TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Mar 26, 2023

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to go to the Featured Sites Archive

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Citizen Science for Educators - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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6 to 12
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Citizen Science for Educators shares many low or no-cost ideas for collecting and interpreting data as a citizen scientist. Click the Resources tab at the top to find resource collections...more
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Citizen Science for Educators shares many low or no-cost ideas for collecting and interpreting data as a citizen scientist. Click the Resources tab at the top to find resource collections by topic. This list shares ideas that include transcribing historic ship logs, measuring magnetic data, and tracking weather conditions as a backyard weather observer. Select the link to any project to find additional information and requirements to join.

tag(s): environment (225), fish (18), magnetism (35), oceans (133), STEM (227), weather (155), whales (11)

In the Classroom

Use this site and others to find potential citizen science projects for your students. Ask students to select projects by area of interest and work together as groups to gather and share information. Have students share data and updates using Padlet, reviewed here, or Wakelet, reviewed here. For example, create a Padlet with a column for each project, then ask students to add their data and observations in the appropriate column. When using Wakelet, create a collection for each observation group for students to add data and share information in their chosen project. To enhance learning, as a final project, ask students to share their completed project with the class by creating a website using a free website creation tool like Site123, reviewed here, or with a video made with Animoto, reviewed here.

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20 Citizen Science Projects for Students of All Ages - Eperiential Learning Depot

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K to 12
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This blog post provides resources for educators, parents, and students interested in exploring science through hands-on, real-world experiences featuring projects that cover various...more
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This blog post provides resources for educators, parents, and students interested in exploring science through hands-on, real-world experiences featuring projects that cover various scientific disciplines, from astronomy to zoology. The featured projects include a range of ideas for students of all ages, ranging from tracking bird populations to studying the effects of light pollution on fireflies. Select the link to any featured project to find a list of materials, instructions, and additional information for participating.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): birds (44), butterflies (11), climate (78), habitats (82), insects (63), migration (42), plants (136), STEM (227), water (96)

In the Classroom

Browse through this list of citizen science projects to find classroom science projects, then work together to choose the project that interests your students. Consider using Google Jamboard, reviewed here, as a starting point to engage students and share information about potential projects. For example, create a Jamboard slide for each possible project, add important information, then ask students to add sticky notes with their ideas. After choosing a project, work together to make science journals that detail your work. Gather and share data using an easy chart-creation tool like Livegap Charts, reviewed here, as you analyze information. Use the tools found at Canva for Education, reviewed here, to share your results with timelines, infographics, and posters.

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Citizen Science Platforms & Organizations - Science Literacy Foundation

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K to 12
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Are you ready to join the citizen science community but need help knowing where to start? Then, this site is for you! First, browse this curated list of citizen science ...more
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Are you ready to join the citizen science community but need help knowing where to start? Then, this site is for you! First, browse this curated list of citizen science platforms and organizations to find your perfect match. Next, use this list to find information from government resources, crowd-sourcing media, global community connections, and more. In addition to links to resources, each item on the list includes a summary of the project or resource.

tag(s): animals (268), data (136), ecology (95), environment (225), habitats (82), space (205), STEM (227)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the information on this site to introduce your students to the concept of citizen science. Brainstorm together to develop a list of ideas for a citizen science class project, then use a polling tool such as Dotstorming, reviewed here, to vote on your final choice. Instead of using written journals throughout your unit, ask students to replace these and enhance learning by keeping online journals with Microsoft Word or Google Documents: alternatively, have students use a blog tool such as Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. With Telegra.ph have students click on an icon to upload related images and add YouTube, Vimeo, or Twitter links. Throughout your research, ask students to highlight and share important information, add annotations, and add links to additional information. As you add student resources, use Wakelet, reviewed here, to share information on your website or blog. Ask students to enhance their learning and create personal Wakelets, including images from projects and their journal entries.

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Citizen Community Science for Bees - The Bee Conservancy

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K to 12
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Join scientists in advancing bee research as citizen scientists with a snap of a picture. Using the iNaturalist app, citizen scientists find and photograph pollinators, then share their...more
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Join scientists in advancing bee research as citizen scientists with a snap of a picture. Using the iNaturalist app, citizen scientists find and photograph pollinators, then share their images with millions of scientists. Begin by downloading the app from Google Play or the Apple App store for free, then create an account. Next, create a free account with the Bee Conservancy to receive updates and helpful tips. After taking pictures, upload and share your images with bee experts.

tag(s): habitats (82), insects (63)

In the Classroom

Share the Bee Conservancy project with students to participate in at home or join as a class. Be sure to take appropriate precautions when photographing bees and identify students who are allergic. Add your images to a class website created with Webnode, reviewed here or any other free and simple website creator. In addition to student images, add descriptions of the bees' locations; then, as students become more proficient in recognizing the different types of bees, add labels to share the name of the species in the image. Finally, extend student learning using TES Blendspace, reviewed here, to create interactive lessons about bees and their habits, including videos, articles, and quizzes.

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Community Science Opportunities - The Maritime Aquarium

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K to 12
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Become a citizen scientist by participating in one or more community science opportunities the Maritime Aquarium shares. Projects include a City Nature Challenge, Frog Watch USA, The...more
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Become a citizen scientist by participating in one or more community science opportunities the Maritime Aquarium shares. Projects include a City Nature Challenge, Frog Watch USA, The Great Backyard Bird Count, and others. Most activities are available for anyone in the international community; view the information to learn about dates and ways to become involved.

tag(s): animals (268), birds (44), data (136), environment (225)

In the Classroom

Consider participating in one of the community science opportunities shared on this site as an investigative science project, even if the actual date of the event has passed. For example, The Great Backyard Bird Count takes place in February; however, any student or class can complete it over four days without concerns about grade level. After tallying your bird count, create an easy graph using the Data Gif Maker, reviewed here. Extend student learning by completing another bird count at a different time of the year, then have students analyze and compare their graphs and data collection information. Use one of the many tools found at Canva Edu, reviewed here to create and share presentations, images, or videos.

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Citizen Science Month - Arizona State University and SciStarter

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K to 12
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Learn the basics of citizen science and find ideas for projects and events for beginners and experienced scientists at the Citizen Science Month site. Begin by scrolling down to the...more
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Learn the basics of citizen science and find ideas for projects and events for beginners and experienced scientists at the Citizen Science Month site. Begin by scrolling down to the Foundations of Citizen Science Tutorial to learn the basics of citizen science and earn a digital badge upon completing the module. Follow-up modules are available to extend learning in data literacy, using libraries as hubs, and more. Other information on this site includes a database of science projects, a library network with free resources for creating an event, and a calendar of upcoming events. Registration isn't required to view information on the site; however, creating a free account is required to complete the tutorials and access the complete database of science projects.

tag(s): data (136), ecology (95), engineering (112), genetics (70), inquiry (23), medicine (54), psychology (66), statistics (108), STEM (227)

In the Classroom

Explore the many free projects Citizen Science offers to engage students in scientific exploration and inquiry that match your curriculum. Consider working together as a class to complete the Citizen Science Tutorial and earn the digital badge. As students work together to collect and analyze data, use Livegap Charts, reviewed here, to enter data and create customized charts. After working in groups or together as a class, to analyze the information learned, create a presentation to share with parents and peers during a Citizen Science night event. Use presentation tools such as Bulb, reviewed here, to create portfolios or Slidestory, reviewed here, to create and share audio slide presentations.
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World Wildlife Foundation Educator's Toolkits - World Wildlife Organization

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K to 12
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World Wildlife Organization offers several educational toolkits for teaching the conservation of the planet, animals, and food resources. Elementary-level kits primarily focus on exploring...more
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World Wildlife Organization offers several educational toolkits for teaching the conservation of the planet, animals, and food resources. Elementary-level kits primarily focus on exploring animals, while secondary activities tackle in-depth topics of biodiversity, food waste, and issues affecting the planet. Download each kit or select the preview to examine learning materials before downloading. Each resource includes an educator's resource guide, teaching activities, student resources, posters, and achievement certificates.

tag(s): animals (268), carbon footprint (5), conservation (80), earth (178), earth day (60)

In the Classroom

Use the lessons and activities found on this site to engage students in learning about animals and conservation. Use Symbaloo, reviewed here, to share additional resources with elementary students in a user-friendly format. For older students, consider using LiveBinders, reviewed here, to collaborate and compile information. After completing research, use a tool such as Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to create infographics as a class or as individual projects. Share your infographics on your class website when complete. As a culminating project, share options with students to "show what they know" through a variety of options. Consider offering students a variety of tools such as creating digital books using Book Creator, reviewed here, a virtual tour built with Google My Maps, reviewed here, or a podcast using Buzzsprout, reviewed here. This site is perfect to include during Citizen Science Month each April as a resource for finding science activities that turn curiosity into impact.
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Journey North - Journey North

Grades
3 to 12
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Journey North is a citizen science program for collaborating and documenting the migration of animals and insects. Become involved by adding your images and sightings, or follow the...more
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Journey North is a citizen science program for collaborating and documenting the migration of animals and insects. Become involved by adding your images and sightings, or follow the site to view the observations of others through maps, images, and descriptions. Choose from a diverse selection of animals, including whales, earthworms, and many others to begin. Within each topic find information about the animal and their migration habits along with links to additional resources. Take your journey a step further and choose the live cam link to view webcams and animal videos from around the world. Make sure to check out the educator's section to find vocabulary, reading, and inquiry activities.

tag(s): animal homes (57), animals (268), insects (63), migration (42), Project Based Learning (14), scientists (62)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this site to teach students about animal migration and the activities of scientists. Include a link to the site on classroom computers to follow updates and record sightings. Even if you don't participate by sharing information on the site, consider using the site as a model for observations in your area and possibly a mini project based learning unit. Use Microsoft Office or Google Docs to create a spreadsheet to record sightings including dates, images, and the person doing the sighting. As students view different animals, encourage them to research and learn more about them and share their learning by creating infographics using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here. Extend classroom technology use by having students include their infographics on webpages created using Carrd, reviewed here. Carrd is a simple yet attractive-looking tool for creating websites for even less tech-savvy users. Redefine classroom technology use and learning and ask students to use Odyssey, reviewed here, to design an interactive map including images, text, and other multimedia to tell the story of migration.
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Monarch Lab - University of Minnesota

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K to 12
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This site is an undertaking of the University of Minnesota to develop a citizen science project including volunteers from around the country to share long-term data on monarch butterfly...more
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This site is an undertaking of the University of Minnesota to develop a citizen science project including volunteers from around the country to share long-term data on monarch butterfly populations and their milkweed habitat. Sign up and share your data, or explore the site to learn more about monarch butterflies. The site includes monitoring data from around the US, training information, and ongoing updates and newsletters.

tag(s): animal homes (57), butterflies (11), data (136), habitats (82), insects (63)

In the Classroom

Use the downloadable worksheets on this site to monitor and learn about monarch butterflies in your area. Use Google Sheets and Documents to include images and data together. Compare your class data to those around the country. Take advantage of this project to show students how every piece of data is significant for scientific studies. Ask students to share information through blog entries using edublog, reviewed here. edublog includes tools for easily creating interesting blogs including student writing and images.
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Siftr - David Gagnon & Shelby Copeland

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5 to 12
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Siftr is a social photo sharing site for students to post, tag, and describe their surroundings based on a teacher-directed prompt or activity. Explore already created Siftrs through...more
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Siftr is a social photo sharing site for students to post, tag, and describe their surroundings based on a teacher-directed prompt or activity. Explore already created Siftrs through a keyword search or browse through recent and popular activity. Create an account to begin your own Siftrs. Upload a picture with a brief description and tag with one of the five selected themes. Share Siftr with others to contribute their photos and observations, all tagged and uploaded to a map.

tag(s): images (255), maps (208), photography (128), social networking (75)

In the Classroom

Browse through Siftr for ideas on how others use this site for photo sharing in the classroom. Create Siftrs for your citizen science unit to demonstrate different stages of plant growth, observations of mammals and insects, etc. Collect images identifing landforms around the world, to inspire creative writing, or share items that can be recycled. The possibilities are endless!

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BirdSleuth - Cornell University

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3 to 12
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Join BirdSleuth is an inquiry-based science curriculum that engages kids in scientific study. Use real data collection and the scientific process. Study nature and discover the real-world...more
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Join BirdSleuth is an inquiry-based science curriculum that engages kids in scientific study. Use real data collection and the scientific process. Study nature and discover the real-world importance of data (entered by students and used by scientists). Search resources by grade level K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Each grade level has several categories such as Kits and Curriculum units, Free Downloads, Posters, Cards, Games, & More. Some free lessons and activities are: Citizen Science Bird Quest, Feathered Friends, Investigating Evidence, HomeSchoolers' Guide to Project Feeder Watch, Evolution in Paradise, Using eBird with Groups, Explore Life Cycles Through Nesting Birds, and lots more. Kits are available for purchase.

tag(s): birds (44), environment (225), scientific method (47)

In the Classroom

Science classes come alive using BirdSleuth's free resources. Captivate students while discovering the importance of nature and our interactions with it. In gifted classes, use this idea as an example of project-based learning. Pair it with a book such as Hoot by Carl Hiaasen to include ties with literature. Use this resource to build understanding of stewardship in our environment and of man's impact on nature. Develop research and include language arts standards to document the research, study, and findings.
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SciStarter - Science for Citizens LLC

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5 to 12
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Find citizen science projects that are available for students. View the video What is Citizen Science? Choose projects for PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and for college students. Each project...more
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Find citizen science projects that are available for students. View the video What is Citizen Science? Choose projects for PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and for college students. Each project has a video, thorough directions, and links for additional resources. Science teachers register and can sign up for email newsletters describing the projects. Example projects include: Budburst, Project Squirrel, Globe At Night, Crowd the Tap, and Land Loss Lookout. Topics range from weather to birds to medicine to sound. Rather than focusing on teaching content, the activities focus on using scientific communities to connect and immerse students in the science.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (268), archeology (23), birds (44), ecology (95), environment (225), geology (64), insects (63), medicine (54), oceans (133), Project Based Learning (14), science fairs (20), scientific method (47), sound (69), space (205), transportation (32), weather (155)

In the Classroom

Find a great project for your students to participate in, entering data and looking at the results. Search by activity or topic to find a project geared towards your students age range, curriculum, and ability to complete. Have students make a multimedia presentation about one of the "projects" using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Slides, Animatron, Vibby, and Gravit Designer. This resource lends itself to project based learning.

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Zooniverse - Zooniverse

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7 to 12
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Zooniverse is one of the largest and most popular citizen science projects. Choose from the feature projects found on this page or click See All Projects to be able to ...more
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Zooniverse is one of the largest and most popular citizen science projects. Choose from the feature projects found on this page or click See All Projects to be able to choose from a category. The categories include Arts, Biology, Climate, History, Literature, Medicine, and several others. Click on the category of your choice to go to that project page and read more about the purpose. View interesting information and discoveries that occur when people around the world contribute to a citizen science project. Create a login that can be used for any project shown. Registration requires and email address. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): earth (178), moon (67), space (205), sun (63), weather (155)

In the Classroom

Find interesting scientific information and how our understanding increases when data is included from other sources. Find information about our past history, earth and space around us, and information that can affect our future technology and exploration. Find a project based learning unit to suit your students interests. Have students make a multimedia presentation about one of the "projects" using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, Animatron, Sway, and Microsoft PowerPoint Online.

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U.S. Geologic Survey - Educational Resources - U.S. Department of the Interior

Grades
1 to 12
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Discover videos and animation, adventures in STEM, online lectures, citizen science, and more on this Education Resource page. Scroll through the slides at the top and choose a topic,...more
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Discover videos and animation, adventures in STEM, online lectures, citizen science, and more on this Education Resource page. Scroll through the slides at the top and choose a topic, or choose from the menu on the left. Levels are divided into grades K-6, 7-12, and Undergraduate. Once you land on the page for your topic there will be more links on the menu to the left. Each topic has a complete teaching module, structured classroom activities, and digital data or images.

tag(s): amphibians (17), animals (268), biomes (113), birds (44), caves (6), climate (78), climate change (79), earthquakes (45), ecosystems (68), environment (225), erosion (13), floods (10), fossils (40), geology (64), mammals (23), minerals (15), plate tectonics (20), rock cycle (11), rocks (35), soil (17), tsunamis (16), volcanoes (55), water (96)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and the wealth of information on this site. As you go through the lessons on this site replace pen and paper and have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, challenge your students to create a blog using edublog, reviewed here.

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