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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 1996. Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4966.
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Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 1996. Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4966.
×

NATIONAL SCIENCE RESOURCES CENTER

The National Science Resources Center (NSRC) is operated by the National Academy of Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution to improve the teaching of science in the nation's schools. The NSRC collects and disseminates information about exemplary teaching resources, develops and disseminates curriculum materials, and sponsors outreach activities, specifically in the areas of leadership development and technical assistance, to help school districts develop and sustain hands-on science programs. The NSRC is located in the Arts and Industries Building of the Smithsonian Institution and in the Capital Gallery Building in Washington, D.C.

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Harold Liebowitz are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

The Smithsonian Institution was created by act of Congress in 1846 in accordance with the will of Englishman James Smithson, who in 1826 bequeathed his property to the United States of America, "to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men." The Smithsonian has since evolved into an institution devoted to public education, research, and national service in the arts, sciences, and history. This independent federal establishment is the world's largest museum complex and is responsible for public and scholarly activities, exhibitions, and research projects nationwide and overseas.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 1996. Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4966.
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Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science

NATIONAL SCIENCE RESOURCES CENTER

National Academy of Sciences

Smithsonian Institution

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1996

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 1996. Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4966.
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NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20418

NOTICE: Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science is a completely revised and updated edition of its predecessor volume—Science for Children: Resources for Teachers, which was developed and produced by the National Science Resources Center and published by the National Academy Press in 1988.

The views expressed in this book are solely those of its contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Academy of Sciences or the Smithsonian Institution.

Every effort was made to ensure the accuracy of information presented in this volume. The National Science Resources Center makes no representation that the information in this guide is absolutely without error.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Resources for teaching elementary school science / National Science Resources Center, National Academy of Sciences, Smithsonian Institution.

p. cm.

Rev. ed. of: Science for children. 1988.

Includes indexes.

ISBN 0-309-05293-9

1. Science—Study and teaching (Elementary)—United States— Bibliography. I. National Science Resources Center (U.S.) II. Science for children.

Z5818.S3R47 1996

[LB1585]

372.3′5044—dc19 —dc20 95-26429

CIP

Printed in the United States of America

© 1996 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. The 13-page NSRC Science Instructional Materials Review Form in Appendix B may be reproduced for educational purposes. No other part of this book may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, or electronic process, or in the form of a phonographic recording, nor may it be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or otherwise copied for public or private use without permission in writing from the publisher, except for the purposes of official use by the U.S. government.

National Science Resources Center

Arts and Industries Building, Room 1201

Smithsonian Institution

Washington, D.C. 20560

National Academy Press

Sally Stanfield, Editorial Coordination

Francesca Moghari, Cover Design

Liz Clark, Isely &/or Clark Design, Book Design

Linda C. Humphrey, Page Layout

Douglas Lapp, Executive Director

Charles N. Hardy, Deputy Director for Information Dissemination, Materials Development, and Publications

Sally Goetz Shuler, Deputy Director for Development, External Relations, and Outreach

Evelyn M. Ernst, Information Dissemination Director Dean Trackman, Publications Director

Project Development Team

Evelyn M. Ernst, Director

Barbara K. Johnson, Research Associate

Terence Proctor, Information Technology Specialist

Dorothy Sawicki, Project Managing Editor

Theodore D. Schultz, Program Officer, Networking

Sharon Seaward, Program Assistant

Rita C. Warpeha, Resource/Database Specialist

Max-Karl Winkler, Cover Illustrations

Jonathan Kronstadt, Writer Consultant

Abigail Porter, Writer Consultant

Cover and photo credits appear on p. 289.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 1996. Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4966.
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NATIONAL SCIENCE RESOURCES CENTER ADVISORY BOARD

Chair

ROBERT M. FITCH Senior Vice President (retired),

Research and Development, S. C. Johnson Wax, Racine, Wise.

Members

RUSSELL AIUTO Senior Project Officer,

Council of Independent Colleges, Washington, D.C.

MARJORY BARUCH Educational Consultant,

Fayetteville, N.Y.

ANN BAY Director,

Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

DEANNA BANKS BEANE Project Director,

YouthALIVE, Association of Science-Technology Centers, Washington, D.C.

F. PETER BOER Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer,

W. R. Grace and Company, Boca Raton, Fla.

DOUGLAS K. CARNAHAN Vice President and General Manager,

Measurement Systems Organization, Hewlett-Packard Company, Boise, Idaho

FRED P. CORSON Vice President and Director,

Research and Development, The Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich.

GOÉRY DELACÔTE Executive Director,

The Exploratorium, San Francisco, Calif.

JOANN E. DEMARIA Elementary School Teacher,

Hutchison Elementary School, Herndon, Va.

HUBERT M. DYASI Director,

The Workshop Center, City College School of Education (The City University of New York), New York, N.Y.

BERNARD S. FINN Curator,

Division of Electricity and Modern Physics, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

GERALD D. FISCHBACH

Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.

SAMUEL H. FULLER Vice President of Corporate Research,

Digital Equipment Corporation, Littleton, Mass.

JERRY P. GOLLUB Professor of Physics,

Haverford College, Haverford, Pa.

ANA M. GUZMAN Program Director,

Alliances for Minority Participation, Texas A & M University, College Station, Tex.

ROBERT M. HAZEN Staff Scientist,

Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C.

NORBERT S. HILL, JR. Executive Director,

American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Boulder, Colo.

MANERT KENNEDY Executive Director,

Colorado Alliance for Science, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo.

JOHN W. LAYMAN Professor of Education and Physics, and Director,

Science Teaching Center, University of Maryland, College Park, Md.

SARAH A. LINDSEY Science Coordinator,

Midland Public Schools, Midland, Mich.

THOMAS E. LOVEJOY Counselor for Biodiversity and Environmental Affairs,

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

LYNN MARGULIS Distinguished University Professor,

Department of Botany, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Mass.

MARA MAYOR Director,

The Smithsonian Associates, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

SHIRLEY M. MCBAY President,

Quality Education for Minorities Network, Washington, D.C.

JOSEPH A. MILLER, JR. Senior Vice President for Research & Development,

E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Wilmington, Del.

JOHN A. MOORE Professor Emeritus,

Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, Calif.

PHILIP NEEDLEMAN Corporate Vice President,

Research and Development, and

Chief Scientist,

Monsanto Company, St. Louis, Mo.

CARLO PARRAVANO Director,

Merck Institute for Science Education, Rahway, N.J.

RUTH O. SELIG Executive Assistant to the Acting Provost,

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

MAXINE F. SINGER President,

Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington, D.C.

PAUL H. WILLIAMS Director,

Center for Biology Education, and

Professor,

Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wise.

KAREN L. WORTH Faculty,

Wheelock College, and

Senior Associate,

Urban Elementary Science Project, Education Development Center, Newton, Mass.

Ex Officio Members

E. WILLIAM COLGLAZIER Executive Officer,

National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.

JAMES C. EARLY Assistant Provost for Educational and Cultural Programs,

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

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FOREWORD

IN LATE 1995, the National Research Council completed the development of the National Science Education Standards, accomplishing an important task that was first requested by the governors of our nation's 50 states in 1989. Designed to guide the teaching of science in kindergarten through twelfth grade, these Standards provide a concrete vision of what is needed to achieve excellence in science education in the United States. The vision in the Standards reflects the consensus of the thousands of teachers, scientists, science educators, and other experts across the country who authored and critiqued its successive drafts.

The Standards specify the understandings and abilities that all students should achieve by the end of the fourth, eighth, and twelfth grades. They deal with science content, emphasizing that this content can be taught through the use of many different curricula. At the same time, they recognize the importance of carefully designed curriculum units that have been tested by teachers and shown to be effective in promoting student understanding. To help parents, teachers, schools, and school districts select outstanding curricula for the science education of their children, we are now pleased to introduce the publication Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science.

Developed by the National Science Resources Center (NSRC), Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science is a guide packed with carefully gathered and reviewed information about hands-on, inquiry-based curriculum materials and resources for teaching science in kindergarten through sixth grade. It will help teachers implement the principles contained in the National Science Education Standards, because it is based on the same fundamental tenets: the need for active inquiry and the critical importance of teaching for understanding, as science becomes a core activity in every grade—from kindergarten through high school.

The NSRC has made many significant contributions to science education reform since its inception in 1985. In addition to the development of science curriculum materials, the Center has been active in other areas of curriculum reform, including information dissemination, leadership development, and technical assistance to school districts. It plans to develop volumes similar to this one to aid middle school and high school science teaching in the not-too-distant future.

As NSRC's sponsoring organizations, the National Academy of Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution take great pride in the issuance of this publication. Producing a system of science education that prepares all of America's children for a productive and fulfilling life in the twenty-first century will be a lengthy, and sometimes slow and difficult process—for the National Science Education Standards constitute a call for a revolution in science education, and such fundamental changes take time. Good hands-on, inquiry-based science curricula are a crucial component of this effort to improve our schools, and we view Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science as a landmark book for all those interested in the education of children.

BRUCE M. ALBERTS

President

National Academy of Sciences

I. MICHAEL HEYMAN

Secretary

Smithsonian Institution

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 1996. Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4966.
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PREFACE

ON BEHALF of the National Science Resources Center (NSRC), I am pleased to introduce readers to this new volume, Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science. It replaces Science for Children: Resources for Teachers as the NSRC's current guide to hands-on, inquiry-centered elementary school science curriculum materials and resources. Although important changes have been made in this completely updated and revised edition, it retains many important elements of the original, as well as its spirit and purpose—namely, to help elementary school teachers teach science more effectively in their classrooms.

The NSRC produced the first edition of the guide in 1988, and that volume became a valued resource almost immediately. Since 1988, elementary science curriculum materials have proliferated and efforts in science education reform have taken on new intensity, culminating recently in the publication of the landmark National Science Education Standards from the National Research Council.

Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science was under development at the same time that work on the National Science Education Standards was proceeding, and the NSRC has endeavored to ensure that the new resource guide will be responsive to the recommendations in that historic document. The guide is designed to provide teachers, principals, school district administrators, and others with up-to-date information on curriculum materials that are consonant with the principles advocated in the Standards. These principles include an emphasis on student inquiry, teaching for understanding, and the inclusion of science as a core subject in every grade, starting in kindergarten.

We at the NSRC believe that this new edition of Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science responds to a critical need in science education today. The sheer volume of science curriculum materials now available can be daunting for individual teachers and for school systems trying to select the most effective materials for their specific needs.

Although there is a broad range of science teaching resources that are available to serve the needs of elementary school teachers, the quality of these published materials varies greatly. Authoritative guidance in evaluating materials is essential to making sound decisions, and the complication of evaluating the science content, together with the hands-on, inquiry-based aspects of materials, requires special expertise. For all these reasons, Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science can be a productive and time-saving tool for teachers and school districts, and ultimately, of course, of great benefit to their students.

To select the curriculum materials to be included in this new guide, the NSRC, which is operated jointly by the National Academy of Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution, established an extensive, rigorous review process. This process required the development of criteria by which reviewers could assess instructional materials. The evaluation criteria established by the NSRC for this purpose were informed by the emerging National

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 1996. Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4966.
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Science Education Standards and are consistent with the philosophy and the basic principles articulated in the standards. (These evaluation criteria appear in Appendix B in this volume and can be used independently by teachers and school districts for assessing curriculum materials.)

Among directories and databases of elementary school science curriculum materials, Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science is unique for basing its selection of materials on a formal review process. This review was carried out in two phases, involving a panel of teacher reviewers and a panel of scientist reviewers. (The review process is described in the Introduction to the Guide; the reviewers are listed in the Acknowledgments.)

With respect to the structure of the new book, Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science retains the major sections and useful indexes of the previous edition. The chapter now called ''Museums and Other Places to Visit" has been expanded considerably. The redesign of the interior of the book includes mechanical adjustments to make the information in the guide more accessible to readers. An example is the use of a system of entry numbers for the annotations to help locate them easily.

This new edition lists and annotates materials and resources for kindergarten through sixth grade. Readers may be pleased to note that the NSRC plans to develop guides for middle school and high school in the not-too-distant future.

Inspiration for the 1988 edition of this reference volume can be attributed to Sally Goetz Shuler, NSRC's Deputy Director for Development, External Relations, and Outreach, who recognized the need for such a book almost 10 years ago.

Building on the strengths of the previous edition, Evelyn M. Ernst, NSRC Program Director for Information Dissemination and general editor of Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science, joined NSRC to direct this project. Working with her staff and with Chuck Hardy, the NSRC Deputy Director for Information Dissemination, Materials Development, and Publications, she has guided the project through all phases of development—from formulation of the evaluation criteria through panel review to publication. We would like to thank the NSRC's parent institutions, the National Academy of Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution, for their vision and support in helping NSRC undertake this project. We look forward to hearing from users of the volume as to its effectiveness in meeting their needs, together with any suggestions they may have for its improvement.

DOUGLAS LAPP

Executive Director

National Science Resources Center

January 1996

Page xiii Cite
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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

PRODUCING Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science has been an immense undertaking and a rewarding one. It could not have been accomplished without the hard work and dedication of a core group of staff, combined with the efforts of a large number of reviewers, consultants, volunteers, and other professionals.

The National Science Resources Center (NSRC) is grateful to its Advisory Board, whose membership is listed at the beginning of this book, for its continued guidance and direction. Special appreciation is extended to the members of the Executive Committee—Ann Bay, Hubert M. Dyasi, Robert M. Fitch, Lynn Margulis, John A. Moore, and Carlo Parravano—for their helpful comments on the final manuscript.

This edition of the guide was brought to fruition with support from Bayer Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc., Digital Equipment Corporation, The Dow Chemical Company Foundation, Hewlett-Packard Company, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Defense also provided support for the first edition.

Special thanks go to Evelyn M. Ernst, project director and general editor, and to her staff and to the consultants who participated in the work on the volume. Barbara K. Johnson contributed to the development of the curriculum and teacher reference sections and assisted with the logistics of the second phase of the curriculum materials review process. Theodore Schultz surveyed museums, professional organizations, and other institutions and drafted annotations for these sections of the guide. Rita C. Warpeha, with the assistance of consultants Lorraine Hayes and Russell Smith, cataloged and researched the many materials received for review. Terence Proctor, NSRC information technology specialist, provided technical support. Sharon Seaward assisted staff and provided logistical support during all aspects of the project. Consultants Jonathan Kronstadt and Abigail Porter and NSRC staff member Lynn Miller drafted annotations. Michaela Oldfield assisted with manuscript preparation. Dorothy Sawicki served as developmental and managing editor for the resource guide and drafted overview and introductory material.

The NSRC appreciates the assistance of the many hundreds of organizations and individuals who contributed time and effort to the information-gathering and review stages of the manuscript. Thanks go to reviewers of the final manuscript, Joyce Dutcher, Instructional Specialist in Elementary Science/Health with Fort Bend Independent School District in Sugar Land, Tex.; and to Becky Smith, Elementary Science/Social Sciences Curriculum Materials Editor with Mesa Public Schools in Mesa, Ariz. NSRC also acknowledges with gratitude the technical review of the chapter "Museums and Other Places to Visit" carried out by the Association of Science-Technology Centers under the direction of Bonnie Van Dorn and Ellen Griffee.

And, finally, this guide would not have been possible without the support of the many teachers and scientists who reviewed curriculum materials. Following are lists of their names and affiliations.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 1996. Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4966.
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TEACHER REVIEW PANEL

SEAN DUFFY

Teacher, Fairfax County Public Schools, Flint Hill Elementary School, Vienna, Va.

ANNETTE EDLER

Science Teacher/Coordinator, Prince Georges County Public Schools, Potomac Landing Elementary School, Fort Washington, Md.

PAMELA I. ELLISON

Teacher, Fairfax County Public Schools, Hayfield Secondary/Intermediate School, Alexandria, Va.

DOREEN L. HALL

Teacher, Montgomery County Public Schools, Brookhaven Elementary School, Rockville, Md.

DARLENE HAZEN

Teacher, Fairfax County Public Schools, Kings Park Elementary School, Springfield, Va.

SUSANNE JERDE

Teacher, Highline School District, Sunnydale Elementary School, Seattle, Wash.

DON JOHNSON

Teacher, Fort Bend Independent School District, Settlers Way Elementary School, Sugar Land, Tex.

DEBRA L. JONES

Science Curriculum Specialist, Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax, Va.

SANDRA L. KLEIN

Teacher, Highline School District, Parkside Primary School, Des Moines, Wash.

NANCY MASTERSON

Teacher, Mesa Public Schools, Taft Elementary School, Mesa, Ariz.

PATRICIA MCCLURE

Science Program Specialist, Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax, Va.

ANNE MARIE MILNER

Teacher, Fort Bend Independent School District, Barrington Place Elementary, Sugar Land, Tex.

SHIRLEY MITCHELL

Teacher, Arlington Public Schools, Jamestown Elementary School, Arlington, Va.

HELEN C. MURPHY

Teacher, Montgomery County Public Schools, Summit Hall Elementary School, Gaithersburg, Md.

MARY ANN PETERSON

Teacher, Arlington Public Schools, Williamsburg Middle School, Arlington, Va.

DEBRA S. REEDER

Teacher, Fairfax County Public Schools, Clifton Elementary School, Clifton, Va.

KITTY Lou SMITH

Teacher, Fairfax County Public Schools, West Springfield High School, Springfield, Va.

ROGER SPRATT

Teacher Specialist for Health/Science/Mathematics, Mesa Public Schools, Ariz.

LAURIE THOMPSON

Resource Teacher, Project SEED, Pasadena Unified School District, Pasadena, Calif.

MARY COLLEEN THOMPSON

Teacher, Fort Bend Independent School District, Settlers Way Elementary School, Sugar Land, Tex.

MARY T. TSOTSIS

Resource Teacher, Project SEED, Pasadena Unified School District, Pasadena, Calif.

GWENDOLYN M. WILLIAMS

Teacher, Fairfax County Public Schools, Silverbrook Elementary School, Fairfax Station, Va.

EUGENE F. WILSON

Teacher, Clara Barton Center for Children, Cabin John, Md.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 1996. Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4966.
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SCIENTIST REVIEW PANEL

LENA AUSTIN

Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, Howard University, Washington, D.C.

EARL BLOCH

Associate Professor, Howard University Medical School, Washington, D.C.

WILLIAM C. BURTON

Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Va.

EARL CALLEN

Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics, American University, Washington, D.C.

IDA CHOW

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, American University, Washington, D.C.; and Executive Officer, Society for Developmental Biology, Bethesda, Md.

ANNA COBLE

Associate Professor, Department of Physics and Astrophysics, Howard University, Washington, D.C.; and President, Minority Women in Science, Washington, D.C.

ELAINE DAVIS

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Howard University, Washington, D.C.

RICHARD DIECCHIO

Associate Professor of Geology, Department of Geography and Earth Systems Science, George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.

LAFAYETTE FREDERICK

Professor (retired), Department of Biology, Howard University, Washington, D.C.

DAVID HERSHEY

Adjunct Faculty Member, Prince Georges County Community College, Hyattsville, Md.

PHILIP B. JOHNSON

Physicist, Loral Corporation, Manassas, Va.

HOWARD KAPLAN

Retired, Department of Biology and Environmental Science, University of the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.

DONALD KELSO

Associate Professor, Department of Biology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.

RAMON LOPEZ

Associate Research Scientist, Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, Md.; and Director of Education and Outreach, The American Physical Society, College Park, Md.

IRWIN MANNING

Physicist (retired), Naval Research Laboratory, Bethesda, Md.

EDWARD MAX

Molecular Biologist, Center for Biologic Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, Bethesda, Md.

GEORGE MUSHRUSH

Professor and Chair, Department of Chemistry, George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.

JOSEPH NEALE

Professor and Chair, Department of Biology, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

JOHN POJETA

Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.

LARRY ROCKWOOD

Associate Professor, Department of Biology, George Mason University Fairfax, Va.

JAY SHAFFER

Professor, Department of Biology, George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.

TOPPER SHUTT

Meteorologist, WUSA TV, Channel 9, Washington, D.C.

GERALDINE TWITTY

Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Howard University, Washington, D.C.

DAVID WILLIAMS

Adjunct Faculty Member, Department of Chemistry, George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.

NANCY ZELLER

Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology, American University, Washington, D.C.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academy of Sciences. 1996. Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4966.
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PART 1
INTRODUCTION TO THE GUIDE

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What activities might a teacher use to help children explore the life cycle of butterflies? What does a science teacher need to conduct a "leaf safari" for students? Where can children safely enjoy hands-on experience with life in an estuary? Selecting resources to teach elementary school science can be confusing and difficult, but few decisions have greater impact on the effectiveness of science teaching.

Educators will find a wealth of information and expert guidance to meet this need in Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science. A completely revised edition of the best-selling resource guide Science for Children: Resources for Teachers, this new book is an annotated guide to hands-on, inquiry-centered curriculum materials and sources of help in teaching science from kindergarten through sixth grade. (Companion volumes for middle and high school are planned.)

The guide annotates about 350 curriculum packages, describing the activities involved and what students learn. Each annotation lists recommended grade levels, accompanying materials and kits or suggested equipment, and ordering information.

These 400 entries were reviewed by both educators and scientists to ensure that they are accurate and current and offer students the opportunity to:

  • Ask questions and find their own answers.
  • Experiment productively.
  • Develop patience, persistence, and confidence in their own ability to solve real problems.

The entries in the curriculum section are grouped by scientific area--Life Science, Earth Science, Physical Science, and Multidisciplinary and Applied Science--and by type--core materials, supplementary materials, and science activity books. Additionally, a section of references for teachers provides annotated listings of books about science and teaching, directories and guides to science trade books, and magazines that will help teachers enhance their students' science education.

Resources for Teaching Elementary School Science also lists by region and state about 600 science centers, museums, and zoos where teachers can take students for interactive science experiences. Annotations highlight almost 300 facilities that make significant efforts to help teachers.

Another section describes more than 100 organizations from which teachers can obtain more resources. And a section on publishers and suppliers give names and addresses of sources for materials.

The guide will be invaluable to teachers, principals, administrators, teacher trainers, science curriculum specialists, and advocates of hands-on science teaching, and it will be of interest to parent-teacher organizations and parents.

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