Posts Tagged ‘DNA’

Experiment on Flies

August 19th, 2014


It’s Tuesday, August 19, 2014, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!


Recommended Website:


HHMI: Virtual Transgenic Fly Lab


Age Range: 13-Adult (Grades 6-adult; children with parental supervision)


There’s an online virtual lab where you can experiment with flies. Eeeew!” It’s true! The Virtual Transgenic Fly Lab provides you with the virtual tools you’ll need to learn about the science and techniques used to make transgenic flies. What are transgenic flies? As the website explains:
“Transgenic organisms, which contain DNA that is inserted experimentally, are used to study many biological processes. In this lab, you will create a transgenic fly to study circadian rhythms. The fly glows only when a certain gene involved in circadian rhythms is activated. After making the glowing fly, you will use it to explore basic principles of circadian biology and genetics.”
When you get to the site, read the introduction that explains the basic steps and learning objectives. You’ll see the virtual lab on the left side of the page, where you can begin to conduct your experiment. You will be prompted by text in the gray tip window and light purple arrows that point the way.
As you begin the experiment, your lab “Notebook” will automatically open on the right side of the page showing detailed information as you progress through the experiment. You’ll see hyperlinks in the notes – click on them to learn more.
If some of the scientific terminology, tools, or concepts are unfamiliar, use the “Resources” tab on the menu to access a glossary that defines the words, as well as a photo-directory of the various equipment used in the lab.
There are quiz questions in each phase of the experiment and you can check your results by clicking on the “Quiz” tab on the menu.
This is a fascinating use of technology that replicates lab science experimentation.

3-D Geometry, Math Interactives and More!

June 23rd, 2014


It’s Monday, June 23, 2014, and time for Math at ClickSchooling!


Recommended Website: Interactives


Age Range: 5-Adult (Grades K-Adult, children with parental supervision)


This website’s mission is to “Advance Excellent Teaching in American Schools.” They focus on the teacher as a learner, as well as the student as a learner.
You’ll be impressed by the “Geometry 3D Shapes” presentation that provides free multi-media activities about three-dimensional shapes. Students learn about the mathematical properties of polyhedrons, cubes, prisms, cylinders and pyramids and how to calculate their surface area and volume. Because instruction is presented in 3-D format it makes it much easier to visualize and understand.
When you get to the site you’ll see the menu of learning interactives for Math, Science, Language, History, and Art. Under “Math Interactives” use the search feature to locate “Geometry 3-D Shapes”. Click on it and a new page opens where the presentation begins. When you are through with geometry, try “Math In Daily Life,” “Metric Conversions,” and “Statistics” designed for grades 6-12.

Then, check out:
  • Science Interactives – Designed for grades 7-12, this has amazing presentations on physics, DNA, the Periodic Table, Volcanoes, and more.
  • Language Interactives – This offers literature explorations and even a “Spelling Bee” for all grade levels.
  • History Interactives – Discover what life was like during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
  • Arts Interactives – Head to the “Cinema” and manage the production of a film.

Bookmark this site, as you just can’t see it all in one visit.

Science Experiments with Demo Videos!

May 6th, 2014


It’s Tuesday, May 6, 2014, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!


Recommended Website:


Weird Science Kids


Age Range: 5-13 (Grades K-8, with parental supervision)


This ad-supported website strives to inspire children through interactive science experiments that encourage discovery, spark imagination, and develop scientific literacy. It offers an array of free, fun science experiments you can do at home – and many include a demonstration video along with the instructions!
When you get to site, you’ll see a menu of enticing science activities you can do or make such as:
* Fake Blood
* Ink and Secret Messages
* Lumpy Liquids and Squishy Solids
* Snowstorm In A Can
* Mentos Geyser
* Floating Paper Clip
* Cloud in a Bottle
* Oobleck and Glurch
* Silly Putty
* Worlds Simplest Motor
* Mold Science
* Dry Ice Experiments
* Flying Toilet Paper
* Remove Iron From Breakfast Cereal
* Ivory Soap Microwave Experiment
* Build A Periscope
* DNA Extraction
* Make Rock Candy – and many more!

Click on any one, and a new page opens with a materials list, instructions, pictures, illustrations, and in many cases – a video demonstration. You’ll also learn the science behind the experiment.

Free Virtual Science Boxes

April 29th, 2014


It’s Tuesday, April 29, 2014, and time for Science at ClickSchooling!


Recommended Website:


My Science Box


Age Range: 5-22 (Grades 1-College, children with parental supervision)


This website developed by a California Science Teacher provides free access to hands-on, classroom tested, science lessons for a wide grade range.
The site uses the concept of a virtual “teaching box” to organize the activities and lessons. In a classroom environment, a “teaching box” is a cardboard box that contains an assortment of materials, lesson plans, resources, and assessments for teaching a particular topic. The virtual teaching boxes at My Science Box are designed to provide you with everything you need to teach a unit of science in areas such as:
* Biology/Life Science
* Cell Biology
* Chemistry
* Earth Science
* Ecology
* Genetics
* Geology
* Human Biology
* Physics
* Technology and Engineering

When you get to the site, you’ll see a brief introduction. Use the menu on the left to review the lessons offered by grade level including K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and college. Or explore the lessons by scientific concept (as described above). The lessons are also sorted by:

* Classroom Activity
* Labs and Projects
* Curriculum Unit
* Field Trip (for destinations in San Francisco Bay Area)
* Computer Activity

Most of these lessons and activities can be tweaked for use at home or by a homeschool support group or co-op class.

You can also simply click on the horizontal menu at the top of the page to access “Curriculum Boxes” that offer lessons and activities for MIDDLE SCHOOL students in grades 6-8 on:
*Ecology – Habitats, ecosystems and population change
*Watersheds – Watersheds, wetlands, erosion and the San Francisco Bay
*Geology – Rock cycle, geologic time, and Earth history
*Genetics & Evolution – DNA, genes, evolution & adaptation
*Plate Tectonics – Sea floor spreading, volcanoes, and earthquakes
*Physiology – Cell biology, plants, animals, and the characteristics of life
Click on any box and a new page opens with a variety of lessons and activities to teach that particular topic.
Because the teacher who designed this site lives and works in California, the lessons are aligned with the Science Content Standards for California Public Schools. They are designed to “actively engage students in observing, experimenting, discovering, discussing, and building models during both ‘lecture’ and ‘lab’ sections.”
Almost every lesson can be printed out for use offline. Just click on the words “Printer-friendly version” at the bottom of each lesson page.

Spelling for Those with the “Spelling Gene”

October 2nd, 2013

Hi! It’s Wednesday, October 2, 2013 and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!  

Recommended Website:

Merriam Webster: Spell It!

Age Range: 6-16 (approximately, with parental supervision)

I’ve always maintained that some people are born with a “spelling gene.” Interestingly, current brain research supports the idea that some brains are hard-wired for spelling. They just “get it”. For that segment of the population, spelling is fun! It’s a joy! Words and their root forms and origins are fascinating.

For students of all ages who excel at spelling, this website (sponsored by the Scripps National Spelling Bee in cooperation with Merriam-Webster) offers free spelling exercises that are interesting and challenging. It’s a little slice of heaven for those with spelling in their DNA. When you get to the website, you’ll see a brief introduction and a menu titled “Words From” that include:

  • Latin  
  • Arabic
  • Asian Languages
  • French
  • Eponyms
  • German
  • Slavic Languages
  • Dutch
  • Old English
  • New World Languages
  • Japanese
  • Greek
  • Italian
  • Spanish

Click on any one and a new page opens with a brief explanation and a list of “Study Words.” Click on a “study word” and a new page opens in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary with audio pronunciations. You’ll find the word’s function (part of speech), etymology, definition, and synonyms.

Some words have a “dialog bubble” that contains a spelling tip for that word.  Click on “Challenge Words” to find an assortment of more difficult spelling words. Click  on “Now You Try” to participate in an interactive exercise to challenge your knowledge of words, parts of words, word roots, and knowledge of spelling rules and exceptions. Wordsmiths and spellers will gleefully spend hours here testing their skills. There is a function that allows you to print out the spelling words to practice offline too. 

Back on the home page, you’ll also see “Words You Need to Know.” As explained at the website, “These words appear frequently in student essays, and every writer should become familiar with them. You should also study these words to prepare for classroom bees.”

This site’s main purpose is to provide visitors with the official list of study words for the 2010 spelling bees. However, it stands alone as a terrific and challenging educational tool for those who love words and spelling.

Free Genetics Lessons, Experiments, & Worksheets!

May 14th, 2013

Hi!  It’s Tuesday, May 14, 2013 and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Learn Genetics

Age Range: 10 and up (with parental supervision)

This website, developed by the University of Utah, provides free lessons, experiments, activities, virtual labs, and worksheets designed to provide a basic education in the science of genetics.

When you get to the site, you can get a good introduction to the topics of DNA, genes, protein synthesis, heredity, traits, and life on a cellular level by exploring the “Basics.”  You’ll also see some new features and below it a menu that includes:

*Genetic Technology – Learn about stem cells, gene therapy, cloning, and gene-targeting technology.

*Virtual Labs – Swab your cheek and extract DNA from your cells! Use gel electrophoresis to discover how scientists work with tiny molecules they can’t see.  Perform a DNA microarray experiement to compare a healthy cell and a cancer cell.

*Epigenetics – Find out how factors from the environment alter gene expression.

*The New Science of Addiction – Take a physiologic and molecular look at what causes drug addiction.

*Variation, Selection & Time – Discover what molecular genetics tells us about natural selection.

*Genetics & Health – Explore the “Genetic Disorders Llibrary,” examine your family health history, and find out how medical treatment can be custom-fit to your genome.

You can also learn about the ecology of Utah’s Great Salt Lake and explore an archive of fascinating presentations on RNA, finding a gene on the chromosome map, mutations and genetic disorders, biological warfare, and much more.

Be sure to click on “Teacher’s Resources” located in the top, right corner of the home page. It will open the “Teach Genetics” website where you’ll find additional tools and resources for learning about genetics, bioscience, and health. There are free classroom activities and take-home activities to teach heritable traits, and you’ll find an extensive “Print-And-Go Lesson Plan Index.”  While this is designed for classroom use, it can be tweaked for the homeschool environment.