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Web Adventures: Explore Science

What it is:  Web Adventures-Explore Science is a site by Rice University.  Web Adventures lets students explore science-one game at a time.  Each adventure has a section dedicated to students and a section dedicated to teachers who are using the adventures in the classroom.  In the Cool Science Careers section, students can experience what it means to take on science as a career.  They can go through Profession Pathfinder to see which science careers best match their personality based on their answers to career interest questions.  Students can select from five different science career fields to virtually try out activities that are typical for the career.  With Zoom In, students can learn about different science jobs and read interviews with real scientists.  In the CSI: Experience, students learn all about what it takes to be a forensic scientist.  There are four cases that students can work to solve.  As they solve the crimes, they will learn about forensic biology, ballistics, toxicology, medical examination, fingerprint analysis, digital forensics, fire investigation, and facial reconstruction.  In the MedMyst section, students will use the scientific method and scientific process to investigate infectious disease outbreaks.  Students can work with the N-Squad forensic scientists to solve an alcohol related crime.  Throughout the game, students learn what alcohol does to the digestive, circulatory and nervous systems.  In the Reconstructors series of games, students can learn about the health effects of drug abuse while learning neuroscience. These games are really entertaining while giving students information and understanding of science in body systems, drugs, environmental science, forensic science, infectious diseases, science careers, and the scientific method. How to integrate Web Adventures: Explore Science into the classroom: This is a fun find.  Web Adventures Explore Science, helps students explore science in a new way.  I like that the focus of the site isn’t just to deliver information.  The mission is really to engage students in science and reveal how science is used in a variety of careers to solve problems.  The games drop students into the middle of a mystery, their job is to help solve crimes, discover answers and connect the dots. This is a fun site for middle and high school students to explore.  It can be used to introduce a new scientific discipline or topic, to help students dig deeper in the learning and skills they are getting in science class, or to help them discover what it means to be a scientist.  The games are best in a computer lab or 1 to 1 environment where students have access to a computer for an extended amount of time.  They aren’t really short enough to be a center on classroom computers.  A whole class could explore and solve together using a projector-connected computer or interactive whiteboard.  While not ideal, it would allow them to pick up the benefits of the adventures. At Anastasis, we started “crave” classes.  These are classes that we offer every Wednesday afternoon.  Students are given a catalog of classes at the beginning of a 5 week block.  They get to choose which class they would like to enroll in for the 5 week period based on what they are “craving.”  Our teachers choose an area of passion to teach.  @bestmscott is currently holding a forensic science class for her crave.  The kids are LOVING it!  After learning about some forensic science, they set out to solve some mysteries.  I have a feeling they would geek out over the CSI adventure on Web Adventures Explore Science.  Today the kids were creating their very own mysteries that needed forensic science to be solved.  I was teaching my own class so I didn’t get to see how the whole lesson fleshed out.  What I do know: kids were taking my finger print, asking me to pop balloons covertly, and creating a list of suspects.  Their classmates will have the job of using the forensic clues to solve the mystery.  SO stinking cool.  Our students are the best.  Our teachers are out of this world.  I have to brag on them! Tips: Web Adventures has a new iPad app called NeuroKnowledge that quizzes students on scientific understanding.  The app is free in the app store. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Web Adventures: Explore Science in  your classroom!

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Edublog 2010 Award Winners

Posted by admin | Posted in Friday Recap, Teacher Resources | Posted on 17-12-2010

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The Edublog 2010 awards were held this week. Alas, I didn’t bring home any Eddies this year but I wanted to point you all to the winners (all wonderful additions to your Google Reader).  Congratulations to all who won!  Don’t forget to check out the original list of nominees (also wonderful additions to your Reader).

To all who nominated and voted for me, thank you so much for your support and encouragement- you all make me feel like a winner every day and I appreciate that!

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