This section explores environmental and health topics, with
an emphasis on relevance of science to everyday life. Topics
include natural resources, natural hazards, environmental
quality, pollution, climate, and population issues.
Be sure to look at the different
set of resources listed at the Student/Learner webpage
for this topic.
Rain Lesson Plans
The National Park Service provides a wonderful series
of five lessons, complete with resources, forms, charts, maps
and student data sheets. The focus is on acid rain, how it
is measured, and its effects on the environment (specifically,
the Great Smoky Mountains National Park). These lessons include
experiments with the pH Scale, learning the difference between
an acid and a base, and discovering how acid rain is measured
and tracked in the United States. Also
see the pH Factor.
This is a guide to a NOVA program on mad-cow disease.
Included in the teachers guide is a great public health
activity that is not dependent upon watching the program.
In the "Public
Health Task Force activity," teams of learners are
asked to research various infectious diseases. There are some
at the website with which learners can begin their investigations.
(National Geography Awareness Week, National Geographic Society)
Conservation was the theme of National Geographic Awareness
Week, 2000. As they say in the introduction, "Conservation
is about balancing some of the needs of peopleplaces
to live, work, play, go to schoolwith the need for a
planet that will be healthy for years to come." This
website explores four topics related to conservation: biodiversity,
fresh water, population, and oceans. There are teacher notes
and learner activities for three learning levels within each
of the four topics. There are numerous links to other great
Issues in ScienceDo Your Genes Drive You to Drink?
This is a Science Learning Network project, in which museums
of science in London and Boston cooperated to develop this
website. The basic topic of the website is alcoholism, and
the question to investigate is how genes, upbringing, and
circumstances work together to affect ones risk of alcoholism.
There are sections on science, society, history, opinions,
Dying to be Thin Body Images
Based on the NOVA program by the same name, this
set of activities asks learners to analyze current magazine
articles and advertisements for data about the body types
depicted. There is an excellent
interactive nutrition information site, requiring the
EnvironmentA Global Challenge
This ThinkQuest project describes itself as "the
web's most comprehensive site on the environment", with
400 articles and 811 pages in twenty sections. There are vast
resources and many suggested activities. This is a valuable
Environmental Education Center
This website has a wonderful assortment of resources to
support environmental education. There are activity ideas
on the topics of air, ecosystems, waste & recycling, water,
conservation, and human health. Some activities have graphics
language that indicate an intended audience of children, but
the resources are still valuable, and easily modified. One
can take a tour of ones home for chemicals, learn about
aquifers at the EPA Superfund webpage, and learn about radiation
protection, to mention only a few of the many activities found
Warming Resources from the EPA
This excellent website from the Environmental Protection
Agency offers a wide variety of resources on the subject of
global warming. Explore sections on climate, emissions, impacts,
and actions, with the aid of a good glossary. There is also
an online "Visitors Center", targeted to such
special interest groups as coastal residents, health professionals,
consumers, small business owners, concerned citizens, wildlife
advocates, and meteorologists.
Just in time for this seasons flu discomfort, this
Thinkquest project website explores the science of virology.
It includes virus basics, human defenses, virus profiles,
and updates of viruses in todays news.
(text version) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/satoyama/textindex.html
This website provides an integrated look at the habitat of
a rice field, with its "
unique environment that
sustains a rich variety of animal, insect, plant, and human
life." The Lake Biwa area of Japan is used to illustrate
the interaction between humans and the environment. See
a Rice Paddy
a Paddy: non-flash version
One can also view a video of rice growing over the length
of the growing season.
The Mayo Clinic website is an extension of the Mayo Clinics
commitment to provide health education resources for patients
and the general public. The mission of MayoClinic.com is to
help people find the answers and the support they
need to manage illness and stay healthy". Consequently,
this website is a wonderful resource for teachers and learners
as they investigate health-related topics. There is advertising
at this website.
Putting DNA to Work
It was fifty years ago that scientists first described the structure of DNA. Today, DNA is used in a wide variety of applications. This website explores a few of those applications, such as in Inherited Diseases, DNA/Criminal Justice, Improving Crops, and Infectious Disease. The website contains field guides and guided study worksheets that can be used with the online exhibits. The interactive multimedia activities require the free Flash plug-in, which is linked to this website. This online exhibit is part of the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences.
This award-winning website provides everything you would
ever want to know about rice plants, the history of rice,
where and how it is grown. There are data, maps, activities,
and recipes. This is a wonderful resource for many explorations
about science and culture. This would be an excellent resource
for the ESOL classroom. Connect this with the PBS webpage,
This interactive website, based on the NOVA program, takes
a look at many aspects of the worldwide AIDS problem. Learn
about the impact of AIDS, find out how the immune system wards
off virus attacks, see HIV in action as it attacks a cell,
follow the search for a vaccine, and try an interactive attack
against a virus: "Fighting
Back." There is an excellent teachers guide,
the Scoop, in which learners are asked to do research,
write articles, and make bar graphs of AIDS data.
in the City
The Franklin Institute and the Science Learning Network
bring us this collection of activities and information: water
basics, water science, Philadelphia waterways, and world water
Why Files- Science Behind the News
The Why Files is a project of the National Institute for
Science Education, funded by the National Science Foundation.
It features stories that explore the science (including math,
engineering, social sciences, technology) behind the news.
There are news briefs, visual images from the news, an extensive
archive of past features, and a good search engine. Best of
all, the webpage layout features large type, lots of white
space around the text, interesting graphics, and clear language.
This is a wonderful resource for opportunities for critical
reading activities and writing projects.