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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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Ten Websites for Science Teachers

Eric Brunsell

Asst Professor of Science Education @ UW-Oshkosh

We all know that the web is full of excellent web resources for science teachers and students. However, unless you live on the web, finding the best websites can become quite a challenge. This isn't a "Top Ten" list -- instead, it is a list of websites that I either use on a regular basis or just find interesting. From teaching resources for the nature of science and authentic field journals to wacky videos about numbers, I am sure that you will find something in the following list the works for you! Please share your favorite science web resources in the comment section!

1) Understanding Science

UC Berkeley's Understanding Science website is a "must use" for all science teachers. It is a great resource for learning more about the process of science. The resource goes much deeper than the standard "PHEOC" model of the scientific method by emphasizing peer review, the testing of ideas, a science flowchart and "what is science?" checklist. Understanding Science also provides a variety of teaching resources including case studies of scientific discoveries and lesson plans for every grade level.

2) Field Research Journals

The Field Book Project from the National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution Archives intends to create a "one stop" archive for field research journals and other documentation. You can find plenty of examples from actual field research journals for your classes.

3) Evolution

Berkeley's Understanding Evolution website is the precursor to their Understanding Science efforts. The Understanding Evolution website provides a plethora of resources, news items and lessons for teaching about evolution. Lessons provide appropriate "building blocks" to help students at any grade level work towards a deeper understanding of evolution. The Evo 101 tutorial provides a great overview of the science behind evolution and the multiple lines of evidence that support the theory.

4) PhET Simulations

PhET from the University of Colorado provides dozens of fantastic simulations for physics, chemistry and biology. The website also includes a collection of teacher contributed activities, lab experiences, homework assignments and conceptual questions that can be used with the simulations.

5) Earth Exploration

The Earth Exploration Toolbook provides a series of activities, tools and case studies for using data sets with your students.

6) EdHead Interactives

Edheads is an organization that provides engaging web simulations and activities for kids. Current activities focus on simulated surgical procedures, cell phone design (with market research), simple and compound machines, and weather prediction.

7) Plant Mentors

Do you teach about plants? Check out Planting Science to connect your middle or high school students to science mentors and a collaborative inquiry project. From the project:

Planting Science is a learning and research resource, bringing together students, plant scientists, and teachers from across the nation. Students engage in hands-on plant investigations, working with peers and scientist mentors to build collaborations and to improve their understanding of science.

8) Periodic Table of Videos

Check out The Periodic Table of Videos for a wide array of videos about the elements and other chemistry topics.

9) More Videos!

Students can read and watch video about 21 Smithsonian scientists including a volcano watcher, fossil hunter, art scientist, germinator and zoo vet.

10) Even More Videos!

How many videos were watched on YouTube in 2010? If you said 22 billion, you are sort of correct... Those 22 billion views only represent the number of times education videos were watched! In addition to this list of science and math YouTube channels, here are two of my favorites:

  • SciShow is all about teaching scientific concepts in an accessible and easy-to-understand manner. This channel includes a variety of short (3 minute) and long (10 minute) videos. New videos are released weekly.
  • Former BBC journalist Brady Haran is crazy about math and science. If you love numbers, you will love his Numberphile channel, dedicated to exploring the stories behind numbers.
  • And let's close with a particularly good SciShow on Climate Change:

Do you have any favorite science websites that aren't on this list? Please let us know about them.

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Comments (24)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Annette Loubriel's picture
Annette Loubriel
Homeschooling

Is it scientific or even wise to teach students only the evidence that supposedly supports the absence of God? Wouldn't it be at least sensible or even democratic to let them arrive at their own conclusions after considering all the evidence? But how are they going to consider all the evidence if it is not presented to them. How are they going to dare consider all the evidence, if they are told a priori that some evidence is just "unscientific"? Is the scientific process good for some processes and not others? Only when these questions are addressed appropriately, will kids of all ages truly grasp the concept of the scientific process, which after they do, they will remember that they already knew a long time ago....before they started to be distracted from their daily experiments because they had to copy the lesson in their notebooks.

Kristal Mott's picture
Kristal Mott
Student, Teacher, Quest Elementary PBL Charter School

Thanks for the list of resources. I'm always looking for great websites to add to my list.

Angel Daniels-Ray's picture
Angel Daniels-Ray
Eighth grade science teacher from Sumter, South Carolina

Thank you for providing this list of wonderful resources. As a new teacher, I am always looking for new and easy to guide through reasources. I am certainly adding these to my notebook! Some other websites that you may want to explore are www.sciencebuddies.org (great for students to use for science fair project ideas) and www.discoveryeducation.com (ideal for administrators, teachers, parents, and students). I use the Discovery Education site many times for streaming videos, lesson plan ideas, and student interaction.

Tami Port, MS's picture
Tami Port, MS
Chief Executive Nerd, Science Prof Online free science education website

Blowing my own horn here, but another science educator and I have recently developed a free science ed website (Science Prof Online) that has a lot of useful resources particularly for new science teachers creating their curriculum. We developed these materials for the live courses that we teach, and thought that we might as well share what we created with other educators. A brand new addition to the site is the Instructors Corner, a SPO page that makes it easy for teachers to find the free materials they need. The site has virtual classrooms in microbiology, cell biology and (soon) anatomy and phys, as well as many other teaching resources. If you find the materials useful, we'd appreciate it if you'd spread the word :). SPO Instructor's Corner: http://www.scienceprofonline.com/instructors-corner/instructors-corner-m...

Amanda May's picture

http://www.iclicknprint.com is an website both for teachers and students. Teachers and create customized award certificates, poster projects and many more for the pupils. Also, students can make their science fair school projects with this application.

Cassie's picture

NASA Wavelength is a pathway into a digital collection of Earth and space science resources for educators of all levels - from elementary to college, to out-of-school programs. These resources, developed through funding of the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD), have undergone a peer-review process through which educators and scientists ensure the content is accurate and useful in an educational setting.

NASA Wavelength allows you to quickly and easily locate resources, connect them to other websites using atom feeds, and even share the resources you discover with others through social media and email.

http://nasawavelength.org

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