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WICKED Science Interactives

What it is: I found WICKED Science interactive through a tweet from my friend @kathleen_morris.  WICKED Science interactives help students understand the earth- what it looks like, what it is made of, and how it works.  Students can explore the earth’s surface, examine features of the earth’s crust, explore the rock cycle, discover what the earth is made of in a lab, learn about heat and pressure, and look at different descriptions of the earth. How to integrate the WICKED Science Interactives into the classroom: I like that these interactives invite students to explore and question.  They don’t offer all of the answers and lead students mindlessly through a predetermined solution, but instead give students just enough information to ask more questions.  Students observe and interact with the activities and have opportunities to think and problem solve their way to learning.  For this reason, WICKED interactives would make a great introductory learning activity.  Students can begin inquiring about the earth during the interactive and follow-up by digging into the concepts deeper elsewhere.  These interactives would be great for whole class use on a projector-connected computer or interactive whiteboard or for small-group/partner use on classroom computers.  Each interactive gives students more information about the earth and invites further investigation. Tips: WICKED Science Interactives requires the Shockwave plugin to view the interactives.  The plugin can be downloaded from the site if needed. Please leave a comment and share how you are using the WICKED Science Interactives in your classroom!

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ESA Kids

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 02-04-2010

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What it is: The European Space Agency (ESA) has a great website for kids.  ESA Kids has fabulous, kid friendly information about the Universe (the story of the Universe, the sun, the planets and moons, the galaxies, comets and meteors), Life in Space (astronauts, space stations, life in space, exploration, are we alone?), Lift Off (launchers, orbits, mission control, spacecraft, new ways to space), Useful Space (TV and phone, know where you are, space spin-offs, weather, health), and Earth (climate change, natural disasters, protecting nature, water world).  This site is absolutely packed full of information and awesome images.  Students can “work in a lab” where they can build papercraft globes and spacecraft, try reading space maps, and learn fun space facts.  Students will also enjoy the space themed games and puzzles, online coloring book, quizzes, and downloads.  Each month, a new story about space is added to the News section, keeping students up to date about what is happening in space exploration.  

How to integrate ESA Kids into the classroom: When I am hunting for space related websites, I usually begin with NASA.  ESA Kids is being added to my must visit places for all things space.  The site is organized well, very kid friendly, and has fun activities that students can take part in.  Use ESA Kids for space research, when learning about the weather, climate change, and natural disasters.  After students have some background knowledge about space and space exploration, have them visit the Lab and choose a papercraft spacecraft to print and build.  Students can write a story about their spacecraft, including facts that they learned on the ESA Kids website.  They may even write a fictional story about their visit to space that includes factual elements that they learned in the Life in Space section.    Be sure to visit the Useful Space tab, I think students will be surprised at how many common items are linked to space and space exploration.

Tips: Be sure to visit this site often, the news is updated every month with current space events.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using ESA Kids in your classroom.

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