Another fifty (or so) easy science activities, most require few materials, with links to many more. http://buggyandbuddy.com/science-activities-kids/
Take a look at these and see if you like this site. It is an award-winning education tech blog.
Wow is this cool. We’ve all seen the black-and-white world-at-night map; this one is more accurate and more current. There is a series of about a dozen maps to pick from. It lets you ask your students questions about sociology and geography. Plus pick our your location for your next star party! Thanks John WD5IKX for the link!
Click on http://djlorenz.github.io/astronomy/lp2006/overlay/dark.html and then click on “More Information” to access the other maps.
You’ve seen rainbows in the water before… for example, a drop of oil on water, or an oily smudge floating near the shore. Simon Field has a quick and easy way to make such a rainbow permanent – using water, paper and a drop of fingernail polish. He also has a great explanation for how this works. Besides the obvious value in the science of light and astronomy this little activity can be used as another bridge between arts and the sciences. I’d love to hear some comments about how you might use this.
Very nice maps of North America by region or by states, in a variety of different levels of detail, are available from http://www.epa.gov/wed/pages/ecoregions.htm
If you ask nicely you can sometimes get a large classroom copy mailed to you.
One example of how to use this is to post them side-by-side with a geology map of the same area, or a precipitation map and have the students looks for similarities and patterns in the distribution of vegetation types and the surface geology. They can also look for patterns in the distribution of vegetation types and the amount of precipitation, or of any other weather characteristic you might be able to generate maps of. Shown is Oklahoma but these are available for most states and regions.
The 2012 CAST (Texas Science Teachers Association) meeting is now in the history books. I know one booth gave out 6,000 catalogs so there were at least that many teachers present. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this kind of event will be a life-changer for you. Whatever level you teach or hope to teach there is something about being a part of a HUGE group of the best of the best to get a person excited and energized and full of new ideas!
The best part for us Northerners (Oklahomans, as seen by Texas) is that there are several such events coming up near us. The future CAST meetings are:
Nov. 7-9, Houston (OK, so Houston is not so close – but think what kinds of field trips there will be with Galveston and NASA so close)
Nov 20-22, 2014, Dallas
Nov 12-14, Fort Worth
And… drumroll…. the BEST of the best of the best – the NSTA National Science Teachers national conference this spring in Dallas, April 11-14 . If you can only make one day, do it! It will be unimaginably big. http://www.nsta.org/conferences/2013san/
So you’re looking up at the stars one night and you see something up there moving… suddenly it goes out. Was that a satellite? Was it an airplane?
There are a lot of websites out there for watching satellites but the best, most comprehensive and one of the oldest is www.heavens-above.com. I have been using it for almost as long as the internet itself has been around.
It’s great to know that at a certain time tonight you can step outside, look in a certain part of the sky, and maybe, just maybe, see a satellite suddenly appear and whiz by.
You will need your latitude and longitude; there are lots of ways to get that. Then go to the heavens-above site and just play around with it.
The first and easiest is the ISS, followed by the Iridium satellites. With practice you can even see the Iridiums in the daytime! The best way is to practice on these two until you get pretty good at it – then there are hundreds more. And, the site has lots and lots of other good information about spacecraft. The more time you spend there, the more things you’ll want to try.
Keep these things in mind though:
1) Your fist help at arm’s length covers about 10 degrees. Use that to measure altitude (Alt.) above the horizon.
2) The direction (North, northeast, etc.) is given as a bearing and is called “Az.”. East is 90, south is 180, west is 270, etc.
3) “Magnitude” is how bright the satellite will be. The smaller the number the brighter it is. Anything smaller (brighter) than zero will be very bright, like an airplane.
4) Airplanes often have their flashers on; satellites do not.
5) The light from a satellite is reflected from the Sun. That’s why it will suddenly appear in the middle of the sky and will suddenly go out. The website tell you exactly when these will happen.
6) The whole thing is an estimation. It’s a sort of a sport. Times may vary, usually a little later as the orbits decay unexpectedly, and magnitude can change too.
OK GREEN SCHOOLS 2012 TRAINING REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
Please register below for one (or more) of our five FREE Oklahoma Green Schools Training sessions. Join us for one of these events to learn how the Oklahoma Green Schools Program works, review the Project Learning Tree (PLT) GreenSchools Investigations in the five topics: ENERGY, WATER, WASTE & RECYCLING, ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, and SCHOOL SITE (includes STEM-related activities), participate in small group discussions and peruse the toolkit. All sessions will be held from 9:00-11:00 am (except Weatherford which will be from 4:00-6:00 pm). Refreshments for each session are sponsored by Greenstar Recycling.
PLEASE DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO REGISTER! If we do not have at least fifteen (15) registrants three days prior to each event, the training session will be cancelled. You can help us increase registration by passing this email on to other folks you know who might be interested. We hope to see you in July or August at one of these events!
Click here to register: http://www.okgreenschools.org/okgs-training/
(View dates & locations below. Additional details are available on the website)
July 19—4:00 to 6:00 pm—Weatherford (SWOSU )
Host: Marie Pool, Clinton High School
Location: Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU), 100 Campus Drive, Weatherford, OK 73096
July 24—9:00 to 11:00am—Metro Career Academy— Oklahoma City (+optional tour)
Host: Barbara Loudermilk, Principal
Location: Metro Career Academy, 201 N.E. 48th, Oklahoma City, OK 73105
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July 31—Ada: East Central University (ECU)
Host: Dr. Douglas Weirick, Chair—ECU Department of Environmental Health Science
Location: ECU Physical and Environmental Sciences (PES) Building, Room 262
Aug 2—Bartlesville: OSU Extension Office (Dewey – suburb)
Host: Gale Mills, OSU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Educator
Location: Washington County Extension Office, 205 E 12th Street, PO Box 10, Dewey OK 74029
Aug 9 —Stillwater: Skyline Elementary (+optional tour)
Host: Andrea Rains, Skyline Principal
Location: 1402 E. Sunrise Ave., Stillwater, OK 74075
Thank you for your interest in our program!
Please direct questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Water is becoming more and more important to Oklahomans. There are water shortages, legal conflicts over water ownership, climate change and the occasional flood. All of these and more are reflected in the daily and hourly changes in streamflow in watersheds across the state. This information is readily available and it makes for great discussions and projects on graphing and interpretation of graphs.
What you will find is hourly streamflow, water use, groundwater, maps and other water-related data for dozens of water locations in Oklahoma. What you won’t find are lesson plans. This is an area where you can shine by making your own:
Oklahoma Climate – The educator’s part of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey is at http://climate.ok.gov/ and there is an incredible amount of material here – lesson plans, current data, archived data, and so forth. The site is interlinked with Okahoma’s companion weather-education organizations – Mesonet and Earthstorm. These are major sites with lots of information and teaching ideas – they take awhile to get familiar with where the materials are located. Sometimes there are summer workshops to help you with this. There already exists a cadre of experienced teachers who are using these materials in their classrooms. In any case, be prepared to invest some time and energy, and in return, your classroom with be the premier weather classroom in your district if not your county.
Oklahoma Climate: http://climate.ok.gov/
Oklahoma Mesonet: www.mesonet.org
Earthstorm (Education): http://www.mesonet.org/index.php/earthstorm