Archive for the ‘science’ category

Free Alice Computer Programming Software

October 18th, 2016


It’s Tuesday, October 18, 2016, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!


Recommended Website:



Age Range: 11-18 (Grades 6-12, with parental supervision)


This website offers “Alice” – free educational software from Carnegie Mellon University that teaches students computer programming in a visual, 3-D environment. It makes it easy to create animation for interactive games and videos and much more.

The description from the website best explains it:

Alice is a freely available teaching tool designed to be a student’s first exposure to object-oriented programming. It allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In Alice, 3-D objects (e.g., people, animals, and vehicles) populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects.

In Alice’s interactive interface, students drag and drop graphic tiles to create a program, where the instructions correspond to standard statements in a production oriented programming language, such as Java, C++, and C#. Alice allows students to immediately see how their animation programs run, enabling them to easily understand the relationship between the programming statements and the behavior of objects in their animation. By manipulating the objects in their virtual world, students gain experience with all the programming constructs typically taught in an introductory programming course.

When you get to the site you can read the latest news and media coverage about Alice software and then click on the menu items that include: 

  • About Alice – Explains how Alice works – and provides promotional videos you can watch to better understand how to get started.
  • Downloads – Get Free downloads of the software designed specifically for middle school students and/or high school and college students that will allow you to get started learning computer programming in a fun and engaging way.
  • Teaching – Alice provides instructional materials to support teachers and students in classrooms. Resources include textbooks, lessons, tests, and more that you can download and print out.

NOTE: Some of you may have heard about “Alice” in the context of media coverage about one of the developers, Randy Pausch. Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University professor, died of pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008 at the age of 47, leaving behind his wife and three young children. He gained world-wide attention through an inspirational “Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” in which he recounted how he achieved his childhood dreams of becoming a football player, experiencing zero gravity, and developing Disneyland attractions. There are lessons in his last lecture for all of us. You can view it here. Parents, as always, should preview the lecture to determine suitability of content for their own children.

Learn All About Volcanos

October 11th, 2016


It’s Tuesday, October 11, 2016, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!


Recommended Website:

Volcano World


Age Range: 9-18 (Free lessons are geared for grades 5-8; however, there is material here for older students and adults as well. Plus, younger children may enjoy aspects of the site, with adult guidance.)


Today’s website is all about volcanoes.

When you get to the site, some of the things you’ll see are the latest volcano news, and Eruptions! Use the menu at the top to explore: 

  • Kids Only! – This is the spot to visit to have fun while learning about volcanoes. You’ll find a gallery of kids’ volcano artwork and interactive online games including a volcano-themed match game, crossword puzzle, dot-to-dot, and a game that simulates volcanic eruptions.
  • Teachers – Get FREE lessons (geared for grades 5-8) on plate tectonics, rocks and minerals, prehistoric Earth, types of volcanoes, and much, much more.

The rest of the site is geared more for older students and adults. It includes: 

  • Volcano List
  • All About Volcanoes
  • Adventures and Fun including field trips, folklore and parks

And lots more!

The Science of Non-Destructive Testing

September 27th, 2016


It’s Tuesday, September 27, 2016, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!


Recommended Website:

NDT Resource Center


Age Range: 10-18 (Grades 5-12, with parental supervision)


What is Non-Destructive Testing? It’s a method of testing and inspecting industrial parts and materials without damaging them. NDT technicians and engineers test for material conditions and flaws that might cause planes to crash, reactors to fail, trains to derail, pipelines to burst, etc.

Through methods such as radiology, NDT allows inspection without interfering with a product’s final use. NDT inspectors use the sciences of: 

  • Electricity
  • Magnetism
  • X-Rays
  • Sound

This website provides free, interactive lessons in all four of these sciences for students in middle school and high school.

When you get to the site, you’ll see an introduction, and then an icon menu of all 4 sciences. Click on any one, and a new page opens with a table of contents for the curriculum in that field of science.

Click on any topic to learn more, or just follow the arrows to chronologically follow the curriculum. Each page offers interesting text and illustrations. Many pages contain multi-media, interactive demonstrations of the concepts discussed. The material is presented in an engaging way to capture student interest.

If your student enjoys the material here, they may be interested in learning more about a career in NDT. You’ll find information about that (designed just for middle and high school students) at the site as well. Here’s the direct link:

Explore the “Space Place” for Kids!

September 13th, 2016


It’s Tuesday, September 13, 2016, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!


Recommended Website:

NASA Space Place


Age Range: 6-12 (Grades 1-6, with parental supervision)


NASA sponsors this non-commercial website to show kids that science, technology, and learning about space are fun and within their grasp. It offers free projects and activities that lead kids step-by-step through challenging subjects such as the electromagnetic spectrum, orbits, gravitational waves, tidal forces, binary and hexadecimal notation, and more. As the website explains, these topics are “treated simply and concisely, with everyday analogies and metaphors, concrete examples, and compelling illustrations.”

When you get to the site you’ll see the Space Place logo and below it a menu of activities that includes:  

  • Explore – Learn about planets, lasers, weather satellites, orbits, gravity, and more through interactive animations, demonstrations, and videos.
  • Do – Build a bubble-powered rocket, make moon cookies, make a relief map, build a physics machine, and whip up some El Nino pudding! You’ll find instructions and illustrations for these hands-on projects.
  • Play – Play interactive games that teach as they entertain. Go on a virtual mission to Jupiter, explore the solar system, compare the sizes of planets, do space-themed crossword puzzles, word searches, and more.

This is a terrific way to engage kids in learning about science through technology.

Free Storm, Oceanic and Atmosphere Science Activities

August 30th, 2016


It’s Tuesday, August 30, 2016, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!


Recommended Website:

Science with NOAA Research


Age Range: 10-14 (Grades 6-10, with parental supervision)


This website is provided by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. The goal of the site is to provide middle school science students and teachers with research and investigation experiences using online resources.

You can also download FREE Student Activity Books and teaching materials (from the “Teacher” link) for each of the topics that include: 

  • El Niño – Find out about El Niño, how it forms, and its effects on the weather of the world.
  • Storms – Investigate hurricanes, tornadoes, and lightning by tracking their courses and measuring their strength. Learn how weather is forecast.
  • Atmosphere – Investigate the origins and effects of global warming and the effects solar events have on the Earth.
  • Fisheries – Manage various species of fish after learning about what overfishing and the environment can do to commercial fishing.
  • Great Lakes – Interpret maps of winds, waves, and temperature. Learn about zebra mussels and how to control them.
  • Oceans – Take real measurements such as temperature and wave height and graph the changes. Also, find out about ocean currents.

The Chaparral Ecosystem

August 9th, 2016


It’s Tuesday, August 9, 2016, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!


Recommended Website:

The Chaparral Ecosystem


Age Range: 10-18 (Grades 5-12, with parental supervision)


Today’s website offers terrific information on an ecosystem that doesn’t get much attention – the Chaparral. The information is presented by “Living on Earth,” a weekly environmental news program distributed by Public Radio International.

When you get to the site you’ll see the title of the program, “Re-education At Camp Chaparral,” along with a link you can click on to listen to the broadcast – and you can follow along by reading the transcript that is posted on the page. The transcript is enhanced with photographs of the chaparral. It provides a fascinating introduction to the chaparral ecosystem along with a link to further resources about it.

Once you’ve learned about the chaparral, browse the Living on Earth archives by date (dating from 1991 to present) or search for a particular story or topic such as: 

  • Climate Change
  • Renewable Energy
  • Biofuel
  • Polar Bears
  • Pesticides
  • Organic Fish Farming
  • Antarctica
  • Biomimicry
  • Rachel Carson
  • Wetlands
  • ~and much, much more!

This is a terrific resource for enhancing one’s knowledge of science and how it applies to the world we live in.