Saturday, June 4, 2011

Climate Science Resources from England

(click image to see full size)

Th Climate Science Info Zone offers information on climate and climate change in video (animations with subtitles if you wish) and print form. This is a website students can explore in a non-linear way -- following their interests and making their own connections. In the image above, you see the main topics and subtopics, but there's an additional layer of more specific key ideas linked to each of the subtopics so the students can drill down and find quite specific information in one to two minute chunks.

This first video I checked out (Exploring Earths' Climate >> How are climate and weather different?) is meant as an introductory piece, but it's all about the British Isles. You could turn this around and ask the students to create equivalent presentations for their own locations by making their own cartoon flip books using something like ToonDoo or their own video animations (try Xtranormal) or even PowerPoints with their own narrations (which could be uploaded and shared in Slideboom or AuthorStream).

But wait -- there's more! On the same website, the Online Stuff tab take you or your students to games, science news, and several themed exhibits. I love the one on the brain. In addition, if you click the Educators tab and then select Classroom resources from the menu at the left, you'll find a collection of great how to's for teachers that will help you organise hands-on activities and for your students in a variety of science topics (ages 3 - 16). There are videos, pdf's and templates -- everything you need for a successful science exploration with minimal prep and maximum activity. There's even a page on how to plan and run a CTD (collapsed timetable day -- aka 'dropdown' or theme day) on climate science. This could be a nice way to dovetail a whole day of activities with one of the great Discovery scientist webinars that are offered several times a year.

Thanks to Shana Opdenberg (Technology Integration Integration in Education Ning) for the heads up on this website. The British Science Museum, which makes this material available completely free, has done a wonderful job of connecting with the community. I wish we had something like it here in Canada!

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