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Here's a monster list of sites to tickle brighter, gifted, talented students who need more mental exercise, or who may want to do activities or explorations their "peers" probably don't consider fun. A few exceptional sites are listed two or more times in different places.

Look for New to see what's been added lately!

This page is one small part of Good Sites for Kids!

 

 

 

128,000 Dominoes Falling into past a journey around the world. 7:12 video follows the whole event as a gym full of dominos follow their paths. They transform art, move objects, drop a 30 meter long wall, and generally act like kinetic art. This is fun to watch, and the crowd goes wild!128,000 dominoes

 

Billion-Story Building from What If?, a part of xkcd. "My daughter—age 4.5—maintains she wants a billion-story building. It turns out not only is that hard to help her appreciate this size, I am not at all able to explain all of the other difficulties you'd have to overcome." So What If? makes a good effort to explain it to her like she's five (4 ½?). "If you make a building too big, the top part is heavy and it squishes the bottom part." Then drawings with circles and arrows, etc., are used to play with the idea, which really is interesting to see and read. Yes, there's physics, but mainly 5 year olds' physics.

 

Camp H - Building Camp for Girls. It's an innovative after-school and summer design and build camp for 9- to 12-year-old girls, offering girls practical creative and problem-solving skills. "I want to teach them how to weld, to work on projects that don’t feel artsy and craftsy... to balance the creative and the artistic side... to use hand and power tools, basic electrical equipment and automotive instruments to fix the things that need repair, installation, and maintenance in our everyday lives. Coupled with core-subject math and science concepts, we will tinker, experiment, build, and repair.” Camp H is one of three programs that together make up Project H . Studio H is an in-school design/build class for 8th-11th grade students that sparks community development through real-world, built projects. Workshop H, creative "boot-camp" training customized for teachers, leaders, and organizations, is outside the scope of GSFK. Project H's Toolbox section holds their entire FREE five years of lesson plans, activities, project briefs, and resources used in the Studio H and Camp H programs. Credit to Kristin Hohenadel for her Slate article describing Camp H. Kudos to Emily Pilloton for starting this whole thing!

 

 

New SiteA chick has been hatched outside its shell "In an awesome experiment performed by a group of Japanese high schoolers, a chick was successfully hatched outside of its egg shell. The chicken egg was placed in plastic wrap suspended over a plastic cup. Afterwards, the cup was covered and placed inside the incubator. According to Professor Tanaka, the biology professor in charge of the students, placing the egg in a clear plastic cup allows proper observation of the chicken embryo’s development. - See more at: http://www.viralvo.com/science-experiment/#sthash.mYReaSdZ.dpuf "

 

Gold Star Davidson Institute for Talent Development Got gifted kids? These good people, the original Math Blasters, want to help. "Our mission is to recognize, nurture and support profoundly gifted young people and to provide opportunities for them to develop their talents to make a positive difference."

 

Gifted Education - A Resource Guide for Teachers From the BC Ministry of Education. Defining, detecting, strategies, process, lots more. A basic "how to" with resources in depth!

 

Google Science Fair 2014 Winners There were seven prize winners this year, ages 14 - 17. The winners were Irish (team of 3), Canadian (1), Indian (1), and American (2). Some amazing scientific research was done, some similarly impressive engineering and coding, too. Every project can impact the world in ways great and small. Go and meet these winners. Maybe you'll be in it next year.

 

High Achiever, Gifted Learner, Creative Thinker Published article by Bertie Kingore, Ph.D. The objective is to help explain the differences between high achievers, gifted learners, and creative learners, to classroom teachers and parents. This is done by using cartoons to show examples of behavior: Response to an Assignment and Response to a Question. There's also a good sized table of comparisons between the three types, and discussion. This a useful article that definitely fills a need. Stereotypical examples were used of necessity to illustrate the ideas presented here. We all must keep in mind that individual learners may exhibit combinations of these traits. Real life instances may be more like a Venn diagram of the three types presented.

 

Spinning gold star Hoagies' Gifted Education Page The "all things gifted" page. This jewel of a site is trying to pull together all sorts of activities, ideas, and resources for gifted kids, parents, and teachers. As we all know, public schools always cuts gifted funding first, so a site like this one can help a lot. They've tried to post something for every gifted kid, so there's a huge variety here.

 

How to Train Your Mind to Think Critically and Form Your Own Opinions "Critical thinking just means absorbing important information and using that to form a decision or opinion of your own—rather than just spouting off what you hear others say. This doesn't always come naturally to us, but luckily, it's something you can train yourself to do better." This is a very important life skill that everyone should know and use!

 

"The Journal of Emerging Investigators is an open-access journal that publishes original research in the biological and physical sciences that is written by middle and high school students. JEI provides students, under the guidance of a teacher or advisor, the opportunity to submit and gain feedback from Harvard-trained scientists on their original research and to publish their findings in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Work submitted by students may come from classroom-based projects, science fair projects, etc." (slightly edited by us)

 

Talented and Gifted- The Best Resources for Parents & Educators. Provided by the Madison, Wisconsin school district. List of links for parents and teachers of TAG students. Many school systems in America are neglecting their best and brightest students, so these links may be of help.

 

NewThis Is What It’s Like To Be A Girl Who Codes "This video tells the story of 5 young app developers on their journey to Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco." Age range is 12 to 19, and the 12 year old has an excellent app! They met Tim Cook, too. Code Like A Girl is their YouTube video, if you're in a hurry.

 

Quizlet "The world learns on Quizlet. We make simple tools that let you study anything, for free." You can study anything, alone or in groups! Teachers and students can look for existing quizzes that meet their needs, or they can make their own quizzes and add them to Quizlet's library. This section explains it all. Take a quiz, review subjects, spell the vocabulary words, play various games to test knowledge! Works on computers AND on mobile, iOS and Android both! "#7 app in the free Education category of the app store." There's a teachers section, too. You can create accounts (free) and keep quizzes there!

 

Pretty much anything from Ancient History & Archaeology will interest many gifted children. Here's a good example:

 

Mummy Maker  from the BBC.  This ed game was so popular with our 4th and 5th graders that we gave it its own link! It is part of the BBC Ancient History site above. Can you make a mummy? As an assistant to the Chief Embalmer, you must prepare a body! Accurate, and kids love the eeeew! gross! aspects!  Hints for teachers: ask the cat for advice, write down the dear departed's name in hieroglyphs when it is shown, and remember this sequence: hook, heart, write down name, salt, makeup artist, oil then resin, make label.

 

Music & brains poster

 

 

Dig It Up - RomansRomans in Britain from the BBC, contains the awesome Dig It Up: Romans Game that you can (only) get to from their front page. (Does not have its own URL, it's a Flash child of the main page.) This great dig-it-up activity has its emphasis on proper technique and real-world problems. There are more Dig It Ups in Dig It Up: Anglo-Saxons and Dig It Up: Vikings, which are similar and similarly good.

 

 

Zooniverse "We make citizen science websites so that everyone can be part of real research online." Currently there are 25 active projects where volunteers can help online! "If you're new to the Zooniverse, we suggest picking a project and diving in - the same account will get you into all of our projects, and you can keep track of what you've contributed by watching 'My Zooniverse'." One of their projects is Calbug where volunteers transcribe field notes of insect researchers. Calbug is part of Notes from Nature, which in turn is part of Zooniverse. If transcribing field notes or soldier's diaries is not your thing, you can study the sea floor, look for stars, and many other things. Pick a project, do a short tutorial, and dive in!

 

Here are some activity sites from Animals

 

KidWings "This site was designed to teach young and old about the wonders of birds. The most exciting part of the site is the Virtual Owl Pellet Dissection.Many interactive activities await you." Also features section on bird skulls, nests, feathers, beaks, feet, and "topography" for birders. Fun!

 

Netfrog The original frog dissection online site from U of Virginia. Now with the old-time (1994) version AND a newer more multimedia version. It's like two for one good sites! Also see the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab's Virtual Frog Dissection Kit "This award-winning interactive program is part of the 'Whole Frog' project. You can interactively dissect a (digitized) frog named Fluffy, and play the Virtual Frog Builder Game." Your choice as to which site is better for your kids.

 

Splash Zone! is another part of Monterey Bay Aquarium. Scroll down to play Crunch Nibble Gulp Bite or Make a Tide Pool Come to Life. Also check out the links to more wonderful places, on the left side of the page.

 

Virtual Roach We love the things ya'll submit! This is from Orkin, the famous pest control people. Nicely done 3D roach dissection helps students learn insect anatomy! "The Virtual Roach is a web resource focused on insect anatomy that was developed as a technical reference and an instructional tool. The interface for the system links morphological terms with an extensive image archive, including scientific illustrations, scanning electron micrographs, and photomicrographs. Images are linked in a manner permitting a detailed examination and virtual dissection of the American Cockroach." Yes, and it was fun to play with, too! Includes lesson ideas. Thank you, Steve Clark of Orkin Pest Control.

 

Downloads WolfQuest Episode 2 is out! Download it! From the Minnesota Zoo and EduWeb comes this excellent download wolf simulation game. Players become a wolf and explore Yellowstone Park! Now they can play with friends on different computers! Kids from elementary to high school love to play this game, it's hard to get them to stop! We printed out the enclosed instructions for players to use. Needs a newer computer with good graphics. The download includes both episode 1 and 2.

 

Here are some sites from Art:

 

Activity TV This truly excellent site has at least a couple of hundred good instructional videos on subjects like paper airplanes, science projects, magic, making jewelry, crafts, origami, juggling, cheerleading, cooking (!), and more! It also has Legos action videos and several good games! The videos are really world-class, with adult instruction and printable parts lists. Projects on the videos can be accessed by skill levels, categories, most viewed, etc. You need to look at Activity TV

 

Build Your Own Kaleidoscope Lets kids try out different shapes, lines, all sorts of things from a menu that then gets displayed as a kaleidoscope! Fun and encourages creativity and inquiry.

 

Design Your Own Bill from US Bureau of Engraving & Printing.  Lets kids design and color their own paper currency, with funny faces, etc. Computer kids had fun doing this.

 

Color Vision and Art This site covers the science behind our color vision as it effects art. (If we did not have color vision, all our art would be grayscale. Ugh.) Interactives and a lot of new-to-us art concepts make this a very enlightening site. Use sliding color bars to see what great paintings look like at different color levels. See how the difference between older and newer parts of the human brain affect how we see Monet's painting. Technical terms explained, too. Learn the technicalities of Peripheral Vision. Decide if Mona Lisa is smiling or not. One of many sites at WebExhibits.

 

JigZone is a "Jigsaw Puzzle Paradise". Make one of their many online puzzles in 16 different piece numbers and shapes, from six to 247 pieces. There are daily puzzles and puzzle galleries. You can even upload photos and make them into puzzles! It's free, although they do sell things in their online shop.

 

NGA Kids is the kid section of the National Gallery of Art. Stunning pictures, all sorts of exhibitions using shockwave, Flash, and QuickTime.

 

Pigments through the Ages "Pigments are the basis of all paints, and have been used for millennia. They are ground colored material. Early pigments were simply as ground earth or clay, and were made into paint with spit or fat. Modern pigments are often sophisticated masterpieces of chemical engineering. This exhibit includes most important pigments used through the early 20th century." Explore timelines, a pigment catalog, history of different colors, different artist paints, how to mix paint, make your own painting, etc. One of many sites at WebExhibits.

 

TheColor.com Online Coloring for kids! (or anyone else) "Why is Thecolor.com unique? We have over 1,000 images to color in online without having to print. This is more online coloring pages than any other online coloring site. TheColor.com helps kids learn color concepts, eye-hand coordination, picture comprehension – these skills form the foundation for early learning success. We are COPPA compliant. Everyone can use the site as no java, flash or applet is necessary to load the pages. Kids can email the pictures they colored or save them or print them." Right-click on a picture to Save Image As - it saves as bitmaps which is what you want for a wallpaper. We have been looking for a site like this. Think of all the paper you'll save!

 

You knew we'd include sites from Astronomy!

 

Astro for Kids  from Astronomy.com.  Facts on the Solar System, navigating by the stars, and more. For upper elementary and above. Cool photos, too.

 

M31 galaxyAstronomy Picture of the Day also called APOD. From NASA. Every day a new astronomy photo or painting, with a narrative under it. The photos are absolutely astounding, breathtaking, stunning, magnificent. ! The site also has a Glossary, Educational links/resources, more. Cruise the Archives for many more pix!

 

 

 

 

AstroTour Solar system interactive virtual orrery from Gunn Interactive of New Zealand. "A free, educational, customizable, scriptable model of the solar-system. Have fun! Learn Something!" We took their intro tour and watched the retrograde orbits demo. Pretty cool. A good way to investigate the Solar System. Reddited.

 

AstroViewer "Your night sky map in the internet" This excellent interactive constellations viewer lets you see the names in Latin or English.

 

Atlas of the Universe This site rocks! "This web page is designed to give everyone an idea of what our universe actually looks like. There are nine main maps on this web page, each one approximately ten times the scale of the previous one. The first map shows the nearest stars and then the other maps slowly expand out until we have reached the scale of the entire visible universe." The site does a very good job of it, too.

 

Download Celestia Fantastically cool download! "... The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. Celestia runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. " Zoom between planets and constellations, watch Deimos and Phobos fly across the face of Mars, hundreds of other things to see! With data on every object you look at. Download it at the above link or here from SourceForge. Stupifyingly wonderful. (Celestia must be installed on computers, it cannot be played online.)

 

Download Celestia Motherlode is where you can download extensions, add-ons, etc for Celestia.  If it's even possible to improve upon Celestia, this is where to do it. There are some really great things here! Watch the file size, some of these are fairly big for some school computers.

 

Chandra X-ray Observatory from Harvard University. "Discover the images of the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Dive into the wonder of everything from Black Holes to X-ray Binaries. Below you can find various ways to find just the image you are looking for. " Browse images by category or date, or..."Explore the X-ray sky with an interactive Sky Map, and learn about Galactic Navigation. Constellations: Background information on selected constellations and links to objects observed within them. 3D Wall: Scroll through the entire library of released Chandra images in a quick-downloading 3d wall format with the Cooliris plug-in. Special Features: Collections of Chandra images to browse through in html & flash formats." Many other goodies as well. This is suitable for elementary through college, easily.

 

Explore Mars! from NASA/JPL. Take the Curiosity rover out for a spin in this virtual adventure! Scale mountains, drive through large canyons and sand dunes, explore the Gale Crater. It can be slow to load depending on your connection speed and computer age. Worth the wait! See for miles across Mars as you drive the rover like a dune buggy.

 

Exploring Planets in the Classroom hands-on science activities This venerable Hawaiian site has hands-on activities and lesson plans! Now with Volcano activities!

 

Eyes on the Solar System from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. ""Eyes on the Solar System" is a 3-D environment full of real NASA mission data. Explore the cosmos from your computer. Hop on an asteroid. Fly with NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft. See the entire solar system moving in real time. It's up to you. You control space and time." This is great! Think of a 3-D Celestia program, very hands-on and easy to use! Loved zooming around and rotating planets& moons. Needs the Unity Web Player to be installed.

 

Hakan's Space Balls is an arty site, all on one page; that compares the sizes of Earth, Venus, and the other planets; then compares them all to the sun; then compares the sun's size to other, larger and larger stars. Really explains the comparative sizes of heavenly bodies without using words.

 

Interactive 3D model of Solar System Planets and Night Sky Astronomy for Everybody. Discover the Solar System with this user-friendly application. Real-time positions and Movements of the Planets and the Moon. See the night sky with its Constellations. Space-art graphics. No download required. Nice! Also has cool music.

 

Interactive 360 degree map of the heavens A giant 360 degree sky photo. Zoom in and out, scroll up, scroll down, scroll all the way around! Shows constellations and stellar objects! Just amazing fun and a great learning tool!

 

 

ISS now head.png

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International Space Station - Current position of the ISS "Where is the International Space Station right now?" You can find that out with this site! It always shows "What the astronauts see right now.", which is a straight down view onto a Google Earth surface. "Ground track" shows the ISS' position on a map of the world. Both displays are always on, and are updated by the second. UTC time, latitude and longitude, speed, and altitude are all shown. Choose between miles and kilometers. What a wonderful data source for mathematics story/word problems, geography projects, and astronomy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Downloads Moonbase Alpha "A 3-D Immersive NASA Exploration Game. Step into the role of an explorer in a futuristic lunar settlement...Moonbase Alpha is the first of two commercial-quality NASA games developed in partnership with commercial game developers." Looks great!

 

 

NASA Space Place"Welcome to the Space Place! Come on in and check out our games, animations, projects, and fun facts about Earth, space and technology."

 

Phoenix Mars Mission Wow! We have a lander on the North Pole of Mars! This is the education section of the official site. There's Mars 101, five sections of info about Mars. Just for Kids has the fun stuff and activities (and Steve the Cat.) Phoenix Classroom has lesson plans, activities, and resources. The Web Exhibit is worth watching, although the Flash video was rather small and hard to read. Pictures from Mars are accessible from the Phoenix home page.

 

Planets of the Solar System "What my site offers students that other solar system sites don't is a top-notch 3D interactive solar system model. (This is a great tool for students to visualize the solar system, and it's just plain fun to play around with.) Of course, my site also offers images, facts, data, and up-to-date solar system news. What you won't find on my site is a bunch of ads that detract from the educational material." This was way cool, good info, nice music, great graphical interface, just fun to play with!

 

Opening screen of The Scale of the Universe 2 The Scale of the Universe 2 From PolicyMic: "Most of us have trouble visualizing the height of buildings, or the distance it takes to get home from work, let alone things on an intergalactic scale. The interactive graphic made by 14-year-old Cary Huang may be the best tool to help us understand our place in our vast universe. The interactive piece allows the viewer to zoom through scale and space, from quarks to galactic clusters. The real genius of the interface is the ability to scroll back to a familiar object like a car — the time spent scrolling helps to convey a sense of size and distance." You can find out more about objects displayed by clicking on them. You can find out more about the Huang brothers here.

 

Sizing up the Kuiper belt "With the help of students and amateur astronomers, scientists are learning more about the unusual objects, such as the Kuiper belt, at the edge of our solar system." The RECON organization's volunteer astronomers are helping to find out the size of Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs for short). The volunteers record and pass on "events where a KBO passes between Earth and some distant object, such as a star." This is called an occultation*. Using the already-known distance from Earth to the object, scientists can use the time of occultation to work out its diameter. This is a big step towards understanding what the object is made of (ice, rock). There's a video of an occultation and a short but useful glossary. This site is a page of the Society for Science & the Public's big, excellent web pages. PS Their Student Resources pages have a lot of resources and "recipes" for Science Projects!

* occultation Any event where an object is briefly hidden from view when another object passes in front of it. In astronomy, this usually refers to objects such as asteroids passing in front of a star.

 

Stellar Evolution is a fine repeating Flash video of the life and death of a star. Good for about 8th grade and up. Discusses stellar decay, elements. From Valdosta State University, Valdosta, Georgia, USA.

 

Downloads Stellarium"is a free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go." We love the constellation settings that let you show the mythological characters around the bowl of the sky! This is in the same genre as Celestia.

 

Your Age on Other Worlds Your age in years is different on different planets!

 

Your Weight On Other Worlds Kids are amazed at what they would weigh (or not weigh) on different planets!

 

A few from Dinosaurs and Paleontology:

 

Dinosaur Dig from the San Diego Natural History Museum. "Dig into dinosaur data. Find out about finding fossils. Ponder the link between meteors and mass extinction. Discover how, where, and what you need to know about finding fossils. Dig up dinosaur data, find out what is and isn't a dinosaur. Match dinosaurs and prehistoric reptiles with their scientific names. " More activities and links, too.

 

History of life on Earth from the BBC. Their usual informative and creative treatment, this time in the form of an interactive timeline that keeps expanding, and again, and so on, and so on... The first timeline starts at 4.6 billion years ago and stops at 0.2 million years ago. To maintain a semblance of scale you can magnify the last 600 million years to make another time scale, and then another for last 250 million years. (This scheme was well thought out!) The last timeline stops at the end of the last ice age. Scrolling down from the timelines, you find Geological time periods. This covers 19 eras from 3.8 billion years ago to the present time. Click on the thumbnail for any era and you'll be drawn into a wealth of cool facts, pix, and information! Go down the page and there are more thumbnails - colorful sections about the Big Five mass extinction events, Mass extinction theories, and Ancient Earth habitats. If you do it all at once, your eyes'll be glazed! Tons of information to supplement your textbook, to use for a report, or just to wonder at the awesomeness of time.

 

Ology from the American Museum of Natural History. We love this site! It covers "Ologies" such as Archaeology, Astronomy, Biodiversity, Earth, Einstein, Genetics, Marine Biology, Paleontology, and Water. The bottom half of the page has links to around 20 activities, experiments, and interviews. Then there's the Highlights section, Ask a Scientist, an Advanced section, and At the Museum. Click on the blue buttons in the At the Museum box. Only part of this great site is shown at a time. Be sure to use the Search box and enter a term like "horse" to find a ton of other information.

 

OZ Fossils, The Age of Reptiles The dinosaurs of Australia. Brought to you by ABC - the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. This "good site" covers the the dinos and sea beasts of Mesozoic Australia's three different regions. Also discussed are continental drift - Australian style, and the climate, plants, and animals. There are some decent games as well.

 

Paleontology Portal A joint effort of several museums and professional paleo organizations, this GREAT portal lets you explore the world through geological eras; every kind of fossil imaginable through every era of time; shows you great places to visit that are paleontology hot spots; and has a nice collection of resources and links! Go there and be amazed. Great for school projects and research, too.

 

Planet Dinosaur from the BBC has replaced the late Big Al Game. This worthy successor has more to do yet is easier. Fine graphics, good playability, good sounds and music. "Rediscover the lost world of the dinosaurs - from the monstrous Spinosaur to the majestic Paralititan in the all new game. Play your very own Dinosaur Planet. Will your world survive?"

 

Sea Monster Facts "Sea Monsters" are the big sea creatures, from giant scorpions and sharks to sea reptiles and primitive whales, that lived in the oceans through time.

 

Sea Monster Game AWESOME! (click on Open in the picture) Learn while you try to stay alive!

 

Some more Downloads:

Downloads Brain Workshop logo Brain Workshop "What if a simple mental exercise could improve your memory and intelligence? A recent study published in PNAS, an important scientific journal, shows that a particular memory task called Dual N-Back may actually improve working memory (short term memory) and fluid intelligence. This finding is important because fluid intelligence was previously thought to be unchangeable. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the dual n-back task also enhances focus and attention and may help improve the symptoms of ADHD/ADD. The game involves remembering a sequence of spoken letters and a sequence of positions of a square at the same time. Brain Workshop is a free open-source version of the Dual N-Back mental exercise. Easy download, easy install. Another SourceForge discovery.

 

DownloadsDrawing for Children is a great, very cool, free download (Windows only) from the Netherlands. It says "drawing" but it has been used in computer labs for language arts, too! You can enter text and load .bmp files from Windows Paint. "Drawing for Children is a free drawing program for children with many nice options. The best way to learn to use it is simply to use it. There is though a document describing the use of the program. For more information, see the readme file."

 

Downloads GCompris Our first app from France! Available in over 40 languages (see their main page for a list). "GCompris is an educational software suite comprising of numerous activities for children aged 2 to 10...Currently GCompris offers in excess of 80 activities and more are being developed. GCompris is free software, that means that you can adapt it to your own needs, improve it and, most importantly, share it with children everywhere." Computer discovery, color, sounds, memory, experiential, amusement, reading, mathematics, puzzles,telling time, money, and strategy games like macala. Some of these will really make a child think! Another SourceForge find.

 

Downloads GNUmber Munchers "is an educational math program based on MECC's early 80s munchers games, with new graphics." So writes Will Heublein, whose two fun and playable Number Munchers tributes are your freeware alternative to hunting down those old games and trying (usually without success) to make them run again. OK, so these are not exact clones of the MECC games, but they're close enough! We've been using them with elementary and middle school students for a few years now and they get the job done. No mouse needed, just use the arrow keys. GNUmber Munchers 2010 is an online beta version that runs fine on Internet Explorer. We wish more people would emulate Mr. Heublein and redo some of the good old MECC games! To download these games: Go to the very bottom of the GNUmber Munchers page where it says "Old Windows versions (Downloadable .exe files):" Standard version is for upper elementary/middle/jr high students, Elementary is for elementary kids. What is GNU?

 

Downloads GeoGebra "GeoGebra is a free and multi-platform dynamic mathematics software for learning and teaching. It has received several educational software awards in Europe and the USA." Math teachers only - please read on:"...is dynamic mathematics software for all levels of education that joins arithmetic, geometry, algebra and calculus. On the one hand, GeoGebra is an interactive geometry system. You can do constructions with points, vectors, segments, lines, conic sections as well as functions and change them dynamically afterwards. On the other hand, equations and coordinates can be entered directly. Thus, GeoGebra has the ability to deal with variables for numbers, vectors and points, finds derivatives and integrals of functions and offers commands like Root or Extremum. These two views are characteristic of GeoGebra: an expression in the algebra view corresponds to an object in the graphics view and vice versa." It's easier to play with this program than it is to read the above! This is wonderful free software with its own wiki and support groups.

 

Downloads Graph 4.3 Here's a powerful upper grades' free function graphing program from Denmark (it's in English). Draw functions, draw relations, save as graphics and .pdf, evaluate, calculate, point series, trendlines, shade, label, create your own custom functions. Another SourceForge project. Made by Ivan Johansen. "The program is open source (GNU GPL) and you may give it to whomever you like."

 

Downloads Jmol: (FREE!) "an open-source Java viewer for chemical structures in 3D, with features for chemicals, crystals, materials and biomolecules. Jmol is an interactive web browser applet.

Overview:

  • Jmol is a free, open source molecule viewer for students, educators, and researchers in chemistry and biochemistry.
  • It is cross-platform, running on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux/Unix systems, and available in several languages.
  • The JmolApplet is a web browser applet that can be integrated into web pages.
  • The Jmol application is a standalone Java application that runs on the desktop.
  • The JmolViewer is a development tool kit that can be integrated into other Java applications.
  • Includes download instructions here
  • .
  • A handbook has been published for learning Jmol, and there are also other publications about Jmol.
  • There is also a list of tutorials designed to learn the use of Jmol, and more help, within Jmol Wiki.
  • Finally, there is a documentation section in this web site, for more technical details.
  •  

    DownloadsLogism "An educational tool for designing and simulating digital logic circuits, featuring a simple-to-learn interface, hierarchical circuits, wire bundles, and a large component library. As a Java application, it can run on many platforms. " "Excellent tool for learning, simple and effective." "Logism is an excellent tool for exploring how digital circuits work and makes for a tremendously useful teaching aid." This excellent GNU General Public License (GPL) free download comes courtesy of sourceforge.net. Small download - 6.6 Mb.

     

    Downloads Roman Villa models from Armada Model Designs, Ltd. This has good pictures of the villa at Butser Ancient Farm and of villa layouts, but the best part is at the bottom of the page - you can download FREE PDFs of two sizes of model Roman villas. The colorful parts, diagrams, and instructions are in the PDF! You build the villas using card stock. What a school project! They also have downloads of a Norman castle, pyramids, Fireship - a board game about the Spanish Armada, and more! What a deal!

     

    Downloads Seterra Free! Learn Geography! "Seterra is a challenging educational geography program with 70 different exercises. Learn about countries, capitals, flags and cities in Africa, Europe, South America, North America, Asia and Australia, using outline map exercises!" This is wonderful freeware that really works with kids ages 9 through university - we've used it! From Marianne Wartoft, the lady who brought you Sebran!

     

    DownloadsSoup Toys You have got to try this it is amazing! "Just about every child likes to play with toys that make noise, balance, topple, float or otherwise interact with the world. Balls bounce, balloons float into the sky and magnets lift metal objects. All of these interactions teach children something the natural world around them. The beauty of Soup Toys is that it isn't confined to a single Window. When you run it, you have access to a virtual "toybox" where you can pull out the desktop toys that you want to play with. The sides of your computer screen act like walls and the floor. You can build block castles, play with toy cars, or have fun with virtual magnets. The possibilities are limitless." This was from the writeup in Educational Freeware.

     

    DownloadsThe Virtual Microscope from University of Illinois. Oh you've got to get this for kids! Amazing closeups! Plug in a digital projector and show these on the wall! "The Virtual Microscope is a NASA-funded project that provides simulated scientific instrumentation for students and researchers worldwide as part of NASA's Virtual Laboratory initiative. This site serves as home base for the Imaging Technology Group's contributions to that project—namely virtual microscopes and the multi-dimensional, high-resolution image datasets they view. Currently we provide 90 samples totaling over 62 gigapixels of image data. The Virtual Microscope, which is available for free download supports functionality from electron, light, and scanning probe microscopes, datasets for these instruments, training materials to learn more about microscopy, and other related tools. The project is open source and the code is available on Sourceforge." More info at the site. Note: This program requires Java.

     

    Sites from Life Skills:

     

    Chess For Kids - from ThinkQuest. " Chess for Kids is a resource for chess players of all skill levels, from beginners to advanced tournament players. We provide tutorials to improve your strength, as well as chess puzzles to practice on and learn from."

     

    ChessKid Lets kids play chess with kids around the world in a safe environment. Lots of chess info; sections for kids, parents, coaches; tutorials, more.

     

    Critical Thinking Concise Youtube video explains this "critical" concept. Skill at critical thinking is essential to good citizenship in a democracy, to science, to technology, and therefore to civilization! Teachers - please watch this video and think about it.

     

    FSI - Fraud Scene Investigation presents Suitable Investments. Interactive mystery for upper elementary and on up. Get Grandma's life savings back from the scammers of Suitable Investments! "Fighting crime can teach you a lot. No matter how convincing a scam’s sales pitch may sound, there is always something that just doesn’t feel right. Join our hero Kim as she digs out the truth about a million dollar investment scam. Along the way you’ll discover more about companies, stock reports, investments and white collar crime."

     

    (The) Fallacy Files This site's goal is to enumerate and explain all the fallacies of logic there are! There are plenty, this site has job security. Besides a taxonomy, there are explanations, examples, a glossary of terms, and (importantly in an election year) "How to Read a Poll."

     

    Kids Memory section of KidsKnowIt. Here are some activities designed to help train the memory.

     

    Gold spinning star Kid's Place Test Quest Houghton-Mifflin's Eduplace Site teaches kids how to take multiple choice tests! With animated coach and practice problems. Try this as a whole class session with a digital projector.

     

    Learning Strategies: Maximizing Your Academic Experience from Dartmouth. Evidently to help their new undergrads learn how to study. Timeless techniques well presented here. "The following pages provide a variety of suggestions and resources for maximizing your academic experience. View an on-line video, read about helpful strategies, or download a handout."

     

    Social Skills for Elementary Students Laura Candler's advice on teaching social skills to elementary kids basically walks you through the steps of teaching these skills. Well worth trying.

     

    Social Skills for Middle School Students Yes, the site you have dreamed about really exists. With four main sections and several sub-sections, this site offers lesson plans, activities, role playing, whatever it takes to instill social skills through practice! We did up a set of questions to go with " American Table Manners" and had middle-schoolers engaged!  You need to use this site!

     

    Study Skills Guides for College Students Ms. Misty Nielson sent us an email about this site, and we are glad she did! This looks like a "good site". It's broken out into General Study Skills Guides, Reading and Writing (always a necessary skill in this aliterate age!), Test Taking and Preparation, Time Management, Memory Techniques (yes!), and Subject Specific Study Skills (28 sections).

     

    Taxonomy of Logical Fallacies from The Fallacy Files. This page shows the relationships between logical fallacy types in a taxonomy chart! Fallacies are arranged under formal and informal, the groups and subgroups are here. Great learning aid for forensics students and people who are interested in logic.

     

    Wings for Kids"Here is a great website that provides free social & emotional development activities, lessons, and plans to help model, shape and reinforce social skills. Just scroll down the page, and you'll find the activities divided into categories. These would work well with your older students. Check them out…should be a good resource for you!"

     

    Literacy sites

     

    Downloads Open Dyslexic is a new open sourced font created to increase readability for readers with dyslexia. The typeface includes regular, bold, italic and bold-italic styles. It is being updated continually and improved based on input from dyslexic users. There are no restrictions on using OpenDyslexic outside of attribution. Your brain can sometimes do funny things to letters. OpenDyslexic tries to help prevent some of these things from happening.

    openWeb: A free iPhone/iPad web browser that uses OpenDyslexic to override the default fonts on the webpages you read. "openWeb - Dyslexia friendly web browser." The site also has links to other apps and helps for installation. (For Windows: download it, open the folder, click on the Font. Windows should then install it for you.) Thank you, thank you Abelardo Gonzalez, for all the work you've done! Going in anyplace someone who needs it might find it!

     

    American Rhetoric will teach you all about making speeches! An online database of 5,000 good speeches on every topic, with examples from history, the movies; full text, audio, and video database of the 100 top American political speeches of the 20th century! Hear the Pearl Harbor speech, FDR's Fireside Chats, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X; hear or read Ghandi, Gladiator, Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, Robert Gould Shaw, Joshua Chamberlain, Lincoln, Queen Elizabeth I, Martin Luther at Worms, Army-McCarthy Hearings, Maya Angelou, Marc Antony, Marlin Brando, hundreds more! Plus: "200+ short audio and video clips illustrating stylistic figures of speech ranging from alliteration to synecdoche. Clips are taken from speeches, movies, sermons, and sensational media events and delivered by politicians, actors, preachers, athletes, and other notable personalities." See how it's done, learn from the pros!

     

    Baldwin Project is a large collection of public domain literature for children.  This includes everything from about 1880 to 1922.  There is some pretty good stuff in here, all online. One example is the original Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Kipling, with the original illustrations, part of the Jungle Book (which is also in here).  Thousands of stories and hundreds of books are included.  A real treasury! Warning: Be aware that the world 100 years ago was quite different. Some people would now label some of these works as racist, violent, too Christian, etc. You are the adult. Read them first. It's still a wonderful collection of "kid lit" and we are happy to include it here.

     

    Children's Books Online The Rosetta Project   Said to be the largest collection of illustrated antique books online!  Oodles of stories indexed by reading level.  Click on To the library under the yellow Rosetta wagon.

     

    Diagramming Sentences Once upon a time, all grade school students were taught this. Like Latin, it's coming back into style in the educational community. Benefits include a better understanding of sentence structure, better parsing, better writing, and better public speaking. This page contains a decent Power Point about diagramming.

     

    Free Rice "For each word you get right, we donate 10 grains of rice through the United Nations to help end world hunger." "WARNING: This game may make you smarter. It may improve your speaking, writing, thinking, grades, job performance... " Improves vocabulary! You may want to have one student stand by with a dictionary while another plays.

     

    Kids on the Net  "10 Years Online!" A fine literacy site for kids and their teachers from all parts of the English speaking world. Site includes: Writing With a Difference, with online stories written by elementary and middle school classes, story starters, and ways to contribute; also a teacher section and more. Authors and Reading has links to children's lit authors for kids to check out as well as teacher links. Good, practical advice for beginning authors here. Tell Us About Itlets kids give input. Teachers shows teachers the various parts of the site. All these sections have Activities, too. There are some wonderful things in this site, go investigate!

     

    Latin Lessons This webpage is a list of online Latin lessons and (mostly) online textbooks. We urge you to try some of them out by exploring this site. We looked at several and were impressed. Latin seems to be making a comeback so here is your chance to check it out. One of the many language pages offered by A to Z Home's Cool Homeschooling, one of the sites on our Homeschool page.

     

    Madlib Stories from A Girls World. Nine different madlibs let you create your own stories where you are the star!

     

    Meet Me at the Corner, "Virtual Field Trips for Kids, is a dynamic, interactive site, which encourages individual expression and participation through video submissions from children worldwide, featuring their special corner of the world. Through these video pod casts we hope to create a community of children, who learn the art of self-expression and storytelling through video." Great idea and wonderful site!

     

    Myths, Stories, and Art from Windows to the Universe. "Objects in the sky and other natural phenomena have inspired people throughout the ages. Browse our collection of myths, folk tales, and stories of many types about the Earth and sky. Check out artwork, poetry, books, and movies that portray the natural world. Or take a guided tour that tells the tale of a particular scientific topic." Has three levels: elementary, intermediate, and advanced.

     

    Project Gutenberg "Free eBooks from Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free ebooks. Project Gutenberg offers over 40,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online. We carry high quality ebooks: All our ebooks were previously published by bona fide publishers. We digitized and diligently proofread them with the help of thousands of volunteers. Project Gutenberg offers 40,000 free ebooks to download." The original is still the greatest! We like to just browse by Author or Title. Now they have self-publishing to the cloud! "From Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free eBooks, now comes the free Authors Community Cloud Library, a social network Self-Publishing Portal. This Portal allows authors to share their works with readers as well as allows readers to provide comments, reviews and feedback to the authors. Every eBook has its own Details Page, Star Ratings, and Reader Comment area." Simply stunning. It's free, go get it!

     

    Rebusquest "This is a funny and educational series about a 12 year old boy named Carson who is a fan of rebus puzzles. Until one day, he solved a magic rebus that transported him to a magic land where rebuses are a part of life. There, Carson meets his guide, a sassy teenage elfin girl named Reba. Together, Carson and Reba travel through many strange lands and meet crazy characters who gives them objects that will form rebuses which will lead our heroes to the next lands in hopes of one day, Carson will be able to return home." Interesting site. We suggest kids keep track of the items the characters borrow. This site also has two other cartoon series, "X.O. Seal who is a cyborg superhero seal who fights crime and teaches us about shapes like circles and squares. And Skelroy and Bonus, two skeletons who crazy motorcycle stunts and then give us safety tips on not doing the stuff they just did." Thanks, Cullen Pittman, for the email about your site!

     

    Rhetological Fallacies from Information is Beautiful. "Errors and manipulations of rhetoric and logical thinking" This site breaks down the logical fallacies into six major* and myriad minor categories, to help you learn the exact ways you could be manipulated by a speechmaker or a debater. 100% graphics and nice to look at. The graphic organization of all this data is a sight to behold. (*They are: Appeal to the Mind, Appeal to Emotions, Faulty Deduction, Garbled Cause and Effect, Manipulating Content, and On the Attack. All the ones we know, such as Straw Man and Slippery Slope, are under one or more of these main headings.) 

     

    Taxonomy of Logical Fallacies from The Fallacy Files. This page shows the relationships between logical fallacy types in a taxonomy chart! Fallacies are arranged under formal and informal, the groups and subgroups are here. Great learning aid for forensics students and people who are interested in logic.

     

    Wacky Web Tales from Eduplace (Houghton Mifflin Education Place.) About 100 online mad libs! This is great for kids to improve their literacy and have fun at the same time.

     

    Word Girl from PBS Kids. Vocabulary builder for upper elementary.  Funny! We especially liked the Adventures of Word Girl and the activities in Huggie's House of Fun!

     

    A World of Myths - Mythology from Around the World "Welcome to aworldofmyths.com - a collection of articles devoted to the Gods of the ancient world and the adventures of its greatest heroes." Bios of Greek, Roman, and Norse gods and myths associated with these cultures. Includes quite a bit of art and some videos. Interesting fonts, too. A good resource. From Viktor Andonov, who also gave us World of Tales which is in our Literacy > Children's Literature section.

     

    World of Tales "Stories for children, folktales, fairy tales and fables from around the world. Whether a student, a parent or a teacher, here you can take a magical journey, filled with adventure, or just remember what it feels like to be a kid again. There is a little something for everyone among these pages, starting with the classic fairy tales by The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and Charles Perrault, going on to the morally edifying fables of Aesop and Jean de La Fontaine, and ending with the wisdom, gathered by the people: the folktales from different parts of the world." These are broken down by continent (!) and there are a lot of them! Enjoy!

     

    Here are some thinking kid's mathematics sites

     

    Add Like Mad Quick addition game. Given a sum, add up numbers on a matrix in the fastest time. May be addictive.

     

    All About Money is a good, long listing of 40 money learning activities, both online and printable, with lesson plans, too. Broken into sections: Identifying Money, Counting Money, Using and Spending Money, Earning Money, Saving Money, and Additional Resources. Kudos to Interbank FX LLC of Salt Lake City, Utah for putting this together. Special thanks to Cara Chandler at Arroyo Vista Charter School in Chula Vista, California, and her 5th graders, especially Kyle!, for the email re: this site! You guys find the coolest things! Keep 'em coming!

     

    Avro's Adventure is a great ThinkQuest site about graphing distance, rate, and time. Covers D=RT, slope, y=mx+b, vectors, position, acceleration, velocity, and how they all interact. Thirteen different lessons explain it all very well.

     

    BBC 'Money' Games "Here are eight games that use money." Specifically, pounds and pence! The coins and notes will look different to Americans, but the math is the same! Good for looking outside the box, or if you are a UK resident, a nice change from that boring US money. Try them all! Wedding Planner (fun!) is for older students, the rest are elementary age appropriate.

     

    Battleship Numberline from BrainPop - PlayPower Foundation. " Estimating numbers on a number line can be a blast! This version of "Battleship Numberline" is specifically designed to help students quickly and confidently estimate the size of different fractions. Did you know that a student's accuracy in number line estimation correlates with their standardized achievement scores? We developed this game specifically for students to build a strong and robust number sense, which is the foundation for future success in math."

     

    Coolmath4kids Kids learn and practice real-world math. Lemonade Stand is a favorite, but there are a lot more activities, including 20 more math games.

     

    Create a Graph from NCES KidsZone . Kids can create five types of graphs, input data, and print it out. Includes a tutorial

     

    spinning gold star Cyberchase "an online destination designed to captivate, entertain, and improve problem-solving and math skills is now bigger and better than ever!" The Games section has over 40 good applied math games. Wow!

     

    Dimensions "A walk through mathematics! A film for a wide audience! Nine chapters, two hours of maths, that take you gradually up to the fourth dimension. Mathematical vertigo guaranteed! Background information on every chapter: see "Details". Free download, and you can watch the films online! The film can also be ordered as a DVD. This film is being distributed under a Creative Commons license."

     

    Dollar-a-Glass Game from BizKids. A new lemonade stand game that is colorful, fast-paced and gives lots of choices for players. Lets you practice running a small business.

     

    Edu Gain"Learn Smart" Here's an international site (free registration) that emphasizes mathematics. Their essay on opening children's minds to mathematics is a good read on its own. The site has two sections; Math Olympiad (Higher Order Thinking Questions), and General Math (online and printables drills). Not a site for slackers, kids will have to work and think here. Thanks, Anamika Sinha, for the email about Edu Gain!

     

    FIDGiT a fast-paced action thinking game that you can add onto! "DESIGNiT, BUILDiT, FIDGiT is an exciting puzzle game where you solve challenges and save tiny creatures called Fidgits! Think fast and manipulate blocks, springs, funnels, and other objects to bring the Fidgits home safely.

    Features:

  • Your Fidgits bounce and roll with a real physics engine!
  • A library of brain-teasing challenges
  • Make your own custom levels, and share with friends
  • Unlock new materials: paint buckets, tubes, pendulums, and more!
  • It's sandbox-style play with countless combinations"
  • From Design Squad Nation - WGBH Boston.

     

    Fraction Frenzy from Learning Planet. Match fractions of the same value by fast clicking. Increasing levels of difficulty.

     

    Fraction Eaters is a sort of Fraction Munchers game, like Number Munchers. Gobble up as many fractions as you can before the bad guys get you. Challenging.

     

    Frog Test Frog Test Excellent easy(?) logic game. Some kids will see solutions quickly, others not so fast. This game from Brazil is also popular in China.

     

    Downloads Graph 4.3 Here's a powerful upper grades' free function graphing program from Denmark (it's in English). Draw functions, draw relations, save as graphics and .pdf, evaluate, calculate, point series, trendlines, shade, label, create your own custom functions. Another SourceForge project. Made by Ivan Johansen. "The program is open source (GNU GPL) and you may give it to whomever you like."

     

    Graph Sketcher from Interactivate. Students input equations and see what results on this interactive X Y coordinate chart. Discover slope form, y-intercepts, parabolas, anything that would work on graph paper works here.

     

    Hooda Math Games section, divided into Geometry, Arithmetic, and Logic. Two or three pages of games in each category. It's refreshing to find Logic games online! A well regarded site with good math games.

     

    Illuminations Official site of the National Council of Math Teachers (NCTM). Contains links to good, useful lesson plans, standards, tools, and web links (where the activities are!)

     

    Informal Geometry by MathMastery Inc. Video clips and interactive, downloadable Flash videos cover Geometry in 13 progressive units from intro to perimeters up through volume. Also covers using a compass and a protractor. Elementary kids who know their times tables could use this easily. Another fine example of what you can find at Curriki.

     

    Interactive Math Simulations from PhET at CU Boulder. Here are 28 mathematics-related playable simulations - everything from fractions and times tables to physics, upper level math, and playing Plinko! Play online (needs Java), or download and install them, or embed them in your webpage! Don't forget to see the rest of PhET's simulations!

     

    Logic Games from Hooda Math Here are 50 playable logic games to to tease and tickle kid's brains!

     

    Logic Games from smart-kit These 29 games will make you think - some of them may take more than one day! Excellent graphics and sounds, too.

     

    Logic Zoo is a Cyberchase game from PBS Kids. Kids must place unique animals back in their (Venn diagram) zoos, classified by animal characteristics. Another thinking game and a way to introduce principles of logic.

     

    Mr.Nussbaum's Math Games from Mr. Nussbaum.com - "A Thousand Sites in One." Here are all of his fabulous math games on one page! Color coded by grade, too.

     

    Make A Match from Cyberchase Games Central! Find equivalent fractions in six increasingly challenging rounds! Definitely aids facts retention in kids and adults. Good sound effects.

     

    Math Lines is a unique game that makes kids think about addition while they do it. You have to add to make 10 while a conga line of single digit numbers circle a drain! If they make it into the hole, you lose!

     

    Math Logic Games from Math Playgound has 21 logic games for all ages. Colorful and loud, they will test kids' logic skills!

     

    MathsFlash "is a collection of short activities which link maths to current issues in the real world. Each activity consists of a single interactive webpage and takes 1-10 minutes to complete. A new 'question of the day' is available every weekday and new activities are uploaded each weekend. Recent uploads are shown on the main page or accessed via the category buttons above (e.g. Sport); the entire database can be searched using the archive search on the right." GREAT site from the UK. Get your kiddos' heads working!

     

    Mission Magnetite from Cyberchase Games Central! In this 3-way matchup, you must match a percentage with its equivalent fraction and graphic, in five increasingly more challenging levels! Good learning for kids and a good refresher for adults!

     

    spinning gold star National Library of Virtual Manipulatives Interactive online manipulatives for preschool through high school! Broken out by grade level and subject matrix. This is a great site!

     

    Probability Simulations From Maths Online: "The following Flash movies simulate typical probability experiments. Carry out the experiments in the usual way with the whole class and then run the simulations to generate a large number of trials." You plug in the numbers, the simulator runs the trials! Coin flips, spinners, a sack simulation, and rolling dice.

     

    Roman Numerals Explains what Roman numerals are, how they work, and has a handy base 10 to Roman numeral converter!

     

    Smart Kit School-Safe Puzzle Games "stimulate thinking, logic, and problem solving." Here are oodles of thinking games in several categories. All have music and live action, and no violence. Make sure you understand what you are supposed to do before playing, instructions are at the bottom of each games's start page. Useful to teachers. Have fun! Thanks to Ryan at Smart-Kit for the email.

     

    Tony Fraction's Pizza Shop from Mr. Nussbaum.com - "A Thousand Sites in One." Challenging fraction game, tests knowledge of equivalent fractions by mixing different sizes slices and toppings on a pizza! There is even a good video that explains how to play. This is a good learning tool for any student who is not afraid to think.

     

    Venn Diagrams - NLVM from Utah State University. Simple to use but powerful, this could be used for teacher demos on overheads like Elmo or whiteboards like Promethean. It could also be used by individual students in class or at home. "Show Problem" starts with easy problems, then gets harder. A small part of National Library of Virtual Manipulatives, which has been on Good Sites since forever.

     

    Some interesting Music sites:

     

    MyMusicTheory.com "I offer free online music theory lessons, which follow the ABRSM syllabus. I also have a blog which covers other general music related subjects like the history of music, or instruments of the orchestra, aimed at the beginner/intermediate level. Please come and take a look!" So we did, and are happy to report this is a fine, serious music ed site. It'll be a fine addition to our Music and Teachers & Parents sections. Thank you, Victoria Williams, for emailing us re: your excellent site!

     

    New York Philharmonic Kid Zone! Oh, yeah, we are always looking for more good music sites! This one is all you would expect from this legendary orchestra. A Game Room of musical games. An Instrument Room area that explains every instrument and lets kids hear it play. An Instrument Lab that lets kids create their own instruments, and a Composition Workshop that lets kids compose! (That one needs Shockwave.) Kids can also learn about famous composers, famous NYP conductors and soloists, and NYP musicians.

     

    SFS Kids is the kid friendly music ed site of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra! Various parts of the site explain principles of music so kids can understand. Interactive activities so kids can experiment, too. Colorful, well done site.

     

    The Music Room This Dallas Symphony Orchestra site is laid out like a music classroom. Every object is a link that can be clicked. You'll probably want to try them all. Includes a composer trivia baseball game that's a hoot! Also has a Teacher's Lounge with even more things to click.

     

    Virtual Shamisen The unique three string "banjo" of Okinawa! "What does a shamisen sound like? Click to this page for a rare opportunity to hear the sound of the shamisen using a "virtual shamisen". Let's play Itchu Bushi shamisen! Click on the strings to play."

     

    Science, Nature , and Technology sites:

     

    All Science Fair Projects Here's a site that has searched for and categorized all kinds of science fair project links, and offers it to you free! 10 different topic sections, subcategories, lots of projects under each heading. Look for ideas here!

     

    ARKive "Explore 15,000 of the world’s endangered species. With over 100,000 photos and videos, discover what these animals, plants and fungi look like, what makes them special and why we should protect them." Fun stuff for kids! Games! Make an insect! Coral reefs! Food chains! Endangered species! Hibernation! Adaptation! Nocturnal! Penguin masks! Plants! Temperate rain forests! Quizzes! Adventure! Survival! Baby elephant videos! Habitats! Spawning salmon! Celebs! The Tripwire of Terror! Barn owls! China! Wrasse! Sharks out the yang!

     

    Atmospheric Optics covers rainbows and lots of other atmospheric phenomena. Astonishing photos and explanations with plenty of facts. "Light playing on water drops, dust or ice crystals in the atmosphere produces a host of visual spectacles - rainbows, halos, glories, coronas and many more. " Absolutely amazing.

     

    Balancing Act from PhET Balancing Act from PhET is for elementary grades. It teaches Balance, Rotational Equilibrium, Lever Arm, Torque, and Proportional Reasoning with an easy to understand interactive applet using a teeter-totter. Kids think they're playing a game!

    "Sample Learning Goals:

  • Predict how objects of various masses can be used to make a plank balance.
  • Predict how changing the positions of the masses on the plank will affect the motion of the plank.
  • Write rules to predict which way a plank will tilt when objects are placed on it.
  • Use your rules to solve puzzles about balancing.
  • The teacher's guide (pdf) contains tips created by the PhET team." It's good, like a recipe for doing this lesson. GSFK recommends you download it. PhET has LOTS of these simulations, indexed by grade level and by subject area.

     

    Biology Games from KidsKnowIt OK, where else will you find Biology Hangman?

     

    Biomedia (commercial site) Check out the menu bar. Explore the BioGalleries and Teacher Resources sections. The BioGalleries have wonderful pages about all sorts of microscopic life, including plankton! (even water bears!) Includes a What Phyla Am I ? quiz with rollover answers. WONDERFUL PHOTOS!

     

    BrainPOP - Health, Science, Technology Educational Site Very well done subscription site with reading and animations, covering a good part of the K-8 curriculum, such as cell structure and function, microorganisms, plants, vertebrates, invertebrates, organ systems, and the Scientific Method. Uses Flash extensively.

     

    CELLS Alive!  Wonderful teaching site for introductory cell biology and microbiology.  Used by elementary and secondary schools alike. Engaging visuals and interactive activities keep kids interested.

     

    Chembalancer and Element Quiz from FunBased Learning. "Welcome to Chembalancer and Element Quiz! These are little games that teach you about facts about elements and how to balance equations." Three decent drills on balancing equations plus a facts intro to element symbols, with auto re-testing when needed. These were fun and easy to play.

     

    Cool Cosmos Amazing site - Ask an Astronomer videos, games, infared animals and tours, just a ton of amazing graphics. Use the up and down arrow buttons on the left of the screen to select different areas. Infared Zoo is our fave!

     

    Dendrochronology from the NPS. This interactive presentation of tree ring dating is quite good. Like Tree Ring Analysis, this is a fine lesson on tree ring dating. Part of a larger site.

     

    Experiland "Welcome to our lab, fellow scientist! CAUTION: This website might be addictive! Fun Science projects for kids! Great care has been put into our science projects to provide the young student of today with the basic knowledge of the scientific principles of our world. Try not to have fun - We dare you!" LOTS of science experiments & projects, indexed by grade or by subject. Chemistry, earth science, weather, life science, electricity & magnetism, and physics!

     

    From DNA to You - Understanding Genetics This interactive Flash lesson simply explains Mendel's discovery of dominant and recessive traits, using Mendel's peas. For middle grades and up. This was featured in Curriki.

     

    Gardening - Classroom Projects from Kids Gardening. Here are 26 gardening projects for school kids, with lesson layouts and notes. Nice for cross-curriculum springtime activities.

     

    Earth Science for Schools from Moorland School, Lancs., UK, has eight categories: Earth Origin, Structure, Plate Tectonics, Volcanoes & Earthquakes, Rock Cycle, Atmosphere, Fossil Fuels, and Polymers. The last two are middle school/high school level chemistry. These are all great and have lots of links (some of them don't work, though). A whole page on oil refineries with plenty of pictures. Plenty of animations, simple explantions, world-class high school level explantions of hydrocarbons, alkanes, alkenes, and polymers

     

    Earthquakes from the US Geological Survey. Track the latest earthquakes here, plus information about quakes and links to other sites.

     

    Engineering Interact is Interactive science & engineering for 9-11 year olds. Play the games to learn about the physics of light, sound, forces, electricity, and the Solar System. Good loud and flashy games that make kids think. From the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, UK, serving your educational needs since 1209 AD. (Sorry, boffins din't say which College...)

     

    Geology.com A site devoted to everything geological. The World Maps section alone is too cool for words. The US state map section has different kinds of maps for every state. Satellite maps of everything. A large geology dictionary. Superlative site!

     

    Geology from Windows to the Universe. "Why do volcanoes erupt? How are rocks made? Why do rivers wiggle back and forth? What sorts of animals roamed the Earth long ago? These questions and many more can be answered if we know a little about GEOLOGY! That's the study of the Earth." Also covers plate tectonics. Has Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels so it's three sites in one. In Advanced, you get to find out what "ultramafic" means. Lots of information, well presented.

     

    Gravity Wells This large, well done PNG image explains the idea of gravity wells in easy to understand cartoon form. It's from xkcd, a know ubergeek site with cartoons interest to, well, MIT/Caltech undergrads, shall we say. This one is probably appropriate for kids old enough grasp concepts explains, but cannot recommend you let your students browse xkcd.

     

    The Heart: An Online Explorationfrom The Franklin Institute. "Explore the heart. Discover the complexities of its development and structure. Follow the blood through the blood vessels. Wander through the weblike body systems. Learn how to have a healthy heart and how to monitor your heart's health. Look back at the history of heart science."Links to excellent explorations of all the above areas, with an exceptional section on blood. For upper elementary through high school.

     

    History of life on Earth - The Online Exhibits  from UC Berkeley.  The portal, the jumping off point for outstanding sources of biology education. From here one can go to:  History of Life Through Time "This enormous collection catalogs life on Earth, focusing on the ancestor/descendent relationships which connect all organisms, past and present."  Tour of geologic time "Journey through geologic time to see how the Earth has changed since its debut 4.5 billion years ago."  Understanding Evolution "...includes discussion of evolutionary theory, evidence for evolution, the relevance of evolution to our daily lives, and the history of evolutionary thought."  Paleontology Portal "The Paleontology Portal focuses on the fossil record of North America, including state-by-state U.S. paleontology, fossil photo galleries, and resources." K-12 education resources  "Activities and lessons specifically for K-12 teachers and their students." Also features The World's Biomes, and more.

     

    How Low Can You Go? Use the "cascade" method to compress gasses to absolute zero! Keep trying.

     

    Infection Detection Protection from the American Museum of Natural History.  Meet the Microbes, Bacteria in the Cafeteria game, Infection ("The Game where YOU Are the Germ!"),  and How Lou Got the Flu. A fun way for kids to learn some disease vector basics.

     

    Interactive Science Simulations from PhET/U of Colorado, Boulder! There are dozens of these great interactive simulations to download, embed, or play online! You can even contribute your own! Click on any one of these and a menu pops up with more info, including the option to sort by grade levels. Science teachers, you must see this site!

     

    Kids' Science Challenge is a nationwide competition for 3rd to 6th graders to submit experiments and problems for REAL scientists and engineers to solve. Play science games, watch videos, and enter to win awesome prizes and trips! The site includes downloadable science projects, fun videos, educational games, and lesson plans for classroom or after-school use that are aligned to National Science Education Standards." We believe this is an excellent way to advance science education.

     

    A Matter of Degrees "Create your own temperature scale, then see how it compares to those of Fahrenheit and Celsius."

     

    Mineral Matters from the San Diego Natural History Museum. Covers mineral properties, how to identify minerals, how to build a mineral collection, more.

     

    Molecularium We're showing off the Kids portion of the larger site, the Molecularium Project. This site teaches about molecules.  We really like the Nanolab (the big green button in the upper right corner.)  The Zoom in from space to the atomic level will grab kids' interest. Build lets kids assemble ever more complex molecules from Carbon, Oxygen, and Hydrogen.  Transform shows what happens when heat changes solid to liquid to gas. Thanks to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the NSF for this site.

     

    NOAA Tracks storms, hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes - a huge site with many links. Track hurricanes by clicking on the NOAA Storm Tracker on the left of the page. The Storm Tracker has a popup with various maps and data

     

    National Hurricane Center from NOAA. Track hurricanes, typhoons, and tropical cyclones worldwide with links from this page. The start page shows Atlantic tropical storms and hurricanes.

     

    NOAA's National Marine Sanctuaries Educational Activities is a collection of wonderful fun things for kids and classes to do. The virtual dive into the kelp forest treats it like a rain forest!  Tour a real shipwreck, learn about sea otters and harbor seals, check out elephant seals, learn a LOT of cool facts about coral and reefs, it's all here. Fun, real oceanography!

     

    National Weather Service Enhanced Radar Image Loop National Mosaic Watch thunderstorms, blizzards, and other weather move across America in nearly real time! Click on any area that interests you to see a closer look at local weather.

     

    Neuroscience for Kids  "The smell of a flower - The memory of a walk in the park - The pain of stepping on a nail. These experiences are made possible by the 3 pounds of tissue in our heads...the BRAIN!! Neuroscience for Kids has been created for all students and teachers who would like to learn about the nervous system."  Looks like this site is for Middle School and up.

     

    Oil Refineries from Moorland School is getting its own page because kids need to know how we get gasoline (petrol), oil, asphalt, diesel, etc. Good easy explanation with a good diagram.

     

    Optical Illusions from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.  Very good introduction to optical illusions for kids.  Close to 50 of them with links to more! Part of a larger kid site.

     

    Particle Adventure - The Fundamentals of Matter and Force. "An award-winning interactive tour of quarks, neutrinos, antimatter, extra dimensions, dark matter, accelerators, and particle detectors from the Particle Data Group of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory." Secondary school level site explains the Standard Model of fundamental particles and forces in a progressive modular layout with easy to understand graphics. Also includes information on particle accelerators and detectors, and the Large Hadron Collider. Excellent aid to understanding.

     

    Periodic Table Sites have their own page now!

    Gold element 79 Periodic Tables

     

    S.K.Worm answers your questions about soil 'n' stuff! "It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it--S.K.Worm, the official annelid, or worm, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service answers students questions about soil. Even their teachers can’t wiggle their way out of this one! Slither your way through these soiled questions and earn a very special diploma. You might even get hooked on Soil!"

     

    Opening screen of The Scale of the Universe 2 The Scale of the Universe 2 From PolicyMic: "Most of us have trouble visualizing the height of buildings, or the distance it takes to get home from work, let alone things on an intergalactic scale. The interactive graphic made by 14-year-old Cary Huang may be the best tool to help us understand our place in our vast universe. The interactive piece allows the viewer to zoom through scale and space, from quarks to galactic clusters. The real genius of the interface is the ability to scroll back to a familiar object like a car — the time spent scrolling helps to convey a sense of size and distance." You can find out more about objects displayed by clicking on them. You can find out more about the Huang brothers here.

     

    Science News for Kids is for ages 10 and up because of its writing. Very interesting and NOT dumbed-down sections on: Atoms and Forces, Earth and Sky, Humans and Health, Life, Tech and Math, and Extra. Factual articles cover subjects in depth (examples: electronic Skin, Cars of the Future, Caecilians - the other amphibian, Anesthesia MRIs, the Little Ice Age, Seabird Math, No Frostbite for Dogs, Life Beyond Earth. Plenty of graphics to grab interest.

     

    A Sense of Scale lets you use a sliding scale to move between the coldest and hottest temperatures in the universe. Present temperature is shown in Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin units. Interesting things about each stop are also displayed.

     

    Strange Matter uses Flash animations to explore Materials Science. "Experience the structure of materials in Zoom. Encounter the properties of various materials in Materials Smackdown. Enjoy processing materials to create something new in The Transformer. Explore the performance of various materials in The Change the World Challenge." Includes Stuff For Teachers and Stuff For Families.

     

    Circle of topics Stream Biology and Ecologycovers the biology, ecology & habitats, all the science of studying streams. Appealing format, too. Basics of Stream Ecology covers everything about a creek or stream! Stream Residents and Visitors (Biology) is shorter, but it has links to information about plants, animals, microscopic life, with lots of pictures (love the crawfish collection). How Biologists Study Streams (Science) covers terms, sample collection methods, collecting measurements, data identification and sorting, and an overview of analysis and reporting. Pretty cool. Thanks to the ladies who developed the idea and built the site!

     

    String Wave Simulation   A Flash file from the Physics Dep't, University of Colorado. Play with the oscillations and learn about wave amplitude, frequency, and more!  Fun for all, most educational for Middle School and up.

     

    Talented and Gifted - The Best Resources for Parents & Educators. Provided by the Madison, Wisconsin school district. List of links for parents and teachers of TAG students. Many school systems in America are neglecting their best and brightest students, so these links may be of some help.

     

    Taxonomy - the science of classifying. Site is at an upper elementary level. Shows kids the six kingdoms with examples, explains the classification structure from kingdom down to species, explains origins of genus and species names. From Granite City High School in Illinois. This is part of the Biology Corner resource site for science teachers.

     

    Timeline of Life's Evolution Wonderful interactive resource! A sliding time bar lets students go over 4.5 billion years in a few minutes. Click on the red button and pull it across from 4.5 to zero. Good reliable information and great graphics. The rest of the site, Understanding the RNA World and Building a Protocell, are for upper high school and college level, not really "kids."

     

    What on Earth is Plate Tectonics? from the US Geological Survey (USGS). This unassuming site is in reality the jumping off point for everything you might ever need to know about the subject. There's a beginner's introduction that explains all the terms, followed by a link to This Dynamic Earth: The Story of Plate Tectonics - an online book that burrows (so to speak) into the subject. There are side links to explain topics for you, and plenty of amazing graphics, maps, pdf files, and a cool sub-site, Plate tectonics animations, with all sorts of animated graphics!

     

    some Technology sites:

     

    Actionbits "Action Bits is a series of in-depth technology skills classes developed by a team of professionals — experienced teachers & veterans of the high-tech industry — committed to teaching kids the computer skills they will need to excel in school...and beyond!" Parts of this site require a login, which you may get upon request. Besides tech modules, Lynne's Library features many elementary through high school links to some very good math, language arts, science, health and other ed sites. Pretty cool.

     

    Bridge Building Contests We've seen some great popsicle stick bridges made by students over the years. Usually this involves how much weight the bridge can bear. These contests teach the value of following precise directions ( kids need more practice at this skill), as well as precise measurements. If you need help organizing one of these, here are some sites to get you started. Here is a typical bridge contest site. Here is a how-to site with examples. Here is a site with techniques and pointers. Thanks Steve K.for this idea.

     

    Brittany_WengerGlobal Neural Network Cloud Service for Breast Cancer. Here is the input form for biopsies. "The current network is 99.11% sensitive to malignancy (after) 7.6 million trials." Ms. Wenger wants to improve upon this 99.1% accuracy.

    Wonderful! GSFK will always proud to feature the stories of students like her!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Build a Toy Car from ABCya! lets kids choose from various options to build a toy racer and print it out!


    CODE"Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn to code." So say Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, President Bill Clinton, Senator Marco Rubio (R) - Florida, Senator John Thune (R) - South Dakota, Stephen Hawking, Sheryl Sandberg, Vice President Al Gore, Richard Branson, Ashton Kutcher, Dr. Oz, Arianna Huffington, NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Eric Schmidt - Google, Randi Weingarten - AFT, Wendy Kopp - Teach For America, Steve Ballmer - Microsoft, Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Enrique Iglesias, Snoop Dogg, Reid Hoffman - LinkedIn, Dick Costolo & Jack Dorsey - Twitter, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State, Max Levchin - Paypal, Dara Khosrowshahi - Expedia, Gabe Newell - Valve, Yishan Wong - Reddit, Salman Khan, and many others. Read what they have to say.

    Code.org is a non-profit foundation dedicated to growing computer programming education. Our goals include:

    (1) Spreading the word that there is a worldwide shortage of computer programmers, and that it's much easier to learn to program than you think.

    (2) Building an authoritative database of all programming schools, whether they are online courses, brick+mortar schools or summer camps.

    (3) Our vision is that every student in every school has the opportunity to learn how to code. We believe computer science and computer programming should be part of the core curriculum in education, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.

    The Learn section has intros to simple programs like Scratch and Karel the Dog*. The Teach section has tutorials, curriculum you can integrate into classes, options to bring classes to your school, and more programs like Scratch and Alice to try out.

    Bottom line: Business, industry, you name it, they're all screaming for people who can write code. Read the Quotes, like these: “Our policy at Facebook is literally to hire as many talented engineers as we can find. There just aren't enough people who are trained and have these skills today.“ "These are some of the highest-paying jobs, but there are not enough graduates to fill these opportunities.“ "... It's important for these kids, right now, starting at 8 years old, to read and write code.“ “support tha american dream n make coding available to EVERYONE!!“ “Computer programming is the single best professional opportunity in the world. We need more Americans in the field. Let’s go!


     

    Extreme Diet Coke and Mentos Experiments siteEepyBird Now with Extreme Sticky Note Experiments, too! "The Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments: What happens when you combine 200 liters of Diet Coke and over 500 Mentos mints? It's amazing and completely insane."Yes, this is that site you've heard about. Among other projects, it duplicates many of the famous outdoor water fountains of Europe using Diet Cokes and Mentos. Lots of streaming videos of it, too. Might make a neat end of year outdoor science exercise. Thanks to Sam Fields, high school science teacher in Washington State.

     

    EdHeads logo EdHeads! THE primo kid technology site! Interactive online activities teach about simple machines, virtual surgery, weather, CSI, designing cell phone, and tons more recently added. Lesson plans, too!

     

    Egg Dropping sites. Not Egg Drop Soup, we hope! These sites cover organizing your own egg dropping contests, where physics meets engineering, and hopefully the eggs don't smash! An Egg Drop Contest with rules, from Centenary College of Louisiana. Egg Drop is a contest recipe from California, part of a site that also has a lot of other good activities listed up on top. UC Berkeley has a Junior High Egg Drop Contest with rules, etc. You get the concept. Thanks, Plet, for the inspiration. The Hobbit says hi.

     

    Engineering Interact is Interactive science & engineering for 9-11 year olds. Play the games to learn about the physics of light, sound, forces, electricity, and the Solar System. Good, loud, and flashy games that make kids think. From the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, UK, serving your educational needs since 1209 AD. (Sorry, boffins din't say which College...)

     

    Spinning gold starFantastic Contraption "A fun online physics puzzle game!" Build machines to do 21 different tasks. Every user-built machine different. Teaches logic and basic engineering principles. Thanks, Grizz.

     

    FIDGiT a fast-paced action thinking game that you can add onto! "DESIGNiT, BUILDiT, FIDGiT is an exciting puzzle game where you solve challenges and save tiny creatures called Fidgits! Think fast and manipulate blocks, springs, funnels, and other objects to bring the Fidgits home safely.

    Features:

  • Your Fidgits bounce and roll with a real physics engine!
  • A library of brain-teasing challenges
  • Make your own custom levels, and share with friends
  • Unlock new materials: paint buckets, tubes, pendulums, and more!
  • It's sandbox-style play with countless combinations"
  • From Design Squad Nation - WGBH Boston.

     

    Flight site from NASA, for kids, with lesson plans for teachers. What is Aeronautics, History of Flight, Dynamics of Flight, Airplanes, Engines, and Fun & Games, including a learning game about the Wright brothers!

     

    How and Why to Teach Your Kids to Code This informative article from Lifehacker lists and discusses 10 free or inexpensive programs that will introduce kids to coding by letting them code. Scratch is on this list (hurray)! We've used Scratch with kids and they liked to play with it. Fun and colorful, Scratch is an MIT effort. Stykz "the first multi-platform stick figure animation program in the world" is another fun coding program, maybe for older kids. You'll want to read "What We've Learned About Teaching Kids to Code" near the bottom of the article, too.

     

    How Do Airplanes Fly? Here are some sites that help explain how airplanes fly. How Do Airplanes Fly? is from ConneCT Kids, the state of Connecticut's kid site. It covers The Four Forces (thrust, drag, lift, weight), and how propeller and jet engines generate thrust. Flight from Science Kids at Home explains how wings lift an airplane up, using pictures and simple explanation. Fun Flight Facts for Kids is part of the Science Facts section of the huge Science Kids site, from New Zealand. It discusses animals that fly, as well as aircraft, airships, and blimps. It simply explains Bernoulli's Principle. This one has lesson plans, too. How do Airplanes Fly? is a 1:33 video from WydeaWonders that uses graphics and narration to explain how wings lift aircraft.

     

    Lessons In Electric Circuits"A free series of textbooks on the subjects of electricity and electronics." Excellent free learning, just bring a brain and the ability to think and read. Consists of six online books: DC, AC, Semiconductors, Digital, Reference, and Experiments. Volume I starts with static electricity and ends with explanations of capacitors and inductors. It's free, it's good, and it's on the web.

     

    Logicly * is an online interactive logic gate simulator. Lets kids build their own logic setups to see what happens. Start with simple AND & OR gates and try to make the bulb light up, work up to complicated projects (for kids) like adders. This teaches logic and shows how the various gates work. Instructions: Click and drag components onto the work space. Click on the circles on components and drag the mouse to another component to create wiring. Turn the simulation off and on in the lower right corner of the workspace. To remove a component, click on it and the press the keyboard Delete button. Reload the page to clear the entire workspace if you need to. "Logicly simulates the boolean algebra performed by logic gates, which are a vital part of digital circuitry and computer achitecture." * This is now a commercial educational app. There is a 30 day free trail ready for downloading. Pricing link here.

     


    Made with Code Google is launching Made with Code, a program to encourage girls to learn to program and possibly pursue careers in computer science. Made with Code is "a social initiative to create a coding culture for girls based on creativity and making. Made with Code will strive to inspire millions of girls to experience the power of code. The goal is to demonstrate how coding can help them to pursue, and reach, their dreams." Less than 1% of high school girls express interest in majoring in computer science. "Coding gives you the power to create and invent things that could help millions of people with your ideas; sadly we’ve seen that bias and stereotypes are keeping most teenage girls from expressing interest in learning to code. We're launching Made with Code to inspire millions of girls to experience the power of coding and to see it as a way to have fun and achieve their dreams," said Megan Smith, vice president, Google. GSFK thinks this is a good idea :)

    Code.org (Remember the Hour of Code?) also offers a K-8 Intro to Computer Science Course (15 - 25 hours) online. It looks well worth trying in classrooms.

    MIT App Inventor jumps right into tutorials on how to make Android Apps! Yes there is also a Teacher Section with lesson plan ideas. Learn to write good apps and maybe get rich!

    What's the Best Language for a Beginning Programmer? This is an op-ed piece from Popular Mechanics Online, gives ideas on what language a secondary school beginner should start with. Java, Scratch (kids love Scratch), Alice, MVB, C++, Python, and App Inventor are covered and various opinions expressed about each.


     

    Downloads iconLogism "An educational tool for designing and simulating digital logic circuits, featuring a simple-to-learn interface, hierarchical circuits, wire bundles, and a large component library. As a Java application, it can run on many platforms. " "Excellent tool for learning, simple and effective." "Logism is an excellent tool for exploring how digital circuits work and makes for a tremendously useful teaching aid." This excellent GNU General Public License (GPL) free download comes courtesy of sourceforge.net. Small download - 6.6 Mb.

     

    Invention Smithsonian - Centerpieces Lemelson Center virtual exhibits and explorations. Find out about all sorts of famous inventions, from Edison to quartz watches and electric guitars! Invention at Play is the fun and interactive part for kids! There are four activities here, the two we like best are Puzzle Blocks and Tinker Ball. Both are challenging thinking games that are fun, too! Thanks, Bevin.

     

    Navigation Education Materials Ten middle school science lesson plans ready to go! These teach navigation, mapping, topo maps, GPS, and space navigation! Excellent introduction to a technical subject. From the renowned Institute of Navigation. Because we need to educate kids in important technical subjects.

     

    Packetville About time we got a kid-friendly site about the mechanics of the internet! These fun games and related activities help kids learn how the internet works. Peter Packet Server, Router, and Wireless Space games let kids move their data packers around the internet to help kids in Third World countries, while fighting viruses and rebooting routers on the way. Example: moving information to help Haitian kids get clean water. Kids learn a lot about the internet and conditions in impoverished areas at the same time. Packet Riders for ages 8-11 and Hacker Busters for ages 12-14. Also has instructional materials for educators. You can play online or download the games. Requires Shockwave. Also features "Career Capture - This is the place to meet some smart women who understand how technology unlocks the door to very cool careers. Explore their stories and create your own scrapbook!" (.exe file, BIG download of 145Mb) Free to you from Cisco, one of the biggest internet outfits. Found and used by Mattie, former coworker.

     

    Opening screen of The Scale of the Universe 2 The Scale of the Universe 2 From PolicyMic: "Most of us have trouble visualizing the height of buildings, or the distance it takes to get home from work, let alone things on an intergalactic scale. The interactive graphic made by 14-year-old Cary Huang may be the best tool to help us understand our place in our vast universe. The interactive piece allows the viewer to zoom through scale and space, from quarks to galactic clusters. The real genius of the interface is the ability to scroll back to a familiar object like a car — the time spent scrolling helps to convey a sense of size and distance." You can find out more about objects displayed by clicking on them. You can find out more about the Huang brothers here.

     

    Downloads Scratch cat logoScratch is a free programming language primarily for 8 to 16 year olds. It has an online community where kids can program and share interactive media such as stories, games, and animation with others from all over the world. As children create with Scratch, they learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, and reason systematically. Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge. Find out more by clicking on the cat!

     

    Simple Machines Great basic simple machines site from EdHeads. Has animation, sounds, and very good interactive activities.

     

    Simple Machines web page from Kennesaw State University of Georgia. This is a list of links to good sites that cover simple machines, online and offline activities, printouts, and lesson plans. A good resource for busy teachers.

     

    Simple Machines Spotlight.  Franklin Institute's simple machines page. Good explanations and some activities, too.

     

    Download Zombie plague STEMware: Zombie Plague from the Partnership for Biotechnolgy and Genomics Education, University of California - Davis. " In STEMware: Zombie Plague, students explore a 3D world where they are responsible for identifying the pathogenic microorganism causing a deadly outbreak and implementing a cure... the science content embedded in the software deals with diagnosis, treatment strategies, and career connections that are applicable to any disease caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi. Interactions with characters in-game, introduce students to the variety of career pathways in modern biology along with diagnostic technologies used in the real world. Embedded assessments allow teachers to track student interactions." Kind of a mix between a James Patterson game and Edheads. Download the game here, or use the Curriki link above. It's a 305mb .zip file, so we suggest you save the file on a flash drive for installations on more machines.

     

    Stonehenge Panorama 3-D panorama in Shockwave, taken from the center of 4,500 year old Stonehenge. Scroll around and see what it looks like! Think of the planning that went into building this without the help of modern machinery.

     

    Syvia's Show logo Sylvia's Super Awesome Maker Show! "Sylvia's DIY webshow on everything cool and worth Making." At GSFK we are fond of Do It Yourself and we'll always post a good DIY for kids site, like this one. Young Miss Sylvia hosts an online show that, among other things, has (as of November 2012) 19 great DIY crafty videos. Good instructions, good kid humor, and the whole family helps out. Sweet and awesome at the same time.

     

     

    Sylvia at the White House! Awesome Maker Sylvia of Sylvia's Super Awesome Maker Show! went to the 3rd Annual White House Science Fair, showed off her WaterColorBot paint pen plotter to President Obama (he tried it out) and was interviewed by Bill Nye the Science Guy and Levar Burton! There are videos of this, too. (We posted Sylvia's site back in November 2012) We wish this young lady and her family all the best! Kids, if your talents run in this area and you feel alone, do not be discouraged, but find local groups for Makers.

     

     

    This 15-Year-Old Kid May Have Just Saved Your Life is the name of an online article about Jack Andraka, who has invented a new test for pancreatic cancer that is "168 times faster, over 26,000 times less expensive and over 400 times more sensitive. And what I found is that my sensor in a blind study it actually had a 100% correct diagnosis, in diagnosing pancreatic cancer and could diagnose the cancer before it actually became invasive." We hope this example inspires many other young people to believe in themselves, and to do some creative tinkering for the benefit of all of us. Comes with a video.
    Addendum: "Jack Andraka has created a pancreatic cancer test that is 168 times faster and considerably cheaper than the gold standard in the field. He has applied for a patent for his test and is now carrying out further research at Johns Hopkins University in the US city of Baltimore.
    And he did it by using Google.
    The Maryland native, who won $75,000 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May for his creation, cites search engines and free online science papers as the tools that allowed him to create the test."

     

    You Don't Know Jack A video by Morgan Spurlock. This is a 3:34 Vimeo video about Jack Andraka. "Jack Andraka, a high school sophomore, has developed a revolutionary new test for pancreatic cancer." The video covers his struggles to find lab space, 199 rejection letters, a non-supportive family. The scientific establishment didn't want to hear new ideas from an 8th grader. With the help of a good teacher, Jack persisted, and finally got lab space. The rest is, and will continue be, history. Give the kids a chance!

     


    Morse Code and Cryptology

     

    CryptoKids America's Future Codemakers & Codebreakers. This is an educational site from the NSA. "Welcome to the NSA/CSS Kids’ page. We’re the CryptoKids and we love cryptology. What’s cryptology? Cryptology is making and breaking codes. It’s so cool. We make codes so we can send secret messages to our friends. And we try to figure out what other people are writing about by breaking their codes. It’s a lot of fun."

     

    Morse code from Kids.net.au, an excellent Australian internet gateway. Online encyclopedia entry covers the basics.

     

    Morse Code Cryptography lesson plan from Kids Kreate. Use spelling lists to learn and practice Morse Code.


     

    from Geography and History:

    50 States in 10 Minutes Can you type in the correctly spelled names of all 50 US states in 10 minutes? Type them in any order, can even be all lowercase, but must be correctly spelled. "Helpful" countdown timer tells you how much time is left.

     

    Geography Maps : Atlas of Europe and World Atlas Two separate sections highlight all the countries, rivers, and mountain ranges of Europe and of the entire world. Great geography resource.

     

    Geoguessr "Embark on a journey that takes you all over the world. From the most desolate roads in Australia to the busy, bustling streets of New York City." May be too hard for middle schoolers unless they do it in groups. Teachers could walk younger students through the game by asking questions of the class and giving hints. It's a game to see if you can figure where you are, using Google Street View. All you know at the start is that you are somewhere on Earth. If that's too much area for you, there are maps of cities (New York City, London, Paris, etc.) and of countries (Canada, Australia, UK, Netherlands, etc.) and the European Union! Be a detective and a geographer. It's fun to use clues such as traffic signs, language, architecture, climate, trees, crops, and anything else you can find. ("Hmm. Olive trees and palm trees. That sign looks like it's in Spanish.") You could look up names of towns. ("I wonder what country Poznan is in?") Talk about honing skills! Try it out!

     

    Geonet from Houghton-Mifflin. Upper level (US high school) geography drills. Students will have to dig for answers and will have to read and think.

     

    Geography Dictionary & Glossary - The ABC of Geography "Welcome to possibly the most comprehensive geographic related dictionary on the internet for students... Over 1400 terms defined. This dictionary is primarily aimed at supporting secondary/senior/high school and early tertiary students who are studying Geography or related subjects such as Earth Sciences." Everything A to Z, from Abiotic to Zonal Soil. This excellent site from Hong Kong will become your fast reference for geographical terms. We want to thank Danny Harrington (BA Hons. Oxon), for this great addition to these pages.

     

    Geography Quiz Online point and click interactive quizzes on US states, Canada, China, Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa, Middle East, Central and South America, Caribbean, Oceania, and Continents and Oceans. (Try saying that fast.) We used these with teenagers, and the quizzes are very good.

     

    Go Social Studies Go "Go Social Studies Go integrates fun content with the coolest links, videos, and games found on the net. In addition, we’ve teamed with with Cramstoppers, a free quiz making site that allows students to take their education one step further. " This site constantly adds new things to read and do. American and World History, World Geography, Global Religions, Choose Your Own Adventure, links, more. Oodles of subcategories in each! We ran on the Underground Railroad, read about Archduke Ferdinand's assassination, checked out the Silk Road, learned about African geography ("The place is huge!"). This is middle school through high school level, maybe first year college - anyway, excellent site! Shout out to "veteran social studies teacher" Ken Uhde, of Groves High School, Birmingham, Michigan, its creator!

     

    Lat-Long.com "Search More Than 2 million U.S. Locations in an Instant! Search More than 2 Million Places: Parks, cemeteries, bridges and post offices. Find these and more on Lat-Long.com." This site is a list of all 50 US states. You can click on a state and check out its features by category (did you know South Dakota has 91 canals?) or you can search by item and a state pulldown menu from the main page (example: glaciers in Alaska.) Google Maps display each item. Latitudes and longitudes are given in tradish degrees, minutes, and seconds; also in decimal degrees.

     

    Multicultural Education through Miniatures from the College of Education, University of South Florida. "Multicultural Education through Miniatures includes photos, maps, stories, and games of handmade dolls and puppets from all over the world. This website can increase global awareness for children and adults. Explore by clicking Select a Photo, See Entire List, or Click a Map. Cultural games are also available at Go to Activity. Students and teachers can use the pictures, stories, and games for educational purposes." This site will increase geographical awareness. It is at an upper elementary reading level, also the dolls are amazing!

     

    DownloadsSeterra - Learn Geography. FREE! "Seterra is a challenging educational geography program with 70 different exercises. Learn about countries, capitals, flags and cities in Africa, Europe, South America, North America, Asia and Australia, using outline map exercises!" This is wonderful freeware that really works with kids ages 9 and up - we've used it! Great for high school and college geography, too. From the talented lady in Sweden who brought you Sebran! New and improved version now available!

     

    World Atlas Huge site of geography facts, maps of everywhere! You should check it out. If it has to do with geography, it's in here!

     

    World atlas dot com Huge list of trivia about the world, continents, countries, languages, money, oceans... even gives the weight of continents (how can they tell?)

     

    Could you pass a US citizenship test? Here is a 96 question test covering what you would need to know in order to pass the citizenship test. OK, American citizens, let's see how you do! Useful for civics and government classes.

     

    Historical Atlas of Europe from Year 1 to 2000. "Shows the history of Europe through a sequence of 21 historical maps, every map depicting the political situation at the end of each century." Great history resource.

     

    HMS Victory at dockside HMS Victory official site. Learn about the world's oldest warship, in service since 1765! The only surviving "First Rate" wooden battleship in the world, HMS Victory was Lord Nelson's flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar back in 1805, and is still on duty with the Royal Navy today!  Use the menu across the top of the screen. Interactive views of different decks. Photos of the interior and famous paintings. The various stats would be good for mathematics classes.

     

    (The) Ice Trade In this history game set in the 1800s, students send 10 ships loaded with ice from New England to Florida, Brazil, or India. Can you turn a profit in 10 turns?

     

    Liberty! Includes the Road to Revolution activity. From PBS.

     

    Liberty's Kids!Great companion site for the TV series shown on PBS.

     

    TimeMaps The TimeMap of World History. Interactive! "Explore world history with this FREE, award winning World History Atlas. The TimeMap of World History is an all inclusive look at world history. It combines maps, timelines and chronological narratives that work together to enhance historical understanding. New content added daily." History of the world from 4500BC to 2005AD, coverers all continents. You can click on icons for detailed information about any region, any culture. Special section for teachers! Free, detailed history lesson plans as well as well as neat Topic TimeMaps (units) for sale. A lot of effort went into this site!

     

    U.S. Constitution for kids, from usconstitution.net. Separate explanations of the Constitution for: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade, for 4th - 7th Grade, and for 8th - 12th Grade. There is also a Teacher Guide to the material.

     

    U.S. Presidents Here's a valuable site with amazing amounts of information about all 43 U.S. Presidents! Click on any portrait in the matrix of 43 and read the facts. "Currently, U.S. Presidents offers brief overviews of the 43 presidents by way of outlining the major points taken from the following three areas of each president's life: Early Life/Pre-presidency, Presidency, and Post-presidency/Legacy." J.W. Smith, the creator and curator of this website, plans to expand it to include Vice-Presidents, First Ladies, and much more. You should read over his About section to find out more about that and the site. While you're there, check out Roosevelt! Thanks to J. W. Smith for the email.

     

    Victorian Britain from BBC Primary History. Be a kid in the time of Victoria! Rich kids were warmly dressed, well fed, and went to school. Poor kids wore rags, were half starved, and went to work as coal miners and factory workers. See their toys and how kids lived in this split society. Check out the Activities and the Fun Facts, too.

     

    Ultimate History Quiz History Channel's excellent American History Quiz! Play single player, multi player, or against friends. Ten questions, choose your level of difficulty. May be addicting. Best for 4th grade and up.

     

    World War II - The Home Front This is an excellent British site about what it was like to be a child in the UK during World War 2. WW 2 lasted six hard years for the UK, 1939-45. Covers evacuations, The Blitz, bomb shelters, rationing (with Excel game,) what women did, propaganda, music of the era. A section for teachers explains the language arts lessons. We need a site like this for American kids, too.

     

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