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Dr. E's Energy Lab - U. S. Department of Energy

Grades
2 to 12
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If you have any hesitation that students think energy is 'uncool,' think again. Tinker Bell delights the younger students with her short video clips about energy. They will spend oodles...more
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If you have any hesitation that students think energy is 'uncool,' think again. Tinker Bell delights the younger students with her short video clips about energy. They will spend oodles of time exploring the many facets of this site. Click on the various types of energy from the homepage to start the exploration. Interactives, lesson plans, crafts, printable sheets, and tons of information that we all need to know to survive on this planet is handily available here. The Game link includes "Funergy," "Energy Quest," and more! Visit the Teacher's link to find over 350 lesson plans and activities (with standards). The activities are divided into three levels (grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12). While some of the Dr. E's activities look like they are intended for a young audience, don't be fooled. Heavy information for the high school student is housed behind the "cutesy" cover. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): earth (230), earth day (112), energy (203), solar energy (39)

In the Classroom

If energy is a subject you teach in your classroom, there are several pages at this site that would work well on a projector or interactive whiteboard. You will want to explore on your own to find all the teaching materials and activities, since there is SO much information. Share this site on your teacher web page during your energy unit, since many activities can include parents, as well. The alternative fuels, renewable energy, and conservation sections are also ideal for Earth Day activities. Have students use this site to research energy. Why not have students create blog entries demonstrating their knowledge?
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Smog City 2 - U.S. EPA and Sacramento Air Quality Management District

Grades
5 to 12
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Use this interactive air pollution simulation to learn about the effects of particulates, ozone, and individual choices on air pollution. The Create Your Own section allows you...more
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Use this interactive air pollution simulation to learn about the effects of particulates, ozone, and individual choices on air pollution. The Create Your Own section allows you to test cause and effect of different factors in a controlled setting. Although the option to download the simulator is offered, it runs just fine in its online version. The site's disclaimer explains that the complex relationships between environmental factors have been simplified for this simulator, but the processes are still representative of the "real world" factors. This is a MUST for Earth Day!

This site is powerful and therefore may take some extra time to load - so prepare ahead! This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): air (146), earth (230), earth day (112), environment (322), pollution (66)

In the Classroom

Younger students would benefit from a teacher-centered introduction on the simulator (using your interactive whiteboard or projector), followed by directed explorations to find specific answers to teacher questions. Older students can determine the most important factors in air pollution and explore means to solve the problem as part of a health, social studies, science, or government class. Have your students present their finding on an interactive whiteboard or projector.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Climate Chaos - BBC

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4 to 10
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One word describes this all-encompassing website: amazing! If you are teaching students about global warming, climates, types of energy, recycling or any other "green" topic - you must...more
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One word describes this all-encompassing website: amazing! If you are teaching students about global warming, climates, types of energy, recycling or any other "green" topic - you must visit this website. At the website you will find interactive activities and games, guides and information about numerous topics, quizzes, votes, and chats! This site is frequently updated. Some of the activities require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): earth (230), earth day (112), energy (203), recycling (57)

In the Classroom

Share this one on an interactive whiteboard or projector to help your students to understand the effects of global warming. Include the link on your teacher web page as you study weather, climate, and environmental concerns. This site would also make a great "scavenger hunt" for students to learn the basics about global warming. Ask each to write some questions for the hunt, then have the whole class try it! Have cooperative learning groups explore various facets of this site and create a multi-media presentation.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Teach Coal - American Coal Foundation

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K to 12
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Energy is always a hot topic, and what better way to learn about one of America's main resources than to visit this site? The American Coal Foundation's site includes facts ...more
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Energy is always a hot topic, and what better way to learn about one of America's main resources than to visit this site? The American Coal Foundation's site includes facts about coal mining in the U.S., and also, equips teachers with practical lesson plans (linked to National Standards) and experiment ideas. Of course this organization has its own views on coal, but the lesson ideas are solid. The lesson plans include all grade levels. Click on the tabs to find comprehensive information, such as, facts, glossary, and the latest coal news. There are also countless links to other sources about coal. Some of the links require QuickTime or Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): coal (14), energy (203), fire (27), plants (156)

In the Classroom

If you or your students need lumps of coal for experiments, use the website links provided. Any coal company would be glad to accommodate that request. Use the ready-to-go lesson plans in your class. Have students research coal and complete multi-media projects about the benefits or coal. As energy and "gong green" receive more and more media attention, this study can be part of your class debate.
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Virtual Courseware: Global Warming - Virtual courseware for Earth and Environmental sciences

Grades
9 to 12
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This site is an interactive resource designed to explore the concepts of global warming and the impact on the temperatures of the Earth. Choose "Demonstrations" to explore background...more
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This site is an interactive resource designed to explore the concepts of global warming and the impact on the temperatures of the Earth. Choose "Demonstrations" to explore background information. Demonstrations include "Energy Budget" and "Future Climate." Students use the demonstrations to create data. Run the "Energy Budget Model" to follow directions in the Assignment tab, View Background information, and write in the Journal. Tutorials are available as well as other functions such as printing. Instructors can register for free on the site to view student assessments at the end of the activity. Click "Instructions" to walk through the registration and use. This site requires Java and Flash. Click the "System Requirements" button to test these programs on your computer before proceeding. If you need Java or Flash, you can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): climate (91), climate change (64), energy (203)

In the Classroom

Share this site on individual computers or as a whole class on projector/whiteboard as you discuss global climate change and the data analysis that goes along with it. Use the simulation to determine how present day temperatures are shown with the global warming model. Most students do not trust that a model predicts accurate temperatures. Showing it with current trends and past data allow students a chance to determine whether a fictitious set of data can provide valid results.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Drought Monitor - University of Nebraska

Grades
6 to 12
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Working with NOAA, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln has created one of the best looking drought monitoring sites we've seen. There are maps showing drought severity, crop data,...more
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Working with NOAA, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln has created one of the best looking drought monitoring sites we've seen. There are maps showing drought severity, crop data, rainfall, and related topics over a wide variety of time series, and the quality of the graphics is well beyond that of most similar sites. If your students are studying weather - or just complaining about the summer heat - this site can shed some light on the problem.

tag(s): agriculture (58), climate (91), fall (15), weather (198)

In the Classroom

Share the maps on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

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3D parks - USGS

Grades
1 to 12
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Make landforms and geology REAL to your students. This site offers a rich collection of 3D photography and tours of the geology of U.S. National Parks. Use these activities with ...more
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Make landforms and geology REAL to your students. This site offers a rich collection of 3D photography and tours of the geology of U.S. National Parks. Use these activities with a variety of ages of students. Choose National Parks to view or print pictures. Pictures (anaglyphs) are best viewed with cheap 3D glasses (just like the movies!) Non 3D images are also found on the site. Pictures are not copyrighted and can be used for any presentation or format as long as you give credit to the site and the USGS. The site includes a tutorial on making anaglyphs. Each National Park has a link to the 3D image, regular image, link to the park website, and a link to other information that includes stratigraphy, virtual tours, or other links. Click "Suggestions for Teachers and Students" for ideas at different grade levels.

tag(s): geology (79), landforms (48), national parks (20)

In the Classroom

Students can look at pictures and decide upon common features they see. Display images side by side on your interactive whiteboard and note the features using the pen tools. Research or explanations about the features can lead to additional research into the natural processes that created them. Students can write "what is it?" clues to identify specific National Parks for others to identify. Share them on your class wiki for others to solve. Since the images are in the public domain, students can download them to include on the "answers" page of the wiki! Create class anaglyphs with pictures and Adobe Photoshop (if available), using the directions provided on the site.

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Stormpulse - Stormpulse

Grades
6 to 12
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Scroll through the earth to watch the current paths of tropical storms/hurricanes. View satellite imagery, news, up to date coastal weather, or view storm archives from 1850 to present....more
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Scroll through the earth to watch the current paths of tropical storms/hurricanes. View satellite imagery, news, up to date coastal weather, or view storm archives from 1850 to present. This is not considered an actual weather source but is an aggregate of information on storms. Probabilities of storms and hurricanes are given, based upon weather movement. This interactive site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): hurricanes (40), weather (198)

In the Classroom

Watch storm movement and predict potential path. Use archives to determine common paths, areas where storms are more prevalent, change in numbers of hurricanes in different decades, etc. Use this site as a springboard for further research and better understanding of causes of hurricanes, factors that change the movement, destruction from hurricanes, or how best to prepare for hurricanes. Students can create traditional (poster, bulletin board) or multimedia presentations (newscasts, wiki, blog) on storms or even "create" a mythical storm of the future that follows predictable patterns, documenting it on a class weatherwiki.
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Saving electricity - Michael Bluejay

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7 to 12
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Learn the basics of electricity: the meaning of kilowatt hour, reading bills, and identifying how different appliances use electricity. Students can browse a wealth of resources written...more
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Learn the basics of electricity: the meaning of kilowatt hour, reading bills, and identifying how different appliances use electricity. Students can browse a wealth of resources written in easy-to-understand terms on energy saving devices, carbon footprints, and alternate forms of energy.

tag(s): climate (91), climate change (64), conservation (128), electricity (88), energy (203)

In the Classroom

Students can work in groups to research various issues regarding electricity use. Students can create powerpoints, multimedia presentations, or wiki pages to demonstrate what they have learned. Have your students present to members of the class and follow up with a town hall debate concerning household, local, and other decisions concerning electricity use and production.

Have students learn to read their electricity bill and create an action plan to save electricity. Have students journal or blog the changes that were made and the savings in money and pollution. Identify energy wasters at school and formulate a plan to save money and resources. an to save money and resources.

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Project Vulcan - Purdue University

Grades
9 to 12
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This site shows carbon dioxide emissions across the U.S. One graph shows the differences in CO2 emissions in different seasons. Another has a list and graph of the top emitting ...more
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This site shows carbon dioxide emissions across the U.S. One graph shows the differences in CO2 emissions in different seasons. Another has a list and graph of the top emitting counties across the U.S. A YouTube video liked from the site explains the project, discusses its parameters and results, and displays maps of the U.S. which show different types of noxious sources on a very close-up scale. Vulcan project scientists plan to do similar mapping for Mexico and Canada. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): charts and graphs (192), pollution (66)

In the Classroom

Use the video and data graphics when studying the effect of man-made energy burners on the ecosystem. Share the video on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Also, students studying different types of non-static graphs can analyze the different displays of the effects of CO2 on the atmosphere and weather.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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StarDate Online - McDonald Observatory

Grades
K to 12
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Use this comprehensive site to learn about the planets of the solar system as well as other objects. Use the "Stargazing" tab to view "Weekly Tips," "Sky Almanac," "Constellation Guide,"...more
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Use this comprehensive site to learn about the planets of the solar system as well as other objects. Use the "Stargazing" tab to view "Weekly Tips," "Sky Almanac," "Constellation Guide," "Moon Phases," "Beginner's Guide," and more. Under the "Teacher's" tab use resources such as "Lesson Plans," "Classroom Activities," "StarDate in the Classroom," or "Teacher Workshops." Materials in the teacher section provide activity directions, materials needed, as well. as documents in Adobe pdf format. There are lessons from K-12. In the "Resources" section, you will find a wealth of information and pictures about the Sun, inner planets, outer planets, and minor bodies. View past and future planned space missions. Links to keywords allow for a greater understanding of the material. Activities in the "Resources" section are listed along the side with appropriate ages. Ask Merlin provides questions and their answers. A tab to the "Gift Shop" is available, so students should be cautioned. Some of the classroom activities require Adobe Reader. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): planets (126), solar system (119), space (217)

In the Classroom

Use the activities in the Teacher's resource section to provide background material for understanding Astronomy. Many activities may already be known to the teacher, but these are thoroughly explained. Students could even teach the concepts to their classmates and use these activities as a demonstration.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Hurricane Hunters Association - Hurricane Hunter Association

Grades
4 to 12
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Hurricane Hunters is a resource to find photos and data from past hurricanes. Hurricanes and data are archived by year. Find photos from above a hurricane with logs and information...more
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Hurricane Hunters is a resource to find photos and data from past hurricanes. Hurricanes and data are archived by year. Find photos from above a hurricane with logs and information from the planes that follow the storms. Research more information about science and meteorology by using the multitude of links provided. Real time data of current storm conditions in the world are available on the website. View spectacular photos in the "Photos" section or click on "Questions" to read the most often asked questions and their answers. In the "Questions" is a link to a cyberflight that walks through the before, during, and after of a Hurricane Hunter flight. This site is mostly text and pictures.

A link to a "Hurricane Hunters Gift shop" is found on the main page and students should be advised to avoid such an advertisement. The site requires Flash for storm updates. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): hurricanes (40), weather (198)

In the Classroom

Compare numbers of hurricanes of various years. Plot locations, and storm paths on the same chart (or in Google Earth) to determine the origination point and landfall or end point of the hurricanes to draw conclusions. Use the information to determine the physical characteristics of the hurricanes (instead of looking them up in an encyclopedia). Determine the areas of the world where hurricanes occur in order to understand factors responsible for hurricane formation. Have students track a current hurricane and use information learned on this site to predict the spot where it will make landfall and provide reasoning for their choice.
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National Renewable Energy Laboratory - US Department of Energy

Grades
9 to 12
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Learn about alternative technologies such as "Advanced Vehicles and Fuels," Basic Sciences," "Biomass," "Buildings," "Energy Analysis," "Geothermal," "Hydrogen and Fuel Cells," "Solar,"...more
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Learn about alternative technologies such as "Advanced Vehicles and Fuels," Basic Sciences," "Biomass," "Buildings," "Energy Analysis," "Geothermal," "Hydrogen and Fuel Cells," "Solar," and "Wind." Use the site for some great background information on alternative technologies as well as links to other information. View publications in Adobe pdf that can be downloaded for additional information. Adobe Acrobat is available at the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): ecology (139), energy (203), environment (322)

In the Classroom

Divide the class into groups to read and decide information that should be presented in class. Use the information to make recommendations to their families, school district, or the community for future energy change. Use these discussions to determine how they can best meet energy needs of the future. In government class, ask student groups to prepare a policy statement on energy for a hypothetical political candidate.
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Extreme Weather Sourcebook - National Center for Atmospheric Research

Grades
7 to 12
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How many severe weather events occurred in 2001? How much did the damage and clean up cost? Use this site to obtain monetary damages and numbers of events for "Hurricanes," ...more
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How many severe weather events occurred in 2001? How much did the damage and clean up cost? Use this site to obtain monetary damages and numbers of events for "Hurricanes," "Floods," Tornadoes," "Lightning," and "others." Data is given both in table and chart form and is sorted by state.

tag(s): climate (91), disasters (40), natural disasters (19), weather (198)

In the Classroom

Use the data to determine where most severe weather events occur and to determine why they occur in those areas. Research the science behind the events and reasons for the devastation. Have students create an action plan in the event of severe weather or identify ways to lessen devastating effects of some of the events. Students can also research recent year's data and make comparisons of the numbers.

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The Nine Planets - William A. Arnett

Grades
4 to 12
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Here's a planet-by-planet introduction to the solar system which features stunning photographs and supporting content. If you are thinking that there are eight planets and not nine,...more
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Here's a planet-by-planet introduction to the solar system which features stunning photographs and supporting content. If you are thinking that there are eight planets and not nine, you are right, and the website points out that fact. This continually-updated site has much of the latest research on all planets, moons, and other bodies in our solar system. This site goes beyond the pictures that are courtesy of NASA as well as the information learned from countless missions. The site also provides insight into how to view planets with binoculars and other materials as well as information on mythology and history. View the movies provided and listen to the recorded sounds. Gain a renewed appreciation of the solar system using this informative site. This site does include some advertising. But it is not distracting from the great content.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): moon (72), planets (126), solar system (119)

In the Classroom

Want to find updated information about the objects in the solar system? Have your students use this site. Divide your students into groups and have them report on a particular object in the solar system. Have them present a report on one of the 8 planets, as though teaching their peers. Have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try PhotoPin, reviewed here.Consider making a class wiki about the solar system and including drawings or photos your students might create from their observations.
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Mars Today - Spaceref Interactive

Grades
6 to 12
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The Mars Rover is providing information continually. Use this site to keep track of recent findings, developments, and understandings from the Mars Rover. This site appears as a series...more
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The Mars Rover is providing information continually. Use this site to keep track of recent findings, developments, and understandings from the Mars Rover. This site appears as a series of news articles listed in reverse chronological order along with their abstracts. Click on each newsworthy item to learn more information. Additional links are provided in each article. A Spaceref directory can be found that links to additional Mars related topics on the Spacref.com website. There are some advertisements at this website.

tag(s): mars (41), planets (126), solar system (119)

In the Classroom

Students can use this site to challenge previous information or myths with new findings. Have students create a timeline showing the launch, travel, landing, and findings from the Mars rover mission.

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Earthquake - Virtual courseware for Earth and Environmental Sciences

Grades
6 to 12
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This site is an interactive computer program designed to introduce the concepts of how an earthquake epicenter is located and how the Richter magnitude of an earthquake is determined....more
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This site is an interactive computer program designed to introduce the concepts of how an earthquake epicenter is located and how the Richter magnitude of an earthquake is determined. Choose "Demonstration" for background information. View the demonstrations of "Travel Time" and "Epi and Mag" to learn more about earthquakes and how to use the tools. By using the demonstrations, students create data that is graphed and can be analyzed. Problems are presented to the students to determine the epicenter of a specific event. If you wish to not use the demonstration, click on the animations to learn about "SP lag time" and "Latitude and Longitude." Instructors can also register for free on the site and students can take an exam when completed with the activity. Exams will be graded and results reported to the teacher. Click "Instructions" to walk through the registration and use. This site requires Java and Flash. Click the "System Requirements" button to test these programs on your computer before proceeding. If you need Java or Flash, you can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page. NOTE: the site opens slowly. Please be patient, and be sure to check the technical requirements.

tag(s): earth (230), earthquakes (50), geology (79), weather (198)

In the Classroom

Use the data to determine epicenter as well as the magnitude of an event. Use data from other sources to determine the same. Use this demo on your interactive whiteboard or projector after discussing specific information about earthquakes and part of a final project. Use the simulations to learn more about how scientists determine where earthquakes start.
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Understanding Earthquakes - University of California Santa Barbara

Grades
3 to 12
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Want to find more information about Earthquakes? Use the Understanding Earthquakes site to take a small "Quiz," use the rotating "Globe" to view earthquake locations, and read...more
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Want to find more information about Earthquakes? Use the Understanding Earthquakes site to take a small "Quiz," use the rotating "Globe" to view earthquake locations, and read of first hand "Accounts" from a person's perspective. View how earthquakes occur by clicking on "Rebound," or the "History" of past earthquakes since 1910, as well as other informational sites linked in "Others." Site requires Java and Flash. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): earth (230), earthquakes (50), weather (198)

In the Classroom

Use the information as an introductory activity to disasters. Use the data to identify common places where earthquakes occur, research the different types of faults, provide information of the various earthquakes and locations affected, or as a springboard for individual or class projects. Note that much of the information is text-heavy, so younger readers will need assistance reading.
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Dive and Discover - Woods Hole Oceanographic Association

Grades
4 to 12
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What do we see and what can we learn from the Sea floor? Use the Interactive map or the drop down along the top to access past expeditions to the ...more
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What do we see and what can we learn from the Sea floor? Use the Interactive map or the drop down along the top to access past expeditions to the sea floor. Click on the "Dive Into Deeper Discovery" tab to learn more about Deep Ocean Circulation, History of the Earth, Ice Ages, Ships and Technology, among others. Click the "For Teachers" tab to access and view classroom activities to use. The site is updated daily with photos, videos, and research. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

In the Classroom

Use a single activity, have students collect information as homework, or a class project. Use these activities as an introduction to a science lesson or for application for information learned in class. Some activities have a hands-on component. Create a timeline of information, technology, or history from the dives. Have students use the scientific method to analyze work completed during the dives. Research background science and engineering topics for better understanding of information learned during the explorations. Topics for reports can be found throughout the information. The class can be divided into groups to report on specific aspects of the dive and their information can be reported to the class with the additional background information. Students can keep a journal of information learned and create a poster or model of the information.
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Greenraising: Eco-friendly Fundraising - Greenraising

Grades
K to 12
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Why raise funds on items that cause the Earth to frown? Your school fundraising becomes 'green' when you register at this site and start earning funds from eco-conscience shoppers....more
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Why raise funds on items that cause the Earth to frown? Your school fundraising becomes 'green' when you register at this site and start earning funds from eco-conscience shoppers. Your school earns 25% to 40% of all internet or catalog driven sales. (Read the site for details.) Greenraising supplies you with order forms and catalogs if you care to do a catalog drive. It sounds easy, and it definitely is green. TeachersFirst does not ordinarily mention fundraising sites, but the possibilities for a school service project looked interesting enough to list this one.

tag(s): earth (230), earth day (112), ecology (139), environment (322)

In the Classroom

This fundraising organization may be a prudent way to fund your school's wildlife or biology club. Why not kick-off this event near Earth Day? Also, teachers, you can coordinate your recycling and earth-loving lessons around this fundraiser.

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