Tuesday, December 28, 2010

National Geographic Atlas Puzzles

National Geographic is one of my favorite sites to visit because almost every time I visit it I find something I hadn't noticed before. This evening I had fun exploring and trying my hand at National Geographic's Atlas Puzzles. National Geographic offers 23 Atlas Puzzles in all. Each puzzle is an online jigsaw puzzle of a continent or country. There are political maps, physical maps, and human impact puzzle maps to try your hand at assembling.

Applications for Education
Assembling jigsaw puzzles can be a fun exercise for the brain as long you aren't missing any pieces. National Geographic's Atlas Puzzles provides some good exercise for the brain without the worrying of lost or missing pieces from a physical jigsaw puzzle.

Physical Education in the Snow

Image Credit: Banff Lake Louise
It's winter here in the northern hemisphere and for many of us that means snow. This is the time of year when many kids and adults hunker down and do indoor activities. But it doesn't have to be that way. There are plenty of fun things that can be done in the snow. If you're a physical education teacher looking for some outdoor activities or you have kids of your own that just have to get out of the house for a little while, consider trying some of the following.

NOVA, as a part of their program on Denali, has directions for building a snow cave and directions for building an Igloo.

Boys' Life offers a list of outdoor winter games as well as directions for building igloos and snow shelters.

In this video BBC Survival Expert Ray Mears teaches viewers how to make an igloo and what igloos were traditionally used for.

How Stuff Works provides information about building igloos and a good article about the Inuit people.

Making your own snowshoes is an activity that can be done indoors with the final product enjoyed outdoors. Mother Earth News offers directions for making your own snowshoes. How Cast has video directions for making an emergency pair of snowshoes.

When I was about seven or eight I was given a copy of The American Boy's Handy Book (Amazon link). That book is filled with fun hands-on indoor and outdoor activities including an entire section devoted to Snowball Warfare and other snow-related activites.

A Fun Video Explanation of Cavities

As a kid I dreaded going to the dentist's office (as an adult I still don't love it), but love it or hate it, if you have teeth you should visit it. One way to make the experience easier is to practice good dental hygiene and avoid cavities. To help kids understand how cavities start and grow, Josh Kurz produced a short entertaining video about cavities. Watch the video below.

Cavities from JoshKurz on Vimeo.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Combating Food Deserts
The Family Meal
Scrub Club Teaches Kids About Disease Prevention

Sixty Symbols - Video Explanations of the Symbols of Physics

From the same people that brought us the Periodic Table of Videos comes Sixty Symbols. Sixty Symbols is a collection of videos featuring scientists at the University of Nottingham giving short, sometimes humorous, explanations of the symbols of physics and astronomy. There are actually more than sixty videos in the collection now as more content is periodically added to the site. Click on any symbol on the Sixty Symbols homepage to watch a video. There is also a section devoted just to the solar system.

Here's a video from Sixty Symbols about Jupiter.

Applications for Education
As they state on their project page, Sixty Symbols isn't intended to be an online reference book rather it is just a place to watch and listen to some people talk about the subjects they love and know a lot about. Sixty Symbols could be a good place to find an explanation that might help students get a different perspective than that of a textbook or your explanation.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The Elements Song With Pictures
Knotebooks - Create Multimedia Math & Science Articles
The Interactive Periodic Table