Posts Tagged ‘microscopy’

Free Molecular Investigations for Students

September 20th, 2011

Hi!  It’s Tuesday, September 20, 2011 and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:
Molecular Expressions: Powers of 10

Age Range: 9 and up (approximately, with adult supervision)

ClickScholars send me links to this website a few times each year as they stumble across it on their own Internet travels. It offers  free activities that allow students to explore the fascinating world of optical microscopy through amazing color photographs. You’ll see images of the cellular levels of everything from hamburgers to superconductors. 

When you get to the site you will see a brief introduction that explains you are about to take a virtual journey from the Milky Way to the microscopic world. In successive orders of magnitude journey from the Milky Way Galaxy “into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons.”

When you are through watching the display, use the menu on the left side of the screen to explore:

*Optics Timeline – See highlights of important events and developments in the science of optics from prehistory to the beginning of the 21st century.

*Student Activities – Investigate light, optics, and color with an assortment of online activities. Discover more about:

  • Animal Vision
  • Eclipses
  • Cameras and Photography
  • Binoculars, Periscopes, & Kaleidoscopes
  • 3D Images & Holograms

*Tutorials – Access a curriculum resource package for elementary grade students that combines scientific inquiry, hands-on and interactive computer-based instruction, text, and animated manipulatives for a variety of learning experiences. Some of the activities include:

  • Newton’s Prism Experiments
  • Refraction of Light
  • Microscope Magnification
  • Optical Illusions
  • Human Vision

You can also explore digital video galleries to learn more about digital microscopes and the spectrum of applications. The content on this site is massive, so bookmark it to return often.

Science In A Pond!

August 9th, 2011

Hi!  It’s Tuesday, August 9, 2011 and time for Science at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website: A Virtual Pond Dip

Age Range: 7 and up (approximately, with adult supervision)

This website allows you to virtually explore pond life and all of the amazing microscopic critters that live there!

When you get to this site you will see a picture of a collection jar with pond water and lots of unusual creatures in it along with  instructions on how to begin your investigation.

Click on any one of the items in the jar, and a new page opens with detailed information about it. You’ll examine:

  • Protozoa
  • Algae
  • Copepod
  • Paramecium
  • Amoeba
  • Hydra
  • Water Flea
  • Rotifers
  • Ostracod

If you click on the words “Pond Life Identification Kit” in the introduction, a new page opens with a terrific guide that will help you identify pond life — and it provides instructions on how to collect microscopic pond life from freshwater ponds wherever you live.

There are links to websites that use multi-media tools for extensive study of pond life as well.

Use the horizontal menu tab at the top of the page to explore an archive of microscopy including:

*Intro – Read the history of the microscope, find out how to buy a microscope, explore insects, botany, and marine life.

*Museum – Explore the “Micropolitan Museum” that includes incredible photos of specimens from freshwater and marine environments. Check out “The Insectarium,” and “The Botanical Garden” too.

*3-D Images – Don’t miss this incredible archive of 3-D computer models of insects, flowers, bacteria, viruses, and much more!

This is a great tool to help you begin microscopic examinations with your children/students — even if you don’t own a microscope or have a real pond in your neighborhood.

Free, Online Science Games & Activities & More!

September 9th, 2008

Recommended Website:

Age Range: 5-17+ (Kindergarten to High School/College)

Eduweb develops online, multi-media learning games and activities for museums, zoos, universities, and other educational organizations. They archive the links to these, playful, thought-provoking, award-winning interactives for science, and a wide variety of other subjects, at their website. Most of the content is absolutely free.

When you get to the website you’ll see a sign-up form to receive email notifications whenever a new game is available.

Below that is the featured new game, and to the left of your screen is an icon menu of the “Latest and Greatest” activities they have produced.

Use the menu bar right above the sign-in form to access the learning games by subject or grade level (K-12). Subjects include: Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Natural History, History, People & Cultures, Reading Strategies, Economics, and the following Science categories:

  • Earth & Space Science — Learn about black holes, living in outer space, extraterrestrial intelligence, how to engineer a spacecraft, how to build a bridge in earthquake country, and more
  • Engineering & Technology — Command a submarine, design a satellite, take a virtual tour of a research vessel, learn about microscopy and nano-visualization, and explore solar energy
  • Health & Medicine — Find out about acids and bacteria that cause tooth decay, experiment to find the healthiest foods and cleaning habits to maintain a healthy smile

Many of these compelling and effective learning interactives include role play simulation. For example, become a member of a wolf pack in Yellowstone National Park. Explore the wilderness, hunt elk, find a mate, raise pups, and ensure the survival of your pack. As explained at the site, “The WolfQuest experience goes beyond the game with an active online community where you can discuss the game with other players, chat with wolf biologists, and share artwork and stories about wolves.”

This is really a remarkable learning resource. Bookmark it to return often.


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

Animated Cellular Structure & Activity

August 14th, 2007

Recommended Websites:

XVIVO: Scientific Animation

Age Range: 14 and up (note: designed for college level biology

List member Nancy Hogan suggested this website that offers an
incredible 8-minute video-animation titled “The Inner Life of the
Cell” that was designed “to transport Harvard Biology students into a
three-dimensional journey through the microscopic world of a cell.”
It moves beyond textbooks and “vividly illustrates the mechanisms
that allow a white blood cell to sense its surroundings and respond
to an external stimulus. This animation explores the different
cellular environments in which these communications take place.”

While it is fascinating to watch, unless you have some knowledge of
cell structure and function it may be difficult to understand what
you are seeing — as no explanation is provided, just musical
accompaniment. If this triggers interest, then use the following
website to develop a foundation to better understand this video…

Cells Alive!

Age Range: 12 and up (younger children may enjoy various aspects of
this site)

Cells Alive was previously featured on ClickSchooling in 2002. The
site has been updated and is really worth visiting multiple times. It
uses animations, interactive and colorful illustrations, and
interesting text to help visitors learn about the many forms and
functions of cells. The categories include:

  • Cell Biology — all about the structure of plant, animal, and
    bacterial cells that includes interactive animation of mitosis and
    meiosis, and a quiz to check your knowledge on cell structure and
  • Microbiology — get familiar with viruses, bacteria, and parasites
    from E.coli to strep to HIV – and take the quiz on microbes.
  • Immunology —don’t miss the anatomy of a splinter, the workings of
    allergies and mites, making antibodies, and take the quiz on the
    immune system.
  • Microscopy —get the scoop on the latest techniques for cell imaging
    and research and visit The Crystal Gallery for some eye-popping
    microscope images.

Under “Interactive” on the menu, you can examine cell models, view an
animation of the cell cycle, watch the Cell Cams that let you see in
real time how long it takes for cancer cells and bacteria cells to
double. Solve some puzzles and take some quizzes too.

This is a “must see” site for anyone studying the sciences in grades
7 and up. Younger students will find aspects of it interesting too —
parents can preview the site to determine which parts will be of the
most interest to their kids. You will want to bookmark this site and
return often.

Extreme Science!

March 21st, 2006

Recommended Website:
Extreme Science

We have featured this site in the past. It has been updated with lots of new info and is well worth another visit.

There isn’t a kid (make that person) who won’t find something interesting at this science site that focuses on EXTREMES in any given scientific field of study. The information is user-friendly and well organized with lots of wonderful photographs and illustrations.

When you get to the site, scroll past the ads, read the introduction and visit the featured presentations that include:

  • The Giant Squid & Giant Jellyfish
  • Extreme Weather Records
  • The Creepiest Creatures on Earth

Then, use the menu on the left to explore science presentations such as:

  • Earth Science — find out about the geological record setters: the highest mountain, deepest ocean cavern, biggest earthquake, highest wave, etc.
  • Maps — a wonderful source for maps and atlases online with everything from topographic maps to star charts.
  • Space — learn all about our solar system, how Earth evolved, explore the stars and night sky.
  • Technology — learn about the latest developments in robotics, lasers, electron microscopy, superconductors, fiber optics, nuclear cold fusion and more.

You can also check out “Animals & Animal Pictures.” Learn all about the biggest, fastest, and most deadly creatures (insects, mammals, reptiles, etc.) on the face of the earth!

You’ll also find links to other terrific science resources on this site too.

Extreme Science is one of the best science websites currently available. If you have a child who loathes science — or just doesn’t seem to have an interest in it — visit this site with them. There is something of interest for every age and ability.

A Molecular Look At The History of Burgers and Fries!

December 13th, 2005

Recommended Website:
Molecular Expressions: Burgers and Fries

This website is one of the very best for exploring the world of microscopy.

Today, we are highlighting a feature at the site called “Burgers and Fries.” Essentially, it’s a history lesson punctuated with colorful cellular images. Discover the REMARKABLE history behind America’s gastronomical favorites and, through microscopic examination, discover the layers of this culinary classic including bun, beef, cheese, onion, lettuce, and potato. This is a short presentation loaded with information and cellular illustration.

When you are through learning about “Burgers and Fries,” click on the “Home” page button at the bottom of the screen to get an idea of the depth and breadth of this site. Not only does this site house one of the Web’s largest collections of color photographs taken through an optical microscope (commonly referred to as “photo-micro-graphs”), it explains in plain English what you are viewing, and often includes the interesting history behind it.

Don’t miss these features:

  • See what Tylenol, the headache remedy, looks like through a microscope — you’ll be amazed!
  • Look at various things through a virtual microscope via free interactive tutorials.
  • Or just learn all about microscopes and microscope photography, light, color, and more. Don’t miss the Museum of Microscopy featuring historical microscopes ranging from 16th century Dutch designs through the scopes of 18th and 19th century Europe to the latest microprocessor-powered models of today.

This is one cool website. It has stunning color photography and plenty of historic background, providing high-quality education for the whole family.