Ten Websites for Science TeachersFebruary 7, 2012 | Eric Brunsell
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.
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 http://www.plantingscience.org/ 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 last year? If you said 22 BILLION, you are sort of correct... Those 22 billion views only represent the number of times education videos were watched! Last October, YouTube announced a project to create new video channels for education. The first channels released focused on science and math. Here are a few to start with.
- 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.