The Scout Report

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The following web sites and reviews appeared in recent issues of “The Scout Report,” a publication of Internet Scout sponsored by University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries or the Scout’s sister site “AMSER” (the Applied Math and Science Education Repository). These sites provide information about the Internet to the U.S. research and education community under a grant from the National Science Foundation.
You can request a free subscription to AMSER at and to The Scout Report at

AMSER Science Reader Monthly

If you are looking for great educational materials in math and science, please take some time to visit Scout's sister site -- the Applied Math and Science Education Repository (AMSER) at AMSER brings together thousands of authoritative applied math and science resources (all of them free and from trusted sources) and includes a suite of built-in free services to help users organize and share their favorite resources with colleagues and students. The newly developed AMSER Science Reader Monthly may be of particular interest to Scout Readers. The AMSER SRM combines resources from the AMSER collection with freely available

articles, about applied math and science, from popular journals. These resources can include curriculum, learning objects, podcasts, videos, and websites. The AMSER Science Reader Monthly is designed to be a ready-to-use tool for math and science educators and it is free to use for everyone. The full collection of AMSER SRM issues can be found at
BioEd Online: Podcasts Plus Lessons [iTunes]

Baylor College of Medicine is responsible for creating this educational online resource for students, teachers, and parents. The podcast feature of the website offers "supplementary standards-based educational activities, research information, and links." The currently available podcasts are by produced by scientists from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI), and they address such topics as astronauts' sleep, astronauts having to diagnose their own injuries while in space, the hazards of lunar dust, and how astronauts exercise in space. Each podcast has a short version and long version that can be played or downloaded. Each podcast also links to lessons for grades K-12, including ones from NOVA Science, NASA, Neuroscience for Kids, and NSBRI. Visitors will also find that there are numerous activities to supplement each podcast, such as "Additional Activities/Extensions",

"Additional Resources" and "National Science Standards" for grades K-4, 5-8

and 9-12.

Cool Science [Flash Player]

The website of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Cool Science, entertains questions of all kinds, encourages young scientists to "get their hands dirty", and provides educators with a range of resources, including interactive media features, lesson plans, and lab exercises. These materials are contained in six primary sections: "For Educators", "Biointeractive", "For Curious Kids", and "Ask A Scientist". The "For Educators" area focuses in on resources organized by type, topic, grade level, and also allows you to sign up for the resources RSS feed. The "Biointeractive" area features archived video lectures, virtual labs, and another series of animations on stem cells, cancer, and immunology.

Charlottesville: A Green City

The city of Charlottesville's official "green" homepage. It's a great place to learn about their green initiatives and related matters.

EPA: Science Notebook [iTunes, pdf]

What are those hard-working scientists at the Environmental Protection

Agency (EPA) up to? That's a good question, and the very fine Science

Notebook website has the answers. The site "offers a window into science at

EPA, through stories, interviews, videos, podcasts, and more." The Science

Notebook homepage includes links to "Greenversations with Scientists", an

ongoing feature that profiles scientists' reflections on studying indoor air

quality, health physics, and other topics. Moving on, visitors can also

explore the work of their "Action Teams", which are working on detecting

lead paint in homes and sustainable use of contaminated sediment. Each one

of these areas features video profiles of various scientists and links to

their team's photographs, publications, and related links. Finally, visitors

can also sign up for their RSS feed and podcast updates.
Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian

Over half a century since his death, Edward S. Curtis's photographs of Native Americans remain tremendously popular, and in some quarters, quite controversial. One of his most notable projects was his limited edition volume, "The North American Indian". Produced with the financial assistance of J.P. Morgan, this limited edition publication contained over 2000 photogravure plates and narrative descriptions. Curtis's intent was to document "the old time Indian, his dress, his ceremonies, his life and manners." The American Memory Project at the Library of Congress has done a tremendous job of digitizing this massive volume, and they have placed it online here for the general public. Visitors can search the volume by

keyword, or browse its contents by subject, American Indian tribe, or geographic location. The site also includes a profile of Curtis, his legacy, and his contributions to ethnography.
Edward Weston Photographs

There are almost 3000 digitized images that make up the Edward Weston

Collection on the website of the Center for Creative Photography, which is

housed at the University of Arizona. What makes Edward Weston's photographs

unique is his use of a large format camera, much like Ansel Adams used.

Weston kept company with other artists, such as Diego Rivera, Ansel Adams,

and Jose Clemente Orozco. A number of the photographs in the collection are

portraits of his artist friends.

Encouraging Critical Thinking Online [pdf]

Students spend a great deal of time online, and teachers may wonder how they

can best teach students to use -- or disregard -- the information they find.

Created by the Intute organization in the UK, "Encouraging Critical Thinking

Online" consists of two teaching units for use in classroom settings. The exercises can be used individually or consecutively. The resources "encourage students to think carefully and critically about the information sources they use," and the lessons learned are broadly applicable to a range of humanities disciplines. There is a teacher's guide and the two units ask students to use the Internet to explore a question with multiple possible answers and also to gauge public opinion on a controversial topic.
EXPLO.TV [Real Player, iTunes]

Even though EXPLO.TV sounds like an edgy punk website, it's actually the

video component of the Exploratorium: Museum of Science, Art and Human

Perception in San Francisco. This website has some excellent ways to learn

about science--such as webcasts, podcasts, and video clips. At the top of the page you will find several ways to browse: "Presentation Type", "Program Type", or "Category". Within the categories section are: "Everyday Science", "History of Science", and "Popular Science in Action".
Exploring the Environment: Modules & Activities [pdf]

The "Classroom of the Future" and "Exploring the Environment" are a

collaboration between NASA and Jesuit Wheeling University and are responsible for this website. The site offers teachers unique ways to teach students about weather systems. The activities are for grades 5-12, and each activity indicates the applicable grade level, though most lean toward the upper grades. The homepage has a jigsaw puzzle graphic with pieces interlocking that compromise the topics, their grade ranges, whether they are an activity or lesson, and whether they are "Basic", "Comprehensive" or "Advanced". The two "Activities" available "Strangers in Paradise" and "Mars Landing" are located on the homepage at the top of the jigsaw puzzle graphic. Both are for grades 7-12, and each emphasizes working with digital

images. Detailed instructions are provided. Each of the lessons involves a situation that students must solve. Some of the lessons include "Florida Everglades", "Water Quality", and "Tropical Poison".

The Great Issues Forum [Real Player, iTunes, Macromedia Flash Player]

The Graduate Center at the City University of New York (CUNY) has created the Great Issues Forum in order to "explore critical issues of our time through a single thematic lens." The program was started in 2007, and the initiative includes free public conversations, online seminars, and a number of other features designed to bring these conversations to people around the globe. Visitors can get a sense of these conversations by clicking on the "Online Audio/Video Archive" to view past

sessions. These sessions have included discussion on political power, economic power, and the African-American church and American politics. The current issue is religion.
U.S. Department of State Media Center


The U.S. Department of State is responsible for maintaining diplomatic relations with countries around the globe, and also informing the U.S. public about their activities and diplomatic affairs. An important part of this mission is fulfilled through their recently redesigned website. On the homepage visitors can peruse one of nine primary sections, including "Policy Issues", "Democracy & Global Affairs", and "Countries & Regions". Visitors are encouraged to view featured video presentations on the homepage, such as "Internet Freedom and 21st Century Statecraft".

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