12 September 2010

8 Sites that Would Have Made High School Science Way Cooler

Not listed in order of awesomeness.

1. Astronomy: In-browser interactive planetarium app.   There are a lot of these popping up right now, and they are really cool.  The planetarium program I had in high school was limited, expensive and came on five or six floppies. 

2. Planetary Science: Duh, Google Mars.  Pretty much the best map of another planet I've come across.  I have the iPod app too.  

3. Science and Society: A recreation of the Apollo 11 released for the 40th anniversary last year by the JFK library.  In addition to the top-notch simulations of every stage, they have incredible pictures, audio, and even video.  One of my favorites was someone (I think maybe Aldrin?) playing with a blob of water on the capsule.  Listening to the audio from this incredible mission never fails to bring tears to my eyes, it's kind of pathetic.  

4. Physics: A game from the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.  You help this cute little creature named Twitch collect little parts for a robot using simple machines (incline plane, fulcrum etc).  A super simple way to introduce physical concepts.  I love it!

5. Cellular Biology: Chock full of animations about cell biology.   A little clicking around will eventually get you to some very cool but simple animations of what goes in our bodies on a microscopic level.

6. Zoology: An online, interactive version of Swiss Naturalist Conrad Gesner's famous work, known as the starting point of modern zoology.  My favorite entry is the Unicorn.  Let's just say zoology has moved forward a bit in the past few centuries. 

7. Genetics: An instant eye color calculator.  It turns out the likelihood of my parents having a blue eyed kid was 1.8 percent!  That makes me feel special.  Play around with genotypes and phenotypes to see what color eyes your kids will have.  

8. ChemistryAn interactive periodic table. .  Depending on your choice of source in drop down menu at the top left, clicking on an square in the table will bring up all kinds of information, photos and videos about that element.  One of my favorite features is the temperature scale, which you can move up and down to change the states of all the elements. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your comment about the apollo missions brought this video clip to mind:


When people ask me what makes a good engineer I often think of the line he says about what makes a good ECOM.