Each month we highlight a resource that a community member has suggested for inclusion into the library. Your contributions are what make DLESE a community-owned project. Please do contribute by suggesting your favorite sites.
The Geological Society of America and DLESE are working together to publish and disseminate teacher-authored Earth science lesson plans. Lesson plans are submitted to GSA, reviewed by Education staff, and posted to the GSA K-12 Teacher Resource area. The lesson plans are then submitted to the DLESE Community Collection. In this way resources are available to other teachers via both the GSA website and DLESE. A lesson plan template ensures that the necessary implementation information for teachers and cataloging information for DLESE are provided. This initial collaboratory effort can serve as a prototype to support individual community members in contributing their work to DLESE with little technical overhead. Examples include Real Evidence of a Subducting Plate and Layers of the Atmosphere. To submit your lesson plan contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
November 17th - 21st
The Solar week project is intended to spark pre- and early-teen girls' interest in pursuing careers in science through the study of recent solar physics discoveries. The set of daily activities are self-contained, so participation can be carried out on a day-to-day basis depending upon your schedule. Each day includes an activity, a game, thought-provoking questions, star scientist of the day, a related life science topic, information for teachers, and links to related sites and topics. One of the great strengths of this project is the interaction with real scientists who have first-hand knowledge of the various topics that make up Solar Week. These activities also will be available after this week, without real-time interaction with scientists. Another Solar Week is scheduled for Spring 2004. (Click the painting to enlarge the image.)
The Marine Realms Information Bank (MRIB) is a digital library designed to classify, integrate, and facilitate access to scientific information about the oceans and the adjacent parts of the atmosphere and solid Earth, as well as to the people, techniques, and organizations involved in marine science. By integrating information science and communication technology, the MRIB creates a new vision of libraries and scientific publishing and provides a dynamic environment for the global sharing of digital information. Data resources are searchable by location as well as numerous other classifications, including biota, discipline, research method, and author.
A powerful solar flare erupted again today, surpassing the strength of those occurring last week and setting off a coronal mass ejection (CME) toward Earth. NOAA's Space Environment Center offers up-to-date advisories. This event has the potential to disrupt power and satellite communications depending on the relative orientation of the magnetic fields of the storm and the Earth. Increased aurora borealis activity is also predicted for the northern latitudes. DLESE resources to support learning about these phenomena include Solar Storms and You!, Coronal Mass Ejections and Sunspots, Is There A Relationship? and Come Dance With Me.
Photo credit: NASA/ESA.
Earth Science Week is right around the corner! Geoscientists and teachers around the country are busy preparing for Earth Science Week, from October 12-18. Are you still looking for a way to get involved? Visit the website at www.earthsciweek.org for ideas. There you will find information about events that are planned in your area, find ways to incorporate Earth Science Week into your organization or classroom, or simply learn about the importance of studying about Earth Science. Be sure to check the Earth Science Week website each day for Earth Science News, trivia, contest winners and more.
New Formulas for America's Workforce: Girls in Science and Engineering provides access to the methodology and results of over 200 NSF grants that have addressed the need to broaden girls' and women's participation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The project summaries provide examples of successful inquiry-based learning strategies and other pedagogical approaches to engage and maintain girls' interest and abilities in science. Judith A. Ramaley, head of NSF's Directorate for Education and Human Resources, says, "This is a perfect back-to-school tool for those teachers who want to see how research has identified hands-on learning that works. The book is full of ideas, contacts, and research that makes it an essential element in the toolkit of every educator between the kindergarten and college undergraduate levels." It is available free as a PDF or can be ordered in print at http://www.nsf.gov/home/orderpub.htm.
A strong earthquake measured at 8.3 on the Richter scale rocked the northern Japan island of Hokkaido, and was followed by a series of shallow depth aftershocks that were estimated at 5.1 to 7.0. The epicenter was offshore and warnings of tsunami have been issued; one three-foot wave was already reported at Kushiro. Up-to-date information for students and teachers can be found at the National Earthquake Information Center. Other resources to support learning about this recent event include Virtual Earthquake, an interactive activity that illustrates how seismic waves are used to determine the magnitude of an earthquake and how to locate its epicenter, and Tsunami!, offering information about the mechanisms of tsunami generation and propagation, and the impact of tsunamis on humankind.
A major hurricane, Isabel, is approaching the East coast of the U.S. Current data and satellite images of Isabel can be found at the Tropical Prediction Center, which offers data and images of all active storms. The DWEL reviewed collection includes Hurricane: Storm Science for elementary students. This site includes an array of activities that explore weather instruments, historical storms, and the human impacts of natural disasters. Many other resources, at a variety of grade levels, can be found in the DLESE collections, including the National Geographic Society's The Eye of the Hurricane.
is a new educational resource designed for teaching and learning science. Written by educators specifically for educators, students, and parents, Visionlearning offers concise, focused learning modules that integrate interactive exercises, news stories, biographies and other key resources to excite students about learning. The learning module design provides concise, text-based lessons with links to additional readings. Teachers can customize modules for their specific goals. Modules can be viewed by subject or by their National Science Education Standard equivalent. Spanish translations are also available.
The Atmospheric Visualization Collection (AVC) is designed to enhance physical science education and research through visualization of atmospheric data. This collection is new to DLESE and includes an archive of atmospheric data images and educational material based on these images. Lesson plans and activities for middle school though university students cover a variety of topics and utilize both field and laboratory settings and engage students in exploring data from the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program. Topics include Comparing Temperature, Pressure and Humidity, Measuring Cloud Heights and Noon Shadows on the Equinox. Many resource support the National Science Education Standards. By utilizing collaborative digital library tools, a growing user community assists in the development of this collection.
Forest fires, brush fires, and slash-and-burn agriculture are a significant force for environmental change. Remote sensing of fires, smoke, and burn scars allows for improved detection of fire characteristics and reveals their short- and long-term effects on ecosystems. The Global Fire Monitoring site from NASA's Earth Observatory discusses the importance of fires, trace gas emissions, aerosol emissions, and NASA and NOAA missions for monitoring global fires. Case studies and data sets are also available. This resource might be used in concert with the DiscoverySchool.com's lesson plan on Forest Fires for high school students, which explores the benefits and problems associated with fire, as well as the role that fire plays in maintaining healthy ecosystems.
ExplorA-Pond offers offers a variety of ways to learn about pond ecology. One component is a worldwide online project for K-12 students to study pond ecology and create a database of pond descriptions. There are grade level appropriate activities and lesson plans that cover both science and mathemetics concepts. An adopt-a-pond project allows students to submit information and images about their local pond to be viewed by others. A virtual pond simulation challenges students to populate the pond in such a way that the creatures in the pond remain healthy and thriving.
Bring current information on an early morning earthquake in the southern United States to your students through the USGS Earthquake Information Center on-line and updated reports of recent activity in Alabama and around the world, including maps and reports of where and how the quake was felt by people in the surrounding areas. The USGS offers a wide spectrum of supporting educational materials, including Earthquakes for Kids and Earthquakes for Teachers. Secondary and undergraduate students can learn about seismic waves and epicenter location using seismographs in Virtual Earthquake, an interactive web-based program that is part of the Virtual Courseware in the Earth and Environmental Sciences project.
Earth Day Network is a large international alliance working to promote a healthy environment and a peaceful, just, sustainable world by organizing events, activities, and annual campaigns. The website includes a Teacher's Corner, which provides resources, guides and fact sheets designed to nurture ecological citizenship and leadership in the classroom. No-cost registration is required to access the full suite of materials. A listing of Earth Day events around the world is available, as are media kits and press releases. Information about current campaigns and ongoing programs include an Ecological Footprint calculation tool, Earth Day dialogues focused on assessing the health of one's community, and a corporate water challenge.
PALS is an on-line, standards-based, continually updated resource bank of science performance assessment tasks. The tasks are indexed via the National Science Education Standards (NSES) and various other standards frameworks and are collected from numerous sources. They include student directions and response forms, administration procedures, scoring rubrics, examples of student work, and technical quality data calculated from field testing. On-line rater training packets have also been created for some tasks.
Using imagery and visualizations, it supports the unit and chapter headings of the Spaulding/Namowitz Earth Science textbook, offering interactive explorations to complement the topics. The scope is extensive, covering dynamic Earth processes, atmospheric science and ocean science. The site was developed through a partnership between TERC and McDougal Littell and it is an integral part of the McDougal Littell Earth Science program.
Education for a Sustainable Future offers classroom and field-based activities that focus on the interaction of humans, the environment, and technology, and the role each plays in ecological sustainability. Organized by grade level, broad topics include designing sustainable communities, global issues such as hunger, stewardship of resources, sustainable economics, and thinking about and affecting the future. A collection of software includes an interactive, place-based curriculum entitled Common Water, Common Ground as well as several other tools for spatial modelling of community design, decision-tree models and an Ecological Footprint Calculator
IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology) is a university research consortium dedicated to exploring the Earth's interior through the collection and distribution of seismographic data. The Education and Outreach program develops and implements programs designed to enhance seismology and Earth Science education in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and in adult education. Access to information about current events, such as the recent earthquake in Colima, Mexico is available as is a variety of lesson plans, information sheets and posters and fault animations.
A new project, EarthScope, proposes a comprehensive set of observations and experiments to help us better understand earthquakes like this one."
Stromboli On-line is part of a volcanology research project and a project in teaching Earth Sciences. Its primary goal is to spread volcanological data and research results, mainly about Stromboli, an island volcano in Italy which erupted December 28, 2002. The creators would like to give users the feeling of (almost) being part of on-going research on this beautiful and permanently active Italian volcano. Information on the recent eruption is available, as are historical photos and data.
Related resources currently under review at DLESE include How Volcanoes Work and the Atlas of Igneous and Metamorphic Rocks, Minerals and Textures.