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Science projects, ideas & topics - Science Made Simple

Grades
K to 12
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This "plain vanilla" looking site offers science help for parents, students, and teachers with simple explanations of science topics and ideas for experiments and projects. There is...more
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This "plain vanilla" looking site offers science help for parents, students, and teachers with simple explanations of science topics and ideas for experiments and projects. There is an extensive section devoted to creating a wonderful science fair that includes project ideas, how to pick a topic, presenting projects, judging, and parent information. There are also many at-home ideas for projects using simple, easy to find materials such as swinging cereal to demonstrate static electricity. You can sign up for their free newsletter to stay informed of new materials added to the site. There is an online store; however, it isn't necessary to purchase materials to use most of the information offered onsite.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colors (80), electricity (92), experiments (69), photosynthesis (33), plants (174)

In the Classroom

Share portions of the site such as how to use a lab notebook or how to do experiments safely on your interactive whiteboard when beginning science projects. Use the site as a resource for classroom experiments with materials that are readily available. Assign experiments for students to do at home, then have them prepare a presentation for the class describing science concepts demonstrated and learned. Secondary teachers can assign students a topic from the Science News portion of the site to read and discuss with the class. Challenge students to create a multimedia project to share with the class using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.

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Ingenious - NMSI

Grades
9 to 12
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View thousands of old style photos on a range of science and ethical topics. Use this site to bring together images as well as viewpoints to create new insights into ...more
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View thousands of old style photos on a range of science and ethical topics. Use this site to bring together images as well as viewpoints to create new insights into Science and culture. Click on Read to obtain background on various science issues arranged by subject. Click on the Debate tab to look at questions and discussions related to science topics and issues. Find old style photos in the See tab. Create a login to save searches and photos for future use. Be certain to preview whatever you plan to share with your students. At this time of this review, there were some topics that would not be appropriate for some classrooms.

tag(s): debate (46), industrialization (14), medicine (70), natural resources (58)

In the Classroom

Find great information, photos, and possible questions for use in the classroom to stimulate thinking and make connections between content and the use of science in everyday life. For example, the debate "Can we sustain our lifestyles and our planet?" uses content from food chains to technology to natural resources. Additionally the discussion of what every organism needs to survive can bring to light discussions of characteristics of living things and our responsibility to the planet.

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Science.Gov - CENDI

Grades
8 to 12
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This is a searchable database of science research on many topics. It is entirely governmental science research that is available for public viewing. Search over 40 other databases and...more
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This is a searchable database of science research on many topics. It is entirely governmental science research that is available for public viewing. Search over 40 other databases and 200 million web pages of science information. Talk about a one stop shop! It is easy to search - just type and enter!

tag(s): data (161), resources (107)

In the Classroom

Use this as resource when researching for scientific papers, getting ideas for experiments, or just staying apprised of the latest scientific research on a specific topic.

If your students are doing scientific research you might want to supply them with links from Science.gov using Diigo-Education reviewed here.

Comments

Would like to see better search features within subject categories. Kathleen, VT, Grades: 0 - 12

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Science Geek - Mr. Allan

Grades
7 to 12
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Find terrific resources for chemistry and biology classes at this informational site. You'll find PowerPoints, procedures for labs, and general notes. This site was originally designed...more
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Find terrific resources for chemistry and biology classes at this informational site. You'll find PowerPoints, procedures for labs, and general notes. This site was originally designed to be one teacher's online classroom spot. However, the resources are very helpful in teaching chemistry, biology, and science in general, and this teacher is willing to share.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chemicals (44), genetics (88)

In the Classroom

Use the printables in your classroom when students do not have easy access to the internet. Try something more adventurous by showing a chemistry video on your interactive whiteboard. To use this site even further, have students try out a virtual lab tool as an alternative to a hands on lab assignment. Assign groups to different (specific) topics and challenge the groups to present their lab and results by creating a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Make this link available as an alternate way to look at concepts when students are "stuck" or confused.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Selenia: Science comics - University of the West of England

Grades
2 to 8
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This colorful site offers science comics, educational interactives, links for teachers, and more. Engage students with these comics, and encourage them to identify the scientific principles...more
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This colorful site offers science comics, educational interactives, links for teachers, and more. Engage students with these comics, and encourage them to identify the scientific principles found in each. Follow up activities include word searches and other puzzles to reinforce vocabulary. Use the "For Teachers" link to find pdf lesson plans for ideas and experiments that coordinate with the comics. This site was created in Great Britain, so you may notice some slightly different spellings that US English.

tag(s): air (148), comics and cartoons (65), inquiry (34)

In the Classroom

Begin with the comic strip to introduce a concept (share on your interactive whiteboard or projector). Have students note the physical and chemical properties occurring in each frame and to identify the scientific principle being presented. Use as a class discussion and introduction to specific principle. Use the suggested experiments and activities for further inquiry and investigation. When discussing other topics in class, encourage students to create their own comic either traditionally or digitally to demonstrate their understandings of the concept. Try using an online tool for students to create comics, such as the Comic Creator (explained here).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Build an Atom - Keithcom.com

Grades
10 to 12
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View how the protons, neutrons, and electrons are arranged in different atoms. Choose an element or start with hydrogen and move throughout the periodic table. View also the electron...more
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View how the protons, neutrons, and electrons are arranged in different atoms. Choose an element or start with hydrogen and move throughout the periodic table. View also the electron orbital configuration and click the link below to view a scale model of the protons and electrons.

tag(s): atoms (55), periodic table (51)

In the Classroom

Use this simple illustration to find patterns among atoms at the start of a unit on atoms. Students view and brainstorm the rules of arrangement of protons, neutrons, and electrons together. Use a think, pair, share and then discuss these rules with the rest of the class to build notes on atomic theory. Find the atoms that share the same column in the periodic table to find what they have in common in terms of orbitals and electron configuration. Create flashcards with information on index cards or using any multimedia program to use to create an interactive periodic table to study from or to add periodic trends as the class continues to uncover properties of elements. Use an online flashcard maker, like Flashcard Stash, reviewed here.

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KId Wind - Kind Wind Project

Grades
6 to 12
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Build a wind turbine and learn about wind power with your class. Kid Wind provides free lessons, Power Point presentations, and resources to support teachers and students as they learn...more
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Build a wind turbine and learn about wind power with your class. Kid Wind provides free lessons, Power Point presentations, and resources to support teachers and students as they learn about wind energy. The wind turbine plans vary in difficulty. Construct basic models from common materials such as Tinker Toys or create a more sophisticated one with a wind generator built from car alternators. This is a good resource for students interested in investigating for a science fair project about renewable energy. In the free curriculum area there are also lesson plans/activities (mainly pdfs) on energy efficiency, creating a hot air balloon, solar power, and more. Be aware: some of this site is for a fee.

tag(s): air (148), electricity (92), energy (207), engineering (129), ratios (63), solar energy (39)

In the Classroom

Use experiential learning to model how higher-level math concepts have a direct correlation to current environmental issues. Learn to measure wind energy, calculate "gear ratios," the area of a blade's "sweep," measure the amount of energy or wind a turbine is producing.

There is a range of lessons and activities here, some more complex than others. You may want to choose a few that fit your curricular needs and then allow small groups of students to investigate one together. Have student groups make an online Stixy (reviewed here) of things they discover about their topic, and later rearrange the items to "explain" their topic to classmates visually.

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CanvasMol - alteredqualia.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Learn about simple or complex molecules and see them in 3D. Envision how molecules are put together. Choose various molecules listed along the left. The structural formula in 3D will...more
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Learn about simple or complex molecules and see them in 3D. Envision how molecules are put together. Choose various molecules listed along the left. The structural formula in 3D will appear in a window. Remove old structures by clicking the red "X" in their box. Change the rotating molecule by choosing the axis on which it is rotating (x, y, or z.) Remove the atoms, bonds, and colors. Read stats about the molecule. Click PNG to view a static image that can be saved.

tag(s): atoms (55), elements (34), molecules (45), periodic table (51), structures (23)

In the Classroom

For many students, envisioning how molecules are put together is challenging. Identify how many atoms are put together, including how many bonds they form by using this as an introductory, inquiry activity. Have students use information learned here to create their own models using a drawing program such as Draw.to, reviewed here, or use more conventional material like marshmallows and gum drops that are always a hit! Identify the atoms in the molecules on this site and research the effects of these molecules in living systems.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Everyday Mysteries - Library of Congress

Grades
3 to 12
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Find answers to the most interesting and intriguing questions that can be asked. Uncover cool science facts by looking at these answers. Enter a search term to find related questions...more
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Find answers to the most interesting and intriguing questions that can be asked. Uncover cool science facts by looking at these answers. Enter a search term to find related questions and answers. Browse categories such as Agriculture, Zoology, Meteorolgy, Home Economics, and Technology. View related resources and other interesting information on each page.

tag(s): agriculture (60), animals (322), climate (95), energy (207), planets (128), plants (174), questioning (36), resources (107), seasons (36)

In the Classroom

Use as a reference to answer questions that students have. Use this site to also apply information learned in the classroom. For example, when discussing light energy and wavelengths, use the explanation of why it is hot in the summer and cold in the winter to apply the information about energy and wavelength. Follow the use of this site with related labs and other activities. Follow up also with more research. For example, after learning about how an hour glass works, research, report, or create other timepieces used throughout history focusing on the advantages and disadvantages as well as the limitations and changes in technology over time.

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Mixtures - Shodor

Grades
5 to 9
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This site provides good practice with mixtures to create percent problems through 4 different activities. Activities include exploration, unknown pile, unknown percent, or unknown total....more
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This site provides good practice with mixtures to create percent problems through 4 different activities. Activities include exploration, unknown pile, unknown percent, or unknown total. The site includes sections for both learners and instructors. The learners section explains how mixtures are used in the real world and the instructor section provides curriculum and standards alignments, classroom suggestions, and links to related resources. This site would also work well in a chemistry class.

tag(s): percent (82)

In the Classroom

Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Share this link on your class website for students to access at home. This site offers multiple modes of use, so it is easy to differentiate for ability levels within your class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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General Chemistry Jeopardy Games - University of Pittsburgh

Grades
9 to 12
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This site offers a bunch of general chemistry jeopardy games. All ten available interactive jeopardy games are single jeopardy only. The site also offers fairly clear instructions on...more
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This site offers a bunch of general chemistry jeopardy games. All ten available interactive jeopardy games are single jeopardy only. The site also offers fairly clear instructions on how to create your own game. This could be the most valuable part for an educator (that has the time to do this). But otherwise the pre-made games are good. You would have to play the game to create an answer key.

tag(s): atoms (55), chemicals (44), matter (61)

In the Classroom

Any of the jeopardy sessions on this site would be ideal for classroom review on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Assign various games to the class for review on your class wiki.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Science Buzz - Science Museum of Minnesota

Grades
5 to 9
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Brimming with color and current science information, this site is a great current happenings resource. To post to the blog, students must sign up, but the site promises no spamming...more
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Brimming with color and current science information, this site is a great current happenings resource. To post to the blog, students must sign up, but the site promises no spamming from the sign up. The confirmation email does take some time to arrive, and the buzz requires verification before a user can participate. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.

The articles contained in this site are to the point, clear to understand, and in a large font. There are very few distractions going on in the site. It is easy to navigate and has a cool teacher tool in the buzz blog. Click on the Community tab, and the blogs are indexed by standards and grouped into topics such as earth science and physical science with subtopics.

tag(s): animals (322), endangered species (41), news (262), nutrition (159), weather (201)

In the Classroom

This site would be a great resource for current events projects. Students could be assigned a specific article to read, and then post to a discussion forum on the class wiki or another internet discussion board that is acceptable at school. Or have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Renewable Energy Basics - The Pembima Institute

Grades
7 to 12
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Integrate clean air technology into your physical science units. Re-Energy.ca highlights five basic forms of renewable energy; solar electricity and heat, wind power and energy, and...more
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Integrate clean air technology into your physical science units. Re-Energy.ca highlights five basic forms of renewable energy; solar electricity and heat, wind power and energy, and biomass energy. All the necessary background information needed to better understand renewable energy and with a list of valuable links, resources and videos. Included are detailed construction plans for renewable energy models such as a solar oven or wind turbine. The site also addresses larger environmental issues such as global climate change and is dedicated to educating the public on ways to reduce the consumption of natural resources.

tag(s): climate change (70), design (88), electricity (92), energy (207), engineering (129), heat (16), natural resources (58), sustainability (18)

In the Classroom

The projects outlined are in simple steps to show students how to create their own renewable energy technologies. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to get hands on experience with engineering, design, and sustainable energy technologies. It also could be a resource for science fair projects.

If you live in Canada, you can participate in a solar oven design challenge. Teachers from other countries may want to have their class host an on-line collaborative project to compare and contrast the performance of their home made solar ovens

The website provides a unit plan meant to be completed in 11 class periods. You can download free complete lesson plans with detailed instructions. A student planning worksheet outlines research procedures, project guidelines, timeline for completion dates and evaluation criteria they are expected to meet.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science IQ - Science IQ. com

Grades
8 to 12
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This website features answers to new science questions everyday. If the simple answer is not enough for you, there are helpful links, and suggested additional reading if you would like...more
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This website features answers to new science questions everyday. If the simple answer is not enough for you, there are helpful links, and suggested additional reading if you would like a greater understanding of the concept. Even more information is available through using the categorized science facts found on the left side of the screen. Questions are also searchable by keyword. Subjects include: physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, mathematics, geology, engineering, and medicine.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): area (73), carbon (23), carbon footprint (11), chemicals (44), coal (14), earthquakes (50), energy (207), engineering (129), fossil fuels (18), fossils (46), glaciers (17), machines (27), matter (61), moon (72), natural resources (58), ozone (10), ph (3), planets (128), prime numbers (31), pythagorean theorem (33), questioning (36), space (221), square roots (22), stars (64), sun (69), volume (53)

In the Classroom

Try using this site's questions on a weekly or daily basis in science or math class to start discussions and provoke student thinking. Allow students to view the question on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then brainstorm possible answers. Once enough thoughts have been seeded, share the real answers. Or, allow students to work at the answer as the lesson continues for a few days and reveal the correct answer as a finale to the lesson.

This site could also be used as a learning station for the question of the day or the week.

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Science Bob Experiments - Steve Galgas

Grades
6 to 11
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This website has a list of exciting and simple experiments. The instructions are clear, concise, and printable! Topics include Newton's Law, making a film canister rocket, a levitating...more
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This website has a list of exciting and simple experiments. The instructions are clear, concise, and printable! Topics include Newton's Law, making a film canister rocket, a levitating orb, how to make Slime, optical illusions, bend water with static electricity, and many more for a variety of different sciences. Experiments make good use of cheap, recyclable and other easy to find items. Many experiments have video clips of people doing the experiments.

tag(s): chemicals (44), electricity (92), experiments (69), magnetism (38), newton (26), optical illusions (13), rockets (16), sounds (69), volcanoes (66)

In the Classroom

Print out instructions and have student work through the experiments when relevant to topics. Also, some experiments could be used as demonstrations. Assign cooperative learning groups specific experiments to try out and create a video to share with the class. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science Bob Q&A - Steve Galgas

Grades
3 to 9
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This webpage provides weekly answers to student submitted questions. Answers are student friendly, and offer pictures to help explain the answer. ...more
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This webpage provides weekly answers to student submitted questions. Answers are student friendly, and offer pictures to help explain the answer.

tag(s): questioning (36)

In the Classroom

Use questions as a good bank of "hooks" to start classroom discussions on various topics. Allow students time to expand the question and arrive at their own answers, and then have them view the actual given answer. From here, students can accept or reject the answer by finding more information on the topic.
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Life Sciences Learning Center: Animations - University of Rochster Medical Center

Grades
7 to 12
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View animations about complex cellular processes either online or by downloading to your computer. Click on the picture to view and follow the simulation. Click on "Download movie"...more
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View animations about complex cellular processes either online or by downloading to your computer. Click on the picture to view and follow the simulation. Click on "Download movie" to download the movie for MAC or PC. There are several topics, some of which include "Bacterial Homeostasis and Tooth Decay," "DNA and Genetic Disorders," "Cellular Respiration," and others.

tag(s): animation (63), cells (99), dna (64), genetics (88), photosynthesis (33), respiration (18)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to review concepts that have been learned in a biology class such as photosynthesis, cellular respiration, protein synthesis, or electrophoresis. Give students time to view the animations and create study notes for each part of the process that is happening. For example, have teams of students create the script for the scene unfolding in each slide of the movie. Team members could share the work using a tool such as Crocodoc reviewed here to create the script. Create a glossary of terms that need to be known to understand the process. Create a concept map either using conventional or digital means to outline the major points of the process and the similarities or differences that occur between each of the processes. Use a tool such as bubbl.us reviewed here).

Provide time for students to generate questions from the information they still do not understand or to create quiz questions to check for understanding following the viewing of the resource. You might want them to use Quiz Snack (reviewed here) to create online polls or surveys with their classmates to see who has the answers to the questions they still have.
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Types of Radioactivity - Andy Darvill

Grades
9 to 12
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Learn about the types of radioactivity, radioactive decay, and radioactive isotopes with this informative site. Use the simple information, animations, and video for more information...more
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Learn about the types of radioactivity, radioactive decay, and radioactive isotopes with this informative site. Use the simple information, animations, and video for more information on radioactivity or as a study aid for a chemistry class. Take the quiz at the end to see how much has been learned.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): atoms (55), mass (23), nuclear energy (25)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a great review for students learning radioactivity. Use for students to identify the basic information of radioactivity prior to class discussions. Use on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector for the whole class. Follow with specific nuclear reactions that occur naturally in the Earth or that are controlled as in a nuclear power plant. Discuss radioactive decay, half-lives, and other important information related to radioactivity. Research the various other applications for radioactivity such as diagnostic tests in hospitals, etc. Research the various elements that emit radioactivity and their useful applications to our lives.
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Earth Sky - Earth Sky Communications

Grades
9 to 12
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Looking for real science from real-life scientists? This is the spot for you. EarthSky is loaded with current interviews in all different content areas. Topics include water, energy,...more
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Looking for real science from real-life scientists? This is the spot for you. EarthSky is loaded with current interviews in all different content areas. Topics include water, energy, health, agriculture, biodiversity, earth, space, and human. Another nifty feature of this website is that you can add the RSS feed to your blog or Google account to keep up with new interviews.

tag(s): biodiversity (34), ecology (138), energy (207), scientists (69)

In the Classroom

Have students select an interview to listen to on their own time. Once they have listened to it, have them research the subject. Have students share their findings with the class. Or, add the RSS feed to the class website so that students can access the interviews at their convenience.
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Science Friday Kids' Connection - NPR

Grades
6 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Science Friday includes a live science show, chat rooms, and a science desk for questions. Science links and mentors are also available. There are experiments to try, and an online...more
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Science Friday includes a live science show, chat rooms, and a science desk for questions. Science links and mentors are also available. There are experiments to try, and an online library for users. The site features podcasts of broadcasts of the PRN Science Friday shows, and a weekly video. They can be listened to on the site or downloaded through iTunes. Broadcasts can also be listened to live from links on the site. This hands-on site was designed for the user to have a science experience like no other.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): agriculture (60), air (148), animals (322), anthropology (12), archeology (32), chemicals (44), child development (26), climate (95), climate change (70), computers (102), ecology (138), ecosystems (93), electricity (92), energy (207), engineering (129), environment (325), experiments (69), genetics (88), habitats (106), insects (72), light (51), magnetism (38), medicine (70), mental health (26), nuclear energy (25), nutrition (159), oceans (165), paleontology (42), planets (128), plants (174), podcasts (57), psychology (66), radio (25), reproduction (8), sociology (22), space (221), stars (64), transportation (43), water (134), weather (201)

In the Classroom

Use Science Friday as a springboard and resource for research projects, or as an end of the week fun discussion. Play a podcast, and have students discuss the meaning and any possible misunderstandings. You could set up a computer in your classroom with a Science Friday podcast or video set up and ready to go for students to cycle through or for those who finsh their work early.
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