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Interactives & Simulations: Weather, Climate & Atmosphere Education - UCAR Center for Science Education

Grades
5 to 12
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This site provides a small, but worthwhile, selection of interactives and simulations related to the weather and climate. Choose from interesting activities such as launching a virtual...more
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This site provides a small, but worthwhile, selection of interactives and simulations related to the weather and climate. Choose from interesting activities such as launching a virtual balloon to examining layers of the earth's atmosphere, or "building" a tree using different climate options. Each activity includes a full explanation and many include additional links or extension activities.

tag(s): arctic (42), atmosphere (28), carbon dioxide (17), climate (97), climate change (61), hurricanes (36), solar energy (34), sun (68), trees (29)

In the Classroom

Introduce Interactives & Simulations on an interactive whiteboard or projector then allow students to explore on their own. Be sure to provide a link on your class website or blog for students to explore at home. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to demonstrate information learned from this site. Alternatively students could create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Wordle, reviewed here, or WordItOut, reviewed here.
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MinuteEarth YouTube Channel - Henry, Alex, and Peter Reich, Emily Elert, Ever Salazar

Grades
4 to 12
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This YouTube Channel is the place to find answers about science and stories about our awesome planet. Browse through the video list to learn why we just see one side ...more
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This YouTube Channel is the place to find answers about science and stories about our awesome planet. Browse through the video list to learn why we just see one side of the moon, discover the secret social life of plants, and understand why rivers curve. Subscribe to MinuteEarth to receive notification when new videos become available. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. Since this is YouTube, there are public comments.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): atmosphere (28), earth (223), moon (67), oceans (137), planets (114), plants (137), video (211), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Share videos on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or as a link on your class website or blog. To share a single video from this site without all the YouTube clutter, use a tool such as SafeShareTV, reviewed here, and create a shortcut to the SafeShare page directly on the desktop. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here, to share information learned from videos. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos about your curriculum topics and share them on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here.

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Describing Earthquakes - iknowthat.com

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4 to 8
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Explore the effects of earthquakes with this interactive. Be sure to notice the red handle at the top. Click the lever to the "Illustration" side to view the movement of ...more
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Explore the effects of earthquakes with this interactive. Be sure to notice the red handle at the top. Click the lever to the "Illustration" side to view the movement of an earthquake. Click the word "play" to begin the animation. Read more information about earthquakes on the right side of the page. Move the lever towards "On Shaky Ground." Choose the magnitude of the quake, and then view the resulting damage. Want to print the information? Click the print button at the top.

tag(s): earthquakes (46), forces (38)

In the Classroom

Use these activities to learn about earthquakes before discussing in class as a way to create more connections with the material. Allow time for students to play with "On Shaky Ground" and create a simple sentence to describe what they learned. Encourage students to determine the types of buildings or materials that will best weather an earthquake. Use the information learned about earthquakes or earthquake preparedness to create an informational web page using a tool like Studeous reviewed here or Jimdo, reviewed here.
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Creative Educator - Tech4Learning

Grades
1 to 12
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Creative Educator offers articles, lesson plans, and resources for many different ways to put creativity into the curriculum. Explore four main topics: Creativity, Digital Storytelling,...more
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Creative Educator offers articles, lesson plans, and resources for many different ways to put creativity into the curriculum. Explore four main topics: Creativity, Digital Storytelling, 21st Century Classrooms, and Project-based Learning. Curriculum related areas such as Literacy, English Language Aquisition, and Stem resources will grab your interest. Find a variety of lessons in Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies to integrate technology and pique students' interest.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (234), creativity (100)

In the Classroom

Creative Educator, designed for teachers, helps you move past stale worksheets to get inspired! Be sure to look at this site to help you discover ways to integrate technology and creativity into lessons. Work with a partner to make the lessons fit in your situation. Share at staff meetings and offer new ideas. Look for ways to bring a new focus to your gifted students. Give as a resource to students, so they can choose a multimedia product to share the content knowledge they are learning.

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energy4me - energy4me

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1 to 12
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Energy4me offers a large variety of resources for teaching and learning about oil and energy. Click on the little book titled About Energy and Sustainability to find an interactive...more
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Energy4me offers a large variety of resources for teaching and learning about oil and energy. Click on the little book titled About Energy and Sustainability to find an interactive about those topics. Clicking on the Into the Classroom book takes you to download-able lesson plans and more. Lesson plans are for all grade levels, in several languages, and all are correlated to US National Science Education Standards. Be sure to explore this site to find additional classroom resources, videos, and presentation materials. Choose from several interactives to test your energy IQ.

tag(s): careers (120), energy (186), engineering (100), fossil fuels (17), oil (46), STEM (90)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans (and interactives, of course). Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. Share videos from the site as part of your career unit. Be sure to provide a link to interactives on classroom computers and your class web page for students to explore on their own.
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Aim a Hurricane - University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Grades
4 to 12
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Learn how winds work together to determine where a hurricane will strike with this online interactive. Click next and begin play. Move low and high-pressure systems in place with the...more
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Learn how winds work together to determine where a hurricane will strike with this online interactive. Click next and begin play. Move low and high-pressure systems in place with the hurricane over the Atlantic Ocean. Correctly position all three to receive a start button and view the storm track for your location. Use check boxes to turn audio off and on and to view with or without winds.

tag(s): hurricanes (36), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge at the start of the study of hurricanes and weather. Create a link to Aim a Hurricane on classroom computers for student use as a center. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, to track hurricanes during hurricane season. With Animaps, students can add text, images, and location stops!
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Mapmaker Interactive - National Geographic

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6 to 12
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If you love maps, you'll spend hours tinkering with Mapmaker Interactive! Start with a map of the world. Zoom in or out to capture just the area you want. Then ...more
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If you love maps, you'll spend hours tinkering with Mapmaker Interactive! Start with a map of the world. Zoom in or out to capture just the area you want. Then choose from dozens of layers related to climate, population, culture, economy, or weather and add information to the map. You can choose which layers come first, and how opaque the information is related to that layer relative to other layers. Use drawing and text tools to annotate your map, and then print it. When you've finished, hit "reset map" and start again!

tag(s): climate (97), ecology (138), energy (186), industrialization (15), map skills (83), population (56), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Having the ability to present a map with just the information you've chosen to illustrate and projecting it on an interactive whiteboard is invaluable. Show students information about immigration, crops, or population. By adding layers, you can look for correlations between different attributes. For example, want to know whether there is a connection between the habitat of big cats and the amount of artificial light visible during night time hours from space? Put both layers on the map, and find out. This is a great way to get students making inferences and drawing conclusions between varying data points!

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Create-a-Cane! - University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Grades
4 to 10
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Use this interactive to create a hurricane by choosing ideal weather conditions such as wind, latitude, moisture, and sea temperature. Click on the question mark under each of these...more
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Use this interactive to create a hurricane by choosing ideal weather conditions such as wind, latitude, moisture, and sea temperature. Click on the question mark under each of these to learn more about these conditions and their effect on hurricanes. Once your score reaches 80 a tropical depression forms, triggering events to begin a hurricane. Answer a few more questions to create your full-strength hurricane!

tag(s): hurricanes (36), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start a study of hurricanes and weather. Create a link to Create-a-Cane on classroom computers for student use as a center. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here, or Venngage, reviewed here. Have students create maps using Animaps, reviewed here, to track hurricanes during hurricane season. Students can add text, images, and location stops with Animaps!
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Africa - The Nature Conservancy

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

tag(s): africa (179), animals (259), earth day (110), environment (309), water (125)

In the Classroom

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

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

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Weather Maker - iknowthat.com

Grades
3 to 8
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This simple animation demonstrates the weather effects that occur when the polar temperature, the tropical temperature, and the relative humidity changes. Use the sliders to change...more
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This simple animation demonstrates the weather effects that occur when the polar temperature, the tropical temperature, and the relative humidity changes. Use the sliders to change the thermometers for the polar and tropical temperatures and the water drop slider to move the relative humidity to a new value. Click Go and observe the weather that results.

tag(s): temperature (30), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use this interactive as an introduction to weather patterns and wind movements on the Earth. Provide time for each student or groups of students to play with the controls and make observations about the weather that results. Make this assignment an online lab activity including an analysis portion about what temperature variations create similar weather outcomes. If they are able, have students research online, or use a textbook, to look for reasons for the weather patterns. This activity can also be used after a class discussion to check for understanding of the concepts.
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Sound Waves - iknowthat.com

Grades
4 to 12
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See sound waves moving through molecules in the air with this interactive. Be sure to notice the red handle at the top. Click the lever to the Illustration side to ...more
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See sound waves moving through molecules in the air with this interactive. Be sure to notice the red handle at the top. Click the lever to the Illustration side to view sound waves moving through the air. Click the word "Clap" to see the sound movements. Moving your cursor around the resulting sound wave will display labels for the areas, items, and a definition. Read information about sound to the right. Move the lever towards Exploring Pitch and Volume. Choose to Strike hard or Strike gently, then click a glass. View the sound waves and the frequency of the sound. Want to print the results? Click the print button at the top.

tag(s): sound (92), waves (22)

In the Classroom

Use these activities to introduce sound before discussing in class as a way to create more connections with the material. Allow time for students to play with Exploring Pitch and Volume and create a simple sentence to describe what they learned. Encourage students to predict what will happen first before striking the glass!
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Science Behind the News - NBC Learn

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

tag(s): bacteria (31), computers (61), foreign policy (13), news (177), planets (114), plants (137), politics (92), STEM (90), tornadoes (16), video (211)

In the Classroom

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

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

tag(s): biomes (120), ecology (138), ecosystems (82), engineering (100), measurement (159), money (184), plants (137), STEM (90)

In the Classroom

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

Grades
5 to 9
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Mosa Mack Science is a web-based library of animated science mysteries with hands-on activities. All are aligned to Science standards. Each unit contains a short animated film, discussion...more
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Mosa Mack Science is a web-based library of animated science mysteries with hands-on activities. All are aligned to Science standards. Each unit contains a short animated film, discussion guides, and engineering design challenges in addition to the hands-on activities. Create your free account using email and a password to access the four free units with topics of photosynthesis, climate change, food webs, and diabetes.
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tag(s): climate change (61), food chains (20), photosynthesis (28), STEM (90)

In the Classroom

Download materials from Mosa Mack lessons to supplement your current teaching materials. View videos on your interactive whiteboard and post a link on your class website for students to view at home. If you have a flipped classroom, have students view videos before coming to class and beginning lessons. Use ideas from this site for science fairs and projects.
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The Encyclopedia of Earth - Environmental Information Coalition

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

tag(s): agriculture (49), animals (259), biodiversity (41), disasters (39), earth (223), ecology (138), ecosystems (82), energy (186), environment (309), forests (27), plants (137), pollution (69), water (125), weather (187)

In the Classroom

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

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Global Climate Change - NASA

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

tag(s): climate (97), climate change (61)

In the Classroom

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

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

tag(s): climate change (61), diseases (61), earth (223), landmarks (25), news (177), population (56)

In the Classroom

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

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Tree House Weather Kids - University of Illinois Extension

Grades
4 to 9
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Satisfy your interest in the weather with Tree House Weather for Kids. Help students in grades 5-8 gain a better understanding of the weather. Choose a weather section to begin: ...more
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Satisfy your interest in the weather with Tree House Weather for Kids. Help students in grades 5-8 gain a better understanding of the weather. Choose a weather section to begin: seasons, air pressure, clouds, and rock and roll weather (types of storms). Each section includes videos with explanations along with a glossary of terms. Also included is a section for teachers including activities, additional resources, and correlation to Illinois State Standards. At the time of this review, some of the videos were not working properly.

tag(s): seasons (36), weather (187)

In the Classroom

Use videos and information from the site to supplement your current resources for teaching weather. Create a link on classroom computers for students to explore on their own. Challenge students to create online montages demonstrating weather topics using images, slideshows, or comic strips using a site such as Infinite Canvas (reviewed here.)
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Polar Trec - Arctic Research Consortium and National Science Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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What can you learn when you embed a teacher with scientists in research groups? Plenty! PolarTREC chooses teachers and pairs them with scientific research groups in polar regions, which...more
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What can you learn when you embed a teacher with scientists in research groups? Plenty! PolarTREC chooses teachers and pairs them with scientific research groups in polar regions, which changes how they view and teach science. Use their journals and information to change how you and your students view science as well. Access a variety of polar-related resources that support the STEM classroom including videos recorded by the teachers and the research team. Read journals written by the teachers working with scientists in the Arctic and Antarctica that document their field experiences and research in science. Participate in live webinars where classes can hear from the teacher and scientists in real time and ask questions. View teacher posted videos and lesson plans that can be used in the classroom. This site features a lot of different careers in science uncovered in the journal entries. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): antarctica (27), arctic (42), careers (120), polar (18), scientific method (59), scientists (53), STEM (90)

In the Classroom

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

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Columbia River - National Geographic

Grades
5 to 12
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How has the damming of the mighty Columbia River changed the people and the environment around it? Follow the Columbia downstream to find facts and information about the dams, the ...more
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How has the damming of the mighty Columbia River changed the people and the environment around it? Follow the Columbia downstream to find facts and information about the dams, the Columbia, and its inhabitants. Choose between the full version or the light version of this site (the full version has motion animation throughout). Hover your mouse over items to read a preview. Click to expand and read information about how people have used the Columbia, threats throughout, and various animals found there. Click Downstream to shift the viewing frame to another section of the river. Click on Resources and Links at the bottom of the Interactive for links to more information.
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tag(s): ecosystems (82), electricity (80), rivers (20), watersheds (16)

In the Classroom

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