Showing posts with label online science lessons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label online science lessons. Show all posts

Thursday, November 1, 2018

What are Spices and Herbs? - And What is Pumpkin Spice?

We are in full-blown pumpkin spice season here in New England. Everywhere you look stores are selling pumpkin spice coffee, donuts, cakes, candles, and anything else that spice can be crammed into. This, of course, begs the question "what is pumpkin spice?" That's the question that is addressed in the latest episode of SciShow Kids. But before answering that question the video explains what spices and herbs are and how they are combined to create flavors. Click here to watch the video or watch it as embedded below.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

7 Good Resources for Teaching and Learning About Earth Day

Each of the last two mornings I've been inundated with spammy press releases pitching all manner of websites and products related to Earth Day. The upside of seeing all of those press releases is that it got me to look for some of the better resources for teaching and learning about Earth Day. Here are seven good ones.

Storyboard That's Earth Day Activities page offers eleven lesson plan ideas appropriate for elementary school and middle school classrooms. Some of the featured plans on Storyboard That's Earth Day Activity page include creating "cool Earth facts" storyboards, creating comics about how to help the Earth, and creating public service announcements about pollution and pollution prevention.

Glacier Works is a non-profit organization studying the shrinking glaciers of the Himalaya and the impact of glacier melt on the people of the region. One of the neat features of the Glacier Works website is the panoramic before and after images. The panoramas show images of the glaciers from the 1920's side-by-side with recent images. You can quickly compare the two views by sliding your cursor across the panoramas.

ARMAP is a comprehensive resource of interactive, online maps of Arctic research. ARMAP's resources include files for use in Google Earth as well as ArcGIS explorer. You can also access 2D maps directly on the ARMAP website. ARMAP provides map layers and placemarks about a wide range of topics related to Arctic research. Before opening the general ARMAP map, visit the map gallery for a primer on the type of resources that can found on ARMAP. You should also check out the links section of ARMAP to visit the sources of much of the ARMAP content.

National Geographic has some other great resources for learning about environmental science and Earth  Day. On the National Geographic website students can learn about the Green House Effect through an interactive lesson. After learning about global warming in the Green House Effect interactive lesson, students can learn about alternative energy through the Wind Power interactive lesson.

Breathing Earth is an interactive map demonstrating CO2 emissions, birth rates, and death rates globally and by individual countries. From the moment that you first visit Breathing Earth it starts counting the number of births occurring worldwide. Placing your cursor over any country on the map reveals information about birthrate, death rate, and rate of CO2 emissions. One of the additional resources linked to Breathing Earth is an ecological footprint calculator. Using this calculator students can calculate their personal footprints, take quizzes, and learn about the ecological footprints of various businesses.

Google offers tours in its Explore Climate Change series. The tours explore the actions of organizations to prevent or adapt to climate change in different parts of the world. These tours include the World Wildlife Foundation's efforts in the peatland swamps of Borneo, Greenpeace's actions to prevent deforestation of the Amazon, and Conservation International's efforts to reduce deforestation in Madagascar. The tours can be viewed three ways, in Google Earth, in the Google Browser plug-in, or through YouTube.

My Garbology, produced by Nature Bridge, is an interactive game that teaches students about sorting garbage for recycling, reusing, and composting. Students sort garbage into four bins according to where they think each piece of garbage should go. When a piece of garbage is sorted correctly a series of short animations explains why it should be there.  For example, a banana peel should be sorted into the compost bin. When the banana peel is placed into the compost bin students watch and hear a series of animations explaining how composting works.

Disclosure: Storyboard That is an advertiser on this blog. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Nice Set of Animated Science Lessons for Children

The Children's University of Manchester has great collections of animated lessons covering seven science subjects for students of early elementary/ primary school age. The lessons cover The Body and Medicine, Energy and Environment, Earth and Beyond, Teeth and Eating, Micro-organisms, The Brain, and Exercise.

For each science subject covered by The Children's University of Manchester there is an introduction followed by seven to ten interactive animations. For example, in The Earth and Beyond students can see how the position of the sun affects the length of shadows. Students can advance the sun through the sky. As they advance the sun they can use a ruler to measure the lengths of the shadows that they create.

Applications for Education
The Children's University of Manchester science lessons could be good place to find supplementary interactive materials for your elementary school science lessons. You could extend The Earth and Beyond shadows activity by having your students measure shadows in your school yard throughout the day at different times of the year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Try Science - Online and Offline Science Activities for Kids

TryScience, produced by the New York Hall of Science, offers a nice collection of online and offline science activities for elementary school students. On TryScience you will dozens of activities arranged by topic. The offline activities are hands-on activities like wind mapping with bubbles and building tin foil boats. The most of the online activities, like Catch the Wave, have an offline activity that you can use to teach the same concepts found in the online version.

Applications for Education
The next time that you are looking for an elementary school science activity that you can use with or without Internet access, take a look through TryScience's gallery of activities.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

JST Virtual Science Center - Excellent Online Science Lessons

The Japanese Science and Technology Center offers nine outstanding science lessons. The list of lessons and activities covers topics in physics, biology, psychology, geography, and space science. The general format of each virtual lesson is to present a manageable chunk of information followed by activities in which students try to use that information. I hesitate to generalize the activities as games because not all of them are games and those that are games are not "drill" games. Each lesson has multiple parts (some have 20+ parts) and multiple activities.

The logo displayed at the top of this post is from JST's Earth Guide which is an eight part virtual lesson about the Earth's place in the solar system and the environment of the the Earth. Each of the eight parts of JST's Earth Guide features multiple forms of information.

The virtual lesson that drew me to JST is the Mind Lab. Mind Lab is a virtual lesson on biology and psychology. The lesson is designed to make students think about the ways in which they perceive the things they see. Mind Lab has four introductory video lesson about the way in which we absorb information and how what we perceive might not be reality. One sample activity from the Mind Lab helps students discover their "blind spots" and teaches them how people sometimes become oblivious to their blind spots.

Applications for Education
The Japanese Science and Technology Center's Virtual Science Center's lessons are appropriate for middle school and high school use. Some lessons offer more depth than others, but all of the activities offer excellent content. Here is the full list of lessons: Mind Lab, Search for ET, Physics of Amusement Parks, Optical Communications, Earth Guide, The World of Rust, Energy Transmission in Sports, the Human Genome, and the Mysteries of the Body.