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Eyes on the Earth - NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Grades
5 to 12
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Looking for views of orbiting satellites with actual data about the Earth? Find it here with the Eyes on the Earth tool. Note: This tool requires a one-time download. After ...more
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Looking for views of orbiting satellites with actual data about the Earth? Find it here with the Eyes on the Earth tool. Note: This tool requires a one-time download. After installing, launch from the web page (the install button turns into a start button). Be sure to view in full-screen mode for the best effect. Change your perspective of the Earth by changing the tilt (hold down the mouse and rotate). Zoom in and out with the tool along the right (much like the tool in Google Earth or Maps). Choose from among the tools along the top. As you click on a tool, read information in the window to the left. Be sure to click Turn Audio On to hear the narrative. Use the additional links there for more information. Visible Earth shows the movement of two satellites and the images from both. Choose the speed of the motion of the satellites with the slider along the bottom. Other tools include Temperature, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon Monoxide, Sea Level, Antarctic Zone, and Water and Ice. Click on the last two tools to view the actual datasets and missions. Some of the tools have relief maps, showing a 3D representation of the data. Click Show relief to really capture student attention. The tools in the lower right corner control the brightness of the image and full or partial screen.

tag(s): antarctica (29), arctic (44), carbon dioxide (17), climate (92), climate change (64), earth (228), glaciers (14), temperature (29), water (130)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this tool using an interactive whiteboard or projector in the classroom. Provide a link to this tool on your website or bookmark on a class computer. Use this tool to introduce students to questioning and the scientific method. Why collect data on the Earth? Show a tool to the whole class or provide time for groups of students to view the visuals and develop questions and make observations. Challenge students to find answers to some of their questions. Help students figure out what they need to know to answer the questions. For a unit on the environment, begin the unit showing a few of the tools, namely the carbon dioxide and temperature tool. Compare two different tools side by side to note differences in patterns. For example, are the carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide patterns similar? Why or why not? Research the various gases, how they originate, and problems they cause in the atmosphere. Why is the carbon dioxide higher in some areas and not others? Research the carbon footprint of various regions and compare. Are those same areas showing the greatest or least effects of climate change? When discussing technology, view the different missions featured in this tool and the various engineering feats needed to accomplish these missions. Provide time for students to propose a "fantasy" mission for NASA. What should be measured, what would you call the mission? What kind of data would need to be collected? How do you think the Earth image data would look? Draft the proposal and create the possible image for review. Note: Students can focus on biological, chemical, or physical data for their proposal.

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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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): antarctica (29), arctic (44), careers (132), polar (19), scientific method (64), scientists (69), STEM (134)

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 (88), electricity (89), rivers (21), 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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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edX - Anant Agarwal

Grades
8 to 12
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edX offers access to the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate...more
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edX offers access to the best courses offered at top learning institutions - for FREE! Institutions include MIT, Harvard, and Berkley. Classes are available to complete for a Certificate of Achievement or as an audit. Choose from courses with topics in many areas including computers, literature, and humanities. Each course listing offers a short description of the course, details about the university offering the course, estimated time involved, course staff, and available options for taking the course. Start any course at any time. Take the edX Demo course to get a good idea of how courses work and find out about the online learning experience.

tag(s): aeronautics (13), architecture (84), china (66), circuits (20), civil rights (117), computers (95), electricity (89), engineering (125), environment (317), evolution (100), folktales (65), greeks (30), magnetism (36), medicine (67), nutrition (154), poetry (228), psychology (64), religions (61), shakespeare (131), solar energy (38), speech (92), statistics (122), terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Share with students on your interactive whiteboard and take the demo course together. This is perfect for use with gifted and advanced students as an option for college level courses and enrichment. Allow gifted students to enroll in courses that interest them or that provide enrichment beyond classroom content. Share with others, in your building, as a resource for professional development. Explore the topics yourself for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field.

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Get Caught Recycling - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Grades
K to 12
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What is e-waste and what to do with it? Find information about recycling, including e-waste, on this site. Though this site is for the State of Kansas, the information found ...more
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What is e-waste and what to do with it? Find information about recycling, including e-waste, on this site. Though this site is for the State of Kansas, the information found here will be helpful material for anywhere. Find great information on "Why Recycle?" and "How Can I Recycle?" including the often forgotten message about reducing the use of items that need recycling in the first place. Be sure to check the section on e-waste and recycling, and also check out the Earth Day resources found on this site.

tag(s): energy (198), natural resources (59), recycling (57), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Research how to recycle materials including e-waste on this site. Follow with research about recycling in your state. For Earth Day or everyday, use this site to raise awareness about the energy that is used to create items and how energy can be saved by using recycled materials. Encourage students to keep track of what items their family throws away (or make an audit of what is thrown away at school). Students can research statistics about the various items used in the United States and abroad including the most discarded items in landfills. Research why recycling is an important endeavor to combat pollution and energy use. Assign small groups to create a public service announcement for your school or community to learn more about the benefits and encourage recycling. Use one of the many multimedia tools reviewed by TeachersFirst here. Initiate a recycling campaign and create a center for recycling many items from the school including e-waste. Classes can tally the pounds of materials saved for recycling including paper. Have students create informational commercials and share them using a hosting service such as SchoolTube reviewed here. Use the many broadcast and print resources on this site as inspiration.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Carbon Cycle Game - Windows2Universe

Grades
7 to 12
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To better understand climate change, follow a carbon atom through organisms, the Earth, and the atmosphere. As you go through the interactive, choose the next step for the carbon atom....more
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To better understand climate change, follow a carbon atom through organisms, the Earth, and the atmosphere. As you go through the interactive, choose the next step for the carbon atom. Read the information about how the carbon atom gets there and its various interactions through nature. Be sure to click on For Teachers to find outcomes, standards, background information, best practices for using the interactive, and extension activities.
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tag(s): carbon (21), carbon dioxide (17), carbon footprint (11), climate (92), climate change (64), fossil fuels (18)

In the Classroom

Follow the terrific directions in the For Teachers section including items students should record as they work through the interactive. Review the assessment and extension activities for outstanding ideas. Encourage students to create a paragraph of the journey of their carbon atom or a concept map outlining the stops and science behind the journey. Find many excellent concept mapping tools here. Research climate change and ways to reduce the amount of carbon at specific steps. Research and present to the class various energy alternatives and ways to reduce carbon released into the atmosphere. Identify the carbon footprint of different countries and identify ways to reduce this footprint. Create a public service announcement to raise awareness of small changes everyone can do.
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Energy Explained - US Energy Information Administration

Grades
8 to 12
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Find answers about any energy question you may have with this site. View information and graphs on both energy production and consumption in the US. Click the Energy in Your ...more
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Find answers about any energy question you may have with this site. View information and graphs on both energy production and consumption in the US. Click the Energy in Your State tab to view a breakdown of energy in various states. Compare the US to other countries using the International tab. Find a variety of topics along the left side. Find topics for Renewable and Non-renewable energies, energy calculators, and more. Be sure to check the tabs at the top that include Sources and Uses (of energy), Topics, and Geography.

tag(s): conservation (127), energy (198), solar energy (38)

In the Classroom

Use the information found in the US Energy Facts section to stimulate interest in energy and identify misconceptions that students may have. A whiteboard or projector would be ideal for showing and discussing the graphs as a whole-class activity. Be sure to make the link available on your teacher web page for students to access outside of class or during class time. Consider using this resource, and other related links they provide, for group reports on various energies. Assign small groups to explore one facet of this site and create a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. If you teach younger students you may want to use the sister site of this site, Energy Kids, reviewed here.
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Energy Efficient - Houseplans.com

Grades
7 to 12
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Apply math or science in the real world using these free house plans. Imagine teaching measurement or the concept of scale using free house plans downloaded from the Internet. What...more
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Apply math or science in the real world using these free house plans. Imagine teaching measurement or the concept of scale using free house plans downloaded from the Internet. What about a study of energy and environmental issues? Use this simple site to download house plans for green houses. Use these plans as a great way to discuss many issues related to energy conservation and environmental issues. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to the blog featuring the essentials of green building.
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tag(s): architecture (84), area (66), energy (198), homes (12), volume (45)

In the Classroom

Teach the concept of energy conservation, scale, square footage, and volume. In a business class, discuss the costs of building and create budgets or cost estimates for the building of the house or renovation of a house. Use in a computer or drafting class as inspiration for other projects. Continue the designs outside with the design of landscaping to fit the house in various areas around the country using local fauna and focusing on water and soil conservation. Identify features of design best for energy conservation and how to alter various designs for energy savings. Consider uploading plans from this site to a tool such as Mapwing, reviewed here, to label changes for an energy efficient home.

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Science of Innovation - NBC Learn

Grades
5 to 12
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Explore the Science of Innovation with this series of seventeen videos provided by NBC Learn. Each video looks at different innovations such as bionic limbs or 3-D printing. All videos...more
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Explore the Science of Innovation with this series of seventeen videos provided by NBC Learn. Each video looks at different innovations such as bionic limbs or 3-D printing. All videos run about five minutes in length and include a written transcript and lesson ideas. Lesson ideas include handouts, collaborative inquiry activities, and assessment rubrics.
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tag(s): energy (198), human body (121), inventors and inventions (101)

In the Classroom

Although part of a larger pay for use site, this portion of the site is free. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Use this site as the starting point for individual or group projects. Take advantage of the free lesson plan and incorporate suggestions into your current units. Have students brainstorm or collect ideas on other innovative ideas on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here (quick start- no membership required!).
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Once Upon a Roof - Virtual Museum of Canada/ Societe d'histoire du Lac-Saint-Jea

Grades
4 to 12
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Learn about the history of house structures in Eastern Canada, with connections to home building in general. See how homes adapt to the settings in the Living in the New ...more
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Learn about the history of house structures in Eastern Canada, with connections to home building in general. See how homes adapt to the settings in the Living in the New World section. See a timeline of homes in Canada (similar to homes history in some portions of the U.S.). Learn about the skilled builder trades on the Youthzone. The architectural Glossary is great for learning the names of all those things that stick out or hold up your house! The Homo Renovus section is all about terms and techniques in home renovation.

tag(s): architecture (84), homes (12), structures (24)

In the Classroom

Include this resource during an elementary social studies unit on homes (Homes in the New World). The Prozone includes Teacher materials for Canadian elementary social studies lessons. Include it during an Art or drafting lesson on home design. If you teach about career explorations, this site would be of interest to budding architects and builders from elementary on up. Have students draw or annotate an image of a home, complete with architectural terms, and explain why it fits the location where it is built. In upper level classes, compare the homes found on this site with newer, green designs. Have physics or science students annotate a home image to show the forces upon it and the underlying structures used to keep the home standing. Share the images in a "home show" on your class wiki!

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CodeKingdoms -Moddings - Ceebr, Ltd.

Grades
5 to 9
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CodeKingdoms is an interactive that teaches kids how to code using Javascript. Much like Minecraft, the goal is to guide your character through an adventure from planet to planet. Along...more
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CodeKingdoms is an interactive that teaches kids how to code using Javascript. Much like Minecraft, the goal is to guide your character through an adventure from planet to planet. Along the way, learn and use coding skills to navigate the world and complete progressively trickier missions. You can build your own worlds to play and share your creations with others. Be sure to click on the "Teachers, check out our resources" at the bottom of the page. Resources include lessons, teacher's packs, and webcasts to help students.

tag(s): coding (47), computers (95), engineering (125), game based learning (103), gamification (65), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

After school clubs and activities can use CodeKingdoms to learn coding. Use this tool with gifted students for a great challenge. Set up a coding activity center for interested students when they finish class work or for rainy days and snow days. Share this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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Home Shrunken Home - New York Times

Grades
9 to 12
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Learn about the small world of micro-apartments in this New York Times article with a photo slideshow showing how micro-apartments are built. See the construction methods, and learn...more
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Learn about the small world of micro-apartments in this New York Times article with a photo slideshow showing how micro-apartments are built. See the construction methods, and learn about the tiny home building trend in response to the high cost of urban living. Read about the people who opt for minimal living quarters, in this case prefabricated modular units. The article is an invitation to learn more about home trends, structures, and the cultural and economic decisions we make about where we live.
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tag(s): architecture (84), environment (317), homes (12), STEM (134), structures (24)

In the Classroom

Share this article in a class on environmental issues, a social studies class on economics and current events, or even a physics class learning about structures and forces. Note that this article is a great example of informational text! Have students make observations about the pros and cons of modular mini-apartments for the resident, the city, and the environment. Have student groups investigate related topics in building materials, environmentally-friendly design, and urban crowding. Hold a class debate: Mini-living: Positive trend or Foolish Fad? This article would be great for gifted students interested in contemporary issues or architecture. Have them design their own mini-apartments, complete with appliances and built in furniture, to meet the challenges of green living, high-cost housing, and urban crowding!

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The Sketchbook Project - Art House Projects, LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Discover over 32,000 digitized artist sketchbooks from over 70,000 artists in 135+ countries. The Sketchbook Project is a crowd-sourced collaborative of artworks by very serious artists...more
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Discover over 32,000 digitized artist sketchbooks from over 70,000 artists in 135+ countries. The Sketchbook Project is a crowd-sourced collaborative of artworks by very serious artists and those just starting out. There is an annual cycle (that costs money) to JOIN the project and have your own sketchbook digitized, but not to see the results. Browse the sketchbooks by theme or check out artworks created in response to a "Challenge" such as creating a collage from found objects in 5 minutes or less. Weekly Challenges offer "creative prompts to medium-specific swaps and exchanges," often shared via this site as well as through social media such as Twitter or Facebook. Browse to find inspiration for your own art or for challenges to share with others. You need not join to enjoy browsing sketchbooks and to "peek" into artists' creative process. If you join for free, you can curate your own collections from the various sketchbooks. The FAQ page (accessed via a link near the bottom of the "Participate" page) explains the curation tools. One caveat, however: since this site is open to the public for contributions, there is no restriction on the types of sketches or artwork topics the sketchbooks may include. You will want to preview before turning young people loose on this site in a classroom setting.
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tag(s): artists (75), creativity (109), journals (21)

In the Classroom

Share this site or specific sketchbooks in an Art class to inspire students to find their own creative process and to start a sketchbook or electronic "idea bin" for collecting bits and pieces of inspiration. If you teach writing, share the concept of a sketchbook as a place to collect quick doodles with accompanying bits of writing as material for personal writing projects. Show the sketchbook process of these modern artists alongside the sketchbooks of Leonardo DaVinci as part of a STEM/engineering unit on inventions and creative thinking. Encourage your gifted students to maintain a sketchbook or "idea bin" for the creative ideas that pop into their minds. The examples here will help them get started. If your school permits and parents grant permission, allow your young artists (over age 13) to curate their own sketchbook collections from within this site or participate in weekly challenges. You could also set up a class account to collect specific projects and works in a curated collection.

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Careers in Science - Science Buddies

Grades
4 to 12
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View science careers galore! Although this site is rather "plain vanilla," it is filled with sprinkles of knowledge! If you need ideas for science careers in Earth and Physical Science,...more
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View science careers galore! Although this site is rather "plain vanilla," it is filled with sprinkles of knowledge! If you need ideas for science careers in Earth and Physical Science, this is a great resource. Research careers, find out what employees actually do in these careers, learn the requirements to obtain a job. Along with the salary and degree requirements, view the future job outlook in the career. View video interviews of real scientists and profiles of those currently on the job.

tag(s): careers (132), scientists (69)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this resource when discussing scientific careers. Use this site for researching WHAT particular types of scientist DO (with younger students). Assign individual students (or cooperative learning groups) a specific science career option. Place a link to this resource on your teacher web page for students to peruse on their own.

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The Creators Project - Voice Media

Grades
5 to 12
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Science becomes creative at The Creators Project. As they describe themselves, "The Creators Project is a global network dedicated to the celebration of creativity, arts and technology."...more
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Science becomes creative at The Creators Project. As they describe themselves, "The Creators Project is a global network dedicated to the celebration of creativity, arts and technology." Find fascinating works of art and functional inventions that use unusual materials, clever design, and unique applications of science and engineering. New posts appear regularly, featuring collections, exhibitions, or featured inventions. Watch videos or read text posts with images of such things as a $30,000 dog house, "fossilized" books as sculpture, or a motion-activated keyboard. Browse the latest features with links to related posts. Click tags at the end of a post to find related ideas, or search for a specific word to explore past posts. A few of the ads are annoying, but hitting refresh makes them change.
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tag(s): creativity (109), engineering (125), inventors and inventions (101), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Turn STEM into STEAM in your science, math, or art class. This project is perfect for convincing students that science is neither boring nor unimaginative! Lure your artistic students into science and your pragmatic scientists into creativity. This project fits well with any Maker Movement activities you may do in your school. Share a feature or two each week in your science class and ask students what science concepts the creator had to use to achieve that design. Ask what problems he/she might have faced in creating it. Ask why it appeals to people (function? visual design?) Challenge student groups to choose a design or invention on this site and analyze the physics behind it. How/why does it work? What simple machines do they see within it? Why did they use those materials? Have them share their findings (or hypotheses) in a multimedia presentation or wiki page, sort of an "invention unwrapped." Teachers of gifted or science club sponsors can find loads of project inspiration at this site. Share it during a career unit for students to investigate creative ways to use science and design in a future career. Have them research the people behind an invention or art piece they particularly enjoy.

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Falling DUST - Brigham Young, Univ. of MD, NSF, and NASA

Grades
6 to 12
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DUST now has a replayable version. This means the educator now controls the pace of the game and it can be played at anytime. Immerse students in science using real ...more
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DUST now has a replayable version. This means the educator now controls the pace of the game and it can be played at anytime. Immerse students in science using real world media and thinking skills in this fictional world. Students will be intrigued in this scenario: "Clouds of dust from a meteor shower have entered the Earth's atmosphere. Adult's are unconscious and the young people are needed to find the answers." This tool is interactive and features collaborative activities online and in real life. Interact with characters online and use online sites and apps to collaborate with others. Students collect data, analyze information, and upload evidence to solve problems from the story. In each new part of the story, students analyze science clues given through social media as the story unfolds. What sets this interactive apart? There is no fixed ending and it is up to the students to move the story along. The scientific method and critical thinking skills are a major part of the challenge. Clues are given two to three times a week for seven weeks. Provided are downloadable lesson plans for each module (complete with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), learning objectives, instructional plan, and internal & external resources) that teachers can modify to suit their needs. If interested in using DUST contact arg-team@umd.edu; they will set up a class for you and provide you with the URL and password your students can use to register to access the game.

tag(s): game based learning (103), gamification (65), problem solving (272), scientific method (64), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

Use this tool with students to flex their brain. Explore the hands on activities to gather data to upload. Data is interspersed with information from the clues to move the story along. Use in classes as individuals or as students working in groups. Share this tool on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Consider using this tool with a gifted class or as a science club activity. The Co-Lab (short for Collaboration Laboratory!) is where players communicate their questions, theories, evidence, and notebook posts and has been pre-seeded with character posts for each module to provide models and prompt student responses. Teachers have the ability to modify the pre-seeded posts, to post as any of the characters so that the characters can interact directly with the players, and to moderate student posts to address inappropriate responses. Highlight outstanding student contributions through the ability to feature posts and adapting the provided week-in-review template to personalize it for your class or group.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Virtual Science Hub - Global excursion

Grades
9 to 12
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Create or view Excursions to learn various science topics! Find the available Excursions by clicking on Browse. Click Educational to see the catalog topics in Mathematics, Physics,...more
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Create or view Excursions to learn various science topics! Find the available Excursions by clicking on Browse. Click Educational to see the catalog topics in Mathematics, Physics, Biology, and Technology. This site includes Excursions created by the International community. Each Excursion plays like a PowerPoint. Advance through the slides to see embedded content included as part of the Excursion. Content includes Wikipedia entries, websites, quizzes, videos, and more. Create an account to make your Excursion. Click the + sign at the top to create. Add a title, description, and tags. Click to add content (photos, videos, text, quiz, etc.) Have a PowerPoint you would like to use? Export it as a PDF file and upload to Vishub. Another upload possibility is ZIP files, among others. Easy to use tools include changing background, animation, and style. Save, preview, and publish. Favorite and comment on popular excursions. 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): animals (276), cells (102), environment (317), medicine (67), plants (145), solar system (119), water cycle (33)

In the Classroom

Encourage students to create an excursion about a topic being studied in science class. This tool would be an excellent alternative to a conventional PowerPoint or other presentation tools. Consider assigning projects where students teach one another using this tool. Gifted students will love learning from already created excursions or extending their learning by creating their own. This tool would be useful for blended or flipped learning. Give students time to absorb information about content. Leave class time for individualized learning.

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XKCD - XKCD

Grades
8 to 12
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Get ready to have a good laugh at Ready for a good laugh? Come on over to XKCD, a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. Three times a week ...more
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Get ready to have a good laugh at Ready for a good laugh? Come on over to XKCD, a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language. Three times a week find comics with stick figures featuring mathematical, scientific, and cultural humor. Dig through the archives to find the perfect one for you! Creative Commons License allows reprinting of the comics. Each comic has an individual URL that can be shared to direct students to that specific comic. Be sure to PREVIEW before you share any comics with your class. Our editors found a few that may be questionable depending on the maturity of your students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), humor (15)

In the Classroom

Add humor to your science, math, language, and current events classes to lighten the mood! Spice up professional presentations with humor, and keep your audience involved. Share the direct URL to any comic that relates to your curriculum or specific topics. Encourage students to create comics with your current content. Have students use one of the tools and ideas included in this collection. Keep your class website humorous with a few comics from XKCD.

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Google Science Fair - Google

Grades
7 to 12
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Get your creative juices flowing! It is time for the Google Science Fair, a yearly competition for ages 13 to 18 years old. Find a Competition Overview with a description ...more
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Get your creative juices flowing! It is time for the Google Science Fair, a yearly competition for ages 13 to 18 years old. Find a Competition Overview with a description of the prizes, past winners, key dates, and judges. Students must have a Google Student Account. The Teacher and Parent's section has ideas for involving young participants and how to support them. There are also lesson plans (by grade levels), posters (in PDF format), and more. Get inspired by watching the Google Science Fair Channel on YouTube! Encourage the young inventors you know, and they might win one of the many fabulous prizes. The yearly submission deadline is around mid-May. Regional winners are announced in July. 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): computers (95), engineering (125), science fairs (25), scientific method (64), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Why not take the next step in science fairs? Let Google walk you through this competition! Introduce the project to students using your interactive whiteboard or projector. A particularly useful start for students is the Idea Springboard. Here young innovators can get help generating ideas for a science fair project across all scientific fields! Be sure to post a link to the Google Science Fair on your class webpage for students to share with their parents at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Autodesk Digital STEAM Workshop - Autodesk, Inc.

Grades
9 to 12
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Do you want to use STEM with better learning through design? Bring project based learning through design along with science, technology, engineering, math, AND art with this tool. The...more
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Do you want to use STEM with better learning through design? Bring project based learning through design along with science, technology, engineering, math, AND art with this tool. The Digital STEAM Workshop is a curriculum using Autodesk products, such as AutoCAD and Inventor. Worried you do not know how to use the software? Don't fear! The student materials include extensive information about completing the projects. These projects are real world, engaging challenges for students. Teacher resources are extensive and include project briefs, lesson plans, pre/post tests, and extensive materials for students. Be sure to note the available materials includes prerequisites, ideas for differentiation, extension ideas, and STEAM connections. Be sure to check the For Educators section, as well as the How-To videos. Teacher materials are available as a download. Be sure to look over all the information on the site including the free download link for the software found in the upper right corner. Discuss the installation and use of the software with your Administration or Technology departments to see if it will work on school computers. 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): animation (63), architecture (84), engineering (125), STEM (134), sustainability (19)

In the Classroom

View the basic information. "Start Here" is a good place to start! Choose from the three different levels of information and projects. Be sure to view the lessons and materials under the Teacher Resources section. Select from projects labeled Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced as appropriate. Use a project from the curriculum in place of one activity normally planned through the year. As you become comfortable with using authentic project-based curriculum, consider adding more. Choose from subjects: Architecture, Animation, Engineering, Manufacturing, Maker, STEAM, or Sustainability. These activities would be wonderful challenges for gifted students. Consider looking at student curriculum and creating a class that fits a STEAM model. Incorporate many of these activities into the curriculum. Use projects such as Urban Planning in a variety of different courses in school.

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