In tough budget times, teachers need to be more resourceful than ever in finding free internet-related resources for lesson planning. Providing the latest in technology related information for today’s educators, eSchoolNews has identified 10 great sites for free teacher resources. Among these favorites are two from PBS: PBS Teachers, a rich resource that includes ideas for lesson plans and connections to other teachers, and Teachers’ Domain with free digital media, materials related to state and Common Core Standards, and lesson-sharing opportunities.
Among other favorites, The Library of Congress’ “For Teachers” is aligned to state standards with access to primary source sets for subjects like US presidents, short history and science facts/activities for starting class, and even themed lesson plans on many subjects. Curriki provides methods of sharing curriculum development and other educational resources, including a place to post teaching ideas that can be downloaded, reformatted and reshared.
With hundreds of publications and websites indexed, the NASA for Educators page allows teachers to search for classroom resources and includes articles about NASA missions, wide-ranging image galleries and multimedia materials, and NASA career and scholarship opportunities. You’ll find a description of all top ten sites and their links, at eSchoolNews .
On March 29th, a small group of 6th grade students from Springfield and Holyoke Public Schools will be visiting the campus of Springfield Technical Community College for a live conversation with astronauts on the international space station. This is part of a NASA program to connect students with the space station, its people, and the science being done there. As part of this event, NASA is interested in involving as many students as possible across the region.
If you’d like to involve your students, please log on to the download link site for more information. STCC has included an educational guide, based on the standards, with activities related to space science, links to NASA TV for viewing the downlink between students and astronauts as it happens, and will also be posting video highlights of the event afterwards.
Given the tight scheduling of Space Station activities the March 29th date was determined by NASA, and we realize it is a short timeline. The video can be viewed at anytime however, and the materials in the guide integrated in any way and at any time that works for your classroom, and so they are not driven by the actual date of the event.
Giving students topics debated by scientists today can be a great way to create active, inquiry-based learning environments with authentic, real-world context. A new feature in Nova Teachers, “Lesson Ideas,” mines Nova’s vast library to bring educators a robust selection of interactives, video clips, and lesson plans they can use to make science come alive for students.
As an example, The Pluto Files provides a sampling of some of the media-rich lesson ideas that explore the rise and fall of America’s favorite planet with students:
- The Pluto Files: an 11-minute video looks at how the demotion of Pluto came about and the reasons behind it from Neil deGrasse Tyson, the scientist who led the charge
- Hate Mail from 3rd Graders: a slideshow reveals how outraged but kids feel about Pluto being demoted from the planets of the Solar System
- In Defense of Pluto: an audio interview of Plutophile and planetary scientist Alan Stern, who argues why Pluto still deserves planet status
A full Nova program is available after broadcast each week; as a compliment, the programs are delivered with a new collection of lesson ideas centered on a different topic area. Nova’s Media-Rich Lesson Ideas site provides easy access to a vast array of topics such as history, space, exploration and more.
This note comes to WGBY thanks to our friend Mort Sternheim at UMASS in his STEM Ed announcements:
In the summer of 2011, Teachers in Space will offer a series of one-week professional-development workshops for high-school-level science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) teachers. Developed in cooperation with NASA, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and other partners, these workshops will provide teachers with an exciting look into the new world of commercial human spaceflight and suborbital science.
Anyone who teaches science, technology, engineering, or math at the high-school level is encouraged to apply. Space is limited; only 25 seats are available in each workshop. The deadline for workshop applications is April 15, but selection may close early based on the number and quality of applications received. All workshops are free of charge to participating teachers. Subsidized housing will be available at a cost of $14 per night (shared rooms). Meals are not provided, but a limited number of stipends will be available to help defray the cost of meals and transportation. The maximum size of a stipend is $400. If you require a travel stipend, you are urged to apply early.
For more information, download the workshop flyers in PDF format:
Suborbital Astronautics Workshop
Space Medicine and Human Factors Workshop
Suborbital Flight Experiment Workshop
If you’re ready for your next teaching adventure, then apply now.