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Science Projects – A Kids’ Guide Grades 4 to 8 Tucson schools

Created by a faculty member in the Tucson schools, this is a great guide for elementary science projects and activities, with lots of pointers, tips, and research suggestions. Try the “perfect project” section for a step-by-step example of using scientific method to conduct an experiment. There’s lots of great advice here, but the site doesn’t do the project for the user.
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Albert Einstein Grades 6 to 12 American Museum of Natural History

From an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, this site offers an introduction to Einstein’s work that mere mortals can understand. Einstein set the world of physics and cosmology on its head by showing that forces like time and gravity are variable, not constant. The implications of these discoveries let to the creation of entirely new sciences. There is much to learn here.
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Albert Einstein Biography Grades 6 to 12 American Institute of Physics

From the American Institute of Physics – This page offers a commemorative biography of Einstein which highlights both his life and his contributions to the study of physics. Good term paper material written from a scientific perspective.
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Amusement Park Physics Grades 4 to 8 CPB/Annenberg

This site, part of the Annenberg Center’s collection of web activities, offers a simple introduction to the physics involved in riding a roller coaster, and allows young experimenters to design their own roller coaster (friction-free, no less!) to see how it performs. Students could use this site easily.
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Antimatter Mysteries Grades 4 to 8

Here’s an introduction to the concept of antimatter for younger students. Nicely written text and charming illustrations step users through a concept that’s tough for many adults. Try this one if you have a few students who need a little “something extra” to think about!
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Astronomy Grades 4 to 8 American Museum of Natural History

From cosmic connections to gravity and the planets, this unit presents an engaging, animated introduction to astronomy and the study of the stars. Students can try a Flash-based planets game, take an interplanetary quiz, and do several other activities. This unit is part of the American Museum of Natural History’s “Ology” series that explores different aspects of the life sciences.
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Astrophysics Lesson Plans Grades 6 to 12 NASA

Created by the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center which is located within the Laboratory for High Energy Astrophysics (LHEA) at NASA/GSFC. This is an incredible site. It gives easy to read tables of previously taught background necessary for the students to successfully complete the experiments, necessary materials (for both teacher and students), and copy ready data tables.
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Baseball Physics Fun Stuff Grades 6 to 12

A sample of physics as it relates to baseball, from a Boston Red Sox fan information collection. Interesting discussion of the physics behind corked bats.
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BBC Robot World Grades 6 to 12 BBC

The BBC Science page on robots offers still another approach to the topic, along with its own collection of robotics kits and materials. We’re unsure how accessible these might be in the US; perhaps our UK users will let us know more. There’s plenty to learn here, nonetheless.
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Be Inventive Grades 4 to 8

Here’s a classroom activity from the Boston Museum of Science that asks students to create their own inventions to solve a problem of their own choosing. Based arounsd Leonardo DaVinci’s and the properties of simple machines, the unit asks students to design their own invention.
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Building Big Grades 4 to 12 PBS

This instructional set from the PBS Building Big series shows the physical properties of various building materials, the structural characteristics of different shapes, and lots more. The simple animations help students understand why engineers use particular forms and materials for various projects.
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Building Big projects Grades 4 to 8 PBS

This is the teacher’s guide to the PBS “Building Big” series which describes the engineering methods required to create a variety of huge structures. The exercises and demonstrations let students try their hand at small models that demonstrate the same principles used for larger structures. Lots of “hands-on” stuff for different grade levels and topics. Well worth a visit.
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Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors’ Program Grades 4 to 12 NSTA

The National Science Teachers’ Association offers this competition for science students at various levels. The site offers entry information, resources, and examples. If you’re looking for more than a simple science fair, check this one out.
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Cycling Science Grades 4 to 8 The Exploratorium

The Exploratorium introduces all the scientific and mechanical principles that go into today’s bicycle. This is a great site for those studying simple machines, and its content also goes well into other mechanical topics. The video clips are nice, but in no way essential to the presentation.
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Doing Science Grades 6 to 12 Arizona State University

This introduction to physical sciences offers several experiments, each accompanied by a long text description and multiple illustrations. This one has been around for a while, but the underlying ideas are still good ones.
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Truly curious middle schoolers could use this one as a self-study, but in most cases teachers will want to excerpt particular sections to reinforce a classroom concept or activity.


 
Double Helix Experiments Grades 6 to 12

This Australian site offers a collection of quality science experiments, some fairly simple, others more complex, all clearly presented. The activities include explanations of scientific principles and are grouped by subject matter. A great site for sparking a student’s interest in the world of science.
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Einstein Grades 4 to 8 American Museum of Natural History

How (and why) do you introduce Einstein to an elementary student? Here’s a presentation that does it effectively, drawing on Einstein’s love of trying something new and his willingness to “think outside the box.” While it’s mostly text, this site would be a great introduction for a student who is already curious about inventors, scientists, or the universe. This unit is part of the American Museum of Natural History’s “Ology” series that explores different aspects of the life sciences.
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Fastball Reaction Time Grades 4 to 8 The Exploratorium

Use this game to test your reaction time and see if you can hit the ball out of the park. The game will show you your reaction time to each “pitch.” From San Francisco’s Exploratorium.
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Fear of Physics Grades 6 to 12

Here’s another site offering explanations of some of the more common physics questions – why satellites don’t fall, how gravity affects various objects, and the like. Each phenomenon has a visual example, and the complexity of these varies. Check this one out if you’re looking for an idea or illustration for an experiment.
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FIRST Competition Grades 4 to 12 FIRST

Created by inventor Dean Kamen, this competition encourages students in different age groups to team up and tackle challenges in robotics, physics, and engineering. The site offers detailed instructions as well as information on previous competitions – including some examples.
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If you have students who are serious competitors, this would be a great challenge.


 

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