Web-Based Science Networks

Water What-ifs

Water What-ifs is a Web site for encouraging inquiry investigations of water quality in North Carolina and Delaware. Students engage in water quality testing to monitor specific parameters in local sources of water. Data is collected and analyzed to compare the ecological health of different bodies of water in these two states.

One Sky, Many Voices

The mission of the One Sky, Many Voices Project is to create innovative, inquiry-based K-12 weather curricula that utilize current technologies such as CD-ROMs and the World Wide Web for the interactive study of current weather and air quality. Students, teachers, parents and scientists can participate from classrooms, homes, or other educational settings. Four-week and eight-week programs centered around environmental science themes are featured at this Web site. Programs run during set time periods so that individuals worldwide can coordinate their learning with many other participants.

Estuary-Net Project

Estuary-Net is an excellent Web site for teachers to use guided inquiry learning activities in their classroom. Estuary-Net was developed by the National Estuarine Research Reserve System in response to water quality issues arising in coastal areas. This project strives to develop collaborations among high schools, community volunteer water quality monitoring groups, local officials, state Coastal Zone Management (CZM) programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRS) to solve non-point source pollution problems in estuaries and their watersheds. This Web site provides comprehensive information about characteristics of estuaries, estuarine ecology, water quality monitoring, and quality assurance, quality control, and standard operating procedures of a water quality monitoring program.

This Web site provides many classroom activities from the Estuary-Net curriculum. The classroom activities are divided into three levels in order to provide various degrees of involvement in the subject, ranging from lab experiments to single field experiences to long-term monitoring. The benefit of this scaffolding is that schools which do not have easy access to watershed areas can still participate in the Estuary-Net activities by engaging in hands-on/minds-on laboratory activities. All Estuary-Net activities contain objectives, assessments, time needed, materials, procedures, and hypotheses.

WhaleNet is a collaborative project of the biology departments at Wheelock College and Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. It is an educational site devoted to whales, whale research, the marine habitat and environment studies. Students are encouraged to use telecommunications tools to ask researchers questions on-line in the "Ask a scientist" area. The Satellite Tagging Observation Program (STOP) electronically tracks whales to study their movements and migrations. STOP includes data and observations including satellite tracking maps. Teachers are able to download a variety of tracking maps for use in their classrooms. Curricular lesson plans are included to guide the study of the range of whale movement during their migrations. WhaleNet also contains an area of curricular activities which provide ideas on how to use the WhaleNet data and information for a variety of topics including navigation, water testing, plankton tow and analysis, data collection, photo identification of whales, bathymetry, topographic models of the ocean bottom marine pollution and data analysis.

NASA's Quest Projects
These projects, which are also called Sharing NASA , allow students to share in the excitement of NASA's authentic scientific and engineering pursuits like flying the shuttle and International Space Station, exploring distant planets with amazing spacecraft, and aeronautics/airplane research. In these project students engage in scientific content and process with NASA scientists. Discourse is facilitated with online chats, e-mail Q&A and live audio/video programs.

The Albatross Project
This project uses sensitive satellites in space, miniature transmitters on birds, and rapid e-mail communications to investigate the travels of albatross on the open ocean.

EnviroNet at Simmons College
EnvironNet contains many scientific monitoring projects that students can participate in. All projects involve hands-on science activities which include data analysis and synthesis.

Roadkill Project
The Roadkill Project is designed to involve students and teachers with scientific monitoring and telecommunications and to increase participant awareness of motor vehicle hazards with wildlife. This site is guaranteed to bring about stimulating discussion in your classroom.

Biological Timing Online Science Experiment
Using the Internet, you can participate in a real science experiment conducted at the Center for Biological Timing. View live images and actual experiment results, analyze real-time data, form hypotheses, suggest variables for new experiments, and share conclusions with other scientists from all over the world. Two experiments, one designed for middle school students and one for K-4 students are provided.

Classroom BirdWatch
The Classroom BirdWatch program,enhances student observation skills, supports core science content and process skills objectives, promotes creativity, and lends itself to student inquiry opportunities. Students collect bird data and can access an interactive bird research database. Students publish their findings, ideas and artwork in a national newsletter, Classroom Birdscope.

The JASON Project
The JASON Project uses telecommunications technologies called telepresence to transport millions of students to the expedition research sites live via satellite. Telepresence allows students at Primary Interactive Network Sites (PINS) throughout the United States, Bermuda, the United Kingdom and Mexico to watch the expedition live, interact with scientists and control live-feed video cameras. Video, audio and data signals originate from the simultaneous live broadcasts. The broadcasts are then downlinked to the primary sites, all in less than half a second. A multi-disciplinary curriculum is distributed to all JASON Project-participating teachers early in the school year to ensure students are well-versed in the scientific principles they'll encounter during the live broadcasts. As part of the curriculum, students are encouraged to perform a variety of local field investigations using the same scientific methods employed by scientists at the expedition sites.

The GLOBE Program
The GLOBE (Global learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) Program is a world-wide network of students, teachers and scientists engaged in a tele-collaboration project to do meaningful real-life science. In the GLOBE Program,students make environmental observations and report their data findings on the Internet. Scientists use the students' data to formulate atmospheric models, then provide feedback to the students. The measurements conducted by the students include air temperature, cloud observations, precipitation, surface water temperature and pH, soil moisture, biometrics, land cover assessment and species identification. Students also share findings and communicate with other students using e-mail from the web site. GLOBE includes excellent descriptions of equipment and procedures for data acquisition and a user-friendly searchable data archive. The unique aspect of the GLOBE Program is that students are interactive partners with scientists.

SC Butterfly Project
This project tracks butterflies with student-gathered data in South Carolina.

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