While the interactivity and increasingly visual nature of science websites make them very educationally valuable, these same qualities frequently contribute to them being relatively inaccessible. Therefore, the sites here are both of high quality and, hopefully, reasonably user-friendly.
General Science Resources
MadSciNet: The 24-hour exploding laboratory
"MadSci Network represents a collective cranium of scientists providing answers to your questions. For good measure It provides a variety of oddities and other ends as well. to see what they do, or stop by the info desk for information and assistance. Locate information with the search engine, the random knowledge generator, or in the MadSci FAQs. Over 36,000 answers to previous questions are archived. If you still have a question? You can ask a scientist here.
This site promotes "learning about the brain and nervous system among children and adults using new and exciting teaching methods." Content for children includes interactive games, information about neuroscientists, and a form for posting questions. Also offers lesson plans for third through sixth grade teachers. A project from "Creighton University and several partner organizations." Could be more screen-reader friendly but, nonetheless, has much to offer.
Cool Science for Curious Kids
This site created "to help your child appreciate science"
offers interactive projects related to biology for children in kindergarten through third grade. "Some of these activities are entirely electronic....Others require you to
go to your kitchen or backyard." Includes tips for parents. From the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
An excellent site providing access to a large number of professionally done documentaries is now available. Browse through a variety of programs by categories such as Anthropology, Environment, and Religion to find one you want to watch online free. Click the title and watch it; it's that simple. This isn't just somebody's attempt at filmmaking—this is a collection of interesting and sometimes well-known documentaries such as the Modern Marvels series, biographies on figures such as Aristotle, and the Planet Earth series. There is a variety of foreign documentaries as well for the multilingual viewer. Even if you cannot see the video, there is still much of use.
This site is the gateway to Smithsonian Institution educational resources. Information is available for educators, families, and students.
Science Friday Kids' Connection
This site provides teaching materials to accompany the National Public Radio (NPR) show Science Friday. It includes program summaries and audio, classroom activities, discussion items, academic content standards, and related resources. Covers topics from all fields of science. Browsable and searchable. It is especially useful for the visually impaired child since it contains podcasts as well as archived radio broadcasts.
American Museum of Natural History
Resources for Learning is a collection of activities, articles, evidence and analysis and more, for educators, families, students and anyone interested in teaching or learning about science. Of special interest is the link to "Kids and Families."
National Institutes of Health – Health Information
This site from NIH is primarily geared to the adult audience although the link to "Child and Teen Health" is very useful. The contents of the site may be searched by alphabetic listing, medical conditions, regions of the anatomy as well as by the traditional search box.
Science News for Kids
Science News for Kids is a new Web site devoted to science news for children of ages 9 to 13. Its goal is to offer timely items of interest to kids, accompanied by suggestions for hands-on activities, books, articles, Web resources, and other useful materials. The site’s emphasis is on making the Web site appealing by offering kids opportunities to comment on the subject matter, ask questions of scientists featured in articles, try out mathematical puzzles, and submit their own work for possible Web publication. At the same time, it is interested in offering teachers creative ways of using science news in their classrooms.
This site, from the National Geographic Society, provides links for adventure and exploration, animals and nature, history and culture, geography, science news as well as material especially designed for kids, parents, students, and teachers. The site is searchable.
Kids' Games, Animals, Photos, Stories, and More -- National Geographic Kids
If you want to know how much hippos eat, what explorers Lewis and Clark packed in their first-aid kit, where Gaza is, or how fireworks work, this is the right place. Here are fact-filled features, perfect for reports, presentations, homework-or your curiosity.
The Wonders of the Seas
Short lessons with images of selected sea creatures including sponges, cnidarians, mollusks, echinoderms, arthropods, sperm whales, manatees, and sharks. From the Oceanic Research Group. The site features a number of visuals which, while adding to its educational value, do not prevent the visually impaired guest from benefiting from it as well.
Practical Uses of Math and Science
features more than 60 examples of how science and math can be
used in interesting settings and everyday life. Topics
include: clouds (why they float); social security benefits (algebra); Pythagorean theorem (cabinet corners); ice sheets and sea level; logarithms; matching birthdays (statistics); natural selection and a scavenger hunt; photons; traffic signals; probability); seasons (causes); volcanic clouds; and wind
chill (algebra). From The National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
BBC - Wildlife Finder
Companion Website to a BBC program, The Life of Animals, hosted by Sir David Attenborough. This site provides a set of detailed fact sheets and shows pictures for a variety of mammals, from wild cats to dolphins. The site is unusually accessible for a science site. Contains a text only version.
Exploratorium: Hands-on Activities
This site by Exploratorium, contains instructions for over 500 simple experiments, all of which may be viewed on any type of Web browser, with even the slowest connection, and easily printed out. Experiments range from 'Build a Spectroscope' to "Math Explorer." Some experiments and their explanations may be more visual than others.
Units of Measurement
Americans probably use a greater variety of units of measurement than anyone else in the world. Caught in a slow-moving transition from customary to metric units, we employ a fascinating and sometimes frustrating mixture of units in talking about the same things. We measure the length of a race in meters, but the length of the long jump event in feet and inches. We speak of an engine's power in horsepower and its displacement in liters. In the same dispatch, we describe a hurricane's wind speed in knots and its central pressure in millibars. This dictionary, put together by Russ Rowlett, the Director of the Center for Mathematics and Science Education at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, will help you learn more about units of measurement.
The Vega Science Trust
The Vega Science Trust is an independent broadcaster of Informed Scientific Visual and Audio Media. Science programs include face to face interviews, interviews with Nobel Prize winners, Vega science classes, master classes, and much more.
The Why Files | The Science Behind the News
Hosted by The University of Wisconsin, this site attempts to explain the science behind the news. While some material is visual, there has been an effort to make the site as accessible as possible. As a result, it is of value to the visually impaired visitor. Updated twice monthly to reflect changes in the news.
Center for International Earth Science Information Network
"This is a great general source for Internet accessible information made available by the Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network, an entity established by Congress to study global environmental change. This includes information prepared by CIESIN and also links to other sources. The site, which will be most useful for the more advanced student or specialist, is searchable by keyword.
EurekAlert! - Science News
From agriculture to technology, this site, sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, provides science news from universities, journals, government agencies, and other research organizations; also features a calendar of science events.
Science Niche: Educational Resources for Science Teachers & Students
Targeted at the high-school student or teacher, this site includes sections on organic chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology,botany, zoology, physical sciences, earth sciences, medicine, and genetics as well as lesson plans, science experiments, and science news. While the portions of the site which are textual make it a worthwhile source, the visual nature of some areas detracts from its overall usefulness for the visually impaired visitor. Searchable.
NIH Office of Science Education
An outstanding resource for K-12 science teachers. Information is available on 41 different topic areas. The site features newsletters; lesson plans; online exhibits; access to other online resources; photos, images, and graphics; print materials; and slides; and supplamental curricula. Available in Spanish.
"ScienceDaily is one of the Internet's leading online magazines and Web portals devoted to science, technology, and medicine. The free, advertising-supported service brings you breaking news about the latest discoveries and hottest research projects in everything from astrophysics to zoology." You can read headlines or full articles on bio-medicine, earth and climate, computers and math, and the physical sciences. Free e-newsletter available.
Science News from AAAS
The American Association for the Advancement of Science presents this excellent up-to-the-minute site. You can find "All the latest science news, including daily news from ScienceNOW, science policy news from ScienceInsider, and weekly news from Science magazine."
Ocean Explorer from NOAA
"The NOAA Ocean Exploration program strives to engage broad audiences to enhance America’s environmental literacy through the excitement of ocean discovery. Increasing this literacy requires high-quality, effective collaborations between ocean explorers and America’s teachers. NOAA regularly forms such collaborations to reach out in new ways to the public to improve the literacy of learners with respect to ocean issues. The
"section contains links to hundreds of lesson plans written by teachers for teachers, lessons built around specific ocean exploration expeditions across the globe, multimedia packages on specific ocean science topics, the Learning Ocean Science through Ocean Exploration curriculum," [and more].
National Geographic News
"This is a daily news service produced by the popular magazine. Its focus is on the geographic aspects of world news, and it can for example on a particular day report on earthquake studies in Tokyo, large catfish in Thailand and the salvage of a ship on the Carolina coast that may just possibly be the last ship of the pirate Blackbeard."
Multi-disciplinary Science Sites
Some sites provide broad-based and thorough information on a number of scientific fields. The ones in this section are devoted to coverage of multiple areas of science.
The Internet Scout Report
This is one of the best sites for locating quality information on science, math, and engineering. Its team of professional librarians and content experts locate, research, and annotate resources for the reports. Their main goal is to provide academics, researchers, librarians, and the K-12 community with a fast, convenient way of staying informed of valuable online information without having them do sorting or searching themselves. Areas treated by each report include
which covers Biology, Zoology, Ecology, Botany, and other Life Science topics;
which covers Geology, Chemistry, Astronomy, Physics, and other Physical Science topics and;
Math, Engineering, and Technology
covering Industrial Engineering, Calculus, Algebra, Geometry, Civil Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Environmental Engineering, Computer Sciences, and related topics.
Resources for Teaching Physics
The title of this site is a bit misleading in that, although it deals with physics, it covers much of value to students and teachers of other areas of science as well. There is information on the scientific vocabulary, developing scientific reading and writing skills, the scientific method, scientific reasoning, organizing and evaluating scientific data, as well as games and techniques for improving scientific problem-solving. From The Secondary Education Department at The California State University, Northridge.
Free Online Course Materials | MIT OpenCourseWare
This site "is a large-scale, Web-based publication of the educational materials from the MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] faculty's courses." It provides course materials (such as lecture notes, reading lists, and problems sets) for
at present in dozens of academic disciplines ranging from aeronautics to women's studies. A number of the classes are available in
Audio and Video.
Searchable and browsable.
The Internet Public Library: Science and Technology
Agriculture, chemistry, earth science, engineering, environmental sciences, life sciences, paleontology, and physics are only some of the major divisions of this excellent site. All sources are annotated. The site is very accessible and exceptionally easy to navigate. Browsable and searchable.
The National Science Digital Library
The National Science Digital Library (NSDL) was created by the National Science Foundation to provide organized access to high quality resources and tools that support innovations in teaching and learning at all levels of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. NSDL is the Nation's free online library for education and research in Science. Of special interest are the pages devoted to
Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Materials are either searchable or browsable and grouped by grade level, discipline, resource or data type, or some other designation.
Magazine Articles on Science & Technology
Magazine articles on research, scientific thinking, and laboratories. Topics include biology & life sciences, chemistry, engineering, environment & geology, mathematics, the paranormal & hoaxes, physics, psychology, and space & astronomy.
NEWTON's Ask A Scientist archive
Sponsored by the Department of Energy, the site provides an archive of questions and answers through NEWTON's Ask A Scientist service for K-12 students and educators. The following subjects are represented: astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, computer, general science, engineering, environmental sciences, mathematics, molecular biology, physics, weather, and zoology.
This college, in Victoria, Australia, hosts this site to present and organize a large number of sources in the sciences. You will find links to information on general science, the history of science, astronomy/space, biology, chemistry, environmental science, forensic science, geology/paleontology, physics, or weather/meteorology - users are taken to web pages where lists of appropriate URL links are provided.
Science Update: Science Radio News
"Science Update is either a daily, 60-second or weekly 5-10-minute [audio] feature covering the latest discoveries in science, technology and medicine." Distributed on the radio and by podcast. Topics include brain size and IQ, preparing for a pandemic, the potential for life on Mars, a primitive ape-man, and much more. Archived back to 1996. From the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
The Encyclopedia of Earth
This online encyclopedia has the goal of providing one authoritative information source about the Earth, its environment, the creatures that live on it, and how people interact with and respond to all of the above. Articles are edited and maintained by experts in their respective fields, and they cover a diverse range of topics, usually related to ecological or environmental concerns. Maintained by the Environmental Information Coalition, a group of scientists and educators.
This site is "a free, publicly available web portal allowing access to numerous scientific journals and public science databases." Search for materials in the topics of astronomy, biology, chemistry, computers, environmental sciences, engineering, health and medicine, materials science, mathematics, physics, and social sciences. Also includes links to related sites. From a software company.
LiveScience | Science, Technology, Health & Environmental News
This bright, hip news site "chronicles the daily advances and innovations made in science and technology" with original stories and news feeds, images, and video clips. Topics include animals, health, technology, environment, "science of fiction," history, and strange news.
With this site, Scientific American brings its established tradition for excellent coverage of scientific news to the web. You can either search or browse major sections on energy, evolution, health, the mind and brain, space, technology, and more.
"Science.gov searches over 45 databases and over 2000 selected websites from 14 federal agencies, offering 200 million pages of authoritative U.S. government science information including research and development results." For researchers or more advanced students.
"Eric Weisstein's World of Science is written and maintained by the author as a public service for scientific knowledge and education. Although it is often difficult to find explanations for technical subjects that are both clear and accessible, this web site bridges the gap by placing an interlinked framework of mathematical exposition and illustrative examples at the fingertips of every internet user. Of special interest may be the sections of the site devoted to
as well as
Biology and Life Sciences
An interactive portal designed "to connect life sciences researchers with free, useful resources and other like-minded scientists from all around the world." Includes annotated links to news and life science Web sites, a glossary for zoology, a zoological thesaurus, a forum for biologists and scientists to discuss findings, and more. Searchable.
Genetics Home Reference: A Guide to Understanding Genetic Conditions
This National Library of Medicine site provides "consumer information about genetic conditions and the genes responsible for those conditions." A searchable and browsable directory includes FAQs and links to related resources about specific genes and conditions. The site also offers a basic explanation of how genes work; a glossary; and information about genetic testing, gene therapy, and the Human Genome
Genetic Science Learning Center
Hosted by the University of Utah, this site, while highly interactive and visual, provides sufficient textual material to be of use to either the visually impaired student or teacher. Searchable, browsable, and featuring podcasts.
Online Biology Resources
Featuring a newsletter, access to biology tools and materials, a glossary, and annotated links to excellent online biology resources for the student or teacher. Searchable.
Biology and science education resources for teachers and tutors
An outstanding list of numerous links to a variety of information on many aspects of biology. Specific information is also provided for the beginning biology teacher with links to inquiry-based learning, project-based learning, problem-based learning, cooperative learning, classroom management, and first-year teaching.
The Biology Project
Hosted by the University of Arizona, this site is intended for high-school and college undergraduates, although sections of it would be appropriate for more advanced learners. A Spanish version is available.
MedlinePlus: Medical Dictionary
Features an especially powerful search capacity to help the visitor locate those complicated medical terms. You can also find a medical encyclopedia as well as links to information on drugs, medical supplements, and medical news. Also available in Spanish.
These lessons for teaching biology to prospective elementary school teachers were developed in a biology course for senior Liberal Studies majors at San Diego State University. The lessons can readily be adapted by elementary-school teachers. They require simple materials.
This About.com site is an accessible place to locate information on anatomy, genetics, neurology, and more. The site provides a RSS feed, a newsletter, and links to previous articles.
This is an especially useful site since, with the exception of an occasional diagram, it is text based. Some of the topics covered include plants, the origins of life, human physiology and neurology, developmental biology, regulation of biological systems, genetics and evolution, and cell biology. Visitors have rated the site’s content high.
Resources for Microbiology Educators
Associate Professor Thomas M. Terry, Department of Molecular & Cell Biology of the University of Connecticut, hosts this site and says, "This page includes links to some courses I've taught using the Web, as well as links to documents and other resources that may help you with your own design of Web materials. I invite you to borrow freely whatever you can use." While a good deal of the materials for the courses here, Fundamentals of Microbiology and General Biology, are highly visual, there is still a good deal that is useful to the visually impaired student or teacher.
An excellent, detailed list of annotated links on microbiology resources specifically designed for classroom teachers.
The National Biological Informational Infrastructure
The National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) is a broad, collaborative program to provide increased access to data and information on the nation's biological resources. The NBII links diverse, high-quality biological databases, information products, and analytical tools maintained by NBII partners and other contributors in government agencies, academic institutions, non-government organizations, and private industry. Major sections of the site are devoted to
Plants, Animals, and Other Organisms
Oral History of Human Genetics Project
This project is an interdisciplinary and multi-institutional collaboration dedicated to the documentation and preservation of the history of human genetics. The hosts of this site are designing a resource that will allow researchers now and in the future to gain new insights into history of human genetics as it developed in the second half of the twentieth century. At the core of this archive are oral histories with clinicians, scientists, theorists, ethicists, and legal experts that have been transcribed, annotated, and supplemented in an on-line searchable database accessible to researchers interested in the development of the filed of human genetics. This ongoing project is a collaboration between historians of science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Johns Hopkins University.
Companion to a 2007 university course on brain-based education, "a comprehensive approach to instruction using current research from neuroscience." Includes an overview covering history and design principles arising from brain-based research, suggestions for using brain-based education in the classroom (such as stress reduction, chunking information, and right and left hemisphere activities), bibliography, and links to related sites. From a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Insects at the Smithsonian
This is a starting place for locating the Smithsonian Institution's projects and content on insects, including exhibits, fact sheets, research, and classroom guides. Includes links to pages on mosquitoes and cicadas.
Teachers' Domain: Polar Sciences Collection
Earth's polar regions may seem remote, but they are an integral part of the entire Earth system. For example, pollution from other areas affects Arctic and Antarctic ecosystems, and changes in the icy landscapes of the polar regions may influence global ocean circulation patterns and accelerate climate
Explore the polar regions, the changes they are experiencing, and their connections to the rest of the world. Contains material specifically designed for teachers on the atmosphere, oceans, people, ice, and land of the polar regions.
Insects at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park
The insect class comprises the most diverse group of animals on the earth and constitutes more than half of all described animal species. Although the site includes numerous images and visuals, there are enough links to related articles and textual information to make it useful to anyone. You will find fact sheets on praying mantids, Hercules beetles, insect farmers, communication, camouflage and mimicry, and much more.
Cornell Lab of Ornathology
"The world's largest archive of animal sounds and video," with thousands of sounds of the world's birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, insects and spiders, and mammals. Searchable by common or scientific name, location, recording date, and other items. Some features require free software downloads.
Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Here you can find information on animal habitats, information on specific species, watch and listen to your favorite animals, and much more. The site includes sections on
The website for a 2005-2006 American Museum of Natural History exhibit about evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin. It features essays about Darwin's life as a naturalist, his theories about evolution and natural selection, as well as audio clips. Although the site features flash, images, videos, and a webcam of the Galapagos tortoise exhibit at the museum, there is still much of value to the blind visitor. Also includes an educator's guide and links to related websites. Organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York, in collaboration with the Museum of Science, Boston; The Field Museum, Chicago; the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada; and the Natural History Museum, London, England.
The Human Genome Project
"Completed in 2003, the Human Genome Project (HGP) was a 13-year project coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health." This site provides background and updates on the project (data analysis is ongoing). Topics include medical and genetic implications, and ethical, legal, and social issues. Also includes material for teachers and students. From the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, Human Genome Program.
The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online
This site contains Charles Darwin's "complete publications and many of his handwritten manuscripts. There are over 50,000 searchable text pages and 40,000 images." Searchable, or browse by publication to view text or digitized images (or both, in some cases) of the publications. Much, if not all, of this material will be inaccessible to the visually impaired reader. However, the bibliography, a manuscript catalog, a biography, and audio files of his works may be quite useful. From the University of Cambridge (UK).
Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries
Companion website to a 2006-2007 exhibit that presents "some of the most recent dino discoveries in the fields of paleontology, biomechanical engineering, and paleobotany." Features a field guide to dinosaurs, audio and video clips, dinosaur trivia, and essays about topics such as the Liaoning Forest in China, dinosaur biomechanics, and mass extinctions. Includes classroom materials. From the California Academy of Sciences.
Secrets of the Sexes
Companion to a 2005 BBC television series about gender differences that considered the question, "Are men and women's brains wired differently?" Features the "Sex ID test, a series of visual challenges and questions used by psychologists" in the television series, and articles on topics such as empathizing, handedness, and facial attractiveness. From the British Broadcasting Corporation.
This 2006 documentary looks at the concept of intelligent design, "which argues certain aspects of the natural world are so complex they must have been the work of a designer." The companion website features articles on intelligent design in the classroom and religion in schools, interviews, audio and transcript of the program, and related links and readings on evolution and creationism. From American RadioWorks.
How Stem Cells Work
" . . . before scientists can use stem cells for medical purposes, they must first learn how to harness their power. In this HowStuffWorks article looks at stem cells, find out how they work, discover their potential to treat disease and get inside the fierce debate surrounding their research and use.
DNA from the Beginning: An animated primer of 75 experiments that made modern genetics
Since much of the topic of genetics itself is inevitably visual, so too is the site. "DNA from the Beginning is organized around key concepts. The science behind each concept is explained by: animation, image gallery, video interviews, problem, biographies, and links. An animated primer on the basics of DNA, genes, and heredity . . ." is provided.
Race: Are We So Different
"Looking through the eyes of history, science and lived experience, the RACE Project explains differences among people and reveals the reality - and unreality - of race. The story of race is complex and may challenge how we think about race and human variation, about the differences and similarities among people." Contains links especially for
Kids 10 to 13
Resources for Researchers.
From the American Anthropological Association.
Human Body and Mind
"This BBC site in their Science and Nature series, features resources on the human body and mind with topics ranging from organs and muscles to psychological tests and mental disorders." Primary sections of the site include the body, the mind, brain sex, and sleep. Contains a
version of the site.
How Your Heart Works
Although this site is crammed with advertising that can be more than a little annoying and is especially "busy" for a screen-reader to navigate, it does offer excellent information that makes it worth the effort to struggle past the distractions. Written by doctors, you will find readable sections on chambers and valves, blood flow, the body's electrical system, blood supply, and heart disease and heart attacks. From Discovery Health.
Encyclopedia of Life
"The Encyclopedia of Life is an ambitious project to organize and make available via the Internet virtually all information about life present on Earth. At its heart lies a series of Web sites - one for each of the approximately 1.8 million known species." The search capacity is quite useable, but, because of the exceptionally large number of species cataloged on the site, having a scientific name or a very specific description of the search item will help greatly.
BBC Science and Nature
This portion of the excellent British Broadcasting Corporation site is devoted to science and contains some of its best television and radio programs on the subject. A number of the divisions of the site may be of interest to the visitor including
A number of the links include videos but still have so much information of value they are worth a visit:
The Human Heart
"An online exploration from The Franklin Institute. Explore the heart. Discover the complexities of its development and structure. Follow the blood through the blood vessels. Wander through the weblike body systems. Learn how to have a healthy heart and how to monitor your heart's health. Look back at the history of heart science."
Oceanography: From Krill to Whales
An excellent introductory site for the study of oceanography. Provides a good overview of the study of the field. You will also find an excellent collection of links to information on deep sea life, deep sea biology, ocean currents and tides, coral reefs, sea creatures, krill, jellyfish, mammals, whales, projects for kids, and much more.
Learning about Bodies of Water
Probably more appropriate for students beginning to study the topic, this page provides a general overview of the subject with links to more specific pages with information on individual lakes, seas, oceans, and more.
Chemistry Teaching Websites
"This website is designed to help chemistry teachers find useful information on the internet." The web master says that "This is not even the tip of the iceberg; there is much more information available, it is just a matter of finding it." In addition to links to material on measurement, lab safety, useful search engines, etc., sections of the site are specifically devoted to high-school and college teaching. There is also much here for the chemistry student.
American Chemical Society
Includes pages for chemistry professionals, educators, students at all levels, policy makers, and enthusiasts. Provides access to dozens of the print publications of the American Chemical Society, chemistry news, job listings, lesson plans, the "Molecule of the Week," an interactive periodic table, and more. Searchable. Although the site contains excellent material, some sections are only accessed with great difficulty and others may not be accessible at all.
Periodic table of the Elements
This is not only an excellent way for the visually impaired student or teacher to access the periodic table of elements but also a good source of additional information about chemistry. Elements are not only listed but the site contains additional descriptive information about each element. Searchable.
Taking a Closer Look at Molecular Modeling
A comprehensive page on molecular modeling with in-depth, informative links. An unusually large amount of the site is devoted to textual descriptions, and so it is especially appropriate for the visually-impaired visitor. Major sections of the site include: formal charges of ions, resonance structures, valence shell electron repulsion theory, bond and molecular polarity, and intermolecular forces.
Chemistry - Periodic Table, Chemistry Projects, and Chemistry Homework Help
You will find a glossary as well as links to information on general chemistry, tests and quizzes, chemistry problems, homework help, chemistry for kids, everyday chemistry, and, of special interest, a
which is browsable, searchable, and very accessible as is most of the site.
It's Elemental - The Element Polonium
Background about the radioactive element polonium, which was "discovered by Marie Sklodowska Curie, a Polish chemist, in 1898. She obtained polonium from pitchblende, a material that contains uranium." Includes a brief description of uses, facts and figures, and other details. Includes a link to teacher resources. From the Jefferson Lab, Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility.
While this page, devoted to synthetic polymers, represents only part of this excellent site, it is probably the most accessible portal to the
Chemical Heritage Foundation
site. You will find featured sections on chemistry in history, early history, electrochemistry, atomic and nuclear structure, molecular structure and bonding, petrochemistry, and synthetic chemistry and polymers.
Chemical Resources of the Environmental Health & Toxicology Information Program
Hundreds of thousands of chemicals, plus "synonyms, structures, regulatory list information, and links to other databases." The "ChemIDplus Lite" feature allows searching by chemical name or registry number; with "ChemIDplus Advanced," users "search and display . . . registry number, chemical name, molecular formula, structure, physical and toxicological properties plus locator and classification data." Also includes links to additional databases and resources. From the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH).
"The ChemCollective is a collection of virtual labs, scenario-based learning activities, tutorials, and concept tests. Teachers can use [the] content for pre-labs, for alternatives to textbook homework, and for in-class activities for individuals or teams. Students can review and learn chemistry concepts using [the] virtual labs, simulations, and tutorials. The ChemCollective is organized by a group of faculty and staff at Carnegie Mellon . . .. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Department of Education."
Physics and Astronomy
Examines the solar system and NASA explorations in it. Learn
about how the solar system formed, what we know about Mars,
and the likelihood of earth colliding with an asteroid or
comet. From The National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
explores questions that include: How do galaxies and stars
form? What powered the Big Bang? What is dark energy and how
is it pulling the universe apart? Is the universe expanding?
What happens at the edge of a black hole? Is there life beyond
earth? While the topics covered can be highly visual, the text makes the site valuable. From The National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Physics and Astronomy Education
This is a comprehensive physics and astronomy online education, research and reference web site. In addition to providing high-quality content, it is a meeting place for professionals, students and other curious minds. This page is focused on education with material more geared to students than some other portions of the site.
Pedagogical Resources on the Web for Teaching Physics: Physics Education Resources
More appropriate for the more advanced high-school student or college student, the site, nonetheless, provides an excellent list of curricula, lesson plans, problems, software for teaching physics, and other resources. From the University of Maryland Physics Education Research Group.
Physics and Astronomy Links
The PhysLink.com is a comprehensive physics and astronomy online education, research and reference web site. In addition to providing high-quality content, PhysLink.com is a meeting place for professionals, students and other curious minds. Of special interest for younger students are likely to be the link to the "fun store" and "ask an expert." While the site could certainly be more screen-reader friendly, its high quality makes it worth the additional effort.
Large Hadron Collider: The Discovery Machine
This in-depth feature from January 2008 explores the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which "will accelerate bunches of protons to the highest energies ever generated by a machine, colliding them head-on 30 million times a second, with each collision spewing out thousands of particles at nearly the speed of light." Features an article about the project, fast facts and curiosities, and related articles about particle physics and particle accelerators. From Scientific American.
The Deep Space Network
"The NASA Deep Space Network - or DSN - is an international network of antennas that supports interplanetary spacecraft missions and radio and radar astronomy observations for the exploration of the solar system and the universe. The network also supports selected Earth-orbiting missions." The site provides information on the DSN as its research relates to the
and the underlying
Science and Technology.
behind the DSN. For advanced students.
Einstein's Big Idea: The Theory of Relativity
Companion website to a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Nova program about "the story behind the world's most famous equation": energy equals mass times the speed of light squared (E = mc˛). The site features an essay explaining this 1905 equation that "says that energy and mass (matter) are interchangeable," information about scientists whose experiments paved the way for Albert Einstein, an audio clip of Einstein explaining the equation, links to related sites, materials for library activities, and much more.
What Makes a Planet
Brief introduction for the layperson about the definition of what is a planet and about the 2006 controversy about whether Pluto is a planet. This site notes "there are many things that make Pluto quite different from the [other eight] planets," so that it is "very hard to classify Pluto with the rest of the major planets." From a professor in the Department of Astronomy at Cornell University.
At Home Astronomy Experiments
While, like most of astronomy, the topics on this site are highly visual and not likely to be of use to most visually impaired visitors, the creativity of the site is so unusual that it merits mention here. It provides a collection of illustrated instructions for science experiments related to astronomy. Topics include understanding shadows, verifying the size and location of the sun, building a model lunar settlement, demonstrating the principles of rocketry, and making an astrolabe and model of the solar system. Includes links to related sites. From the Center for Science Education, Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley.
The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
While much on this site is inevitably visual, there is still a great deal of value to the visitor, whether totally blind or visually impaired. Of special interest are the pages on
The Solar System
Stars and Galaxies
Questions and answers about this "term used to describe the mass in galaxies and clusters whose existence we infer from rotation curves and other techniques, but which has not been confirmed by observations on any electromagnetic wavelength." Topics include black holes, parallel universes, gravity, and more. Includes the related essay, "Dark Matter Mystery." From the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
The Astrobiology Web
This site is hosted by a private, for-profit company. Its "web sites are designed to allow both the novice and specialist alike to explore outer space and Earth observation." Includes links to other specialized sites of the company.
Another site from NASA, this is an excellent resource on astronomy in general and space exploration in particular. There are sections on planets, astrophysics (the "big bang," "dark energy," stars, galaxies, and "black holes"), atmospheric composition, weather, carbon cycle, weather variability, and much more.
Climate and Weather
This page of
How Stuff Works
work. Much of the site is visual, and some parts are a struggle for a screen-reader user; however, the information is authoritative and the accompanying links offer additional useful resources.
National Climatic Data Center: Climatic Extremes and Weather Events
Authoritative information on tornados, hurricanes, extreme temperatures, droughts, and heavy percipitation in the United States as well as information about global warming. You can also locate information about world weather, weather disasters, and more. NCDC provides the world's largest active archive of weather information.
"This site by the U.S. Geological Survey presents an assortment of interesting facts about earthquakes." Accessible and searchable.
" . . . of all the destructive powers in our world, none . . . [have the destructive force of] tornadoes. These storms descend like a dagger from the clouds. They tower over the tallest buildings like titans. And when they lash out at their surroundings, they often seem to act with malicious, mindful intent." This How Stuff Works site, although cluttered with the inevitable advertising, provides the visitor a good understanding of the phenomenon. You may also be interested in a fascinating program on tornados from the
JetStream: An Online School for Weather
"JetStream, [is] the National Weather Service's Online Weather School. This site is designed to help educators, emergency managers, or anyone interested in learning about weather and weather safety. The information contained in JetStream is arranged by subject; beginning with global and large scale weather patterns followed by lessons on air masses, wind patterns, cloud formations, thunderstorms, lightning, hail, damaging winds, tornados, tropical storms, cyclones and flooding. Interspersed in JetStream are
which can be used to enhance the educational exterience.
"Questions and answers about global warming from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Questions include: is global warming happening, is the sea level rising, definitions of the greenhouse effect, the relationship of El Ninos and global warming, and sources for more information."
Climate Debate Daily
"Climate Debate Daily is intended to deepen our understanding of disputes over climate change and the human contribution to it. The site links to scientific articles, news stories, economic studies, polemics, historical articles, PR releases, editorials, feature commentaries, and blog entries." The strength of the site is the massive and varied amount of material available. The disadvantage, which is only an annoyance, is that, with over a thousand links on the home page, the visitor may be overwhelmed and find it necessary to slog through a great deal of stuff to locate what she/he is interested in.
The Discovery of Global Warming: A History
Expansion of a 2003 book that "tells the history of climate change research as a single connected narrative." Topics include influences on climate (such as the greenhouse effect and aerosols), models of climate change, climate modification schemes (such as rainmaking), and social relationships and climate changes. Also includes a timeline through the 1970s and bibliography. From the director of the Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics.
Because understanding mathematical calculations is an integral part of more advanced science, you may want to visit our pages on
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