General Science


Top Ten Resources to Finish Up Your School Year

I was always a dedicated student, but by the end of the school year I was more than ready for a break.  Those final weeks were especially difficult—dwindling motivation amidst a hectic schedule of final exams—all with summer on the horizon—was enough to make even the most committed students doubt their resolve.

During one springtime that followed a particularly rough winter in high school, it finally reached about 70 degrees, and my classmates and I asked to go outside for every single class. The 14 year-old version of me was disappointed that this request was only granted once or twice.

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As the year comes to a close, it is more challenging than ever to keep students engaged, so NOVA Education has put together a list of our most popular videos and interactives.  From DNA to earthquakes to the periodic table, there are resources to capture the attention of every student (even those counting down the seconds until their summer officially begins).

Our “best of” list is below, but if any of your favorite resources are missing, let us know!

1. Create a DNA Fingerprint—Create a DNA fingerprint and then compare it to the fingerprint of seven suspects to nab the perpetrator.

2. NOVA Elements—Like the popular iPad app, in this web version you can explore an interactive periodic table, build atoms, molecules, and elements, and play the “Essential Elements” game to construct elements found in everyday objects.

3. Forensic DNA Analysis—Follow a team of experts as they investigate the forensic evidence from the 1954 murder of Marilyn Sheppard, one of the most famous unsolved crimes in U.S. history.

4. Developing the Periodic Table—Learn how the periodic table developed its current form thanks to chemist Dmitri Mendeleev.

5. Regulating Genes—Study how mutations in different regions of DNA impact the expression of genes, predict how these mutations impact development, and observe how mutations may give rise to any developmental changes.

6. Epigenetics—Learn what the epigenome is, and see how researchers are studying mice as well as humans to determine how gene expression is affected by environmental factors and lifestyle choices.

7. Hunting the Elements Education Collection—Explore our collection of resources based on the “Hunting the Elements” program, which showcases the world of weird, extreme chemistry.  The collection includes resources like #4, one of our most popular videos.

8. Earthquake! When Plates Collide—Learn about the concept of plate tectonics and how it causes earthquakes.

9. Mount Pinatubo: Predicting a Volcanic Eruption—See the race to read the signs presented by Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines just before it unleashed one of the most powerful volcanic eruptions of the 20th century.

10. What’s This Stuff?—Learn about the physical, chemical, and mechanical properties of ten mystery materials.

For those of you already working on your lesson plans for next year, these are the perfect resources to build into a curriculum.  Try them out and see if our most popular educator resources can help you bring important science concepts to life for your students.

Tell us what you think on Twitter, Facebook, or email.

Mary McGillicuddy

    As a Production Assistant for NOVA Education, Mary helps create online educational resources for the NOVA Education website and uses NOVA Education's social media outlets in order to continue to expand the NOVA Education community. Mary is a 2012 graduate of Boston College, where she received her B.A. in Psychology.