DLESE - Resources of Interest
Contributed by the DLESE community in 2007
Each month we present one or more resources 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. More about selecting the Resource of interest.
PolarTREC, a three-year (2007-2009) International Polar Year project, is an educational research experience for K-12 teachers to participate in polar research, working closely with scientists. Students can follow the work of the teachers and scientists, email them, see images and maps related to the expeditions, and read diary entries. Live from IPY is a webcast focusing on ice sheets with a live broadcast from AGU Dec. 13, 2007. This work is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and managed by the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S.
The Habitable Planet is a free multimedia course for high school teachers and adult learners interested in studying environmental science. The Web site provides access to course content and activities developed by leading scientists and researchers in the field. Each unit includes a thirty-minute video and an online textbook chapter. Additionally, there are five interactive lab activities that bring together concepts from several units into one focused activity. A Professional Development Guide that provides all the information needed to use the course materials in a class or workshop session is available in a downloadable PDF document. Information on obtaining graduate credit for taking the course is also provided.
Alaska's Cold Desert is a Bureau of Land Management-authored site that explores the unique features of Alaska's arctic ecosystem. A poster of life on the tundra portrays the complexity of the ecosystem and the adaptations of plants and animals in this stressful climate. Classroom activities and a fact sheet of arctic animals help students learn why fragile arctic soils are slow to recover once disturbed and why arctic animals look so different from their desert counterparts. (Also see the BLM Learning Landscapes site.)
This webquest places younger students in the roles of scientists leading a mission to determine if and how plants can be grown on the Moon. They will learn about the relationship between the Sun, Moon and Earth, about plants and their requirements for soil, and heat and light, and report on their findings to the mission 'commander'. Each stage of the mission features activities, additional ideas for teachers, curriculum integration and alignments to state and national standards, and links to additional resources.
Check out NASA's education page about this month's Space Shuttle Endeavour launch. The STS-118 shuttle, scheduled to launch Aug. 8, 2007, carries educator-astronaut Barbara Morgan to the space station where her expertise in K-12 education will help NASA develop new ways to connect space exploration with the classroom and inspire a new generation of explorers.
The beach is a wonderful outdoor classroom, more than just a destination for summer vacation. This packet of activities includes classroom and field protocols for conducting survey transects, flora, fauna, and sediment identification, and beach profiling. Each activity is correlated with South Carolina Science Curriculum Standards for grades six through eight, and includes example graphs and blank data sheets. Packet includes a glossary, activity supply list, resource list, and references.
The National Park Service website features links to special topics such as Parks and Recreation. From there, you can find individual national park pages, pages on History and Culture that include archeological, anthropological, and historical material and an online tour of park geology. The Nature and Science pages speak about ongoing park research and offer classroom materials on the uses of science in protecting and restoring park ecosystems. The Interpretation and Education pages include games, online activities, and material for younger students, as well as classroom materials for teachers.
The National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) is pleased to announce the formal launch of the Earth Portal, a comprehensive, free and dynamic resource for timely, objective, science-based information about the environment. Encyclopedia of Earth has an initial 2,300 articles from over 700 experts from 46 countries. The Encyclopedia includes articles, e-books and reports, interactive maps, and biographies, and will eventually be published in other major languages. Environmental scholars and experts are invited to become contributors to the Encyclopedia.
Project BudBurst invites citizen scientists to join in a field campaign (April 1 - June 15, 2007) to study the timing of life cycle events of native tree and flower species across the country. This valuable information can be compared to historical records to illustrate the effects of climate change.
This resource offers a collection of case studies for use in undergraduate science classrooms. It provides a sample of the recent attempts to introduce the method into the science classroom and a glimpse of its potential as seen through the eyes of some of its most ardent advocates. Designed to humanize science and to illustrate scientific methodology and values, the cases also develop students' skills in group learning, speaking, and critical thinking. The cases are organized into topics that present issues in chemistry, ecology, and physics and engineering as well as medicine and health, molecular biology, and teaching scenarios. The site also references videotapes, articles, books, bibliographies, and case study literature.
With the release of the first volume of Climate Change 2007, the recent assessment report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the science of climate change is taking center stage in the news. The report assesses the current scientific knowledge of the natural and human drivers of climate change, observed changes in climate, the ability of science to attribute changes to different causes, and projections for future climate change. Visit Understanding Climate Change at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) for a multimedia gallery, and an overview of research that focuses on global warming as well as regional climate change.
The Earth' s Cryosphere includes snow, glaciers, frozen ground, permafrost, freshwater ice, and sea ice. Sea ice is important because it regulates exchanges of heat, moisture and salinity in the polar oceans. The Cryosphere pages of the The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) site provide information about changes in the Cryosphere and global climate and resources for teachers and students.
The selection process for the Resource of interest considers the following factors, in order: