Best Education Sites
We’ve gathered a panel of specialists from the fields of graphic design, web development, and college counseling to analyze the state of the academic web space in 2011. We set out to answer one question: Are schools doing the best job they can of reaching out to students through edu websites? At Best Education Sites, we believe that many of our colleges and universities are failing their students in one crucial way – by not providing them with a rich and easy learning experience on their educational sites. As the world of web design progresses at a dizzying pace, education websites seem to be lost in the past, unable or unwilling to keep up.
Anyone who has visited edu sites has probably had the experience: clunky user interface, incomprehensible navigation, ugly design, and no content of any real use for students. We are well aware of this situation, and that is why we decided to create this project of ranking the best educational websites: to try to help fix it.
Our 2011 report on the state of the academic web space, in particular educational websites for students, was compiled by our team of over 2,000 web specialists for the single purpose of assessing where we stand, as a nation of colleges and universities, right now. Rating each school’s educational website in terms of design, content, and usability, our experts have sought to create a full and thorough picture of what each educational site has to offer, and what it lacks.
We‘ve also looked at schools’ use (or misuse) of social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter. Although we believe that, by and large, schools, through their learning websites, are inadequately supplying their students with a web experience of quality, we also want to acknowledge those that have done a stellar job at creating some of the best educational sites for students. This is how we give the best sites their proper due.
BestEdSites is intended for anyone who has ever become frustrated by the education website of a college or university, and for everyone who thinks that our schools can – and should – do better. Best Education Sites is also for anyone interested in web design and higher education, and how the two seemingly disparate fields of interest interact in profoundly important ways. Most of all, Best Education Sites is for students.
Today’s college students are engaged with an online world in a way that no other generation ever has before. Our schools must step up to the challenge of meeting them there by providing them with the best education websites possible. And we will try to help them do just that.
Click here for a list of educational websites and educational links including the best educational websites for kids, the top educational websites for teachers, the top language arts educational sites for kids and the best websites for students regarding math and science.
More Recommended Astronomy Sites
* Is it your child’s dream of taking a ride aboard the Space Shuttle to the International Space Station? * That may be possible in the future, but not at the present. However, you can inspire them to be our future .
* I have listed some great astronomy sites for kids and even older folks:
- KidsAstronomy.com – A free and fun resource with lots of interactive learning. There are games, stellar observation information, an Online Astronomy Academy, and other cool stuff. Has many space related topics for ages 7-18.
- Astronomy for Kids- Basic, easy to read information about our solar system and beyond. Specially suited for ages 6-12.
- NASA Kids Club - Has lots and lots of great interactive learning games for many skill levels. I even played some myself. The Buzz Light Year Travels to Space games are really fun.
- StarChild - A learning resource with tons of terrific information about space and the universe. Great for kids under age 14.
- Goddard Spaceflight Center: Imagine the Universe - A learning resource with tons of terrific information about space and the universe. Great for high school students.
- Amazing Space – An awesome site suitable for all ages that teaches about space through the “eyes” of the Hubble Space Telescope.
- NASA Space Place – Another great NASA site that offers cool games, activity projects, trivia facts, and much more. * Additiional sites to be added…. Stay Tuned
Amazing Astronomy Projects For Kids
Hey, kids! Would you like some projects to help you learn about astronomy and have fun, too? Here’s the place to find what you need!
Astronomy Coloring Pages Do you want to have some fun coloring about your favorite space themes? Get your astronomy coloring pages here
Astronomy For Kids – Learning Center Are you ready to learn more about astronomy? This is the place to go for information about our solar system, the stars, our galaxy and more…
Astronomy For Kids – Questions and Answers Hey, kids… Do you have questions about astronomy and what’s out there? This is the place to come for answers!
Astronomy For Kids – Video Hey, kids… Do you want to learn about astronomy and have fun at the same time? Come on in! (Moms and Dads – Grandparents, too – these are fun, safe videos with great astronomy education themes guaranteed to keep them smiling and learning!)
Are you looking for a cool arts and crafts type of astronomy project that you can build as part of an astronomy outreach activity? Then look no further. You’ll find your plans inside here…
The Planisphere (Project)
By Contributed by Tammy Plotner
Would you like to create your own simple planisphere with your class or group? Here’s how…
A Grapefruit Saturn (Project)
By Lynda Filip and John Percy
Students will construct a scale model of Saturn; use it to explain a Voyager image of Saturn’s shadow on its rings,,,
Making a Sun Clock (Project)
By Contributed by Tammy Plotner
Before there were clocks, people used shadows to tell time…
THE THOUSAND-YARD MODEL or, The Earth as a Peppercorn (Project)
By Guy Otwell
Making a scale model of the sizes and spacings of the planets using common household materials. A classic activity by Guy Ottewell.
Toilet Paper Solar System (Project)
By Elizabeth Roettger.
A classic activity by the late Gerald Mallon is redone by Elizabeth Roettger. Students use rolls of toilet paper to measure of the scale of the solar system
Comet in the Classroom (Project)
By Dennis Schatz
Using some dry ice and common materials to make a model comet that can be seen to sublime. A classic activity by Dennis Schatz.
Planets In A Bottle (Project)
By James Phillips
This is a prototype lesson plan for “Planet in a Bottle” yeast experiments intended for 2nd through 4th grade classrooms.
Ions in Action (Project)
Atoms are the teeny tiny particles that make up all matter….
Build a Bubble-Powered Rocket! (Project)
Build your own rocket using paper and fizzing tablets! Watch it lift off. How high does your rocket go?
“See” Inside a Closed Box! (Project)
Imagine being able to make a detailed map of an object you can’t even see.
Build A Telescope (Activity)
By Tammy Plotner
Have you ever wanted to build a telescope?
International Space Station Kid’s Activity Sheet
Here’s a great activity sheet on the International Space Station!
Space Activity Book
Be a favorite with the kids by handing out this great activity book!
Is there anything cooler than a ruler?
Galaxy Trading Cards
Each card displays a color image of a galaxy on one side and describes the galaxy’s type, its location within a constellation, and interesting facts on the other side.
Lives of Stars
By NASA Night Sky Network
Great handout on the life cycle of stars!
Getting Started In Astronomy
By Sky & Telescope Magazine
From Sky & Telescope Magazine – The perfect guide to handout to visitors to get them started!
View this NASA educational bookmark for information about EarthKAM. The back of the bookmark contains pictures of Earth taken from space.
How To Use A Starchart
By Contributed by Tammy Plotner
Astronomers think it’s easy… But a newbie doesn’t.
Comets and Asteroids Handout
Need a handout explaining the difference between comets and asteroids?
Rocky Planets vs. Gas Planets
Need a great handout for your star party, astronomy outreach event, scout meeting, or astronomy class that details the difference between the rocky planets and the gas planets?
Globular Clusters vs. Open Clusters
Need a great handout to demonstrate the differences between globular clusters and open clusters? Here you go!
Refractors vs. Reflectors
Need a great handout that outlines the differences between refractors and reflectors?
A Guide to Outer Space Surveillance!
If you look into the sky at night while in the city, you will see fewer stars than you would if you looked into the night sky from out in the country. This is because of light pollution. The lights we use on Earth, such as streetlights and car headlights, help us see at night but too much light actually limits our ability to see up into space. Scientists are able to use telescopes to see the objects in space much closer than we can by just looking up. While space is still mysterious to even the smartest scientist, we have discovered a lot of information about the stars, planets, and other bodies that exist in outer space.
Types of Stars
Stars shine so brightly because they are on fire. You might be wondering how that can be possible. You have probably seen a campfire die out, so how can a star keep burning for so long? They use a process called nuclear fusion to turn hydrogen into helium over and over again. Just in our galaxy there are over 100 billion stars, one of which is the Sun. Like snowflakes, no two stars in the universe are the same, and hotter stars tend to burn brighter. One type of star is the Red Giant. These are usually stars that have run out of hydrogen to fuse. They get really, really big and can suck in planets and other space objects. White dwarfs are another type of star. They are incredibly heavy but only a little bigger than the Earth. They are usually stars that were Red ?Giants at an earlier time but cooled down. When a White Dwarf cools down, it becomes a Black Dwarf.
Why is it so hard to see stars in city skies?
Mysteries of the Night Sky
What are stars made of, how many are there and how can we study them?
A little bit of information on star spectrums.
Learn what white dwarf stars look like and how they’re formed.
The Solar System
Our solar system only has one star: the Sun. But it supplies light and heat for lots and lots of other objects. Our solar system has eight planets. In order from the closest to the sun they are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. There are also several dwarf planets, a belt of metal space rocks known as asteroids between Mars and Jupiter, and comets which are flying clouds of gas, dust and rock.
A solar system quiz with both easy and hard questions.
Play this game and see if you can put the planets in order.
Go on an animated planet adventure.
Views of the Solar System
Learn about the different objects that can be found in our solar system.
All about comets, what they’re made of and how to know if you’ve seen one.
The universe is made up of billions of galaxies, which are collections of dust, stars and gas. Galaxies range from 1,500 to 300,000 light years in size. Our solar system is part of the Milky Way Galaxy, which is about 100,000 light years across. There are three main types of galaxies. Spiral galaxies are those that have gas and dust arms spreading outward from its center in a spiral pattern. The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy. There are also elliptical galaxies that are more circular. They are the most common type of galaxy and they are made up mostly of stars. Finally, irregular galaxies do not have a defined shape and they are the most likely place where new stars will be formed.
A brief summary of what are inside galexies.
Learn about the different types of galaxies.
More information on elliptical galaxies.
Glitter Galaxies (PDF)
Make your own galaxy artwork at home.
Check out some really cool pictures of galaxies in outer space.
Our solar system is huge. It measures about two light years across. However, the Universe is many billions of light years across; hundreds, perhaps thousands of billions of light years in fact. When we look up at the night sky we can see light from stars that may have burned out millions of years ago. It’s just taking a long time for the light to get here. No one is sure how the Universe came to be, but there are many educated theories. One of the most popular is the Big Bang Theory. It suggests that all matter was once squished together in a tiny, dense space and then exploded with a big bang. Theories such as this are researched by astronomers, who are scientists that study space.
Check out awesome pictures of real space objects taken by the Hubble Telescope.
Can you correctly answer these ten questions about the Universe?
Do you want to be an astronomer when you grow up? Find out what it takes.
More details on the Big Bang Theory and the beginning of the Universe.
The Universe is made up of a lot of dark energy and dark matter. Learn more about them.
A black hole is perhaps the most powerful force in the universe. They are created when giant stars explode in a supernova. They are so powerful that they absorb light, so we can’t actually see them. The objects that surround them sometimes reflect light so it isn’t impossible to determine where one is. In 2011, people actually saw a star sucked into a black hole in the visible night sky. Scientists believe that the center of every galaxy is actually a supermassive black hole. An object needs to be quite close to a black hole to fall in, so the Earth is not at risk of falling into the hole at the center of the Milky Way.
A kid’s guide to black holes.
Some black hole questions answered by Dr. Cathy Imhoff, an astronomer.
An interview with UCLA physics and astronomy professor Andrea Ghez.
11 questions and answers about black holes.
Links to some great space videos including one about black holes.
* This section was recommended and supplied to us via Pedro and sent in by tutor Jess Chapman Science Department
Jean Massieu Academy
Room W-117 Phone x2905
Free Presentations in PowerPoint Format
Blast Off with NASA
Free Presentations in PowerPoint format & Free Interactives for Kids
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- Don’t Forget NASA’s Education Programs (powertolearn.typepad.com)