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Build an Island - NOVA

Grades
5 to 8
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Students can gain an understanding of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by observing the formation of low-lying coral reefs known as atolls. This site condenses millions of years...more
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Students can gain an understanding of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by observing the formation of low-lying coral reefs known as atolls. This site condenses millions of years of evolution into a short, animated slide show that clearly explains each step of the process. A nice addition to an oceanography lesson.

tag(s): darwin (11), evolution (101), marine biology (33), oceans (150)

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Plants in Motion - Indiana University, Department of Biology

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2 to 12
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Watch plants change and grow with these time-lapse movies that illustrate germination, circadian responses, tropic and nastic movements, and more. The images can be enjoyed by students...more
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Watch plants change and grow with these time-lapse movies that illustrate germination, circadian responses, tropic and nastic movements, and more. The images can be enjoyed by students of all ages -elementary kids will love watching the plants "dance" - but the text on the site is fairly high level and appropriate for high school biology classes.

tag(s): plants (146)

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Seeing - Exploratorium

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6 to 12
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Discover the science behind optical illusions with these interactive activities that demonstrate how our eyes interpret images. Each illusion is accompanied by an explanation of how...more
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Discover the science behind optical illusions with these interactive activities that demonstrate how our eyes interpret images. Each illusion is accompanied by an explanation of how and why the eye behaves as it does. Created by Exploratorium.

tag(s): brain (73), optical illusions (12), senses (29)

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Morgan Genetics Tutorial - William Sofer of Rutgers University

Grades
6 to 12
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This interactive site explains and illustrates complex concepts involved in understanding genetics. Students can progress through six sequential levels - from chromosomes and probability...more
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This interactive site explains and illustrates complex concepts involved in understanding genetics. Students can progress through six sequential levels - from chromosomes and probability to gender determination - then follow-up with an online quiz.

tag(s): genetics (90)

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Microangela - Tina Carvalho of the University of Hawaii

Grades
4 to 10
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From the very tiny, to the microscopic, this site offers close-up pictures and information about insects, spores, bacteria, cells, microorganisms, plankton, and more. The strangely...more
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From the very tiny, to the microscopic, this site offers close-up pictures and information about insects, spores, bacteria, cells, microorganisms, plankton, and more. The strangely beautiful, colorized images are accompanied by brief and sometimes entertaining explanations. Your students will gain new understanding and appreciation for the very tiny critters that surround us.

tag(s): bacteria (30), insects (69), microorganisms (14), organisms (21)

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Ology - American Museum of Natural History

Grades
2 to 8
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This site is filled with kid-friendly text and engaging interactive activities that introduce "ologies" and investigate topics including marine biology, astronomy, archeology, earth...more
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This site is filled with kid-friendly text and engaging interactive activities that introduce "ologies" and investigate topics including marine biology, astronomy, archeology, earth science, and more. Each topic section includes background information, virtual experiments and tours, and suggestions for in-class experiments. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): museums (49)

In the Classroom

Motivate your students by using an interactive whiteboard or projector to share these engaging, interactive, and educational resources.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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DNA Detective - New York Hall of Science

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6 to 8
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Engage your middle school students in this online crime-solving activity that involves using and interpreting DNA evidence. After learning DNA basics, visitors can enter the crime...more
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Engage your middle school students in this online crime-solving activity that involves using and interpreting DNA evidence. After learning DNA basics, visitors can enter the crime scene, collect samples, and analyze them in the virtual lab. REQUIRES FLASH!

tag(s): dna (69), forensics (27)

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Hyperheart - University of Utah

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6 to 12
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Use this animated site to help student visualize how blood circulates through the heart. Younger students can easily follow the well-labeled animation, and older students may be interested...more
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Use this animated site to help student visualize how blood circulates through the heart. Younger students can easily follow the well-labeled animation, and older students may be interested in the tutorials, which explain the various stages of the cardiac cycle in much greater detail.

tag(s): heart (44)

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Online Marine Picture Book

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6 to 8
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This online introduction to marine life, designed by and for middle school kids, is an excellent primer for field trip excursions to tidal pools. If traveling to the coast is ...more
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This online introduction to marine life, designed by and for middle school kids, is an excellent primer for field trip excursions to tidal pools. If traveling to the coast is not an option, the online slideshow provides photos and descriptions that are the next best thing to being there. Caution: the site contains several inactive links to videos and related resources.

tag(s): animals (277), habitats (86)

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Bone Biology for Kids

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4 to 8
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Science, health, and biology teachers can find a variety of resources on this site for helping students to understand the skeletal system, bone health, and nutrition. Students can play...more
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Science, health, and biology teachers can find a variety of resources on this site for helping students to understand the skeletal system, bone health, and nutrition. Students can play an interactive Bone-Yahtzee game, or participate in a question/answer page. The Teacher's Corner contains two printable worksheets that can be used to guide students through the site content. Some sections are still in progress, but there is still a considerable amount of information to explore.

tag(s): nutrition (153)

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Stalking the Mysterious Microbe

Grades
6 to 12
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Introduce your students to the microbial worlds of bacteria, fungi, and viruses with this site that provides entertaining background information, ideas for classroom experiments, and...more
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Introduce your students to the microbial worlds of bacteria, fungi, and viruses with this site that provides entertaining background information, ideas for classroom experiments, and a collection of "Microbes in the News" articles. Find out when hands should be washed and what happens when they are not! Interested students can even explore a "Careers" link that offers interviews with experts in the field, advice on finding a mentor, and tips on how to become a microbiologist. Available in English and Spanish.

In the Classroom

Use the videos on this site as a supplement to a lecture on microbes. One video that would be great, "E. Coli Animation," shows the growth and reproduction of e.coli in a quick YouTube clip. Not all school internet systems allow for access to YouTube, so make sure to check your school's policies before use. If it does work, some of these videos do a great job of detailing specific microbes and their life-cycles. Definitely a lot more interesting and fun for students to watch than reading the same information out of a textbook!

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I Can Do That!

Grades
7 to 12
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Genetics can be a daunting topic to introduce to students, but this site offers a simplified, approachable, and entertaining overview of cells, DNA, RNA, synthesis, cloning, and genetic...more
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Genetics can be a daunting topic to introduce to students, but this site offers a simplified, approachable, and entertaining overview of cells, DNA, RNA, synthesis, cloning, and genetic engineering. Students are led through the site by Gene (the gene), Simon (the soil bacterium), Chloe (the chloroplast), and many other amusing guides. Well-labeled, animated illustrations and clever analogies to facilitate understanding are found throughout the site. Is it corny? Yes! But student will laugh as they learn. This is definitely a site for independent exploration in the computer lab.

tag(s): cells (102), dna (69), engineering (125), genetics (90)

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Butterflies of North America - Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

Grades
5 to 12
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This excellent site provides an on-line resource of butterfly species and populations throughout the United States and northern Mexico. A section on Canada is planned for the near future....more
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This excellent site provides an on-line resource of butterfly species and populations throughout the United States and northern Mexico. A section on Canada is planned for the near future. Visitors can use an interactive map to click on any state and discover which butterflies inhabit that region. Photographs of adult butterflies, larvae, and eggs are provided along with information about the distributions of species at the county level. Helpful advice on distinguishing moths from butterflies is provided along with a collection of thumbnail sketches that help visitors identify species they may have spotted.

tag(s): butterflies (13)

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Voyage of the Odyssey - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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On March 17, 2000, the Odyssey began its five-year journey to shed light on the health of the world's oceans and the fate of whales and marine organisms. Explore this ...more
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On March 17, 2000, the Odyssey began its five-year journey to shed light on the health of the world's oceans and the fate of whales and marine organisms. Explore this multimedia site to view video and audio clips, read about oceanic and nautical history, and email scientists with questions about ocean ecology.

tag(s): ecology (135), ecosystems (88), marine biology (33), oceans (150)

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Shedd Aquarium Educational Materials - Shedd Aquarium

Grades
4 to 12
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Chicago's Shedd Aquarium has built an impressive online collection of lesson plans and other instructional tools, including several nice interactive animations. While much of the content...more
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Chicago's Shedd Aquarium has built an impressive online collection of lesson plans and other instructional tools, including several nice interactive animations. While much of the content relates to the aquarium's exhibits, the range of subjects includes most grade levels and many of the topics that might appear in a curriculum on ocean habitats.

tag(s): marine biology (33), oceans (150)

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Lives of Micro-Organisms - Ebiomedia

Grades
6 to 12
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Biology teachers will enjoy this site's outstanding images of microorganisms. An ongoing collection of articles on topics involving microorganisms could be used to supplement other...more
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Biology teachers will enjoy this site's outstanding images of microorganisms. An ongoing collection of articles on topics involving microorganisms could be used to supplement other course materials or for specific research by students. This company also publishes similar collections on CD and DVD; information on these is also available.

tag(s): microorganisms (14), organisms (21)

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Human Body - BBC

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6 to 12
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BBC's presentation on the human body (and the mind) offers a nice, animated tool kit about various body systems. That said, the presentation lacks the built-in sequencing that would...more
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BBC's presentation on the human body (and the mind) offers a nice, animated tool kit about various body systems. That said, the presentation lacks the built-in sequencing that would make it work as a stand-alone study resource, so teachers will need to supply that structure. Properly positioned, however, the content could really be quite useful.

tag(s): body systems (57), human body (121)

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Stem Cells - Australian Academy of Science

Grades
6 to 12
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Though it is politically sensitive in the U.S., this site from the Australian Academy of Science describes stem cells as key to the future of medical research. The site discusses ...more
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Though it is politically sensitive in the U.S., this site from the Australian Academy of Science describes stem cells as key to the future of medical research. The site discusses the potential of this research, then goes on to compare legislative approaches to its regulation in Australia, Britain, and the U.S.

tag(s): cells (102), genetics (90)

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Astrobiology - The Search for Life - Exploratorium

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6 to 12
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The Exploratorium does it again. Their site about the search for life beyond earth does a stellar job of profiling the science, scientists, and surprisingly diverse methods being used...more
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The Exploratorium does it again. Their site about the search for life beyond earth does a stellar job of profiling the science, scientists, and surprisingly diverse methods being used to expand our search for life forms elsewhere in the universe. The site includes plenty of links for further exploration.

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Turtles - NOAA - NOAA

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4 to 12
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While NOAA might be an unlikely source for information on sea turtles, this site offers a surprisingly detailed look at efforts to raise and release sea turtles in several different...more
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While NOAA might be an unlikely source for information on sea turtles, this site offers a surprisingly detailed look at efforts to raise and release sea turtles in several different locations. This one would make an interesting sidebar to a unit on marine ecosystems.

tag(s): marine biology (33), oceans (150)

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