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K-12 Educational Microscopy and Science Sites Resources


  • 101 Science and Technology for Amateurs - Ideal for middle school students, this site features introductions to topics in chemistry, microscopy, HAM radio, photography, and computers. Also included are books for sale, a Java crossword puzzle, tutorials, and much more! Highly recommended.
  • Ask a Microscopist - A Web-based project that allows students and educators at any educational level to ask questions about microscopy or microanalysis through forms on a browser. Answers are provided by expert webmasters at the Microscopy Society of America. In addition, individuals can login to a real laboratory (Argonne National Laboratory) and view microscope operations in near real time. At certain times, visitors can "talk" with scientists on-line. Hosted by the Microscopy Society of America.
  • BioMEDIA Associates - Explore the lives of "whirling animals", take a detailed tour of the surface of a sea star, examine the evolution and diversity of the eye, match microscopic larva of a marine animal with its adult form, or investigate the natural history of one of the classic organisms of biology such a Daphnia or Planaria. Plunge into an animation of cell biology, see life in a drop of pond water or follow the evolution of life through time. These and other activities are available for teachers and students on the BioMEDIA Associates website.
  • Bizarre Stuff - This site is an ever growing warehouse of the kinds of projects some of the more demented of us tried as young people, collecting in one place many of the classic, simple science projects that have become part of the collective lore of amateur science. It is a sort of warped semi-scientific cookbook of tricks, gimmicks, and pointless experimentation, concoctions, and devices, using, for the most part, things found around the house. These are the classics. Strange goo, radios made from rusty razor blades, crystal gardens... amateur mad scientist stuff. If you happen to learn something in the process, consider yourself a better person for it.
  • The Digital Learning Center for Microbial Ecology - Created and sponsored by the Center for Microbial Ecology at Michigan State University, this site focuses on the microscopic world around us. Featured topics include the Microbe Zoo, Microbe of the Month, the Curious Microbe, Microbes in the News, and Microbial Ecology Resources.
  • The Discovery Channel - One of the best Websites on the Internet. The Discovery Channel provides a wealth of fun, information, and excitement for everyone.
  • The Exploratorium - An extensive science education Website with many on-line exhibits, sponsored by the Exploratorium: "the museum of science, art, and human perception". Features include a learning studio, an observatory, a science museum, and new articles that are updated daily.
  • The Fun Science Gallery - Giorgio Carboni has constructed a fascinating Website featuring science activities for the younger scientist. With mirrors in German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, Carboni provides instructions for building scientific equipment from relatively cheap and abundant materials often found around the home. Projects include detailed descriptions for making telescopes, microscopes, batteries, sidereal indicators, and several other instruments.
  • Hands-On Science Centers World Wide - Featuring links to science centers, museums, and educational sites from around the world, this Website provides a comprehensive listing of resources for teachers and students alike.
  • House Ear Institute: Resources for Schools - Microscopy sites targeted at the K-12 level are featured in this compilation from the House Ear Institute, a non-profit research and education center located in Los Angeles, California.
  • The Learning Studio - Located at the Exploratorium, a science museum in San Franciso, the Learning Studio is an experimental multimedia and communications lab. The purpose of the site is to provide an experimental public multimedia space which combines learning resources, such as books, the Internet, videos, CD-ROMs and laserdisks with media production equipment, such as computers, digital cameras, flatbed and slide scanners and CD burners.
  • Marly Cain's Amazing Micronautic Adventures - Follow Robby the robot on a interactive journey into the world of microscopy. This educational Website was developed by Marly Cain and features a 3D Web cam, Mars polar lander, body science for kids, microscopy for kids, a 3D gallery, and the opportunity to dissect a spider online.
  • Marly Cain's Amazing Micronautic Adventures Web Microscope - A Java-powered scanning electron microscope featuring a movable 2x SmartLens that magnifies a selection of close-ups of spider parts. Controls on the SmartLens, which is movable with the mouse cursor, allow the visitor to experiment with color hue and intensity. Cool site and highly recommended!
  • Micro-Light Magazine - Another excellent site by Marly Cain, this web science magazine is targeted at kids and contains many interesting articles and interactive Java tutorials.
  • Microscopic Explorations - Sponsored by Great Explorations in Math and Science (from the Lawrence Hall of Science of UC, Berkeley), this site reviews a guide to microscopy written within the K-12 spectrum by Susan Brady and Carolyn Willard. The book introduces fourth-to-eighth grade students to the basic skills of scientific research, microscopic skills of scientific research, microscopic concepts, and applications. The guidebook is also focused to help teachers and community volunteers put together a science microscopy festival.
  • Microscopy-UK Roadshow - A very nice educational Website dedicated to the promotion of optical microscopy as a hobby for the young and old alike. Brought to you by those thoughtful researchers at Microscopy UK.
  • Museum of Science (Boston) - The mission of the museum is to stimulate interest and further understanding of science and technology and their importance for individuals and for society. To accomplish this educational mission, the staff, volunteers, overseers and trustees of the museum are dedicated to attracting the broadest possible spectrum of participants, and involving them in activities, exhibits and programs. This Website offers a glimpse of the activities available at the museum.
  • MicroWorlds - A fantastic source of science education for grades 9-12, and fun for all. The site is an interactive tour of current research in the materials sciences at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source, and is sponsored by the University of California at Berkeley. This Website is exceptionally well-done.
  • NASA KIDS - Not all NASA websites are designed for engineers and scientists. Many are designed with a very important audience in mind--children. For a portal into the bright world of information that is presented with kids mind, see NASA KIDS, an interactive, web-based learning environment for students in grades 4 to 8. Its goal is to involve kids in current NASA programs, cutting-edge technologies, and interactive projects. And by the way parents, the kids' pages provide a very enjoyable way for you to learn more about science and technology, too.
  • The Nine Planets - This educational Website is an overview of the history, mythology, and current scientific knowledge of each of the planets and moons in our solar system. Each page has text and images, some have sounds and videos, most provide references to additional related information.
  • Nye Labs Online - Brought to you by Bill Nye, the Science Guy, this Flash-based Website offers a variety of educational topics for youngsters. Coordinated with the popular television program, the Nye Labs science site offers a wide spectrum of activities, information, and helpful suggestions for future scientists.
  • Optics for Kids - Elementary school children will enjoy this quick look at some optical basics from Optical Research Associates. The site was written and is maintained by Bruce Irving, and contains a nice introduction to the principles of optics, light, and color. Experiments on the Website can be coupled to the Optics Discovery Kit produced by the Optical Society of America and featured on the site. There are also Japanese and Chinese translation mirrors.
  • Project MICRO - Microscopy In Curriculum - Research Outreach - Project MICRO is designed to place Microscopy Society of America (MSA) members, teaching materials, and microscopes in middle school classrooms nationwide. In addition to providing information on Project Micro, the site provides help on selecting a microscope, locating a microscopist, and other resources for k-12 programs. Sponsored by the MSA.
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy - Sponsored by the Museum of Science in Boston, this site has information on how an Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) works, written at an elementary level. Also included are a gallery of images; teacher resources including information on building a light microscope; an introduction to techniques for light microscopy; and links to other science sites.
  • Science Friday Kids Connection - Sponsored by National Public Radio (NPR), and although currently not updating, the Website features a host of activities and news in the archives section.
  • Science Videos and Microscopes - Sponsored by INSIGHTS Visual Productions, Inc., and located in Encinitas, California, this site specializes in the production of science video programs for schools at the K-12 level. They also produce programs for both teacher education and classroom use. Many of the videos are accompanied by comprehensive printed support material. Once purchased, the material in these "teacher handbooks" can be reproduced and used in the classroom.
  • Selected Microscopy Resources for K-12 Education - An informative k-12 education-based microscopy site with numerous resources and links to information for the classroom. The site is sponsored by MicroWorld resources.
  • ThinkQuest - The ThinkQuest Internet Challenge is an international program for students ages 12 through 19 that encourages them to use the Internet to create information-rich Web-based educational tools and materials.
  • Ugly Bug Contest - This site is one component of the Oklahoma Microscopy Society (OMS) outreach program, called 'SCOPE. The goal of 'SCOPE is "to promote the awareness and usage of microscopy". The Ugly Bug Contest is open to all Oklahoma elementary schools, public or private. Only one bug per school may be submitted, and the winning bugs are featured on the Website.
  • Virtual Cell - Learn many of the complexities of living cells using this interactive CGI-powered 3D voyage into a plant cell. The Website was developed by Matej Lexa using POV-RAY modeling software and is sponsored by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
  • YES Magazine - Canada's science magazine for kids, featuring cutting-edge science and technology news, hands-on activities, kids in science, brain bumpers, and "How Does That Work?", among a host of other educational materials. Sponsored by 3M Canada, this Website is one of the best K-12 educational sites we have reviewed.


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