Archives for category: Education

As you gear up for the current school year, you may find some of these materials useful.

This material is provided by NSTA for your use in the classroom and may be given to students at the beginning of the school year to help them understand their role in ensuring a safe and productive science experience.

 “Safety in the Science Classroom”

 A Baker’s Dozen Safety Rules (Plus 1)

 Education Bureau of the Hong Kong special administrative region  –materials for all ages

Chemical Management  Resource Guide for School Administrators (EPA)

Suggested Activities for Laboratory Safety for Middle / Secondary 

Laboratory Safety 


At the start of a new academic year, many teachers  look for decorative and informative posters for  the classroom.  Here are  a few suggestions.

American Physical Society

“Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Take Physics”

“Celebrate Women in Physics”

“Accelerate Your Mind”


“Minorities in Physics”

Tassia Owen, Public Outreach Specialist for APS,  will send posters to those who email her at physicscentral  To preview the posters go to:

Physics teacher Tony  Mangiacapre offers these resources for beginning the year (includes free physics clip art):

Physics teacher Brendan Noon offers this wisdom: When it comes to getting free posters, all you need to do is think about what images you want depicted and which government agency might be responsible for this information. Once you’ve determined that send an email telling them that you are  a poor educator looking to inspire students about that agencies purpose!

OSA Posters: 


Fermilab has some free posters:

These posters are not free, but have a modest price tag.

Looking for astrophysics posters try JPL:

Metric (SI) Resources are available for educators and children. These resources enrich the classroom curriculum and reinforce student learning. Links on this “Everyday Life” resource connect you to free and inexpensive materials suitable for different age groups. Contact:


or  NOAA

There are some freely available newsletters that are very rich resources.  Today I want to introduce you to (or remind you about) the Teachers Clearinghouse for Science and Society Education Newsletter.  The editor of this newsletter, Dr. John L. Roeder, teaches at the Calhoun School in NY City.  Dr. Roeder is a recipient of the Excellence in Pre-College Physics Teaching Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers. He is very active in the field of education.  Dr. Roeder generously summarizes conferences that he attends. He also provides annotated bibliographies in the newsletter feature “Recommended Science and society Educational Resources”.  If you are looking for good resources for teaching about societal issues, I suggest looking at that feature as well as “Reviews of Science and Society Educational Resouces.”

The newsletter is freely available on the web, or one can subscribe to the hard copy for a very modest fee.

Several televsion stations have developed science portals. The portals have information for both faculty and students. Here are some examples.

KNME developed a Science Central web portal that promotes all KNME Science Central events and outreach activities.

WGBH Boston

 BBC Schools

Public TV Canada

2009 has been declared the International Year of Astronomy. Keep checking the page listed, as I am sure the resources section will continute to grow.

If you are looking for lesson plans to help celebrate the Year of Astronomy, NASA has a nice collection of materials broken down by grade level.

The Galileo Project also has some nice resources.

intute, a collaborative effort of over 60 institutes of higher learning, the British Library and the British Museum also has some interesting resources.

ThinkQuest is also worth a look.

Kathy Schrock has a list of astronomy links on her page.

Fred Stoss’ “An Astronomical Childrens’ Reader”

Concept maps are often useful for faculty as well as students.  The National Science Digital Library has quite a collection of concept maps.  For example, the NSDL Science Literacy Maps cover topics like stars, chemical reactions, and social decisions.  For details, go to:

There is a recent article in Science Scope written for middle schoolers.

“Teacher’s Toolkit: Linking proportionality across the science and mathematics curricula through science literacy maps ” Kerri Richardson, Catherine Matthews, Catherine Thompson. Science Scope. Washington: Nov 2008. Vol. 32, Iss. 3; p. 64 (7 pages)

There are also some sources for mapping the concepts within a discipline.  hyperphysics has been around for while, and it has now expanded to include concept maps for biology, chemistry, and mathematics.  I use them when I am not quite sure where a concept fits into the big picture.

Occasionally one finds a few minutes that need to be filled with a fun activity or an activity designed to stimulate discussion. Here are a few places to look for that sort of material.

teachertube.comNSDL Annotation I especially like the Brain Teaser series.

The Ford/MIT Nobel Laureate Lecture Series  One example is “Defining the Boundaries: Homeland Security and Its Impact on Scientific Research”.

The National Academy of Sciences offers interviews with 10 female scientists.  Women’s Adventures in Science

 The Space Weather Center offers the Magneto Mini Golf game.

 Television offers some web sites that are fun and informative.  The Science of James Bond from the BBC, for example.

The Research Channel at Virginia Tech offers audio and/or video lectures on a variety of topics.