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We Choose the Moon - John F. Kennedy Library

Grades
K to 12
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Relive the Apollo 11 moon mission in rich multimedia format. Follow the mission in "real time" exactly 40 years later, including all transmissions. For those who are not old enough...more
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Relive the Apollo 11 moon mission in rich multimedia format. Follow the mission in "real time" exactly 40 years later, including all transmissions. For those who are not old enough to remember the 1969 mission, the real experience is powerful. For those who do remember, this site can spark personal commentary and oral history of the historic days during the summer of 1969. Offered by the John F. Kennedy library, this re-enactment started in 40-year-old "real time in July, 2009, but can be accessed and experienced in all or in part at any time after its "conclusion" on July 20, 2009. This is the ultimate "primary source"!

tag(s): kennedy (27), moon (72), space (205)

In the Classroom

Bring your class into the space exploration era on a projector or interactive whiteboard (be sure to turn on speakers!). Include this experience as part of a unit on the 1960s, a science study and comparison of technologies since the 1960s, or as part of a unit about the moon. Allow students to explore and navigate the site on their own, then write a "blog post" as an astronaut or a NASA worker in 1969. "Follow" the mission in real time over a period of several days, letting it run on your classroom computer, and assigning different students to report on the day's events. Explore some of the actual flight data in physics class as a practical application of some of Newton's laws. Use this site as a spark for students to collect oral histories on this and other events of the 1960s, using media resources as prompts to talk with family and friends about their recollections.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TeachersFirst Resources: Man Soars Into Flight - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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This collection of flight-related resources was originally featured in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers historic 1903 accomplishments in Kitty Hawk. This collection...more
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This collection of flight-related resources was originally featured in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers historic 1903 accomplishments in Kitty Hawk. This collection provides many angles on the Wright brothers, flight, and the science and and major figures involved in manned flight.

tag(s): famous people (19), flight (36), inventors and inventions (101), wright brothers (25)

In the Classroom

Use this collection as a starting point for flight-related investigations by student groups. This project could also be an option during a broader unit on invention or the lives of scientists or famous Americans. Ask students to create a multimedia "poster" depicting some aspect of the Wright Brothers' work or a principle of aerodynamics that made it all possible. Use a simple software tool such as PowerPoint or a rich, online tool such as Glogster EDU reviewed here, to create and share the projects.

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Design*Sponge - Grace Bonney, Ed.

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9 to 12
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This design blog from a team of contributing designers and New York-based editor Grace Bonney features multiple daily posts of design ideas from homes, thrift stores, and occasional...more
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This design blog from a team of contributing designers and New York-based editor Grace Bonney features multiple daily posts of design ideas from homes, thrift stores, and occasional traditional artwork. There is also information about student design competitions and shows worldwide. Be sure to explore the various categories, from DIY projects to city design "guides." The visual inspirations and discussion starters will elicit reactions from, "What's such great design about that piece of junk?" to "Wow, what a creative idea!" The rapidly-growing collection can inspire ideas for invention, writing, artwork, and formal design projects. There are also video clips that require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): cooking (34), crafts (41), recycling (57)

In the Classroom

Share images and posts from this blog on your interactive whiteboard or projector to illustrate basic principles of color, line, and other art elements (use those whiteboard drawing tools for students to highlight and label!). After sharing a trend from this blog, ask your art or design students to take digital pictures illustrating that trend in their own home or local mall. Create a class wiki connecting what YOUR students see with what professional designers see. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

As an environmental awareness project, focus on recycled goods and their use as "design elements" in chic homes. Challenge visual/spatial intelligence and engage your visual learners by using this blog as a writing prompt option for student blogs, descriptive writing, or persuasive essays on America materialism or the environment. In science class where you may be studying the laws of motion or the nature of light, allow your "artsy" students to use objects from this blog as illustrative examples of curriculum concepts, connecting something they care about with the science curriculum. Ex. Why is this kind of metal better suited for a lamp? Offer this site as one of many optional links from which they may choose examples, along with more traditional "scientific" sources.

World language students will find the city design guides a wonderful way to study culture in other lands -- and practice describing it in the language of study!

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Photography - myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for photography. Find interactive vocabulary activities using photography vocabulary...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for photography. Find interactive vocabulary activities using photography vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): light (46), photography (160)

In the Classroom

During your unit on light in science class or your study of photography, have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. This is a powerful way for them to master the vocabulary of photography, light, and lenses. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here). Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. And of course, don't miss the interactive word puzzles!

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Geometry Games - Jeff Weeks

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K to 12
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Download free shareware games to encourage thinking and practice identifying geometric shapes. Many of the downloads are games, while others provide opportunities to view computer art...more
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Download free shareware games to encourage thinking and practice identifying geometric shapes. Many of the downloads are games, while others provide opportunities to view computer art and find the hidden geometry or for students to create their own! There are also activities connecting math to physics and astronomy.

Be sure to check with your technology department about the ability to download these applications to school computers. Many districts have restrictions on the ability to download. Click on each game icon to read a description of the games included and some uses. Games are Mac and Windows compatible. Read their FAQ link with each set of games for the most asked questions about the shareware. Once downloaded, to "stop" a program, click Esc. If you are not allowed to install software on your own, share these powerful games with your math or art supervisors so they can advocate for you with the tech folks.

tag(s): geometric shapes (163), symmetry (55), tessellations (6)

In the Classroom

Use many of the images as an introductory inquiry activity to get students thinking about shapes and space. In art class, use the tiling activity and others on a projector before having student create their own on paper. Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Provide images to groups to explore and identify the underlying math concepts present in the artwork. Provide an opportunity for some groups to create their own work with a geometric shape that they are investigating. Follow up with student projects of the geometric shape or photographs of geometric shapes in nature and man-made structures.

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Academic Earth - Academic Earth

Grades
10 to 12
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Ever wonder what it would be like to have open access to lectures at Harvard? Stanford? MIT? Academic Earth gives you that access in a limited fashion. This site contains ...more
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Ever wonder what it would be like to have open access to lectures at Harvard? Stanford? MIT? Academic Earth gives you that access in a limited fashion. This site contains thousands of video lectures by some of the most well regarded professors at several of the top universities in the US. You can sort the lectures by subject, by lecturer, by university, or by "playlist." The playlists sort lectures from various topics and multiple professors into thematic groups. Within individual subjects there are individual lectures and courses--collections of lectures by the same professor on a general subject. Watch a lecture on "The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877," or "The American Novel since 1945," or "Linear Algebra." The topic possibilities go on and on. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): college (43)

In the Classroom

These are college-level lectures given at Ivy-league universities. The subject matter and the complexity of the subject matter will be beyond many high school students, and the delivery format (video-taped lecture) means there is a certain "MEGO" (my eyes glaze over) effect when viewing these offerings. However, for gifted or academically talented students, these lectures may be exactly the kind of enrichment they have been thirsting for. Provide a link to these lectures for times when a student or two has gotten way ahead of the rest of the class. Let parents know about this site for home use. Refer students who are doing in-depth research. And in your own copious free time, check one out yourself! It may provide an idea or two to apply to an upcoming lesson of your own.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Physics of Baseball - Alan Nathan, University of Illinois

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4 to 12
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The closest thing we've found to one-stop shopping for baseball physics, this site catalogs more than a dozen resources from simple explanations to Java applets that plot fly ball trajectories....more
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The closest thing we've found to one-stop shopping for baseball physics, this site catalogs more than a dozen resources from simple explanations to Java applets that plot fly ball trajectories. There are also videos, experiments, and countless other activities. You'll find lots of resources for building lessons or demonstrating principles. Although not aesthetically pleasing, this content-rich website provides unlimited information about baseball and the history and science of the sport. This website requires Adobe, Windows Media Player, and Flash. You can get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): baseball (36)

In the Classroom

Use this website to find content for your science and/or physics lessons. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science and Sports - The Exploratorium

Grades
4 to 12
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Here's another site from the Exploratorium. A high-tech look at the physics involved in hockey, baseball, skateboarding, surfing, and other sports. Younger kids can grasp the concepts;...more
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Here's another site from the Exploratorium. A high-tech look at the physics involved in hockey, baseball, skateboarding, surfing, and other sports. Younger kids can grasp the concepts; older students can learn the details. There are webcasts, interactives, and more. This site requires Media Player. Includes sound and video clips, but they aren't essential to using the site. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): baseball (36), sports (97)

In the Classroom

Share this interactive site with your students to excited them about learning physics! Although some of the pages are "text heavy," this is a great site for research.

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Baseball Physics Fun Stuff - bostonbaseball.com

Grades
6 to 12
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This site shares a sample of physics as it relates to baseball, from a Boston Red Sox fan information collection. Other highlights include the effects of temperature, altitude, and...more
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This site shares a sample of physics as it relates to baseball, from a Boston Red Sox fan information collection. Other highlights include the effects of temperature, altitude, and wind. There is also an interesting discussion of the physics behind corked bats.

tag(s): baseball (36), temperature (29)

In the Classroom

Excite your students about physics using this simple site!

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Science Fair Projects World - Solar System 3D Simulator - Science Fair Projects World

Grades
2 to 12
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Use this free application to create accurate 3D models of the solar system. Show the planets and orbits as well as the sun and the moon. View detailed information of ...more
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Use this free application to create accurate 3D models of the solar system. Show the planets and orbits as well as the sun and the moon. View detailed information of the physical and chemical make-up of the planets, the energy of the sun, and details of solar eclipse. View all images in great color. Change orbit views or tilt and rotate orbits to other angles. Speed up or slow down the movement of the solar system. Application download is for Windows PC only and appears NOT to work with Vista.

tag(s): planets (123), solar system (119)

In the Classroom

Users will need the skills of downloading and finding and managing applications. The software is easy to use and has a wonderful interface for finding great information about the planets. The only safety concern is whether your school's policy allows you to install this free software. If not, try approaching an administrator or department head to show them the descriptions and request installation at least on you teacher computer for sharing on projector and/or whiteboard.

Use this free model to understand the physics of the universe or learn astronomy. Use as a science fair project, to ask questions or find answers, and to create material for presentation online or in class. Share the model on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Scientific American slideshows - Scientific American

Grades
2 to 12
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View slideshow pictures of science topics with captions. Looking for more information? Links on each slideshow page lead to related articles on the topic. Categories of slideshows include:...more
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View slideshow pictures of science topics with captions. Looking for more information? Links on each slideshow page lead to related articles on the topic. Categories of slideshows include: Health, Space, Technology, Environment, Energy, Physics, Math, and History of Science, among others. New slideshows are added frequently. Some of the newer additions (at the time of this review) included "Was Einstein Wrong?: A Quantum Threat to Special Relativity," "Anatomy Lessons Through The Ages," "150 Years Ago: The Birth of the Industrial Revolution," "How Meat Contributes to Global Warming," and many others. You can search by category on the right side of the site.

tag(s): slides (63)

In the Classroom

Use these beautiful images without copyright worries by accessing this site live in class. Make science come alive visually as an activator or anticipatory set to your lessons. With younger students, share simply the pictures! Share the relevant slideshows on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Follow the slideshows with reading of related articles and topics. Challenge students to reflect and discuss as groups or individually in a blog post or conventional writing assignment. Relate material in the slideshow or articles to other material discussed in class or in the current news headlines. Assign one student a week to share a "science in our world" two-minute synopsis of his/her slideshow choice on interactive whiteboard to highlight the use and excitement of real science in the world today, sort of "current events" for science class.

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Rocket Science 101 - NASA

Grades
4 to 10
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At this site you can create your own rockets: Delta II, Delta IV, Atlas V, or Pegasus. There are "first timer" instructions provided. Learn about topics such as fairing, avionics, ...more
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At this site you can create your own rockets: Delta II, Delta IV, Atlas V, or Pegasus. There are "first timer" instructions provided. Learn about topics such as fairing, avionics, assembly, configuration, and more. Of course, younger students can use this as a study in basic physics and laws of motion. This site does require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): newton (25), rockets (14), space (205)

In the Classroom

If you are teaching about astronomy, the history of rockets, how rockets work, or other related topics...check out this free site! Share the instruction on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students "create" their own rockets independently or with a partner. Be sure to share the creations!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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GeoGebra - GeoGebraWiki International

Grades
K to 12
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Choose from a wide variety of lesson plans and ideas for elementary, middle school, high school, or college, all created using GeoGebra. View concepts on individual pages that house...more
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Choose from a wide variety of lesson plans and ideas for elementary, middle school, high school, or college, all created using GeoGebra. View concepts on individual pages that house interactive applets (mini-programs) and downloadable, zipped versions. Depending on your computer's security settings, you may need to "tell" your computer to "trust" the source of the activity before it will "Run." Explore Math resources for Art, Music, and Physics. Some of the available activities have demos with audio explanations, as well. Be aware this wiki allows users to add content. You must log-in to add content, but you still may want to preview for accuracy before you share this site with your students. The users appear to all be math teachers, but some activities may be created by students.

tag(s): angles (88), coordinates (32), decimals (133), equations (155), fractions (239), integers (41), percent (82), volume (45)

In the Classroom

Use the applets to demonstrate concepts in Math. Use these as a review or as an introductory lesson for students to identify the rule. Many are well-suited for interactive whiteboards.

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Java applets - Pacific Lutheran University

Grades
5 to 12
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Use these applets (mini-animations) to show Math problems and their solutions clearly and dynamically. Choose applets in "Arithmetic," "Algebra and Trigonometry," "Calculus," "Geometry,"...more
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Use these applets (mini-animations) to show Math problems and their solutions clearly and dynamically. Choose applets in "Arithmetic," "Algebra and Trigonometry," "Calculus," "Geometry," "Algebra," and "Probability and Statistics." View the math relationships easily with these great applets. This site requires Java to run all the applets (mini-programs). You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): equations (155), fractions (239), probability (130), statistics (122)

In the Classroom

Use these applets with groups of students to learn the math rules and use to demonstrate and teach concepts to the rest of the class. Use the applets to demonstrate and identify solutions to problems. List this link on your class website for students to explore both in and out of the classroom for review, recap, or exploration.

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Fear of Physics

Grades
6 to 12
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Here's another site offering explanations of some of the more common physics questions - why satellites don't fall, how gravity affects various objects, and the like. Each phenomenon...more
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Here's another site offering explanations of some of the more common physics questions - why satellites don't fall, how gravity affects various objects, and the like. Each phenomenon has a visual example, and the complexity of these varies. Check this one out if you're looking for an idea or illustration for an experiment. The Visual Physics link offers over twenty science topics: Roller Coasters, Why Things Fall, Zero G, Einstein's Relativity, Sound, and many others. There is also a physics dictionary and a link Bad Science. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): gravity (46)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. If you teach physics, be sure to save this site in your favorites and reference the activities when applicable in your class. Have students create their own physics videos (with explanation, of course) and upload them to TeacherTube (explained here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Science for Kids - Kidipede

Grades
5 to 10
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This site, designed especially for middle school students, highlights the basic foundations of math, geology, chemistry, physics, and biology. Although this site is recommended for...more
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This site, designed especially for middle school students, highlights the basic foundations of math, geology, chemistry, physics, and biology. Although this site is recommended for middle school students, it is also appropriate for high school students studying the subject areas. It is mainly a "text" site, without interactives. However, this is a great resource for explaining complex topics, researching specific topics in science and math, and much more. Each general area (i.e. geology or biology), includes several sub-topics. There are also links to activities for students, project ideas, and Teacher's Guides. There are two caveats: there are some advertisements -- nothing too distracting -- AND some of the suggested activities include "buying" a book from Amazon. You do NOT need to purchase anything to take advantage of this free resource!

tag(s): atoms (56), diseases (66), earth (228), earthquakes (48), electricity (89), medicine (67), rocks (49), weather (188)

In the Classroom

Use portions of this site as an anticipatory set in your science or math class. The information is simple to understand and would be useful for students struggling with a topic. Use the site for research about specific topics. Have teams of students explore each of the "sub-topics" within the main topic and then create an interactive presentation (Powerpoint, video, or wiki) to share the information with their class. Why not list this link on your class website, so students can access the page both in and out of the classroom.

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Wonder How To - Wonder How To, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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This creative site offers "how to" videos on a WIDE variety of topics. Anyone is able to view the videos, but you must be a member (which is free) to ...more
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This creative site offers "how to" videos on a WIDE variety of topics. Anyone is able to view the videos, but you must be a member (which is free) to comment on the videos, grade the videos, or submit your own "how to" video. Topics vary; some are appropriate for the classroom - others are definitely NOT appropriate. Some of the general topics that may be useful in the middle school or high school classroom include: alcohol, autos, motorcycles, and planes, business and money, computers and programming, diet and health, education (which features a variety of science experiments and more), film and theater, language (English, Chinese, Hungarian, Russian, Finnish, sign language, Polish, and countless others), music and instruments, travel, and several other topics. Within each of these general topics, there are thousands of specific "how to" videos.

Membership is free and has many perks. You are able to comment and/or grade the video clips or even submit your own video. Registration does require some personal information: a username, password, email address, and date of birth. ALL USERS MUST BE OVER 13-years of age! Check with your administrator about allowing the students to register for this site using fictitious names. You may wish to set up a class registration instead of entering true data into the registration site. Another option is to create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Warning: not all videos are suitable for the classroom. Be sure to preview what you wish to share. If you choose to allow your older students to navigate this site on their own (for research or a class project), be sure to set boundaries on which videos to watch, consequences for going elsewhere, and WATCH CAREFULLY! Some videos explain "how to" do things that are unsafe or inappropriate for school-ages audiences. Wonder How To does include unobtrusive advertisements. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): aircraft (24), business (58), money (193), russian (26), sign language (8)

In the Classroom

Use these fabulous "how to" videos for informative writing projects in speech, science, or even with your gifted students. The site does provide excellent research. You may want to link directly to the specific videos you want students to see in order to avoid other, less-desirable options. Share the "how to" videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector as an anticipatory set for a new lesson. For a final project, have students create and submit their own "how to" video using YouTube or using a tool such as SchoolTube (reviewed here).

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National Renewable Energy Laboratory - US Department of Energy

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

tag(s): ecology (135), energy (198), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Divide the class into groups to read and decide information that should be presented in class. Use the information to make recommendations to their families, school district, or the community for future energy change. Use these discussions to determine how they can best meet energy needs of the future. In government class, ask student groups to prepare a policy statement on energy for a hypothetical political candidate.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Building Big - PBS

Grades
6 to 12
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From PBS, this site is associated with the series "Building Big." Unlike many sites that relate to a TV program, however, this site contains a number of excellent "stand-alone" features...more
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From PBS, this site is associated with the series "Building Big." Unlike many sites that relate to a TV program, however, this site contains a number of excellent "stand-alone" features that can be integrated into more general lessons, and do not require students to have seen the series. The site is generally organized around five types of super sized engineering projects: bridges, domes, skyscrapers, tunnels, and dams. There are lesson plans tied to national standards, a neat searchable database of structures, some career-development content related to engineering, and information about the related television series. The highlights of this site are the flash-enabled interactive labs. They are outstanding. Illustrating basic principles of physics and engineering, students can experiment with building materials and see the impact of their choices on virtual buildings. Many activities at this site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): bridges (8), engineering (125)

In the Classroom

Use the database of structures to search out local engineering masterpieces, or to get information about important buildings that are associated with historical or geographic areas that the class is studying. For students considering a career in engineering, there is good information about the real lives of professionals in the field. The labs are perfect for an interactive whiteboard, and can illustrate physical properties in a visually powerful way. The short simulations could be used by students individually, or by teams of students investigating the principles of "building big."
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Physics of Baseball and Softball - The Sweet Spot - The University of Sydney

Grades
6 to 12
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This website provides a detailed activity that focuses on the "sweet spot." Batters know from experience that this is the special spot found on the bat, where the shock of ...more
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This website provides a detailed activity that focuses on the "sweet spot." Batters know from experience that this is the special spot found on the bat, where the shock of the impact felt by the hands, is reduced so much that the batter is almost unaware of the contact with the ball. Find out more about the "sweet spot" at this Australian site. Several video clips are included. The site requires QuickTime. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): baseball (36)

In the Classroom

Use this "ready to go" resource to teach your students about the physics behind the "sweet spot."

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