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Back-to-School Resources from Science NetLinks

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Fall is once again right around the corner, which means it's time to get ready to head back to school. As you're arranging your classroom, planning your first lessons, and clearing out the detritus left over from last spring, set aside some time to see what offerings Science NetLinks and AAAS have to help you and your students make your next year of science a successful one.

We've got fresh resources for you: New to the lessons section of the site are a middle school lesson plan on inventions based on biomimicry (Death Defying Cockroaches) and two lessons that use award-winning science books on chickens to explore the relationships animals have with their environments and what is necessary to their survival. The picture book A Chicken Followed Me Home! Questions and Answers about a Familiar Fowl, by Robin Page, is the basis of a lesson for youngest elementary school students, while Melissa Caughey's hands-on book A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens is appropriate for students in grades 3–5. Both authors contributed Spotlight on Science Writers blog posts to Science NetLinks this summer about how they came to write their books, which may be used to supplement the lessons or get kids interested in books for independent reading. You can read Page's here and Caughey's here. Additional resources from past years of the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize for Excellence in Science Books can be found in our collection.

Elsewhere on the site you'll find student-friendly pieces based on Science Update podcasts about how the pollen bees consume exposes them to harmful pesticides, how ancient minerals are providing new information on the formation of our planet, and why leaving childhood behind can bring uncertainty – and anxiety, a topic that may particularly resonate as students begin new subjects with new teachers in new grades and sometimes new schools.

Our latest tools span social, life, and physical sciences. The Thousand-Year Graveyard is based on an interactive resource from Science Magazine that looks at how scientists uncover a tortured history of disease and death from the Middle Ages onward. The iBiome Wetland App lets students use mobile devices to explore a wetland habitat and all the amazing species it contains. BioInteractive is a collection of resources, including animations, film, video, interactives, and virtual labs, that all pertain to the life sciences. Simple Machines is an adorable interactive from the Museum of Science and Industry that invites young students to develop solutions to problems using a minimum of force, a variety of common objects, and the building blocks of physics. 

Did you know we offer video collections organized by grade band (K-23-56-8, and 9-12)? Our most recent finds include Juno: Mission to Jupiter 360 Video, which lets you fly along with the NASA spacecraft; Oceans Overview, a National Geographic video about oceans and their importance to life on Earth; Protective Ebola Suit, on undergraduates and others involved in a design challenge to create better personal protective equipment for Ebola workers; and the animated Why Do You Get Allergies?

Some of our back-to-school classics include resources for helping you manage your classroom: Creating Classroom Rules helps students develop an understanding that that classroom rules exist to help people get along in a group and to keep people safe, while Making Good Decisions lets them practice the skill of reasoned decision making and anticipate the consequences of their choices. Through My School as a System, students will explore systems; they will think about their schools as systems, focusing on a social rather than scientific understanding of the concept. What Can I Do? asks students to identify their feelings and learn some constructive ways of handling conflict.

AAAS has other resources for science teachers: Our STEM Volunteers program pairs teachers and active or retired STEM professionals for classroom visits and activities during the school year. This project is based in the Washington, D.C., area, but we include links to programs elsewhere in the country you may be able to take advantage of. Science in the Classroom is a collection of annotated research papers and accompanying teaching materials designed to help high school students understand the structure and workings of current professional scientific research. Recent topics covered include limb regeneration, CRiSPR and gene editing, and dinosaurs' metabolism. We also offer suggestions for incorporating nonfiction into the science classroom for compliance with Common Core recommendations; using high technology, like video games and simulators, to teach science and mathematics; exploring the importance of failure; using data in the classroom; and introducing students to scientific inquiry.

Finally, thank you for all the knowledge you impart to our next generation, the enthusiasm you bring to the classroom, and the time that goes into being the great teachers we know you are. We here at Science NetLinks look forward to sharing more resources with you and your students over the course of the upcoming school year. Let's make it a great one!


This post originally appeared on Science NetLinks.