NOVA Online now offers teachers quick access to more than 500 of the popular science program’s educational resources in its expanded Teachers site, which includes a searchable database of program information, activities, and other classroom tools. The ever-growing collection includes detailed content summaries for most NOVA programs since 1993, along with information on which videos are for sale and how to purchase them. It also features more than 125 printable and 100 online activities with grade-level designations in anthropology, archaeology, chemistry, earth science, forensics, health science, life science, mathematics, paleontology, physical science, and space science. Teachers can use the site to access resources for cross-curricular connections in the areas of social studies, science and society, and technological design; gain ideas from other teachers on how they are using NOVA in the classroom; find links to available resources for each NOVA program by program title; join an eMail list to receive weekly updates on upcoming broadcasts and new web sites; learn about NOVA’s Featured Teachers and how to become one; peruse information about taping rights and suggestions for using videos in the classroom; and order NOVA’s printed teacher’s guide. In addition, the expanded Teachers site gives educators access to curricula from other science specials from the producers of NOVA, including, “A Science Odyssey,” “Building Big,” and the recently broadcast “Evolution” series.
Recently, Learning Network and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) teamed up to publish a monthly electronic newsletter, called “Science Monthly,” aimed at providing science teachers with new and timely activities, lesson plans, and resources for use in the classroom. The newsletter, which is eMailed to subscribers at no cost, pulls information and activities from NSTA’s archives, as well as books published by the NSTA Press. Each month, the newsletter aims to cover a new and timely scientific theme. The initial issue covered animal adaptations to the changing of seasons. Other newsletter topics will include nutrition, classroom safety, careers in science, soil, Earth Day, summer solstice, and assessment. “Our goal is to put lesson plans in the hands of teachers at the time that will help them the most,” said Gerry Wheeler, executive director of NSTA. “Our editorial calendar was developed carefully to make the newsletter useful, relevant, and meaningful to what teachers are teaching and when they are teaching it.” Teachers can subscribe to this new resource from Learning Network’s TeacherVision web portal, which contains dozens of additional teaching resources-including six other eMail newsletters covering a variety of additional topics.
For educators, encouraging youngsters to get involved in the nation’s political process can be a challenging task. DemocracyNet, furnished by the League of Women Voters, provides a place where students can go to learn more about the people who represent them in Washington, D.C. The latest, updated version of the site contains an archive that allows adult and student users alike to access statements and promises made by candidates during the campaign trail. Users can compare these original comments to the elected officials’ in-office performance records. For students, this site could be a powerful tool for gathering information for social studies projects pertaining to government. The site also offers up-to-date information on each state’s voting rules and regulations, allowing voters young and old to stay abreast of the latest legislative changes, age specifications, and brewing electoral controversies. A clickable map of the entire country allows for instant access to the candidates and voting information for each individual state.