Finding safe engaging collaborative projects for
your classroom doesn’t have to be a challenge. There are
many mentored and data entry activities that allow your students
to participate with
classrooms across the country and around the world. Many of the Internet
projects have been around for years with proven track records. Others
have the backing of non-profit foundations. Browse through these
sites to find a project that is just right for your classroom.
Introduce your students to inquiry through the Cornell
Lab of Ornithology’s
Citizen Science program. Most Wanted Birds is the first of a series
of modules being developed with major backing from the National Science
Foundation. By using this curriculum kids learn how to identify birds,
keep investigative journals, and submit data. Information from the
database is then used for further exploration. Resources that support
these lessons include a Teacher's Guide, Reference Guide, Investigator's
Journal, and resource kit materials, including the Focus Bird Cards
and Bird ID CD-Rom. To participate in the program you will need to
order the curriculum kit for $69.95 plus $5.00 shipping that entitles
you free online access to module two, Investigating Evidence.
Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education
Founded in 1988, CIESE became part of the Charles V. Schaefer School
of Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in 2004. Their
interdisciplinary projects focus on collaboration and real time data
from the Internet. Down the Drain, Bucket Buddies, and Human Genetics
are representative of collaborative projects conducted during the
spring and fall each year. Examples of ongoing projects that use
real time data are Musical Plates, Weather Scope, and Navigational
Vectors. Each project is linked to the National Science Standards
and NTCM math standards. Rounding out the site are more projects
on primary sources and links to partner projects.
Global Grocery List Project
Don't have a clue about how much food costs in your town? What about
in other towns around the world? Have no idea? Then, take the challenge
and go on a shopping spree with the Global Grocery List Project.
It began in December of 1987. Since then data has been collected
and examined by classes all over the world.
The Global SchoolNet Foundation organizes, manages, and facilitates
projects for schools. Their HILITES archives and mailing list keeps
educators up-to-date on project ideas. The project registry allows
schools to register upcoming events in which others might want to
participate. Projects range from videoconferencing to electronic
publishing. In addition, their Global SchoolHouse supports a virtual
community where educators, students, and parents can collaborate
through projects like GeoGame, Letters to Santa, and Doors to Diplomacy.
The GLOBE Project
Inspire your students to be environmental scientists and learn about
the scientific process. Through a scientifically rigorous program
of Earth observations, students will aid research scientists in their
study of the global environment. In addition, the GLOBE program links
students with these research scientists and students in over one
hundred countries via forums. The protocols or measurement activities
include the following categories, atmosphere/climate, soil, hydrology,
land cover/biology, phenology, and GPS. Before participating in the
GLOBE project, teachers must attend a workshop. Some equipment is
also necessary and should be factored into the school budget. GLOBE,
established in 1995, is managed by theUniversity Corporation for
Atmospheric Research and Colorado State University (UCAR/CSU) with
support from NASA, NSF and the U.S. Department of State.
(International Education and Resource Network)
This nonprofit organization creates structured projects that facilitate
engaged learning and youth making a difference on an International
scale. Projects are initiated and designed by students and teachers
to develop cultural awareness, literacy, critical thinking skills,
and involvement in community issues. Over one hundred projects are
offered such as Book Marks Our World, the Daffodil and Tulip project,
and Connecting Cultures: Understanding Our Connected Past to Build
a United Future. Be sure to visit their Website for a complete list.
The JASON Project, founded in 1989 by Dr. Robert D. Ballard emphasizes
real science, real time, real learning. Its mission is to inspire
in students a life-long passion for learning in science, math, and
technology through hands-on, real-world scientific discovery. Students
in grades 4 -9 embark on expeditions led by scientists that allow
for all sorts of interaction. Recent expeditions include Operation:
Monster Storms, Geometry and Return to Titanic, and Mysteries of
Earth and Mars. There is a nominal cost for the curriculum.
Each year students and teachers follow wildlife migrations and participate
in a variety of activities during Journey North. Of particular interest
is watching the migration of the Monarch Butterfly. Have you ever
observed a ravenous caterpillar consume a bunch of leaves? Have you
ever watched a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis? On the resource
page at Journey North for Kids, there is a series of movies about
Monarch biology with discussion questions to pose before viewing.
These visual presentations are great introductions to the life cycle
process. In addition, you can track hummingbirds, gray whales, whooping
cranes, bald eagles, robins, and even tulip gardens. Journey North
is a free online educational service, supported by the Annenberg
KidLink is owned by a Norwegian non-profit organization named the
KidLink Society, aimed at getting as many youth as possible involved
in a global dialog. Several languages are supported. Check-out the
KidLink faces page to view self-portraits. Participate in one of
the discussion boards like Making the World Better. Contribute art
to KidArt. These examples are only a fraction of the activities that
abound on KidLink, a great gathering place for kids around the world.
Families, schools, and organizations are encouraged
to publicly honor heroes that have made a difference through words,
short films. On the teacher page there are lessons, resources, and
a calendar with hero stories for each day. The eCreate tool allows
teachers to create an index of student stories so students can view
each other’s work and share stories with their parents. Students
are provided a step-by-step tutorial for creating a MY HERO Web page.
This site offers a wealth of material for learning, thinking and
writing about heroes.
NASA offers several initiatives for educators and students. Challenges
are free Web-based, interactive explorations designed to engage students
in authentic scientific and engineering processes. Past challenges
include Design a Planet, Spaceward Bound, and Design a Mars Airplane.
In addition there are free online tools and resources such as Moon
Math, Virtual Skies, and Wings over Mars. These various software
and simulation programs will engage students of all ages.
Load those wagons.
Kiss the kin goodbye. You've decided to embark on an extraordinary
adventure that will take you and your family
across miles of dangerous, unfamiliar territory. You've gathered
with other pioneers in Independence, Missouri. Everything that will
fit inside is packed into your Prairie Schooner. You are as ready
as you can be for the journey of nearly 2,000 miles. This popular
project has been leading wagons west for over fifteen years through
interactive forums, chats, and emails. (Cyberbee Hosted)