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Virtual Oil Well - American Geological Institute

Grades
9 to 12
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This fun and interactive game presents students with a real-life scenario: You have inherited two million dollars and mineral rights to an eight-square mile tract of land; however,...more
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This fun and interactive game presents students with a real-life scenario: You have inherited two million dollars and mineral rights to an eight-square mile tract of land; however, to collect the inheritance, you must commit to drilling for oil on the land. The objective is to find the oil before your money runs out. The site provides guidance in the form of a glossary, background information, and virtual consultants, but the task is anything but easy! This is truly a challenging and thought-provoking activity that will strengthen your students' problem-solving skills and reveal the complex process behind drilling for oil. You might want to divide your class into small groups for this interactive experience.

tag(s): energy (198), fossil fuels (18), geology (81), oil (45), oil spill (21)

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Backyard Nature

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5 to 9
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Life science teachers can find a wide variety of information about many aspects of the natural world in this well-organized site. Topics include geology, plants, fungi, animals, and...more
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Life science teachers can find a wide variety of information about many aspects of the natural world in this well-organized site. Topics include geology, plants, fungi, animals, and naming/classifying living things. A section on "tools" provides guidance in selecting the proper items for successful nature study (i.e., field guides, binoculars, notebooks). Most importantly, all of the information is geared toward understanding nature in your own backyard (or schoolyard!). Encourage your students to check out the link to 101 Nature-Oriented Things to Do for some great science-based ideas on how to fill those long summer days.

tag(s): animals (276), classification (25), plants (145)

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Cloud Types - NASA

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6 to 12
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This outstanding interactive, multimedia slide-show presents a wealth of information about cloud types through audio, photographs, and diagrams. The tutorial can be easily projected...more
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This outstanding interactive, multimedia slide-show presents a wealth of information about cloud types through audio, photographs, and diagrams. The tutorial can be easily projected in the classroom, or students can explore it independently in the computer lab (head phones are recommended). Students may choose to view the text associated with the audio, pause the show at any time, or visit related links. A text transcript of the audio used throughout the entire tutorial can be printed.

tag(s): atmosphere (26), weather (188)

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Smokey Kids - USDA Forest Service

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1 to 6
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Elementary students can learn about the importance of America's forests while gaining an understanding of how fire can threaten and destroy this valuable resource. The site offers a...more
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Elementary students can learn about the importance of America's forests while gaining an understanding of how fire can threaten and destroy this valuable resource. The site offers a series of on-line, interactive "Campfire Games" that educate and entertain, as well as puzzles and printable coloring book pages. Visit the "Only You" section to learn about the science of forest fires, discover how some are actually beneficial, and find out how to prevent disastrous wildfires.

tag(s): fire (25), forests (29), safety (92)

In the Classroom

Use the games as a learning center as part of a unit or lesson on fire safety and prevention. Have students complete the games in pairs, letting them pick which of the games they want to play in the given time.

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Periodical Cicada Page - University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

Grades
6 to 12
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Most of your students have not had the pleasure of meeting and greeting those prolific and vocal insects that appear just once every 13 or 17 years in the eastern ...more
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Most of your students have not had the pleasure of meeting and greeting those prolific and vocal insects that appear just once every 13 or 17 years in the eastern half of the United States. This site profiles these infamous flying, plant-sucking creatures that can wreak havoc among trees and shrubs. Use this resource to introduce students to the behavior, distribution and damaging effects of the cicada. Many images and sound bytes of cicada songs are also included.

tag(s): insects (69)

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Virtual Cave - Djuna Bewley and Dave Bunnell

Grades
6 to 12
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From the safety of the computer lab, students can investigate some of the world's most intriguing underground realms. Lava tube, erosional, sea, and solution caves are represented with...more
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From the safety of the computer lab, students can investigate some of the world's most intriguing underground realms. Lava tube, erosional, sea, and solution caves are represented with images, descriptions, and virtual tours. Learn about the physical structures that may be encountered along the way, including conulites, helictites, and stalagmites. Use the virtual cave maps to navigate through the underground rooms and click on the features you would like to learn more about. The images are spectacular but students will have to read through the explanatory text to get the most out of the virtual tours. This would be a useful site to explore before an actual trip to a local cave.

tag(s): caves (5)

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Facing the Future: People and the Planet

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5 to 12
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Help students recognize that Earth Day is every day with this thought-provoking resource that addresses the interconnections between the environment, population, poverty, consumption...more
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Help students recognize that Earth Day is every day with this thought-provoking resource that addresses the interconnections between the environment, population, poverty, consumption and conflict. Start with the Teacher's Corner page which provides an impressive collection of downloadable activities and interdisciplinary lesson plans aligned to national standards (click on "download curriculum" to access this feature). Informational text is provided in both 60 second and in depth versions. Choose based on the reading lefel of your students. Check out the "Service Learning" opportunities for practical ideas on engaging your students in critical local and global issues. Created by Facing the Future, a non-profit organization.

tag(s): environment (317), population (60)

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Water Environment Federation

Grades
1 to 12
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Liven up your environmental science lessons with this impressive collection of hands-on activities, downloadable materials, and clever ideas. The water cycle, aquifers, wastewater treatment,...more
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Liven up your environmental science lessons with this impressive collection of hands-on activities, downloadable materials, and clever ideas. The water cycle, aquifers, wastewater treatment, and groundwater pollution are among the dozens of subjects addressed by lesson plans that provide everything from suggestions for advanced preparation, to background materials, to ideas for follow-up activities. Click on the link to complimentary materials for teachers and students to access a collection of printable brochures and diagrams. Use them as an on-line resource for environmental science projects.

tag(s): pollution (66), water (130), water cycle (33)

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Will Runaway Water Warm the World? - NASA

Grades
9 to 12
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Beginning with a description of the deadly heat wave that engulfed Europe in July and August of 2003, this website takes a student-friendly approach to explaining the phenomenon and...more
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Beginning with a description of the deadly heat wave that engulfed Europe in July and August of 2003, this website takes a student-friendly approach to explaining the phenomenon and effects of global warming. The interaction between water vapor, greenhouse gases, and the atmosphere is clearly explained and illustrated. Students can discover how scientists use satellite data to create and validate their climate models. Treat this resource as an on-line textbook chapter; ask students to read and summarize in their own words. The reading level is challenging, but appropriate for high ability secondary students. It will certainly make them think!

tag(s): water (130)

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EPA: NonPoint Source Kids Page - EPA

Grades
1 to 8
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The Environmental Protection Agency provides an entertaining and interactive introduction to the issue of water contamination. Through on-line activities, lesson plans, and interactive...more
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The Environmental Protection Agency provides an entertaining and interactive introduction to the issue of water contamination. Through on-line activities, lesson plans, and interactive games, elementary and middle school students can learn about stream morphology, water quality, surface runoff, and discover how they and their families can prevent water pollution in their homes and when taking part in recreational activities.

tag(s): pollution (66), water (130)

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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 (148)

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Amazon Interactive

Grades
4 to 6
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This site presents information about the South American Amazon region in an interactive quiz format. The people, plants, animals, and climate of this area are explored through text...more
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This site presents information about the South American Amazon region in an interactive quiz format. The people, plants, animals, and climate of this area are explored through text and graphics. Students are challenged to successfully plan and manage a locally controlled ecotourism site in a simulation game provided on the site. Can be used to supplement a unit on environmental science or a social studies lesson about the indigenous people of South America. Created by Educational Web Adventures.

tag(s): amazon (9), ecosystems (88), south america (39)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a learning center during a unit on Ecotourism. Introduce the site on the interactive whiteboard before allowing students to complete it in cooperative learning groups on classroom computers. This would be a great activity to use to help students review before a final assessment.

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Weather: Wind Chill - PBS

Grades
7 to 10
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Involve your students in the monitoring of daily weather by using this math-based science lesson on calculating wind chill. Formulas for Fahrenheit and Celsius are provided. Created...more
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Involve your students in the monitoring of daily weather by using this math-based science lesson on calculating wind chill. Formulas for Fahrenheit and Celsius are provided. Created by PBS.

tag(s): weather (188)

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Earthtrips - A Virtual Tour into the Earth's History - Paleontological Research Institution

Grades
9 to 12
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Take your students on an on-line field exploration adventure with one of several virtual trips offered on this site. Select a tour based on time period or locality and learn ...more
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Take your students on an on-line field exploration adventure with one of several virtual trips offered on this site. Select a tour based on time period or locality and learn about the geologic history of the United States. High quality, close-up photographs provide "the next best thing to being there" experience as students observe the raw data of earth science.

tag(s): geology (81), paleontology (41), states (163)

In the Classroom

Select the region that pertains to your unit, and save the site as a favorite on classroom computers. The site offers multiple webquests that make it the perfect learning center or station. Have students complete the webquests in pairs or cooperative learning groups. The details of the webquest combine geography, history and science - making it easily usable in any of those classes.

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Vertebrate Flight Exhibit - UC Berkeley

Grades
9 to 12
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Man may have been flying for only a century, but other vertebrates have been doing it for millions of years! Take a virtual tour of the University of California's Paleontology ...more
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Man may have been flying for only a century, but other vertebrates have been doing it for millions of years! Take a virtual tour of the University of California's Paleontology Vertebrate Flight Exhibit. If you're just introducing the mechanics of flight, embarking on a study of natural history and prehistoric life, or looking for a new approach to an old physics lesson, this site can provide a wealth of information. Each topic of the exhibit can be explored independently or the entire site can be treated as a tutorial, with each section flowing logically to the next. The text requires a fairly high level of reading, but is brief. Links providing further explanation of key terms are found throughout the site.

tag(s): flight (36), paleontology (41)

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Bagheera in the Wild

Grades
6 to 12
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Use this award winning site to introduce students to the importance of saving endangered species. Colorful and descriptive information on vanishing and extinct species are directly...more
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Use this award winning site to introduce students to the importance of saving endangered species. Colorful and descriptive information on vanishing and extinct species are directly linked to class activities and a thorough glossary of unfamiliar terms. Select from a range of activity ideas that require students to inquire, analyze, compare, and use their imagination. A special section of the site includes articles on important issues that affect endangered animals - from Eskimo Subsistence Whaling, to Global Warming, to Human Population Growth.

tag(s): endangered species (38), extinction (4), population (60), species (29)

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P.O.V.'s Borders - Environment - PBS

Grades
9 to 12
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This Web-only documentary series by PBS is an interactive exploration of "borders" in our lives. In this episode, decisions concerning what we eat, drink, and breathe are examined....more
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This Web-only documentary series by PBS is an interactive exploration of "borders" in our lives. In this episode, decisions concerning what we eat, drink, and breathe are examined. What do we choose and why? This is a very well done, yet rather cerebral site that would be best suited for independent investigation in a computer lab (headphones required) followed by discussion. Lesson plans are available for download.

tag(s): ecology (135)

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Brine Shrimp Project - North Carolina State University

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1 to 12
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The plan outlines a seven-day laboratory investigation of factors affecting the hatching and development of brine shrimp eggs. Originally field-tested with 10th grade students, the...more
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The plan outlines a seven-day laboratory investigation of factors affecting the hatching and development of brine shrimp eggs. Originally field-tested with 10th grade students, the activity can easily be adapted for use with all grade levels.

tag(s): habitats (84), oceans (148)

In the Classroom

For younger students, the experiment may be carried out as a single class project. Secondary students can work in independent teams to develop and test their hypotheses. The plan includes work sheets and an evaluation rubric. This lesson supports National Science Content Standards for grades K-12. April J. Cleveland designed this lesson plan for Science Junction at North Carolina State University.

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Descent into the Ice - PBS Nova

Grades
2 to 8
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Follow the life cycle of a glacier, view satellite images of glacial hazards, find out why glaciers are shrinking, and learn about the clothing and gear required for glacier exploration....more
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Follow the life cycle of a glacier, view satellite images of glacial hazards, find out why glaciers are shrinking, and learn about the clothing and gear required for glacier exploration. This NOVA site offers interactive features, links to related sites, and a teacher's guide. Access to the companion NOVA video is helpful but not necessary.

tag(s): biomes (116), climate (92), glaciers (14)

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Aquarium Terrarium

Grades
2 to 8
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This site offers an easy-to-follow plan for building a terrarium in less than 3 hours. Also includes suggestions for follow-up projects. The instructions are simple enough for young...more
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This site offers an easy-to-follow plan for building a terrarium in less than 3 hours. Also includes suggestions for follow-up projects. The instructions are simple enough for young children to follow as they work independently. Created by Rita Richardson for the Family Education Network.

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