Free Resources for Science Teachers

Court TV has developed, as part of a continuing educational partnership with the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Forensics in the Classroom. New units are in development in cooperation with NSTA. Look for them in the fall! Download this free standards-based curriculum supplement at:

SACNAS Biography Project, online resource for K12 educators who are interested in teaching their students about the accomplishments of Chicano/Latino and Native American scientists. Profiles of scientists, mathematicians, and engineers, written at middle school and high school levels, are organized in the following ways: by scientist's last name, by scientific subject/discipline, by grade level, and by women scientists. Read or download them:

Teachers' Domain is a free digital library of multimedia resources for K12 audiences, focusing initially on life sciences (resources are being developed for other core subject areas.)  Teachers and students can use classroom-ready streaming video clips, audio clips and interactive activities.  There are over 150 resources from broadcast programs such as Nova, A Science Odyssey, and ZOOM.  Teachers can use included lesson plans to integrate Teachers' Domain content into their existing curriculum.  All of the resources are correlated to national, state, and MCREL standards. Click here to learn more: (Note: Free registration is required.)

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute produces many award-winning, free science education resources on DVD, VHS, CD-ROM and the web. All are free to educators and can be ordered through:

The Everglades National Park is sponsoring a free e-Field Trip titled, "The Reptiles and Amphibians of Everglades National Park." There is an interactive web component as well as an opportunity for students to e-mail questions to the experts at the park. Teachers can get additional information or register for this free event at:

Ask Dr. Global Change, searchable collection of answers to questions about global warming, ozone depletion, greenhouse gases, and other issues related to climate change. This free service from the Global Change Research Information Office can be found at:

Science Education at Jefferson Lab is also available at that site, which offers 16 hands-on activities to answer these and other questions: How do scientists measure the size of an atom? What kind of coat will keep you the warmest: one made from cotton, steel wool, or air? Students can learn the periodic table of elements and other science information via flash cards, matching games, and crossword puzzles.

Science Fair Organizer. Find a wealth of resources for a successful science fair, from getting kids on track to judging the final experiments. It's available online at:

Worms in Vermicomposting. Puzzles and activities to educate students about the work of worms in vermicomposting. Download as PDF files from:


Geologic Time, a short, easily understandable U.S. Geological Survey booklet that discusses the relative time scale, fossil succession, rocks and fossils, and radiometric time scale. Access it at:


The Environmental Education Exchange develops programs and materials on environmental issues in the United States and Mexico, including water conservation, recycling and waste reduction, and endangered species. Find out more about the organization's free materials at:

Understanding Lake Ecology, 21-page online limnology primer that provides a general background to Water on the Web and introduces the basic concepts necessary to understand how lake ecosystems function. The primer contains a list of publications that provide more in-depth coverage of the science of freshwater ecosystems. Access this publication at:

Essential Biosafety, a CD-ROM publication containing comprehensive information about the safety of genetically modified crops and food products. Request a copy at:


World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Education kits for the WWF's "Pennies for the Planet" campaign, free to educators nationwide. The kits contain information about the world's ecoregions and ways kids can help the environment. Your students also have a chance to win WWF's next "Biodiversity Bash." WWF will personally visit the group that makes the single largest donation to the campaign this year. The bash will feature guest speakers, education activities, games, and prizes. To request "Pennies for the Planet" kits, write to World Wildlife Fund, Attn.: "Pennies for the Planet," 1250 24th St. NW, Washington, DC 20037-1175, or e-mail Indicate the number of kits you'd like to receive (two per classroom is sufficient). Additional information about the program appears at:

Junkyard Wars in the Classroom, website from the popular cable series that contains resources teachers can use to bring the science behind the show into their classrooms. The site's Activity Library features activities in which students can create build devices and structures, such as air-powered rockets, bridges, wheels, and boats. The Create Your Own Challenge section gives teachers tips, forms, certificates, and rubrics for designing their own classroom challenges. The site also has games, puzzles, and videos from the series for students. To find out more, visit:

DragonflyTV Teachers Guides, created by DragonflyTV. (These guides also appear in the NSTA journals Science Scope and Science and Children.) Topics include air, animals, flight, human behavior, investigate, plants, rocks, structures, sports, spinning, water, weather, and wheels. Download the guides from:

The APSnet Education Center, a new (and still growing) website that presents information on plant health and plant diseases. Sponsored by the American Phytopathological Society, the site is completely free and includes peer-reviewed publications with many photographs and other resources. It contains material for introductory and advanced plant pathology (including disease lessons, labs, topics, and an illustrated glossary). A K12 section designed for teachers has a monthly News and Views publication, labs, classroom activities (background information, lesson plans, and class handouts), online mentors, a resource catalog, and a bulletin board for questions and discussions. To learn more, visit:

Your Timesavers, the Best Lessons, collection of teacher-developed, web-based lesson plans for topics in science, math, technology, and other subjects. Each lesson plan contains a brief description, learning objectives, and detailed procedures for teachers, including a list of sites to bookmark. Students can use the printable activity organizers accompanying each lesson plan. This website is connected with WNET-TV New York. Access the collection at:

Schools Online, website for K12 educators that features brief text or animated presentations on such topics as planting and tending gardens; incorporating 4H projects in the classroom; and helping students become more aware of how plants, animals, and humans interact with ecosystems. The site also contains presentations on character education, parental involvement, and sports and nutrition. It is located at:

Seeds Feed the World, publication from the National Gardening Association.
Teachers will discover the history of people/seed partnerships and find ideas for classroom investigations. Download a copy from:

"Investigating Water Rockets," water bottle rocket activity from the Genesis Mission's Dynamic Design: Launch and Propulsion module. This science module focuses on the launch and propulsion of the Genesis spacecraft. It also contains video and audio clips featuring Boeing's Genesis Mission Integration Officer Kris Walsh. Refer to:

Free catalogs:

The Academic SuperStore's catalog of educational software. The catalog includes a science and math section. Refer to:

MarineLab's Leave Only Bubbles, catalog of marine science books, videos, posters, models, equipment, and activities. Request catalog by calling 1-800-741-1139. For an online catalog, see:

Calloway House, Inc. catalog of products (including science products) for teachers, students, and schools. 451 Richardson Dr., Lancaster, PA 17603-4098; 800-233-0290; e-mail; visit:

First Edition 2003 Ben Meadows Company Catalog. The company sells products for students, educators, and researchers in biology, wildlife, limnology, entomology, geology, botany, agronomy, archaeology, and related fields. Call 800-241-6401, or shop online at:

Friendship House. The catalog features a multimedia section with science books, videotapes, and software. The company also sells science- and math-related classroom decorations, teacher aids, and reproducibles. Contact 29355 Ranney Pkwy., P.O. Box 450978, Cleveland, OH 44145-0623; 800-791-9876; fax 440-871-0858 or visit:


MindWare-Brainy Toys for Kids of All Ages catalog of teaching tools for in-school and after-school learning. The company sells science, math, and building/engineering books and materials. Contact MindWare, 121 Fifth Ave. NW, New Brighton, MN 55112; 800-999-0398; fax 888-299-9273 or visit: