Posts Tagged ‘Mars’

Spectacular Planet Show & More!

May 10th, 2011

Hi!  It’s Tuesday, May 10, 2011 and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
NASA: Space Weather News

Age Range:  All

One of my fondest memories of homeschooling, was waking my kids up in the pre-dawn hours to witness celestial events and space shuttle fly-bys. Consider starting this tradition with your own family beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, May 11th. NASA reports that you can watch a spectacular planetary gathering

“Look out any east-facing window about a half hour before sunrise. If you have a clear view of the horizon, you’ll see Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter clustered together in a patch of sky less than 10 degrees wide.

The best morning is May 11th, when Venus and Jupiter converge to form a tight pair only 1/2 degree apart. Venus and Jupiter are so bright you might think you’ve witnessed a double supernova beaming through the morning twilight. But, no, it’s just the two brightest planets in our own solar system.”

At today’s website you can learn more about this event by watching a free ScienceCast video that includes an animated sky map.

NASA also reports that, “on May 13th, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter form a bright celestial triangle–almost equilateral. It’s a geometry lesson before breakfast.”

The show comes to an end on May 30th when an exquisite crescent Moon joins the four planets for a Grand Finale–five heavenly lights dotting the eastern sky all at once.”

If your family enjoys the real-time space event, you may want to further the learning with a virtual tour of space at this website…

When you get to this site, sit back and relax as you watch the 12-minute presentation that simulates a trip to outer space using real NASA photos of planets, nebulas, and more. There is a sound component for part of this presentation, but most of the information is delivered through text that is flashed on the screen. Non-readers will need assistance.

Interactive Science Games, Activities, & More! (CSAW)

September 7th, 2010

Hi!  It’s Tuesday, September 7, 2010 and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
Planet Science

Age Range: 4-14 (approximately, and fun for the whole family)

Where do I begin to describe this site? It has all kinds of free, fascinating, and fun science activities, experiments, and games that will entice and engage the most reluctant scientist in your family. 

The whole idea of Planet Science is to make science entertaining for the whole family without being “schooly.” When you get to the website you’ll see a menu that includes:

*News – Here you’ll find the latest newsletters that announce new additions to the site and referrals to fun activities in the archives.

*Randomise – Enjoy a wide selection of online, multi-media, arcade-style games that teach about science as they entertain.  Just look at some of the game titles and descriptions to get an idea of what’s offered:

  • Planet 10 – Try to build your own indestructible planet.
  • Body Bits Pinball Game – Organs all over the place! Learn about anatomy as you collect points.
  • Mission Adaptation Game – Become a photographer and travel the world to photograph wildlife and discover how they have adapted to their environment.

*Sci-Teach – Designed for teachers, this section provides resources and tips for teaching science along with suggested classroom activities that can be tweaked for use at home.
*Out There – Get free science activities, experiments, and online science adventures including:

  • Breed Your Own Black Flowers
  • Fire Facts
  • Mars – The Facts
  • Nanotechnology Movie
  • Sugar Science
  • Undercover Science
  • ~ and more!

Actually, one of the easiest ways to see what’s available on this website is to open any menu item, and then look for the menu on the left side of the screen. Click on “Site Map” from the menu and a new page opens that explains how the site is organized. From there you can easily access areas of specific interest to your family.

There are a total of eight sections that include the four that I’ve featured above, plus:

*Under 11s – Fun ways to bring science to life for children in PreK and early elementary grades.

*Next Steps – Information on careers and jobs for those with an interest in science.

This is a terrific website that includes parents in the process of learning science with their kids and makes it enjoyable for both.  This site earns a ClickSchooling Award (CSAW) for excellence.  

Physics In Pictures!

July 6th, 2010

Hi!  It’s Tuesday, July 6, 2010 and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
Physics Central: Physics In Pictures

Age Range: 10 and up (about middle school and beyond, but younger children may enjoy aspects of the site as well)

Want to get your physics on?  This is the place!  The American Physical Society sponsors this exciting website that demonstrates through multi-media technology, how things work and the importance of physics to everyone. You’ll find free information on the physics of light, sound, matter and more in the form of articles, animations, and videos.

The site is massive, so I’m featuring one of the most engaging sections for this review called “Physics In Pictures.” It provides virtual “illustrations of nature’s infinite variety and humankind’s ingenuity.”

Each picture and title entices you to want to know more. You can explore the science content by reading a brief explanation and then further your learning with links to stories on related current physics research. Your brain can take a quick dip in the physics waters or dive in and soak it all up.

When you get to the site, you’ll see some featured “Physics Pictures” that include:

  • Perfect Spheres to Test Einstein
  • A Free Floating Plasma Orb or Squid Ghost
  • Dust Devils on Mars!

Click on any one to learn more. Then, if you look at the menu on the right side of the screen, you’ll see a list of “Physics in Pictures by Topic” that includes:

  • Atomic
  • Biology and Medicine
  • Chaos
  • Computational
  • Earth Science
  • Light
  • Matter
  • Sound
  • Space and the Universe
  • Subatomic

Click on a topic to explore more. When you’re through, use the menu at the top of the screen and click on “Ask & Experiment.” You’ll be rewarded with experiments to try at home along with other activities sponsored by this website.

FREE Engineering Lessons & Activities for K-12 (CSAW)

June 9th, 2009

Recommended Website:
Teach Engineering

Age Range: 5-18 (Designed for Grades K-12; the majority of the material is for Grades 3 and up.)

Bookmark this site if you want free, open-ended, hands-on lessons and activities to stimulate your students’ interest in math and science through engineering. As explained at the website, “engineers have a hand in designing, creating or modifying nearly everything we touch, wear, eat, see and hear” in the real world. The free K-12 engineering curricula at this website integrates math, science, and technology through exploration of the “built world” around us so that it’s relevant to the lives of young people.

The idea here is to encourage students to pose questions about “why things work” and then gain skills and use their imaginations to create innovations that improve the world for everyone.

When you get to the website click on “Browse” on the menu to find curricula sorted by:

  • Subject Areas — Each with numerous units in Algebra, Geometry, Measurement, Number and Operations, Problem Solving, Reasoning and Proof and lots of science content as well.
  • Curricular Units — These theme-based learning experiences are composed of multiple lessons designed to take place over several weeks in a classroom environment. There are units on asteroid impact, bridges, cells, energy, floaters and sinkers, marine mapping, natural disasters, rockets, simple machines, weather and more.
  • Lessons — Get over 280 different lessons that meet content standards on topics that include Air Pressure, Ampere’s Law, Art in Engineering, Animals in Engineering, Friction, Magnetics, Mars, Rivers, Rocks, Paper Airplanes, Water, and much more.
  • Activities — In my opinion, this is the place to start because the stand-alone, hands-on, fun experiments are sure to engage your kids’ interest and may springboard you to further learning through the lessons and units mentioned above. Activities (that include a materials list and instructions) cover a range of possibilities such as the exploration of acids and bases, designing a bicycle helmet, learning about kidney filtering, investigating Ohm’s Law, playing “Rock Jeopardy,” making Yogurt Cup Speakers and more.

All of the lessons and activities include the estimated time it takes and the approximate cost for the materials.

Teach Engineering is a terrific resource and gets a ClickSchooling Award (CSAW) for excellence. :)


Are You The Parent of a Preschooler? You’ll Love Universal Preschool’s Learning Calendar! It’s chock-full of fun, easy activities & time-saving resources for learning with little ones all year long! Get your copy today…

DID YOU MISPLACE A ClickSchooling Review? Do you need to find an educational website — fast! Visit the ClickSchooling archives.

Send A Rock to A Scientist!

June 10th, 2008

Recommended Website:
ASU: Rock Around The World

Age Range: 5 and up (Fun for all ages!)

Scientists at the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University want you to send them your rocks! Find a rock, wash it, and send it in to the lab. The scientists will use their super-duper spectrometer to identify the rock – and then they’ll post a picture of your rock and information about it on their website!

But that’s not all. In addition to submitting a rock to help the Mars Scientists with their research, you can learn all about rocks at this website. Simply use the menu on the left side of the screen that includes:

  • About the Program – Get the instructions for how to submit a rock.
  • Follow the Rocks – Take a virtual tour of the lab and see what happens to rocks that are sent to the ASU Mars lab.
  • See All Rocks – Examine the archive of rocks that have already been sent to the lab.
  • Learn About Rocks – Find out why you should study rocks; learn the difference between rocks, minerals, and elements; find out about crystal structures.
  • Meet the RATW Crew – Read the bios of the scientists who work at the ASU Mars Lab.
  • Infrared Spectroscopy – Explore an amazing website dedicated to the science of infrared spectroscopy.

This is a great way to get kids interested in geology, space travel, and more! A big thank you to the ClickScholar who saw this website mentioned in this month’s issue of “Boy’s Life” magazine.

Free Social Science Videos From PBS NOVA

June 5th, 2008

Recommended Website:
Free Social Science Videos From PBS NOVA

On this website, you can watch 39 different PBS NOVA videos for free online.

When you get to the site you’ll see a brief introduction and the most recently added programs are featured on the page. Look on the right side of the screen to see a menu of topics covered by these films including:

  • Anthropology – Watch films about Israel’s Cave of Letters, Ape Genius, and the Lost Treasures of Tibet.
  • Disasters – Learn about doomsday Asteroids and Mass Extinction, and the devastating floods of Hurricane Katrina.
  • Earth – Explore Sand Dunes, Glaciers, Hurricanes, Lightning, etc.
  • Exploration – Crack the Maya Code and find out if MARS is Dead or Alive.
  • Flight – Discover the remains of Four-Winged Dinosaurs and find out what’s Missing in MiG Alley.
  • Health – Get information about the Flu, Aging, Animal Hospitals, Cancer, the Human Genome, Eating Disorders, Epigenetics, Life’s Greatest Miracle, Marathon Running, RNAi, Sleep, Stem Cells, and more.
  • History – Enjoy the story behind Absolute Zero, Papyrus from ancient Egypt, the Parthenon, and Sputnik.
  • Investigations – Meet an archeologist who is helping to rewrite the history of the Old West.
  • Nature – Learn about Fish Surgery, Frozen Frogs, Ants, and T.Rex.
  • Physics and Math – Watch films about robot swarms, a particle accelerator, coded sculpture, string theory and more.
  • Space – Find out about Hollywood aliens, the Monster of the Milky Way, and the 10th Planet.
  • Technology – View films about Artificial Life, Cars of the Future, Fuel Cells, Robots, Lab Meat, Solar Energy and more.

Click on any film of interest and a new page opens. The films are divided into chapters or segments for ease of viewing. Some of the video pages link to further resources, teacher’s guides, transcripts of the films, and more.

This is a terrific resource to enhance learning – bookmark it to return often.