Science Explorations (Website)
[Scholastic. (800) SCHOLASTIC; Grades 4/up]

     This exciting science website by Scholastic is full of animations, videos, and supporting links. Pointing to each of six circular photos will enlarge and display the topic contained therein, and clicking the photo opens a colorful, child-friendly page where children can select a level (1-3), watch a narrated video, and learn about that topic. They may then Investigate further to access detailed lessons and facts.
     We reviewed
Journey Into Space: Gravity, Orbits and Collisions (Lev. 1), and were delighted with the Moon Olympics video, which uses examples of weightlifting, diving, golf, skateboarding and parachuting to demonstrate to children how the earth's gravity is 6 times stronger than that of the moon.
     Teachers will find this website invaluable. Scholastic, true to its mission, provides comprehensive resources such as technology links, lesson plans, activities, reproducibles, thematic units, templates, classroom management materials, and more.

United States at War: Understanding Conflict and Society
[ABC-CLIO (805) 968-1911; 9th grade/up-website]

     ABC-CLIO has designed an outstanding subscription-based website where students can learn and understand aspects of each of 14 "Wars" in which the United States has been engaged. By organizing concepts into categories - Overview, Causes, Timeline, Consequences, Opponents, Facts & Figures, and a CLIOview (which allows easy statistical comparison of countries) - complex issues can be more easily understood. There are links to maps, flags, documents, images, individuals, audio and video, dictionary, and help.
     Another useful feature of
United States at War is the ability to search by Research, Wars or Themes. Numerous Quicktime videos enhance learning, and add a valuable dimension to the website.
     Educators who have subscribed to other ABC-CLIO programs (State Geography, American History, American Government, World History, The Modern Era,, Ancient and Medieval Eras) will find it easy to maneuver between websites.

Starry Night High School
[Imaginova Corp. (212) 703-5810; Grades 9-12]

Starry Night High School is a sky simulator and educational tool - and so much more.  It provides students with such unique and compelling experiences that it is destined to change lives. The application will create lifelong astronomy enthusiasts and, perhaps, even stellar careers.
     Easy to use,
Starry Night has step-by-step exercises, activities, extensions and resources and is so dense and visually rich that it rivals Red Shift.  A complete teacher's guide helps sort out all of the many features, and includes different ways to use this program.
     While it's not a problem per se,
Starry Night is best used with a high-end video card and lots of hard disk space.  If that's not an issue, this 2006 BESSIE winner belongs in every high school science class.

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