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Resources and Opportunities

The University of Texas Marine Science Institute The University of Texas Marine Science Institute has a web site with pictures of the institute and its surroundings, weather and tide information, stories about recent work and events, and other items of interest.

Helen Ross Russell, Ten-Minute Field Trips
In six topical chapters, this book presents more than 200 short field trips that can be taken within the immediate environs of a school. The book includes classroom activities to precede the field trip, suggestions for teacher preparation, and a list of possible trips. The material is appropriate for grades K-8 and for all settings--urban, suburban, or rural. This book will be valuable for teachers who are new to the idea of short, localized field trips.

Washington, D.C.: National Science Teachers Association, 1998. 176 pp, $21.95 (10% discount for NSTA members)

Schoolyard Ecology
Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) publishes Schoolyard Ecology for grades 3 to 6. This teachers' guide emphasizes the schoolyard as a small ecosystem and integrates mathematics and science skills. The activities also wed inquiry-based learning with stewardship of the natural world.

Contact the Lawrence Hall of Science University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-5200 or call (510) 642-7771

Science Scope, January 1999
Two articles in the January 1999 issue of Science Scope (published by the National Science Teachers Association) could help in developing long-term projects on birds. Jean L. Pottle has an article on crows with materials and activities that cut across disciplines. "Beak Adaptations" by Frank W. Guerrierie uses scissors, slotted spoons, staple removers, chopsticks, and other common items to simulate beaks and help students understand how these appendages are adapted for bird's ultimate uses. This project is similar to one used at the SCIMAST 1999 Winter Meeting.

Wilma Prudhum Greene (1998). Museums and Learning: A Guide for Family Visits
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education and Smithsonian Office of Education. As its subtitle indicates this pamphlet is intended to help parents get the most out of family trips to museums, zoos, botanical gardens, and other informal science settings. Teachers will also find useful tips in the text and many resources in the Bibliography and Resources. A single copy costs 50 cents and can be ordered from

Media and Information Services of the Office of Educational Research and Improvement
Department of Education
555 New Jersey Ave., NW,
Washington DC 20208-5570

Alternatively, the entire text can be downloaded from the web site at

Secret Forest Experience Curriculum
Available on the web or in print, the Secret Forest Experience Curriculum includes an educator's web site and printed curriculum for middle school teachers, and a four-page magazine and supporting web site for elementary school children. The curriculum emphasizes field studies, hands-on activities, and learning community connections to deepen students' understanding of forest ecosystems and connect them with others involved in this field of study. This material is presented by Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics; contact them at

PO Box 11615
Eugene, OR 97403

Virtual Field Trips on the Web
Many sites on the web claim to offer virtual field trips to natural areas or to institutions like museums. The site at covers natural areas from around the world. In addition, it has many informative links. Unfortunately, even high school students will find most of the material difficult. Teachers, however, could use many of these pages to plan classroom discussions or, in certain cases, to preview and plan an actual field trip. The site includes field trips to the Avery Island Salt Domes in Louisiana, the Albuquerque area and Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, and Enchanted Rock, the Permian Reef, and Big Bend National Park in Texas. The site also has interesting links from the Oklahoma Geological Survey page, but Arkansas is not covered.

Digital Field Trip to the Wetlands
Tasa Graphic Arts offers a CD-ROM titled Digital Field Trip to the Wetlands. Single users pay $99; a network license (one CD for ten machines) is $549; and a lab pack (five CDs for five machines), $249. Schools that have the money to invest in this CD-ROM could use it as an introduction to actual field trips. The material could also introduce students to an environment that is not immediately accessible in their home area. The CD-ROM includes student materials and workbook files that a teacher can modify.

Tasa Graphic Arts
9301 Indian School Rd. NE, Suite 208
Albuquerque NM 87112-2861
(800) 293-2725 or (505) 293-2727
The company has a 30-day review period for educational institutions only.

"Inch by Inch, Row by Row: A Garden Overview for Teachers and Parents"
The web page "Inch by Inch, Row by Row: A Garden Overview for Teachers and Parents" presents an overview of why and how a class or entire school might plant an educational garden. A single class can use a garden for a specific purpose or it can be used by the entire school for many purposes. Not only science and mathematics, but also art, history, language arts, and other subjects can be the focus of the garden, which can be an integrated experience from the time the children enter the school until they leave it. Access the web site at

The Los Padillas School in Albuquerque maintains a garden using the community resources and traditions of the area.

Bat Conservation International (BCI)
Bats are an important component of Southwestern ecology. Bat Conservation International (BCI) maintains a web site at The organization has a book, Educator's Activity Book about Bats, that incorporates field work into classroom study about these creatures. In addition, BCI offers a kit called Discover Bats! The kit includes a handbook, video, and opportunities for computer-aided research. Lessons are divided into three difficulty levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Call BCI for information at 1-800-538-BATS.

Science Centers on the Web
Most of us will probably never need to know about the hands-on science center in Vaxjo, Sweden, but does attempt to present all known web pages of child-centered science centers and museums. This page would be useful for families planning vacations, but teachers can use it to check out the offerings, costs, and other data on local institutions. Much of the information and techniques from linked web pages might also be useful in the hometown classroom. Many centers are reviewed with reports on the experiences and impression of adults and children (at least one of the adults is always an engineer). Not all centers in the Southwest are on this page, but a fair sampling is presented and several are reviewed.

Science-Rich Resources in the Southwest SCIMAST maintains an online database of regional science-rich resourses at http://www.sedl.orgscimast/srr.html

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