Sunday, April 6, 2014

Science Games and an Interactive Periodic Table

Glaxo Smith Kline's Active Science offers fifteen interactive games covering a range of science topics. There are games appropriate for elementary school, middle school, and high school students. The games for younger students appear at the top of the Active Science list and the games for older students are at the bottom of the list.

The Interactive Periodic Table is a game designed to help chemistry students practice identification of the elements. To play the game students are given some clues about an element's properties. Using those clues the student has to place the element in the correct place on the table.

Applications for Education
Active Science is a nice collection of games that unlike a lot of games are not simple drill activities.

Exploring the Volcanoes of Yellowstone

The USGS in partnership with the University of Utah produces the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory records and publishes data about volcanic activity in Yellowstone National Park. Much of the material on the site is very scientific in nature, but the Observatory website does offer some educational materials accessible to the non-scientist. The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory offers three videos about the volcanoes of Yellowstone. The Observatory also offers photographic tours of Yellowstone.

Some other good resources for learning about Yellowstone National Park can be found in Google Earth. Turn on the National Geographic and Streetview layers to some excellent images from within the park.

Applications for Education
Yellowstone National Park is known for its natural wonders. The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory provides some resources for high school science teachers to use in teaching about the geology of Yellowstone.

Lesson Plans for Teaching Computational Thinking

Google offers dozens of lessons for exploring computational thinking through the use of Python programming. Now if you're wondering, "what the heck does that mean?" don't worry, I wondered the same. Exploring computational thinking through Python is a series of lessons in which middle school and high school students use the Python programming language to try to put mathematics and science concepts to use.

Applications for Education
Exploring Computational Thinking is a series of lessons for designed to help middle school and high school students explore mathematics and science concepts. Google developed these lessons to use Python. As Google states in their Teacher's Guide Introduction to Python, the reason for using Python is, "A computer program gives students the opportunity to directly apply the algorithms they learn in class and provides them with a tangible reason for using variables rather than specific numbers in math."