Skip to main content

SciLinks Resources

By Mary Bigelow

Posted on 2014-08-17

For many of us, the school year is starting soon (if it hasn’t already). If you are looking for new materials to add to your collectioSciLinksn or to supplement a textbook or other resource, check out SciLinks, NSTA’s online database of vetted websites.
The websites in SciLinks have been submitted by a corps of “webwatchers“—teachers who search for and review websites related to topics in science. The websites are organized by content and can be searched by topic and grade level (K–4, 5–8, and 9–12). Teachers can access SciLinks either by using the codes in a SciLinked textbook or NSTA publication (identified by this graphic) or by searching for a keyword or standard on the site itself.
As a teacher-user, you can provide logins for students to search for sites, or you could give them a list of suggestions. For interested or advanced students, you might go to the next grade level or you could go down a level for students who may struggle with the text.
In a large group setting, why just talk about science topics when there are many sites that lend themselves to illustrating the concepts? Observing how volcanoes erupt, watching events in real time, using animations or simulations of complex processes, or accessing photographs and video of various topics bring these topics to life. The resources are free and ready when you are.
One thing I’ve enjoyed over the years is using the SciLinks websites as learning resources for myself. If you’re unfamiliar with a topic, searching for sites geared to middle or high school students would be a quick and painless way to learn more about it. My former district’s teacher evaluation plan had an option for self-study, so I would have taken advantage of the SciLinks list.
A colleague shares his experiences: “I’m starting a unit on biochemistry in a few weeks, so I used the search term Carbohydrate. Within a few minutes, I had compiled a list of sites that would be appropriate for the content and for my students. For example, one on the list, Biomolecules: The Carbohydrates was just what I was looking for. I also found a biochemistry discussion on the Chem4Kids site that would be very appropriate for students who need a basic introduction to the topic. I added links to the sites on my list to my course webpage so that students could access them easily in school or even at home. I also found some simulations that I can display on the interactive white board in my room.”

Asset 2