Federal Resources for Excellence in Education - Page 2

Federal Resources for Excellence in Education (see http://www.ed.gov/free) has added the following learning resources in arts, Math, science, history and social studies to its Web site. Thanks go to Meghan Maxwell for formatting this list. Chris.


Leonard Bernstein: An American Life a guide to an 11-part documentary illuminating the life and work of one of America's greatest classical musicians, Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). An audio overview -- and Web sites for learning about Bernstein and classical music -- are provided. (National Endowment for the Humanities) See http://wfmt.com/bernstein/

Moldenhauer Archives presents 130 music manuscripts, letters, and materials from a 3,500-item collection documenting the history of Western music from the medieval period through the modern era. Essays by musicologists discuss items from Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Handel, Liszt, Mozart, Schoenberg, Stravinsky, and other composers. (Library of Congress) See http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/moldenhauer/

NEA Jazz in the Schools traces the history of jazz from its Birth in New Orleans to the swing era, bebop, and new frontiers. Five lessons include essays, videos, photos, and nearly 100 music clips of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, Louie Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Miles Davis, Charlie Mingus, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and others. Lessons include social and political context and are designed for history classes as well as music. (National Endowment for the Arts) See http://media.jalc.org/nea/home.php


Calculus on the Web offers an interactive environment for learning, practicing, and experimenting with the ideas and techniques of calculus. It is organized in seven parts: Precalculus; Calculus I, II, and III; Linear Algebra; Number theory; and Abstract Algebra. (National Science Foundation) See http://www.Math.temple.edu/%7Ecow/

Mathematics: Research Overview looks at topics of major research in Mathematics: image creation, statistics, inverse problems, CPU testing, materials and nanotechnology, proteins, random graphs, prime numbers, optimization, design, financial Mathematics, weather and climate simulation, rare events, and high-dimensional data sets. (National Science Foundation) See http://www.nsf.gov/news/overviews/Mathematics/index.jsp


The Chemistry of Health tells how chemistry and biochemistry are increasing our understanding of human health. Learn how biochemical relays keep our organ systems operating, how food is broken down and used to build tissues and organs, and how tiny biological probes and instruments can track single molecules. Topics in the 60-page booklet include folic acid, sugars and fats, DNA, making medicines, harnessing biology's magic, and more. (National Institutes of Health) See http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/chemhealth/

Earth and Environmental Science: Research Overview examines questions that scientists are pursuing: What part do we play in earth's changing climate? What can rock layers tell us about earth's history? How can we understand the forces that lead to earthquakes and volcanoes? How can organisms live without sunlight? How do long-term changes affect earth's ecosystems? (National Science Foundation) http://www.nsf.gov/news/overviews/earth-environ/index.jsp

Exploring the Environment features 25 online modules that put students in problem-based learning scenarios. In one module, students predict the impact of increased carbon dioxide on the wheat yield in Kansas. In another, they predict weather 48 hours in advance. Topics include coral reefs, climate change, the , mountain gorillas, rainforests, volcanoes, water quality, and ozone depletion. (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) See http://www.cet.edu/products/ete/overview.html

Inside the Cell takes students on a close-up tour of the processes occurring in our bodies. Learn about the cell's brain and skeleton, cellular rush hour, and the death of a cell. Find out about lysosomes (cell recycling centers and garbage trucks) and mitochondria (cell power plants). Read about cutting-edge cell biology research and techniques, which are featured in the 80-page booklet. (National Institutes of Health) See http://www.cet.edu/products/ete/overview.html/

NASA Connect: Sun-Earth Day features teacher guides and other resources for studying sun-earth connections and celebrating Sun-Earth Day. In "Ancient Observatories," students measure the movement of the sun and find solar noon. In "Venus Transit," students learn about scale models and the "astronomical unit," which is used to determine distances from the earth to other planets and stars. In "Dancing in the Night Sky," students learn about the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights. (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) See http://sunearthday.nasa.gov/2006/events/broadcasts.php

Path of Totality: Measuring Angular Size and Distance examines the natural phenomena that create a total eclipse. NASA scientists and engineers introduce a satellite used to make artificial eclipses in order to learn about the sun's corona. Students measure the angular size and predict the angular distance of objects in the sky. (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) See http://connect.larc.nasa.gov/programs/2005-2006/path_of_totality/

Physics Education Technology (PhET) produces fun, interactive simulations of physical phenomena. More than 35 simulations let students experiment with circuits, string tension, kinetic and potential energy, radio waves and electromagnetic fields, balloons and static electricity, ideal gas and buoyancy, velocity and acceleration, sound waves and the Doppler effect, and more. (National Science Foundation) See http://www.colorado.edu/physics/phet/

Physics to Go is a collection of reviewed resources for teaching and learning about astronomy, electricity and magnetism, fluids, light, modern physics, motion and energy, quantum physics, and waves and pendula. (National Science Foundation) See http://www.compadre.org/informal/index.cfm

The Structures of Life takes us into the world of "structural biology" -- a branch of molecular biology that focuses on the shape of nucleic acids and proteins (the molecules that do most of the work in our bodies). Learn about the structures and roles of proteins, tools used to study protein shapes, how proteins are used in designing new medications (for AIDS and arthritis), and what structural biology reveals about all life processes. Find out about careers in biomedical research. (National Institutes of Health) See http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/structlife/

Sun-Earth Day is a series of programs and events throughout the year that culminates with a celebration of the spring equinox. "Eclipse: In a Different Light," this year's theme, shows how eclipses have inspired people to study the sun-earth-moon system. Join this journey of exploration and discovery in preparation for a total solar eclipse. (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) See http://sunearthday.nasa.gov/

Teach the Earth offers hundreds of teaching activities, visualizations, and resources for teaching earth science. Categories include biosphere, climate change, energy/material cycles, geology and human health, geochemistry, hydrosphere and cryosphere, mineralogy, ocean systems, petrology, solar system, and earth history. Special sections are provided on using data and teaching quantitative skills. (National Science Foundation) See http://serc.carleton.edu/index.html

Water on the Web offers water science units and tools that help students understand and solve real environmental problems using advanced technology. Learn about aquatic ecology, water quality, and watersheds. See maps, summaries, and information on lakes and rivers nationwide. Use data visualization tools to watch data change through time and explore relationships among variables. (National Science Foundation) See http://waterontheweb.org/


Bound for Glory: America in Color is the first major exhibit of 70 color prints (1939-1943) showing the effects of the Depression on people in rural America and small towns, the nation's subsequent economic recovery, and the mobilization for World War II. (Library of Congress) See ttp:/www.loc.gov/exhibits/boundforglory/

The Development of the Industrial United States (1870-1900) offers documents and images for learning about Bell's patent for the telephone, Edison's patent for the electric lamp, Glidden's patent application for barbed wire, the Homestead Act of 1862, maps of Indian territory, child labor, and the Chinese Boycott Case. (National Archives and Records Administration) See http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/industrial-us.html

The Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930) features the 1897 petition against the annexation of Hawaii, political cartoons on progressivism and the 1912 election, woman suffrage and the 19th Amendment, the Zimmermann telegram (1917), photos of the 369th Infantry, posters from the Food Administration during World War I, the Volstead Act and prohibition documents, and the unfinished Lincoln Memorial. (National Archives and Records Administration) See http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/modern-america.html

Great Depression: Dust Bowl Migration includes photos, a teachers guide, and other resources for learning about the largest migration in American history. This migration occurred in the 1930s when poor soil conservation practices and extreme weather in the Great Plains exacerbated the existing misery of the Great Depression. (Library of Congress) See http://memory.loc.gov/learn/community/cc_greatdepression_kit.php

Hotchkiss Map Collection: Confederate Army Maps contains maps made by Major Jedediah Hotchkiss (1828-1899), a topographic engineer in the Confederate Army. Hotchkiss created detailed battle maps of the < Shenandoah Valley; some were used by Generals Lee and Jackson. The collection includes maps from post-war years -- maps with information about railroads, minerals and mining, geology and history (mostly of Virginia and West Virginia). (Library of Congress) See http://memory.loc.gov.ammem/collections/maps/hotchkiss/

Idea of America Essay Contest invites high school juniors to write an essay examining the historical debate over the benefits and disadvantages of adopting the First Amendment. While its words are familiar, the rights it guarantees -- involving religion, speech, free press, public assembly, and petition -- were modified many times in the First Congress (1789). Essays must be received by April 19, 2006. The best essay will receive $5,000. Three runners-up will each receive $1,000. (National Endowment for the Humanities) See http://www.wethepeople.gov/essay/index.html

Smithsonian Source: Colonial America offers primary sources and tools for using them in the classroom. Watch an anthropologist examine skeletons for clues to daily life in Jamestown. Find lessons on the Boston Massacre, Stamp Act, patriot women, Pocahontas, and money. Use questions -- built around primary documents -- to explore the clashing views of revolutionary colonists and loyalist colonists. Examine the political, religious, economic, and social reasons for the Revolution. (Smithsonian Institute) See http://www.smithsoniansource.org/display/topic/viewdetailshis.aspx?TopicId=1004

Texas Beyond History is a virtual museum of online exhibits, lessons, and interactive learning that covers 13,500 years of human history in Texas, from hunters to 20th century cotton farmers. Explore archeological sites and historic landmarks. See rare photos, maps, artifacts, and reconstructed scenes of the past -- more than 6,000 images. (National Endowment for the Humanities) See http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net

World War II Military Situation Maps, 1944-1945 contains maps showing troop positions beginning on June 6, 1944, to July 26, 1945. Starting with the D-Day Invasion, the maps give daily details on the military campaigns in Western Europe, showing the progress of the Allied Forces as they push towards Germany. Some of these 416 maps and 115 reports were used by U.S. commanders. (Library of Congress) See http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/maps/wwii/

History/Social Studies

Ancient World Mapping Center promotes cartography, historical geography, and geographical information science within the field of ancient studies. The Center is developing a community of scholars, teachers, and specialists to collaborate in the updating and expansion of the spatial and historical reference information assembled by the Classical Atlas Project. The Center also offers free digital maps of the ancient world for educational use. For most maps, a blank version suitable for quizzes and customization is provided. (National Endowment for the Humanities) See http://www.unc.edu/awmc/index.html

Islamic Manuscripts from Mali showcases 22 manuscripts from Timbuktu and the surrounding regions of Mali and West Africa, enabling students to understand the rich culture and society of the region. Especially noteworthy are the extensive collections of photos showing the domestic architecture, the characteristics of Islamic manuscripts, and an array of interactive maps made in< Europe beginning in the 16th century. (Library of Congress) See http://international.loc.gov/intldl/malihtml/malihome.html

MyMoney.gov is the U.S. government's Web site for teaching all Americans the basics about financial education. Whether you're buying a home, balancing your checkbook, or investing in your 401k, MyMoney.gov can help you do it better. Find important information from 20 federal agencies. See if you have "financial smarts": take the MyMoney interactive quiz. Read the national strategy for financial literacy. (Multiple Agencies) See http://www.mymoney.gov/

Revising Himself: Walt Whitman and Leaves of Grass is a virtual tour of Whitman's life tracing the 40-year history of his famous masterpiece, from when it was first published (1855) to the ninth and final edition (1892). Depicted are selected manuscript drafts, notes for poems, information on his changing career paths, first-hand correspondence, and treasures from friends and family. The site helps show how Whitman's vision of America influenced the course of American literature. (Library of Congress) See http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/whitman-home.html

Social Studies

Money Math: Lessons for Life is a teacher's guide for helping middle school Math students learn how to manage their money, stay out of debt, and save for retirement. Lesson plans, reproducible activity pages, and teaching tips are included in the 86-page guide, which draws on real-life examples from personal finance. (Department of the Treasury) See http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/mar/marmoneyMath.htm

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: Teachers and Students offers tips, fact sheets, and online tools for learning about the basics of saving and investing, helping students understand the importance of planning for their financial future, and identifying questions to ask about our investments. Learn about mutual funds. Try the online retirement calculator. Take an online quiz to "test your money smarts." (Securities and Exchange Commission) See http://www.sec.gov/investor/teachers.shtml

Christine Mullins
Executive Director
Instructional Technology Council
One Dupont Circle, N.W., Suite 360
Washington, D.C. 20033-1143
202-293-3110, Fax 202-822-5014
e-mailcmullins@itcnetwork.org Web site http://www.itcnetwork.org