[EDInfo] New Teaching Resources at FREE: Biology, Math & More

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  • Date: Tue, 20 Dec 2005 15:06:03 -0500

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Biology, math, string theory, materials science, weather, space, Civil War maps, and the Homestead Act are topics of 9 new resources at FREE, the website that makes teaching resources from federal agencies easier to find: http://www.ed.gov/free

     IN OUR PREVIOUS "Teaching Resources at FREE" email, some URLs
     were long and not clickable.  We apologize for this.  Those
     resources (plus the resources below) can be found at


"Civil War Maps"
     features detailed battle maps made by Major Jedediah Hotchkiss
     for General Lee and General Sherman, and maps from diaries,
     scrapbooks, and manuscripts -- all available for the first
     time in one place. An essay looks at Union maps, Confederate
     maps, battlefield maps, commercial maps, and others. (LOC)

"The Homestead Act of 1862"
     recounts efforts to improve homesteading laws and make land
     ownership possible for more settlers.  The distribution of
     government lands had been an issue since the Revolutionary
     War.  "Preemption" -- settling the land first and paying for
     it later -- became national policy; however, supporting
     legislation was stymied until the secession of Southern
     states.  See one of the first applications for land under this
     law.  Teaching activities are included. (NARA)


USA Mathematical Talent Search (USAMTS)
     is a mathematics competition open to all U.S. middle and high
     school students.  Problems are published on the website four
     times a year one month before solutions are due.  Problems
     range in difficulty from being within the reach of most high
     school students to challenging the best students in the
     nation. Students may use any materials -- books, calculators,
     computers -- but all work must be their own.  This year's
     special topic is "expected value." (NSA)


     offers scientific articles and lessons.  Topics include the
     value of a garden, plant genebanks, bacteria (friend or foe?),
     biodiversity, real-life aliens (introduced species), apes,
     ecosystems, global warming, forest canopies, deforestation,
     water, genetic research, biotechnology, genetically modified
     foods, ancestry of modern people, microbes, evolution, DNA,
     how new species form, extinction, and more.  Articles and
     lessons are correlated with academic standards. (NSF)

"BEN: BiosciEdNet"
     provides access to more than 4,000 reviewed resources covering
     76 biological science topics: agriculture, anatomy,
     bacteriology, biochemistry, biodiversity, biotechnology,
     botany, cardiology, cell biology, ecology, environment,
     evolution, genetics, geography, human biology, immunology,
     marine biology, microbiology, molecular biology, neurobiology,
     pathology, pharmacology, physiology, public health,
     respiratory biology, soil biology, virology, zoology, and
     others.  Registration required. (NSF)

"The Elegant Universe: It's String Theory"
     is a 3-hour miniseries exploring one of the most ambitious
     theories ever proposed: the "theory of everything."  String
     theory proposes that the fundamental ingredients of nature are
     tiny strings of energy whose different modes of vibration
     underlie everything that happens in the universe.  It unites
     the laws of general relativity and quantum mechanics, breaking
     a logjam that has frustrated scientists for nearly a century.
     Watch all 3 hours online. (MA)

"Investigating the Climate System: Weather"
     helps students learn how to find, interpret, and describe
     weather data.  Students learn also about drought, flooding,
     wind and dust storms, hurricanes, and lightning, as well as
     the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite --
     the information it provides and why that information is
     important. (NASA)

"Jet Propulsion Laboratory Education Gateway"
     provides lesson plans on comets, contour mapping, convection,
     craters, counting, eclipses, the inverse square law, life in
     the universe, micrometeorites, moon phases, robotic
     spacecraft, spotting satellites, sunspots, and Venus
     topography (Grades 5-12). (NASA)

"Strange Matter"
     helps students discover materials science and the secrets of
     everyday stuff.  Find out what happens when you heat silicon,
     iron, or carbon.  Learn how materials science helps fight
     cancer, make buildings safer, improve equipment and the
     environment.  Activities in the 60-page teachers guide
     challenge students to examine their material world in a
     different way -- through the eyes of materials scientists. (NSF)

LOC -- Library of Congress
MA -- Multiple Agencies
NASA -- National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NARA -- National Archives and Records Administration
NSA -- National Security Agency
NSF -- National Science Foundation

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