This tool uses data from the United Nations to create maps of all types of development and environmental data. Follow the instructions in the yellow box along the right side of this tool. Select a statistical indicator category from the dropdown (for example, Life expectancy or population). Then, select a year or range of years, and the manner in which they would like the data displayed in Google Earth. Preview and download the .kmz file. Share this file on your blog, wiki, or web page. Click on and then download the file. Once the file is opened, Google Earth then opens and the data is seen within Google Earth. Note: Google Earth must be installed on student computers. Check with your technology department about the availability of Google Earth in your schools. See more information about Google Earth, reviewed here.

tag(s): climate change (64), diseases (66), earth (228), landmarks (26), news (261), population (60)

In the Classroom

Use this tool with Google Earth to discuss population changes, incidence of various diseases, or look at environmental data such as carbon dioxide emissions. Use this tool when discussing various countries and populations throughout the world, looking at the various factors that affect countries. Use this information to question the history and current state of various populations. Create more than one .kmz file to place on your class website. Provide time for student groups to look at one of the files and draw conclusions or report on their findings. Use class time to look at the information from all groups to obtain a snapshot of various regions, looking at populations, diseases, and more. For younger grades, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to show these files in Google Earth and compare what students know about the United States or other areas in unfamiliar countries. This tool would be perfect for gifted students to use to extend learning in a Science or History/World Cultures class to better understand the world around them.
 

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e-learning for kids - Health - Dr. Nick van Dam

Grades
3 to 12
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The scope of this health site is incredible. There are 38 health lessons ranging from body systems, dental health, nutrition, and exercise. You will also find information about diseases...more
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The scope of this health site is incredible. There are 38 health lessons ranging from body systems, dental health, nutrition, and exercise. You will also find information about diseases like diabetes and cancer, and much more. The lessons are interactive with colorful diagrams and explanations. The drag and drop interaction makes the exercises easy for even the youngest of students. There is no registration, just click on the category and begin learning! This site was created in the United Kingdom. American English speakers may notice some slight spelling differences.

tag(s): body systems (57), brain (72), dental health (23), diseases (66), drugs and alcohol (19), eyes (6), heart (42), human body (120), nutrition (154), respiration (17), senses (28), vision (87)

In the Classroom

Initially, share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector during your unit on body systems. Next set up rotating stations where students could learn about several concepts in a week. Create small groups of students to investigate the different categories of the body system and generate a learning station for other students to use. Have them use CheckThis, reviewed here, an online, interactive poster creator. Have them create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage reviewed here. They could then create a quiz for station visitors to complete using QuizBean reviewed here. The text portions might be challenging for ESL/ELL and younger students. Use Sound Gecko, reviewed here, a text to speech program, that will allow these students to follow the text as the article or passage is read to them.
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Let's Talk About Insects - University of Illinois Board of Trustees

Grades
3 to 5
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Get into the world of insects with a museum like presentation featuring insects! Start by choosing your language: English or Spanish. Uncover an animated, comprehensive, and informational...more
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Get into the world of insects with a museum like presentation featuring insects! Start by choosing your language: English or Spanish. Uncover an animated, comprehensive, and informational guide on insects. The text is read aloud paired with accompanying photos, sounds, and creepy crawlers!

tag(s): insects (69)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an informational text and audio visual presentation on insects. Share on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share as an example for an informational report to meet Common Core standards. Analyze the presentation and create a graphic organizer to explore the main ideas and details for increased comprehension. Use the graphic organizer as an example for taking notes. Continue to use the format as an example to make multimedia presentations on other content area subjects. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Challenge gifted students to take their research to the next level!
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Eyes on the Earth - NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Grades
5 to 12
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Looking for views of orbiting satellites with actual data about the Earth? Find it here with the Eyes on the Earth tool. Note: This tool requires a one-time download. After ...more
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Looking for views of orbiting satellites with actual data about the Earth? Find it here with the Eyes on the Earth tool. Note: This tool requires a one-time download. After installing, launch from the web page (the install button turns into a start button). Be sure to view in full-screen mode for the best effect. Change your perspective of the Earth by changing the tilt (hold down the mouse and rotate). Zoom in and out with the tool along the right (much like the tool in Google Earth or Maps). Choose from among the tools along the top. As you click on a tool, read information in the window to the left. Be sure to click Turn Audio On to hear the narrative. Use the additional links there for more information. Visible Earth shows the movement of two satellites and the images from both. Choose the speed of the motion of the satellites with the slider along the bottom. Other tools include Temperature, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Sea Level, Antarctic Zone, and Water and Ice. Click on the last two tools to view the actual datasets and missions. Some of the tools have relief maps, showing a 3D representation of the data. Click Show relief to really capture student attention. The tools in the lower right corner control the brightness of the image and full or partial screen.

tag(s): antarctica (29), arctic (44), carbon dioxide (17), climate (92), climate change (64), earth (228), glaciers (14), temperature (29), water (130)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this tool using an interactive whiteboard or projector in the classroom. Provide a link to this tool on your website or bookmark on a class computer. Use this tool to introduce students to questioning and the scientific method. Why collect data on the Earth? Show a tool to the whole class or provide time for groups of students to view the visuals and develop questions and make observations. Challenge students to find answers to some of their questions. Help students figure out what they need to know to answer the questions. For a unit on the environment, begin the unit showing a few of the tools, namely the carbon dioxide and temperature tool. Compare two different tools side by side to note differences in patterns. For example, are the carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide patterns similar? Why or why not? Research the various gases, how they originate, and problems they cause in the atmosphere. Why is the carbon dioxide higher in some areas and not others? Research the carbon footprint of various regions and compare. Are those same areas showing the greatest or least effects of climate change? When discussing technology, view the different missions featured in this tool and the various engineering feats needed to accomplish these missions. Provide time for students to propose a "fantasy" mission for NASA. What should be measured, what would you call the mission? What kind of data would need to be collected? How do you think the Earth image data would look? Draft the proposal and create the possible image for review. Note: Students can focus on biological, chemical, or physical data for their proposal.

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Polar Trec - Arctic Research Consortium and National Science Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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What can you learn when you embed a teacher with scientists in research groups? Plenty! PolarTREC chooses teachers and pairs them with scientific research groups in polar regions, which...more
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What can you learn when you embed a teacher with scientists in research groups? Plenty! PolarTREC chooses teachers and pairs them with scientific research groups in polar regions, which changes how they view and teach science. Use their journals and information to change how you and your students view science as well. Access a variety of polar-related resources that support the STEM classroom including videos recorded by the teachers and the research team. Read journals written by the teachers working with scientists in the Arctic and Antarctica that document their field experiences and research in science. Participate in live webinars where classes can hear from the teacher and scientists in real time and ask questions. View teacher posted videos and lesson plans that can be used in the classroom. This site features a lot of different careers in science uncovered in the journal entries. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): antarctica (29), arctic (44), careers (132), polar (19), scientific method (64), scientists (68), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Point out that much of science work does not take place in a lab and that many locations are pretty cool! Be sure to investigate the main page to find links to learning resources that include lessons and activities. Read teachers' journals in the "virtual base camp" and learn about their polar expeditions. "Join" the expeditions to find web events you or your students can join in as well as read the teacher journal. Be sure to register for the free events using PolarConnect. Find quick links on the main page to recent journal updates and news. Groups of students can view various journals of an expedition to identify the different jobs that make up the whole of a research team. Use this information to research careers and identify the possible ways that a science education is helpful for many careers. Create mini lab experiences for students based upon some of these research projects. For example, bring in various flowers to discuss plant structures while learning about polar pollinators. Create pretend core samples that students can analyze to simulate the procedure researchers use to analyze polar drill core samples. Identify basic science principles needed for better understanding about these projects. Identify how these projects follow the steps of the scientific method.

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Columbia River - National Geographic

Grades
5 to 12
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How has the damming of the mighty Columbia River changed the people and the environment around it? Follow the Columbia downstream to find facts and information about the dams, the ...more
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How has the damming of the mighty Columbia River changed the people and the environment around it? Follow the Columbia downstream to find facts and information about the dams, the Columbia, and its inhabitants. Choose between the full version or the light version of this site (the full version has motion animation throughout). Hover your mouse over items to read a preview. Click to expand and read information about how people have used the Columbia, threats throughout, and various animals found there. Click Downstream to shift the viewing frame to another section of the river. Click on Resources and Links at the bottom of the Interactive for links to more information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ecosystems (88), electricity (89), rivers (21), watersheds (16)

In the Classroom

Show this interactive to the whole class on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Identify areas that are interesting, hovering over them and sharing the information. Take notes of the various impacts on the river system and how the dams have changed them. Use other resources such as Google Earth, reviewed here, to look at the Columbia River firsthand. As a project, research hydroelectric power and the advantages and disadvantages. Research and compare the uses of the Columbia River with others throughout the country. Identify problems with the rivers. For a history class, how have the uses of water changed throughout the years? Look locally at your own watershed. Research the history of the watershed and its uses throughout the history of your area. Create a multimedia project that showcases the information. Use one of the many TeachersFirst Edge Multimedia tools, reviewed here.
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edX - Anant Agarwal

Grades
8 to 12
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edX offers access to the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate...more
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edX offers access to the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate of Achievement or as an audit. Choose from courses with topics in many areas including computers, literature, and humanities. Each course listing offers a short description of the course, details about the university offering the course, estimated time involved, course staff, and available options for taking the course. Start any course at any time. Take the edX Demo course to get a good idea of how courses work and find out about the online learning experience.

tag(s): aeronautics (13), architecture (83), china (66), circuits (20), civil rights (117), computers (94), electricity (89), engineering (125), environment (317), evolution (100), folktales (65), greeks (30), magnetism (35), medicine (67), nutrition (154), poetry (227), psychology (64), religions (61), shakespeare (131), solar energy (38), speech (92), statistics (122), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Share with students on your interactive whiteboard and take the demo course together. This is perfect for use with gifted and advanced students as an option for college level courses and enrichment. Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others, in your building, as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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Natural Selection - Survival - Discovery Communications, LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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Use these interactives to learn the basics of evolution! Choose Learn About Natural Selection to view the basic principles of evolution and the terminology. ...more
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Use these interactives to learn the basics of evolution! Choose Learn About Natural Selection to view the basic principles of evolution and the terminology.
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tag(s): darwin (11), evolution (100), genetics (90)

In the Classroom

Create a series of questions in the form of a webquest that corresponds to the information found in Learn About Natural Selection. Use an online tool such as Track Star from 4Teachers, reviewed here. After completing the webquest, challenge students to Play the Survival Game and record their results as they play. Be sure to assign a conclusion summary including their results and connecting to the information from Learn About Natural Selection. Use this resource on an interactive whiteboard or projector and complete the interactive as a class. Assign a project to students reporting on the basic principles of evolution, providing the facts for these principles.

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National Invasive Species Information Center - United States Department of Agriculture

Grades
2 to 12
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Find out what an invasive species is and why they are such a problem on this site. Use the links along the left to search by geographical location or by ...more
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Find out what an invasive species is and why they are such a problem on this site. Use the links along the left to search by geographical location or by type of invasive (plants, animals, laws and regulations, etc.). Check out the Spotlights that includes Identification, an Interactive Learning Module, and Education. Use the links found on this page to view a vast array of information about invasive species.

tag(s): animals (276), bacteria (30), conservation (127), ecosystems (88), plants (144), population (60)

In the Classroom

Be sure to place this link on your school website for access by students. When discussing invasive species, consider a project for reporting on individual invasive species with students using the information found here to choose one to create a report or multimedia product using one of the many tools featured on TeachersFirst Edge.

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Get Caught Recycling - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Grades
K to 12
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What is e-waste and what to do with it? Find information about recycling, including e-waste, on this site. Though this site is for the State of Kansas, the information found ...more
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What is e-waste and what to do with it? Find information about recycling, including e-waste, on this site. Though this site is for the State of Kansas, the information found here will be helpful material for anywhere. Find great information on "Why Recycle?" and "How Can I Recycle?" including the often forgotten message about reducing the use of items that need recycling in the first place. Be sure to check the section on e-waste and recycling, and also check out the Earth Day resources found on this site.

tag(s): energy (197), natural resources (59), recycling (57), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Research how to recycle materials including e-waste on this site. Follow with research about recycling in your state. For Earth Day or everyday, use this site to raise awareness about the energy that is used to create items and how energy can be saved by using recycled materials. Encourage students to keep track of what items their family throws away (or make an audit of what is thrown away at school). Students can research statistics about the various items used in the United States and abroad including the most discarded items in landfills. Research why recycling is an important endeavor to combat pollution and energy use. Assign small groups to create a public service announcement for your school or community to learn more about the benefits and encourage recycling. Use one of the many multimedia tools reviewed by TeachersFirst here. Initiate a recycling campaign and create a center for recycling many items from the school including e-waste. Classes can tally the pounds of materials saved for recycling including paper. Have students create informational commercials and share them using a hosting service such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Use the many broadcast and print resources on this site as inspiration.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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What Tree Is It? - Ohio Public Library Information Network

Grades
4 to 12
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Find the name of that unknown tree with this easy to use resource. Choose from prominent characteristics at each step to find the name of the Northeastern US tree. Though ...more
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Find the name of that unknown tree with this easy to use resource. Choose from prominent characteristics at each step to find the name of the Northeastern US tree. Though this site is about the trees in Ohio, many of them can be found throughout Northeastern US. Pictures accompany each characteristic to better make the right choice. Click each correct characteristic to reach the name of the tree. Click on the name to read more about the characteristics of the tree, including leaves and fruit. Continue to read about the history, uses, and environment where the tree grows.

tag(s): plants (144), trees (30)

In the Classroom

Stumped at the naming and identification of trees? This easy to use resource is a great one for students who tend to be confused with conventional dichotomous keys. Find samples of these trees on your school campus, community, or elsewhere. Use this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector as a class to demonstrate how to use a dichotomous key and explain how features of a leaf are much like our features (different and useful for identifying). Use the samples to work as lab groups to identify the name of the tree and report about tree uses. Be sure to discuss the importance of tree variety in the environment for all living things. Research the animals that call each of these trees their home or depend upon them for food or shelter. Consider clever projects about the trees. Create a wanted poster for your tree including uses of the tree by humans or other animals. For example, the Butternut Tree would read: "Wanted for imitating the Black Walnut. Last seen in ravines and stream bottoms. Reward of the Butternut's sweet flavored and oily nuts offered by squirrels." Encourage critical thinking of students by bringing a variety of leaves (attached to twigs). Students work as a class to create the characteristics to help identify them, focusing on only two choices at one time. Test their identification key with a leaf not encountered yet.

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