Grades 6-8 Classroom Resources

  • Free Middle School Science Journal
    The Natural Inquirer is a middle school science education journal! Scientists report their research in journals, which enable scientists to share information with one another. This journal, The Natural Inquirer, was created so that scientists can share their research with middle school students. Each article tells you about scientific research conducted by scientists in the USDA Forest Service. Please visit: www.naturalinquirer.org
  • PD at the Ann Arbor Hands On Museum
    The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum is offering an exciting professional development workshop for upper elementary and middle school teachers: "How Do We Know the Climate is Changing?" on January 30th. This workshop is presented by Susan Kohler of NASA Glen Research Center. Running from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, it includes lunch, teacher resources, and example activities to take back to your students. The activities and resources presented will provide teachers with new curriculum ideas to assist in reaching the NGSS and project-based learning goals for the stem areas. Registration and payment ($50) must be made in advance – for more information or questions please call 734-995-5439 or visit their website: www.aahom.org/experience/programs/type/professional-development
  • ACTION BIOSCIENCE
    The American Institute of Biological Sciences hosts Actionbioscience.org, a Web site that promotes bioscience education and literacy. Features include teacher-written lesson plans and peer-reviewed articles that focus on important current issues in areas such as biodiversity, the environment, genomics, biotechnology, and evolution. Select articles are translated into Spanish, suitable for ESL students. See why Scientific American named Actionbioscience.org one of the top five biology websites.
  • Biography of Conservation Pioneer Enos Mills
    Filter Press announces a new biography, Enos Mills: Rocky Mountain Naturalist, by Colorado storyteller, outdoorsman, and award-winning author John Stansfield. Includes bonus sections providing detailed descriptions of the natural environments Mills explored and nature activities from his Trail School, perfect to enliven family outings.
  • Bill Nye's Climate Laboratory
    Formally known as Bill Nye the Science Guy has recently become Bill Nye the Climate Guy. Courtesy of Chabot Space & Science Center of Oakland, California, Bill Nye has been able to complete his out Climate Lab creating awareness of environmental issues. Accompanying Bill's Climate Laboratory is an educational Web site created for elementary and middle school teachers, students, and families. Join Nye on fun missions and activities to reduce energy consumption and prevent climate change. You'll hunt down energy vampires, design a "green" home, grow a virtual garden, and compete to become a climate champion!
  • Climate Science Activity Book
    Discover Your Changing World with NOAA introduces middle and high school students to the principles of climate science and the factors involved in climate change. Students explore climate science concepts as they make a solar cooker, set up a home weather station, construct an electronic temperature sensor, create a unique message about climate change, and play the “Are You Climate Literate?” board game. Each activity includes detailed instructions and illustrations.
  • Edheads - Activate Your Mind!
    This site offers a variety of flash learning programs and lesson plans designed to meet state and national learning standards.
  • Explorations Into Water
    Explorations Into Water teaching curriculum is ideal for educators and/or parents to use as an engaging resource to teach students about the properties of water and the importance of water conservation in an easy-to-understand, educational, fun and interactive way. The curriculum is well organized, self-explanatory and easy for teachers, parents and students to use for related course work, projects or research in natural history, ecology, biology, physics and chemistry.
  • Free Multidisciplinary Program
    The BSCS Middle School Science Program is available for free from BSCS to assist in students learning, meeting, and practicing the Next Generation Science Standards. Consisting of four units the program is a student-centered and multidisciplinary approach funded by the U.S. Department of Education Institute for Education Sciences. The topics covered within the program include Earth/Space Science, Life Science, Physical Science, and Science and Society. Teachers must provide and complete student pre-tests and post-tests when using the program. Find more information on the program and sign up at http://www.bscs.org/mss. Preview the BSCS Middle School Science program at www.bscs.org/mssciencepreview.
  • Great Lakes in My World: K-8 Curriculum
    Great Lakes in My World (GLIMW) curriculum offers 80 indoor and outdoor activities for K-8 students. Topics covered include lakes, sand dunes, wetlands, human communities, history and geology. The Great Lakes in My World curriculum was developed to help students instill a sense of place and promote problem-solving. The curriculum includes a 480 page book with 80 activities, assessment rubrics, student journal pages, Creature Cards featuring 66 Great Lakes plants and animals and a CD with additional resources. For more information please visit www.greatlakes.org/GLIMW or contact Katie Larson, Education Coordinator, Alliance for the Great Lakes at KLarson@greatlakes.org
  • Hurricanes: Science and Society
    Hurricanescience.org is a great resource for information about the science of hurricanes and how to lessen their impacts. Major sections include Hurricane Science, Hurricanes and Society, and Hurricane History. It also offers peer reviewed science content, case studies, and an interactive history timeline. The information is targeted toward the media, the general public, and students 7-12. To learn more, visit the Hurricanes: Science and Society web site.
  • ITEST
    "Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers" to work with scientists and engineers in project-based, experiential learning ranging from biotechnology to environmental resource management. ITEST is a program of the National Science Foundation's Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education (ESIE). This publication describes the program, projects and locations, and sponsors. Types of projects are: 1) career and educational enrichment for students in middle and high school, 2) Teacher information technology professional development and 3) a resource center for research on funded projects.
  • Launch and Propulsion Educators Guide for Grades 6-12
    The fifteen lesson plans in this guide help students learn about the science of rockets, principles of rocketry and the laws of motion. Student texts are included so that students may read about variables, forces and motion, and NASA's history and future. Students learn which variables affect the performance of a rocket. In the assessment, students engage in a competition wherein they apply what they have learned about rockets to build a launch vehicle that flies as high as possible.
  • Learn How Much You Weigh And How Old You Are If You Lived On Another Planet
    From NASA!  Use the Astro-Matic 3000 to learn how much you would weigh or how old you would be if you lived on another planet.  Students also learn facts about each planet.  Grades K-8.
  • Marine Fisheries Series Activities Guide
    This is an online activity guide geared for middle to high school students. It is a guide created by the Marine Fisheries Series project to help students dive deeper into the topics covered in the documentary series. The guide includes six engaging, peer-reviewed activities, correlated to national science and social studies education standards. These activities work well in classrooms as well as non-traditional educational settings such as nature or science centers, aquariums and zoos.
  • Michigan Green Chemistry Clearinghouse
    The overall goal of the Michigan Green Chemistry Clearinghouse is to accelerate green chemistry awareness, innovation and investment in the state of Michigan by creating and enabling a community of green chemistry advocates that are connected and informed.  The Clearinghouse aims to be dynamic and interactive on-line source of information, resources, databases, learning opportunities and interactive tools for citizens, educators and other professionals.  Michigan Green Chemistry is hosted by Aquinas College.  For more information or to become part of the green chemistry community visit: www.migreenchemistry.org.
  • Middle School Chemistry - New Resources
    The American Chemical Society (ACS) has just released a new web resource offering activity-based lesson plans for teaching basic chemistry concepts at the middle school level. The lessons cover all the main concepts in middle school chemistry, and can be used in part or in conjunction with current curriculum. Each lesson includes animation and video so help explain concepts. Online professional development will also be available to help explain materials to teachers and how tot integrate their use in the classroom. Visit the Middle School Chemistry Web site for more details and to view content.
  • Molecular Workbench
    Developed by the Concord Consortium the molecular workbench is a free, open-source software tool that helps students grade 5 to college overcome challenges in understanding the science of atoms and molecules. The Molecular Workbench models electrons, atoms and molecules, which make it applicable across physics, chemistry, biology and engineering.
  • nanoHUB
    A National Science Foundation-funded site, features online simulations, learning modules, and interactive tools for learning about nanotechnology--the design and production of structures, devices, and systems one atom or one molecule at a time.
  • NASA's Kids Club Activity: Window to Earth
    This website allows you to experience the spectacular view of Earth that Astronauts have from space. Move through the pages of Window to Earth and see images taken from space of these geographical features: peninsula, glacier, lake, desert, cape, island, upheaval dome, strait, waterfall, reef and volcano. To take a peek and see how Earth looks from space, visit www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/kidsclub/flash/clubhouse/Window_to_Earth.html.
  • On Being a Scientist
    Based on the book, On Being a Scientist, this seven-minute video includes interviews with Stephanie J. Bird, co-editor-in-chief of Science and Engineering Ethics at Georgetown University and several new Ph.D.'s from a variety of disciplines.
    Watch the video on YouTube.
  • Pathfinder Science Ozone Project
    Each fall students from all over the country participate in the Pathfinder Science research area, exploring ground-level ozone.  Ozone is a toxic gas, which is formed by a reaction between air pollutants and sunlight.  This research area is design for upper elementary through high school age students with two easy to follow, network-wide, standardized protocols are offered.
  • PBS Environmental Series for Grades 6-12
    The Journey to Planet Earth video series has been re-edited for grades 6-12 to help teachers explain to students the science behind some of the alarming world headlines. Receive a 30-day free preview of the entire 10-episode series or individual episodes.
  • PBS Borders Environmental Project
    Through the Point-of-View (POV) Borders Environmental project, PBS offers lesson plans for K-12 teachers that are designed to enhance online story telling and sharing. Each separate lesson plan focuses on earth, water or air, and is downloadable in pdf or html format. Students can explore how human activity and industrialization is altering air quality, the social impact of land use and how water is used in their own communities.
  • Pollution Pipe: Street to Stream (pdf)
    For students in Grades 6-12 on non-point sources of pollution found in runoff and the effects of development on watersheds. Shows the relationship between urban development and impervious ground cover created by streets, parking lots, and roofs. Provides a list of pollutants found in runoff, as well as some steps that can be taken to prevent water pollution. From the Center for Global Environmental Education (CGEE).
  • Racerocks.com
    This site offers an opportunity to observe the ecosystem of Race Rocks Island, a marine protected area near Victoria, British Columbia, which is maintained by the faculty and students at Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific. Various projects are presented and viewers are granted a unique perspective on an untouched preserve through the use of web video and daily log updates.
  • Sea Turtles and the Quest to Nest
    This online sea turtle game, developed by NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Ocean Service, is designed to help students understand how they can help protect turtles and their habitat. The game takes place in the southeastern United States. Students are introduced to all of the people and animals that play a role in the life of loggerhead turtles.
  • Social Learning towards a Sustainable World
    This book presents and discusses key principles, perspectives, and practices of social learning in the context of sustainability, explored from a range of fields challenged by sustainability. Includes an entire section devoted to case studies of people, organizations, and communities using forms of social learning in moving towards sustainability.
  • Solar and Wind Energy Production at Schools
    A total of 34 renewable energy systems have been installed at 28 schools statewide participating in Energy Works Michigan's Renewable Energy Program. The Renewable Energy Program provided incentives for schools that installed one or both of the solar PV or wind systems. Students can compare the daily performance of the solar PV or wind systems that were installed at different schools throughout the state. The performance data is collected by a data logger and weather station that are installed at each school.  For more information or to view the live production, visit the Energy Works Michigan Solar and Wind Systems Web site.
  • Ten80 Student Racing Challenge
    The Ten80 Student Racing Challenge features an integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum for students in grades 6-12. Student teams work collaboratively to design, build, and race model remote-controlled cars against those of other student teams across the country. The curriculum teaches students about aerodynamic design, chassis setup, mechanical engineering, and math modeling (collecting data and making graphs). For more information please visit the Web site or Facebook page.
  • The Balanced Equation Curriculum
    The Balanced Equation curriculum is a great teacher resource to teach young adults grades 9-12 about global sustainability and the role chemistry can play in developing long-lasting solutions. With 10 interdisciplinary designed lessons, the students are engaged in discussions about the importance of considering people, their needs and their environment. This environmental designed curriculum can align with national education standards for science, math, language arts, and social studies. Come investigate this fun, innovative way to incorporate global sustainability and the role chemistry can play.
  • The Science Spot Site
    This website provides a variety of activities and lesson plans for the classroom and the curious, geared toward middle school teachers and students. The Idea Factory contains ideas, words of advice and wisdom from teachers for teachers. Sign up to receive the Lesson or Science Experiment-of-the-week. The Junk-Box and Junk-Yard challenges are designed to teach students how to build a science project from discarded objects.
  • Virtual Field Trips Database
    University of Texas Library collection of virtual field trips and guides throughout the United States and Canada. Developed as course components, the sites contain local geological or earth science information and include links to downloadable versions of published paper texts.
  • Water Filtration Challenge - Teacher's Guide
    Earth provides the air we breathe, the water we drink, and other conditions that support life. On the International Space Station, the Environmental Control and Life Support System provides these needs. The functions of an ECLSS include atmosphere revitalization; atmosphere control and supply; temperature and humidity control; water recovery and management; waste management; and fire detection and suppression. The activities in this guide, for grades 5 - 8, focus on water recovery and management. The challenge is to design and build a water filtration device using commonly available materials. To meet this challenge, students build, test and measure the performance of the filtration device, analyze the data collected, and use this information to work towards an improved filtration design!
  • Water Quality Field Trips
    An opportunity for middle and high school students to study Lake Superior and connecting waters aboard a research vessel!  Class excursions aboard the Agassiz are now available to middle and high school students, providing an opportunity for a hands-on, guided experience in scientific investigations. An afternoon aboard the Agassiz can help enhance student interest in science and math and open the door to exciting career opportunities.
  • Water Science Experiments & Projects
    This site offers many useful classroom tools for conducting water-related science experiments. Included are many tips for teachers and opportunities to purchase cost effective and educational equipment. Project ideas include water testing for pollution and water treatment for drinking purposes.
  • Wetland Education
    Ducks Unlimited site provides a variety of resources on wetland education. Three new units developed for grade levels 4-6, 7-8, and 9-12, in wetland ecosystems series consists of an educator's guide and accompanying student journal, experiments, and activities.
  • Year of the Frog Awareness Program
    Did you know that over 1/3 of Amphibians are endangered animals? The Amphibian Project seeks to resonate within classrooms and inform students and teachers alike about the challenges that these animals face today. The Amphibian Project is celebrating 2008 as the year of the frog and joins all students and adults across the country to join in. To learn more, follow the link provided above.