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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 (308), classification (25), plants (166)

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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 (31), weather (197)

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Periodical Cicada Page - University of Michigan Museum of Zoology

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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 (72)

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Virtual Cave - Djuna Bewley and Dave Bunnell

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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 (6)

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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 (322), population (64)

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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 (64), water (130), water cycle (32)

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EPA: NonPoint Source Kids Page - EPA

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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 (64), water (130)

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Voyage of the Odyssey - PBS

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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 (138), ecosystems (88), marine biology (32), oceans (161)

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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 (197)

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Bagheera in the Wild

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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 (40), extinction (4), population (64), species (30)

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Brine Shrimp Project - North Carolina State University

Grades
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 (90), oceans (161)

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 (117), climate (94), glaciers (17)

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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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Shedd Aquarium Educational Materials - Shedd Aquarium

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

tag(s): marine biology (32), oceans (161)

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Introduction to Bats - US Fish and Wildlife Service

Grades
4 to 12
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The US Fish and Wildlife Service offers this introduction to the only true flying mammals. The site includes a fair amount of copy on common misconceptions about bats, then goes ...more
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The US Fish and Wildlife Service offers this introduction to the only true flying mammals. The site includes a fair amount of copy on common misconceptions about bats, then goes on to cover how different species live and interact with the rest of the animal kingdom.

tag(s): mammals (34)

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Wildfacts - BBC

Grades
4 to 12
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This online wild creatures resource from the BBC is surprisingly complete and visually interesting. Users can select a creature from a very extensive list, then view a nice selection...more
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This online wild creatures resource from the BBC is surprisingly complete and visually interesting. Users can select a creature from a very extensive list, then view a nice selection of images and read detailed descriptions of the creatures and their lives. With a little previewing, this resource could be used at a variety of levels, especially by upper elementary and middle school students.

tag(s): amphibians (20), animals (308), birds (52), fish (25), mammals (34)

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Understanding Geologic Time - University of California

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6 to 12
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"Billions and billions of years" can be a tough concept to convey, and this site does a nice job of making it understandable secondary students. The site's interactive elements will...more
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"Billions and billions of years" can be a tough concept to convey, and this site does a nice job of making it understandable secondary students. The site's interactive elements will help reinforce the content and the progression of life forms from the earliest to the present.

tag(s): evolution (99), fossils (45), geologic time (10), logic (235), time (139)

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Wind with Miller - Danish Ministry of Education et al.

Grades
6 to 12
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There is more to this one than initially meets the eye. The site offers lots of detail on how wind power generation works, and the science and physics behind turning ...more
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There is more to this one than initially meets the eye. The site offers lots of detail on how wind power generation works, and the science and physics behind turning wind into electricity. step by step simulations help to tell the story in animated fashion. There is also a teachers guide, available in printed or online form. Videos mentioned in the teacher's guide seem to no longer be on the site.

tag(s): electricity (89)

In the Classroom

Use the animations to illustrate the physics of wind turbines over the interactive whiteboard or projector. Don't just be a Vanna - have student volunteers move the wind scale to show how the wind turbine reacts to slow and fast wind speeds.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Strange Science

Grades
6 to 12
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Earth science, geology, and paleontology students will appreciate this site aimed at explaining how today's body of knowledge about prehistoric species came to be. There have been innumerable...more
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Earth science, geology, and paleontology students will appreciate this site aimed at explaining how today's body of knowledge about prehistoric species came to be. There have been innumerable goof and misconceptions along the way, and this site is a great illustration of how scientific knowledge evolves over time. The site also contains a wealth of fossil facts.

tag(s): fossils (45), paleontology (41)

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Harmony - John James Audubon - Quebec Museum of Culture

Grades
6 to 12
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This unique site presents animated, multimedia views of several of Audubon's beloved paintings. Some of the paintings evolve visually from a simple single-color image to a full painting,...more
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This unique site presents animated, multimedia views of several of Audubon's beloved paintings. Some of the paintings evolve visually from a simple single-color image to a full painting, while others provide glimpses into the incredible detail of Audubon's work. Music and literary quotes round out this beautifully designed fine arts experience. This resource could be creatively incorporated into an art OR life science class. Created by Mus?e Virtuel Canada.

tag(s): birds (52)

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