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Science

Good Starting Points

  • Exploratorium
    The Exploratorium, a museum in San Francisco, offers online activities where kids can play, discover and explore a variety of science topics.

  • How Stuff Works
    Articles, illustrations and videos provide objective "explanations of how the world really works".

  • Jefferson Lab
    Practice taking Virginia SOL science and math tests, read scientists' answers to common and interesting science questions, watch Frostbite Theater science videos to see experiments with liquid nitrogen, static electricity and more, and play games and puzzles to help understand science topics.

  • Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
    Includes links for STEM programs and competitions, STEM careers and STEM activities, games and videos.

  • Science News for Students
    Designed for upper elementary and middle school students, the site offers news stories and features on timely topics.

  • Science Projects

    • Science Buddies
      Use the Topic Selection Wizard to help you select a science fair project based on your interests or browse more than 1000 project ideas in many areas of science. The Science Fair Project Guide offers information from getting started through communicating your results.

    • Steve Spangler Science
      If you need a science fair project idea or just want to try some fun science experiments, look at these interesting activities.

  • Scientific American In-Depth Reports
    Special reports on timely topics include articles, podcasts and videos.

  • SciTech Daily Review
    This site lives up to its claim of providing informed, thought-provoking coverage of scitech issues. Voluminous in scope, it offers a solution to the "I have to write a report about a science article" assignment.

  • Thomas Jefferson HS for Science and Technology — STEM Resources
    Explore sites offering activities and games for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Life Sciences

Animals and Biology

  • Biology4Kids
    Covers cells, microorganisms, plants, invertebrates, vertebrates and animal systems.

  • Bug Guide
    An online resource devoted to North American insects, spiders and their kin, offering identification, images and information.

  • Dino Directory
    Search dinosaurs by name, timeline, geographic location or body shape. Sponsored by the British Natural History Museum.

  • Encyclopedia of Life
    The vision of this free online encyclopedia is to document all of the living species on Earth. Learn about plants, animals, fungi and bacteria. Images, sounds and videos are available for some of the species.

  • Endangered Species

    • Endangered Species Program
      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides profiles of species included on the Federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. The site also provides lists of "how many and which" species are in particular categories as well as maps by U.S. state or territory.

    • Wildlife Factsheets
      Factsheets on endangered species in North and South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, the Arctic and Antarctica, and habitats (such as coral reefs, grasslands, wetlands, etc.) Information is provided by Defenders of Wildlife, an organization dedicated to wildlife conservation.

  • Human Body — DK Findout!
    Learn all about the amazing human body including bones, brain and nerves, heart and blood, senses and more.

Botany

  • Biology of Plants
    Elementary school students can learn about plant parts, pollination, how plants make food and more.

  • Native Plant Information Network
    Affiliated with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (established in 1982), this site's purpose is to make available scientifically accurate information on native plants of the United States. You can search by scientific or common name, or by state. Information includes description, color photo, distribution and habitat preference, endangered status and bloom calendar.

  • Plants Database
    Maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Offers names, checklists, identification information, distributional data, etc. Also provides links to global plant checklists; conservation fact sheets; and information on threatened and endangered plants searchable by family, genus or state.

Environment and Ecology

  • Biomes
    • Biomes Around the World
      Elementary school students can explore rainforest, tundra, taiga, desert, temperate and grasslands biomes as well as freshwater and marine ecosystems. Provided by the Missouri Botanical Garden.

    • Major Biomes of the World
      Factual, college-level presentation of the global distribution and structural characteristics of eight major biomes. Site created and maintained by Radford University.

  • Energy Kids
    Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, the information on this site is suitable for elementary school students and covers a range of topics. The Energy Basics section includes global sources and uses of energy and tips on how to save energy. The Energy History area contains timelines and brief biographical profiles of scientific pioneers in the field. A glossary offers hypertext cross references to additional explanatory materials.

  • Field Guide to Fairfax County’s Plants and Wildlife
    A guide to some of the common plants and animals that are likely to be seen in neighborhoods, schoolyards, parks and other outdoor areas of Fairfax County.

  • Learning and Teaching about the Environment
    The EPA offers information for K-12 students including games and quizzes, homework resources and science fair project ideas.

Physical Sciences

Astronomy and Space Exploration

Chemistry

  • Chem4Kids
    Covers the basic concepts of chemistry related to matter, atoms, elements, reactions and biochemistry.

  • Periodic Table of the Elements
    Provided by Los Alamos National Laboratory's Chemistry Division.

Geology

  • Earthquakes for Kids
    On this informative site one can investigate earthquake factsheets, find science project ideas, research "today in earthquake history," read about careers in geophysics and learn about the science of seismology.

  • Geology.com
    Offers articles and news on various geological topics, a geology dictionary, career information and teacher resources. Includes a collection of U.S. state maps and satellite images as well as country maps paired with Landsat images.

Physics

  • Physics Central
    Read about current research in physics, try physics experiments and get your physics questions answered by a physicist. Provided by the American Physical Society.

  • The Physics Classroom
    Developed by a high school physics and chemistry teacher for beginning physics students, this site covers basic physics topics and includes "Check Your Understanding" sections.

Weather

  • Owlie Skywarn
    Kids can learn about weather and safety from the National Weather Service.

  • Weather History and Data Archive
    Type your zip code, city, state, airport code or country to find historical weather information for a specific date.

Technology and Engineering

Computer Science

  • CODE
    Learn the basics of computer science using drag and drop programming. The "Hour of Code" programs are designed for students of all ages and include characters such Moana, Anna and Elsa, or worlds such as Minecraft and Star Wars. The site also features a 20-hour course which introduces core computer science and programming concepts.

Engineering

  • Cyberchase
    Learn engineering with the Cybersquad as you explore activities, play games and watch videos in this site based on the PBS "Cyberchase" show.

  • Design Squad Nation
    Try out engineering: watch videos, play games and build things (an unpoppable balloon, a robo arm, a rubber band car and many more) using this site from PBS Kids.

  • Engineer Girl
    A site designed for girls to discover engineering careers and find dream jobs. Learn about engineers, what they do and how to get there..

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Online Science Resources

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