A stroll through our solar system & beyond, created by the History Channel. Filled with multiple images & information about the planets & other bodies in space. A hands-on exploration experience. The site tend to lend themselves more to an elementary curriculum, but the images are great for any grade level.
A sister site to be used along side Solar System Scope is Solar System Simulator. In Simulator you can get more detailed information about the planets, along with videos & the structure of the planet. Constellations are not included in Simulator as in Solar System Scope.
Available on BrainPOP’s GAMEUP, Coaster Creator from Jason Learning is an interactive lesson over potential & kinetic energy. Students get an audio tutorial about the physics behind roller coasters before they get to build. They get to design their own coaster cars & add hills & loops to their track. The object of the game is to have enough kinetic energy to get the coaster from the beginning to the end without stalling the coaster or crashing it. The loops, hills, & screams of the passengers will affect the overall score of their students’ coasters. Student can at the end view their coaster’s data & redesign their coaster to get more points.
Probably one of the oldest sites between the 3 roller coaster creators, & the one with the least amount of cool effects & graphics. So why is it on the list? Every time students play it, they get determine to pass the levels. This game is one that can be very challenging. Not to mention, students seem to like to watch their little passenger get sick or pass out. When the track looks cool on the screen with steep hills to the students, may instead make the coaster get stuck or knock out its riders, which in turn does not allow the student to pass the level. There is a lot of science behind this game. Make the track too gentle & the students will not get enough points to pass the level. To change the levels of the hills, all students have to do is move the gray boxes up & down, & the track with change elevation. The higher the levels students pass, the higher their track can go, the more elevation changes they can make, & more points are needed to pass. This game focuses on how much G-forces & velocity a rider can take, but still making the coaster fun to pass the level.
Crash Course is an educational YouTube channel by John & Hank Green over original topics in World History, English Literature, Biology, & Ecology, & with new added videos over American History & Chemistry. Their videos are fast pace, lasting about 10-12 minutes. The videos are entertaining overviews that may require you to pause the videos to discuss with your students, or perhaps use a backchannel site like http://todaysmeet.com. The videos are aimed towards a high school audience, but may work for the upper middle school years.
A platform to collaborative, explore, & document wildlife in your community. Under the Missions tab, there are projects to make contributions to with images or observations. There is also a free iPod app.
The Discovery Channel's Volcano Explorer provides a small simulation that students can use to design a volcanic eruption, or as a class on the Promethean board. Using the Volcano Explorer students choose the magma viscosity & gas content to create a virtual volcanic eruption. When students make their selections the Volcano Explorer provides a short explanation of how those settings will affect the shape of the volcano & its eruption.
Another site to go along with Interactive Universe is Facts about the Universe, also provided by the History Channel. Facts about the Universe provides images & animations from NASA in an amped up slideshow. Both resources provide basic information & a good place to start to explore the solar system.
A flash based 3D model of the planets in our solar system & the night sky. Use different views to view the planets & constellations by dragging the planets & view with your mouse. There are a lot of interesting settings, which allows you to observe motions & events.
Raytheon & Walt Disney Imagineering developed an attraction at Disney’s Epcot Center, Sum of all Thrills. Using math & science, kids can engineer their own thrill ride. Raytheon added a simplified online version to their MathMovesU website designed for middle school students. On their online version students focus on using math & science to figure their coaster’s kinetic & potential energy. They can select to build a track for either a bobsled, coaster, or jet. As their little craft moves along the track, they are asked four times to choose a piece of track to make their coaster mild or wild. Each time they have to use math & science to adjust the track shape & vehicle speed. They have to get the speed right & overcome gravity to get over the hills & not crash. After completing their track, they can name it & then virtually ride it. This site is simple enough for young students, as they can just use trial & error instead of figuring out the math by just trying out different heights & speed.
A nice resource for Preschool & early elementary school students. This site offers a great collection of online games, videos, & offline activities designed to help students learn & practice skills in math & science.
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