Online resource collections

NSTA’s SciLinks has a searchable database of vetted websites with information, graphics, and lesson plans. These cover topics K-12 in the life, physical and earth sciences as well as health and engineering. The sites are correlated to specific keywords (such as Food Chains, Phases of the Moon, or Magnetic Fields). The data base is available to any teacher.

There are other online collections of more focused resources. Although many of the individual resources have been aligned with specific SciLinks keywords and are included in the database, the entire collection may be of interest to teachers looking for supplements, lesson suggestions, differentiation ideas, enrichment opportunities for students, or to enhance their own knowledge.

These are not simply lists of someone’s favorite websites. These are activities, simulations, and resources created by organizations or institutions as part of an outreach program or related to their projects and research. You can search for sites by grade level and subject area. No fees or paid subscriptions are required, although users may be asked to register. Here are just a few examples:

  • TeachEngineering is designed “to make applied science and math come alive through engineering design in K-12 settings.” Concepts in life, earth and physical science are taught, connected, and reinforced through real-life problems or scenarios in student- and teacher-friendly formats. There is also an option to search by NGSS standards. The lessons have been designed by university engineering faculty and teachers. Example: 20/20 Vision for grades 3-5 illustrates the format and design of the lessons. 
  • The Royal Society of Chemistry’s (UK)  Learn Chemistry site provide access to thousands of chemistry-related activities, simulations, games, tutorials, handouts, quizzes, journal articles, podcasts, apps, and videos in a searchable format for both teachers and students. Example: The Mole, a bi-monthly E-zine written in student-friendly language
  • Middle School Chemistry (from the American Chemical Society) is “a resource of guided, inquiry-based lesson plans that covers basic chemistry concepts along with the process of scientific investigation.” The lessons are written in the 5E model and include background information and student activity sheets. The lessons can be accessed individually or the entire resource can be downloaded as a PDF file. Example: Heat, Temperature, and Conduction illustrates the design and format of the lessons. 
  • Kids Health from the Nemours Foundation has health and wellness resources (including information on human body systems) for kids, teens, educators, and parents. These often have a Spanish version and they can be downloaded, printed, or emailed to share with parents or to use in class. Example: The Digestive System has a brief video, an article (also in Spanish), and a quiz. 
  • Biointeractive from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has a searchable collection of free resources for science teachers and students, including animations, short films, lectures, virtual labs, and apps. Example: A search for “Environmental Science” produces 42 resources, including the EarthViewer app.

 

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/treevillage/5107999448/sizes/l/in/photostream/

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