Posts Tagged ‘expeditions’

Science – Ology!

November 21st, 2006

Recommended Website:
American Museum of Natural History’s
Ology Website

Note: The grade range given was K-8 for some activities, with the majority designated for grades 3-8.

What’s “Ology?” At today’s site, you will learn that “ology” is a suffix meaning “the study of.” Many disciplines in science have this suffix in common (i.e., biology, geology, entomology, etc.) and because this site features so many of them, it is only fitting that it use the suffix as its name.

When you get to the site you will discover that it is 100% kid-friendly and engaging, with a wide assortment of educational science activities to learn many interesting facts. Click on any of the items on the menu to explore and
learn about Archaeology, Astronomy, Biodiversity, Earth, Einstein, Genetics, Marine Biology, and Paleontology.

As you explore each topic at the site, click every red asterisk (*) that you can find. Each asterisk is a link to a fact card (there are over 259 of them) that you can collect and store on your own “homepage” at the site (you must register to access this feature). Double-click the yellow arrow in the bottom right corner of the fact card to turn it over — and surprise! — now you can read more facts, learn about science expeditions, check out interviews with scientists, take quizzes and more. (Turn on your speakers to hear fun sound effects.)

You will want to visit as many topics and collect as many fact cards as you can. The fact cards enable you to create interesting projects. To see what sort of amazing projects students can create on this site, be sure to click
on “Hall of Fame” and “Past Winners.” These projects are informative too, and even more fun for your children because they were created by students like themselves.

To begin creating your own projects, you must:

  1. Register with a nonsense name and password. (This site has no interest in who you actually are.)
  2. Explore the site while learning and collecting fact cards.
  3. Go to your “homepage” to see the cards you have collected so far. You can also see the numbers (but not the contents) of the cards that you have left to collect.
  4. Choose your template, title, and cards to include in your project. The more you have learned on the Ology site, the more informative and interesting your project will be for other kids to read.

As you develop your project, try to use correct spelling and punctuation to make it easier for others to read. When you are finished, you can choose to submit it to a group of scientists who will actually review it for possible inclusion in the Hall of Fame! After they have reviewed it, you can read their review. If your project wins, you will get a yellow ribbon on your webpage! If your project didn’t win, you will receive a list of suggestions for improvement and some encouragement to try again. :)

Even if you don’t win, your project remains on your “personal homepage” and you can still read and enjoy it yourself and show it off proudly to your family and friends on your home computer screen.

Transit of Venus — 2004 & 2012!

March 30th, 2004

Recommended Website:
Transit of Venus

A list member recommended today’s site that provides a curriculum based on an upcoming rare planetary event. On June 8, 2004, Venus will pass in front of the Sun as seen from Earth. Viewing the entire transit is especially good in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, but some parts of eastern North America will be able to view a portion of the transit. (And, for those of us on the west coast of North America, who are not planning a family vacation to Europe in June – we can get a view of this rare phenomenon through the wonder of television and Internet streaming.)

As explained on the FAQ page at this site this astronomical occurrence has a strange pattern of frequency. “A transit will not have happened for about 121 years (the last one was 1882). Then there will be one transit (such as this one in 2004) followed by another transit of Venus eight years later (in the year 2012). Then there will be a span of about 105 years before the next pair of transits occur, again separated by eight years. Then the pattern repeats.”

You can use this rarity as a teaching tool for science, math, history and more. When you get to the site you will see an introduction along with an easy-to-use menu table that includes:

  • How to observe the 2004 Transit of Venus.
  • Education – all kinds of student projects, activities, interactive programs, simulations, lesson plans, DVD and CD programs for sale, NASA education forums and much more!
  • Science & Math of Transits – including measuring the distance to the sun, irregular period of transits, calculation engines for programmers, transit geometry calculations and more.
  • Historical Observations and Global Expeditions – learn about the recorded transits from 1639 to present day. Read archived journals and newspaper headlines, see paintings and photographs and museum exhibits.
  • The Role of Spacecraft and the Search for Extra-Solar Planets – find out how transits help scientists in their exploration of the universe.
  • Miscellaneous Transit Links – discover stamps, instruments, sculpture, plays, music, fiction, and even junk associated with transits.

This site provides some great resources for planning an extensive curriculum themed on the Transit of Venus – or use it to introduce some educational trivia that will pique your family’s interest in astronomy and more.

Science In Amazing Caves

September 2nd, 2003

Recommended Website:

List member, Lori, recommended this site that features a colorful, multi-media cave expedition diary designed with kids in mind. Lori said,

“Just wanted to suggest a site for Clickschooling. It’s part of the OMNIMAX film “Journey Into Amazing Caves” at Science North in Sudbury Ontario. is the website of a grade 2 teacher named Nancy Aulenbach who is an extreme caver and scientist. She has set up a site to keep her students informed — really cool!”

Not only is Nancy a remarkable explorer, but her best friend, Dr. Hazel Barton, has a PhD in microbiology and goes spelunking with Nancy in search of microscopic specimens that live in extreme places — such as caves. Hazel’s discoveries are documented at the site as well.

When you get to the site you will see a menu on the left. Click on Greenland, Yucatan, or Grand Canyon. A new page opens with a short text introduction. Then, click on the menu items to see unusual “extremophiles” (Hazel’s specimens), and pictures (as well as movies) of the caves the women explored and other natural wonders they witnessed during their adventures.

This site offers a fun, interesting introduction to caving and the science behind it. Be sure to read the FAQs that provide great advice on how to get started caving. Then, click on the “Links” button on the menu for even more remarkable sites about caving. You will also want to click on the link to “Journey Into Amazing Caves” — the website of the IMAX film featuring Nancy and Hazel and the chronicles of their expeditions.

This site has much to offer and you can use it as a simple introduction to caving for very young children, or explore the links to get an in-depth immersion into the scientific world of caves.

Due to requests and suggestions from visitors to Homefires website, we have expanded our curriculum department and now offer unique lessons and resource
materials that you won’t find anywhere else! Check out the “blue list” of new curriculum at today!

Virtual Field Trip to The North Pole

December 8th, 2000

Continuing with our Holiday Curriculum…

Recommended Website:

What you will find at this site is a bit of information about the North Pole, coupled with an interactive Question and Answer Game about who were the first to arrive at the North Pole. You are given a choice of 10 possibilities — real explorers and expeditions. You read what each one did, and then determine if you think they were the first to arrive at the North Pole. This is lots of fun, and needless to say increases one’s knowledge about famous and not-so-famous explorers in history.

After you figure out who made it to the North Pole first, do click on the “Back to the Home Page” button at the bottom of the screen. Here you will find a menu of other activities offered at this site. You and the kids can send a letter to Santa, find easy-to-make recipes for holiday goodies, find music and lyrics for over 40 Christmas carols — and even play “Name That Tune” with Santa! You will find information on Christmas traditions throughout the world and can even read the history of Santa Claus. There are coloring pages, puzzles, and games too. Enjoy!