Science & Technology
Note: This is an ongoing project. Check back for new stuff.
Okay, I admit it. I was an art and english major, raised by an artist and a writer, so science wasn’t necessarily one of my strong suits. At least science not covered by National Geographic. If the science kits that are around now were around then and the internet had existed, I might have been far more inclined to play with a chemistry set.
There are some great sites online that should spark the interest of any child, and some adults, and might help solve the problem of what do you do when the school system has declared a “lousy weather” day. If you are more adventurous and feel like tracking down the required materials, then check out these sites.
Start with the number 1 site for hands-on science:
- The San Francisco Exploratorium. We carry the Explora Book, written by Exploritorium staff, in the Cambria Toy Station, but their website has some truly amazing stuff, including experiments, videos, activites, and a wealth of information on a very broad range of topics. The Exploratorium was the original interactive science and art museum, and if practice makes perfect, they have it down to an art form.
- Miami Museum of Science (better known as the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science). While the museum, itself, is closed as they relocate to a a new museum in Miami’s Museum Park, their online site provides some terrific materials, perfect for curious kids and homeschool parents. Another excellent science museum site, and includes information on chemistry (the pH Factor)
- Wikipedia includes a rather nice list of science museums world-wide. Not all of them include online interactive materials, but most have at least some online content.
Government Science Sites (Your tax dollars at work)
Don’t overlook the broad range of govenment science websites your tax dollars are helping to fund. There is some amaing stuff on a lot of these sites. Below is a very partial list!
- NASA Science.
- NASA’s Space Place.
- NASA’s SkyJinks.
- The Smithsonian (and all of their related programs, projects, and locations, including the National Zoo). The Smithsonian encompasses 19 museums, 17 research facilities, and one zoo.
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (Kid’s Home Page)
- Excite! (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Bobber, the Water Safety Dog (Army Corp of Engineers)
- EPA Water Sense Kids (Environmental Protection Agency)
- Sci4Kids (US Department of Agriculture)
- Neighborhood Explorers (Department of Interior, Fish & Wildlife Service)
- Climate Kids (NASA)
- Energy Kids (Energy Information Administration)
- WebRangers (National Park Service)
- Planet Arcade (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
- Everyday Mysteries (Fun Science Facts from the Library of Congress)
- CryptoKids (National Security Agency)
- Students for the Environment (Environmental Protection Agency)
- Tox Town (National Library of Medicine)
- Ocean Explorer (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
- Smithsonian Kids (Smithsonian)
- AIRNow: Why is Coco Orange? (Environmental Protection Agency)
- Drinking Water: Games and Activities (Environmental Protection Agency)
- Conservation Central (National Zoo)
- There are probably 10 times this number of sites, but this is a pretty good starting list.
General Science Sites and Cool Experiments
And, of course, there are plenty of non-government sites from individuals, businesses, and universities….
- Science Toy Maker (created by a Pennsylvania Science Teacher) He also has an excellent links page that will provide you with access to a lot more materials.
- Kids’ Do-It-Yourself Science (Links list from ScienceClub.org)
- Bill, the Science Guy (this guy is just way too cool)
- Radar’s Cosmos4Kids. Explore everything from the Universe and Galaxies to Space Exploration. As with the other sites listed below, as well as on the Geography and Math pages, the Science sites from Andrew Rader Studios are really excellent. Our hats off to the creators.
Biology & Botany
- Rader’s Biology4Kids! Explore everything from Microorganisms and cells, to plants and critters (invertebrates and otherwise) through this well designed site from the folks at Andrew Rader Studios.
- Rader’s Chem4Kids! Another excellent site from the Andrew Rader Studios. A good starting spot for learning about matter, atoms, elements, reactions, and biochemistry (and some other stuff thrown in). One of the things we really like about this particular site is that it gives the information both in English and in Spanish.
- Chemistry Games from Nobel Prize.Org. Who would have thought! Learn more about chemistry (and physics and literature and health and world peace and…) while playing some fairly challenging games. Take some time to check out all of the educational materials from the folks with the Nobel Prize organization. Wicked cool site with a lot of information.
- Adventures in Chemistry from the American Chemical Society. The site includes a lot of excellent information, experiments, games, and rather cool trivia.
- Outer Space Molecule Chase from the American Chemical Society. A Chemistry Rat if a Maze game. Okay, it is a bit more complicated than that. You have to pick up certain molecules along the way and combine them to make substance (Hydrogen sulfide, hydrochloric acid, carbon dioxide, and salt) to help you get past the obstacles and save the other rats. I’m not overly fond of rats, but it is a rather cool game.
- Air and Water Chemistry for Kids. Normally, we avoid “corporate” sites, but this one is an exception and was suggested by a young man named Liam Barnes (via his mom, Sara). It is primarily a “links” site, albeit very well organized, but it gives you direct access to some excellent materials from a range of government and education sites. If your are interested in the chemistry of air and water, this is an excellent place to start. Thank you, Liam.
Earth & Environmental Science (See Geography)
- Hurricane Science from the Miami Science Museum (Patricia & Phillip Frost Museum of Science), folks who have a darn sight more experience with hurricanes than those of us who live in the mountains of southwest Virginia. For kids who are interested in climate and weather, this is a terrific place to start. Excellent materials, including information on weather stations, Hurricanes 101, how hurricanes are predicted, understanding the inside workings of hurricane, hurricane preparation and protection, and hurricane history.
Despite an aversion to science in high school, physics and physical geography were the two notable exceptions and both have held a consistent fascination for nearly fifty years.
- Rader’s Physics4Kids! A terrific site for learning the basics of motion, heat, electricity, lights, and a whole host of other subjects. Our thanks, again, to the folks from Andrew Rader Studio.
- The Atoms Family from the Miami Science Museum. A wicked cool site geared to levels K-8 and covering lights, waves, particles, atoms, matter, kinetic energy, energy transfer, and energy conservation.