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Student Activities


Last updated: April 17, 2013


NASA Exploration Design Challenge

Open to K-12 students. The challenge looks at space radiation as one of the critical issues related to long-duration space travels and asks students to help determine what kinds of materials might help protect astronauts on these missions. Teachers may register their intent to participate in the challenge, which is open for the next year, and their students will actually have their names flown as the honorary virtual crew on the inaugural flight of the new Orion spacecraft!

For more information and to register online, visit http://www.nasa.gov/education/edc. Deadline to register is March 14, 2014.

Kitchen Scientists - A Guide to Home Science Experiments

Home science experiment ideas. This site provides links to science experiments that can be done at home. Experiments range from physical science and chemistry to earth and life science. http://www.gourmetgiftbaskets.com/Kitchen-Scientists-Home-Experiments.asp

Global Ozone (G03) Project

Teachers: Would you like to participate in an exciting new project for high school students, measuring ozone and meteorological parameters, and receive a free instrument package, valued at $5000, for your school? In the GO3 Project, students around the world measure ozone and meteorological parameters outside their school and upload their data to an overlay in Google Earth to share with other students, teachers, and scientists around the world. Eighteen schools participating at the present time, including four international sister schools in Madrid, Moscow, Sydney, and Cairo. GO3 students are learning about environmental science while helping create the world's first ground-level ozone database. To learn more about the project, see the G03 website and 2-minute video at http://www.go3project.com.


Every girl can be a SciGirl with a groundbreaking new TV show and interactive website that will transform the way tween girls look at science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The empowering series has the right formula to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers with an engaging combination of actual girls exploring real-world science and mathalongside successful female mentors in the field – plus an online destination unlike any other where young viewers can share their own exciting ideas and projects. For more information visit: http://www.pbs.org/teachers/scigirls/.

Entomological Foundation Interactive Web Site

The Entomological Foundation has created its first interactive, youth web site for children and educators. The site is a self-guided educational site for children, which contains learning activities designed to help children in grades 3 and 4 understand primary areas of entomology relating to the characteristics of organisms, life cycles, and the relationship of organisms to their environment. The site consists of three main sections, which correspond to the knowledge level of the user. Each section contains a set of activities and objectives with an assessment (in game format) of what the user learned from the activities. The site also contains a section for educators, which lists the names of the activities, their objectives, and the national science standard and entomology benchmark addressed by that activity. The site is located at http://www.cipm.info/entfnd/


What2Learn is a free interactive educational resource. It contains literally hundreds of learning games and exam drills for Science based on the requirements of the California State Board of Education's content standards. Students can create accounts for content suitable for Grades
6-8 (see http://www.what2learn.com/grades-6-8-usa/ for details) and Grades
9-12 (see http://www.what2learn.com/grades-9-12-usa/ for details). All student attainment in the activities is automatically calculated and recorded, making it quick and easy for parents and teachers to monitor progress. The fun way in which the learning content is presented, along with in-built rewards within the system (such as the ability to further personalize their online portfolio) encourages students to play and replay activities to build their knowledge. What2Learn has been tried and tested and proven to be very effective with all kinds of students, from those with learning difficulties such as ADHD to gifted and talented students keen to work independently to develop their knowledge. http://www.what2learn.com/

Northern California Chapter of the American Vacuum Society

The Education Committee of the Northern California Chapter of the American Vacuum Society (AVS is a member group of the American Physics Society) is pleased to announce a new free program for Northern California Science Teachers.

This free program is a set of classroom experiments or demos of Vacuum Science in Physics and Chemistry. One or more of our committee members will bring in the vacuum apparatus to present the program in your classroom, with full student participation.

The program can be modified to fit into the class’s work and the California Standards on pressure, etc. It’s length can be reduced or expanded from the ~40 minutes average, as required.

If you are interested in having a free program in your classroom, please contact our chapter office, listed below. One of our committee members will contact you to set up a date. We look forward to being of service to you and your students.

The web site for Northern California Chapter of AVS is www.nccavs.org. The office e-mail is della@avs.org and telephone is (530) 896-0477.

USA Biology Olympiad (USABO)

The USA Biology Olympiad (USABO) is the premier competition in biology in the United States. The objectives of the USABO are to stimulate young scholars' intellectual curiosity and develop their critical thinking skills in biological reasoning. http://www.usabo-trc.org/


Findings, a publication of the National Institutes of Health can be used in the classroom to enhance knowledge provided in text books and lecture materials for high school science courses, including introductory biology, honors/advanced placement biology, anatomy, science/technology, chemistry, health, and others. Many educators have found Findings to be a useful career planning resource for students, as well as a valuable teacher resource for staying current in the fast-changing world of 21st century science. http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/findings/.

Science Buddies

Science Buddies is a non-profit organization empowering students from all walks of life to help themselves and each other develop a love of science and an understanding of the scientific method. With the help of their Mentors and Advisors, they help students improve their science skills and literacy, and inspire them to consider additional study or careers in science. Check out Science Buddies' How-To Guides, Teacher Resources, Ask An Expert, Science Fair Project Ideas, and more at http://www.sciencebuddies.org.


eCYBERMISSION is a free, web-based science, math and technology competition open to all students attending a U.S. or Department of Defense Education Activity School in the sixth through ninth grades. In the competition, student teams identify a problem that is related to health and safety, arts and entertainment, sports and recreation or the environment. Selecting a real-life Mission Challenge encourages self-discovery and illustrates how science, math and technology apply to everyday life. www.ecybermission.com.

Long-term Monitoring Program and Experiential Training for Students (LiMPETS)

LiMPETS is an environmental monitoring and education program for students, educators, and volunteer groups throughout California. This hands-on program was developed to monitor the ocean and coastal ecosystems of California's national marine sanctuaries to increase awareness and stewardship of these important areas. Through research-based monitoring and standardized protocols, students develop their problem solving skills, gain experience using tools and methods employed by field scientists, and learn to analyze data. Approximately 3,500 teachers and students along the coast of California are collecting rocky intertidal and sandy beach data as part of the LiMPETS network. Find out how to join this free environmental monitoring program at http://limpetsmonitoring.org.

Ocean Guardian Programs

The purpose of the NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries Ocean Guardian Programs are to encourage teachers and students to explore their natural surroundings to form a sense of personal connection to the ocean and/or watersheds in which they live. • Students can make a difference by becoming a member of our Ocean Guardian Kids Club. • Teachers can get their classroom involved in environmental conservation at their school or in their community to be an Ocean Guardian Classroom. • Everyone can download a free copy of the Ocean Guardian Activity Book to learn more about the ocean and why its important through word searches, games, and coloring pages. Find out more about the Ocean Guardian Programs at http://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/education/ocean_guardian_prog.html.

Science Fair Projects

Hundreds of free science fair projects are categorized under biology, chemistry, physics, earth science, and engineering and can be sorted alphabetically or by their level of difficulty. http://www.all-science-fair-projects.com/.

Science Fair Project Ideas

Science fair project ideas searchable by grade level and subject matter: http://www.education.com/science-fair/all-grades/


Designed for grades 5-8, HowStuffWorks hooks students with cool subjects, superior graphics, and striking photography. The mysteries of the world are addressed in a fun, engaging format that kids love. http://express.howstuffworks.com/.

Dragonfly TV

Dragonfly TV is the national science series for kids on PBS. They have several educator guides available on their website. Download the DragonflyTV Educator's Guides to get kids started on their own inquiry investigations. The activities are developed with the National Science Teacher's Association. They're aligned with today's science standards, and they're ideal for the classroom or for after-school programs. http://kids.pbs.org/dragonflytv/parentsteachers/index.html.

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