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Back to School with Science NetLinks


Your classroom is in order, your first lessons are planned, and you're ready to start a new school year. See what Science NetLinks has to offer you and your students.

Students work best in an atmosphere conducive to learning. Your students can help set the tone for a positive educational environment: Get them involved in creating classroom rules to show that different groups of people may have different rules. They also can practice balancing different interests involved in solving social problems, looking for the most realistic solution and reaching a compromise. Help students better recognize and understand how groups influence the behavior of their members through rules and expectations. They'll focus on rules that govern family, peer, and school interactions. You can also use school as a model: students can consider how their school works as a system, focusing on a social rather than scientific understanding of the concept, and reach an understanding of the importance of each part of that system working in harmony.

If you're hoping to better familiarize your students with more rigorous science this year, we recommend two sites: Using Data in the Classroom contains discussions of pedagogic issues, links to sources of online data that can be used for education, examples of exercises that educators have developed, and scenarios that describe future uses for data in the classroom. Science in the Classroom is a collection of annotated research papers and accompanying teaching materials designed to help students understand the structure and workings of professional scientific research. The site is managed by a team of editors of the AAAS research journal, Science. You also might check out this blog post from 2012, where we explore how to understand research studies.

If you're hunting for ways to incorporate Common Core State Standards into your classroom, we have a collection of lessons that will help you do that. We also offer book recommendations for your classroom library, book club guides, and suggestions for using award-winning children's science books to support the implementation of Common Core standards in the STEM classroom. If you haven't already, make sure you check out the Spotlight on Science Writers series here on our blog for guest posts from beloved authors of nonfiction.

Are you looking for ways to better incorporate hands-on inquiry or technology into your classroom? For the former, we've written a lesson where students explore scientific inquiry by performing a hands-on activity about clouds by author Robert Gardner. For the latter, check out this video conversation between Bruce Alberts, then editor-in-chief of Science magazine, and Merrilea Mayo, director of the Future Learning Initiative at the Kauffman Foundation, in which they discuss how teachers might better use high technology, like video games and simulators, to teach science and mathematics.

If you're already on-board with technology in your classroom and want resources to add to your classroom's tablets or recommend for students' personal devices, our Science Apps collection offers reviews of STEM-related apps for both the iPad and the Android. Amongst our latest app recommendations, you'll find the Hopscotch: Coding for Kids app, which you can use to learn how to code and even make your own games; the Inventioneers app, which challenges kids to solve problems using the objects provided; and the goREACT app, which lets you experiment with chemistry almost anywhere you go.

Our video collections (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12) are also great ways for students to spend time productively while on mobile devices. Check out some of our latest additions: Your biology students can learn about recent shark attacks and what's happening with Mary Lee the shark. See Liquid 3-D Printing Explained to see how the process is evolving and speeding up—fascinating stuff for your physics, technology, and art students alike. Your astronomy class can find out why Science declared the Rosetta mission last year's Breakthrough of the Year, as well as what was happening with the New Horizons mission this summer in Pluto on the Horizon. They also can suit up for a celebration of 50 years of spacewalks. Meanwhile, earth studies students can take a GoPro adventure to study soil in the desert, grasslands, and pine forests of Arizona. And everyone will find Ainissa Ramirez's Science Xplained series, which looks at the science behind everyday topics, from football to ice cream, fascinating.

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