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Social Studies

Interactives for Students


U.S. History Pre-1800 to Present

Battle Plan Under Fire
In "Imaging with Radar," explore a synthetic aperture radar image of Washington, D.C., and learn about how these images are made. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Great Escape
In "Inside Tunnel 'Harry,'" use an interactive map to explore the technologies employed in the 300-foot tunnel that 76 men snuck through during their infamous getaway. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Life and Death in the War Zone
In "Military Medicine Through Time," take a tour through military medicine's history, from the Civil War to the war in Iraq, and determine what medically related advance each photo shows. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 9-12.

Missing in MiG Alley
In "MiG vs Sabre Anatomy" see how the Soviet MiG-15bis and the American F-86 Sabre compare. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Saving the National Treasures
In "The Damage Done," take a close-up look at the original Declaration and learn about some of its time-worn features. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Secrets of Making Money
In "Bogus Bill," identify five incorrect features of a counterfeit bill. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Spies That Fly
In "Imaging with Radar," explore a synthetic aperture radar image of Washington, D.C., and learn about how these images are made. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.


World History 1500 A.D. to Present

Arctic Passage
In "The Note in the Cairn," take a look at the only written record ever found of the disastrous Franklin Northwest Passage expedition. (Flash plug-in required; printable version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Astrospies
In "Space Race Time Line" examine turning points in the competition between the United States and Soviet Union to dominate space during the Cold War. (Flash plug-in required; printable version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Babatha's Scroll
In "Babatha's Scroll," use a viewer to translate a 2,000-year-old letter from ancient Greek into English. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Battle Plan Under Fire
In "Imaging with Radar," explore a synthetic aperture radar image of Washington, D.C., and learn about how these images are made. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Decoding Nazi Secrets
In "A Simple Cipher," work to crack a secret message that has been encrypted using a cipher. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Decoding Nazi Secrets
In "Send a Coded Message," use a virtual version of the German ciphering machine, Enigma, to send an encrypted message. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Great Escape
In "Inside Tunnel 'Harry,'" use an interactive map to explore the technologies employed in the 300-foot tunnel that 76 men snuck through during their infamous getaway. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Hitler's Lost Sub
In "Fire a Torpedo," assume the role of skipper and torpedo specialist and aim and prepare a torpedo for firing. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 9-12.

Missing in MiG Alley
In "MiG vs Sabre Anatomy" see how the Soviet MiG-15bis and the American F-86 Sabre compare. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Secrets of Lost Empires I -- Pyramid
In "Hieroglyphs: Say What?," learn about hieroglyphs and then try to decipher a message. (No plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Secrets of Lost Empires I -- Pyramid
In "Scaling the Pyramids," print out and assemble a scaled-down version of the Great Pyramid. (No plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Roman Bath
In "Construct an Aqueduct," build an aqueduct that will supply the Roman city of Aqueductus with clean water. (Java applet or Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Secrets of Making Money
In "Bogus Bill," identify five incorrect features of a counterfeit bill. Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Secrets of the Parthenon
In "Scenes from a Quarry," follow a marble block's journey from quarry to Parthenon in these scenes excerpted from a book by Acropolis Restoration Project director and architect Manolis Korres. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Secrets of the Samurai Sword
In "Making a Masterpiece," follow the steps that a master Japanese swordsmith takes today to craft a traditional katana sword. (Flash plug-in required; printable version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12

Secrets, Lies, and Atomic Spies
In "Decipher a Coded Message," see if you can figure out the cipher used to encrypt a secret message. (Shockwave plug-in required; non-Shockwave version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Spies That Fly
In "Imaging with Radar," explore a synthetic aperture radar image of Washington, D.C., and learn about how these images are made. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

World in the Balance
In "Global Trends Quiz," test your understanding of the population trends in three areas: the developed world, the developing world, and the environmental challenges associated with each. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.


World History Prehistory to 1500 A.D.

America's Stone Age Explorers
In "Stone Age Toolkit," match 10 Stone Age artifacts to their uses. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Cracking the Maya Code
In "Decode Stela 3," follow the decipherment of a passage of Maya glyphs carved onto an ancient stone monument, hear the ancient Maya spoken, and learn the meaning behind the glyphs in this interactive. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12

Great Inca Rebellion, The
In "Grave Analysis," take a close look at an Inca burial thought to be from the Siege of Lima. (Flash plug-in required, printable version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Infinite Secrets
In "Approximating Pi," see Archimedes' geometrical approach to estimating pi. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Kidnapped by UFOs?
In "Alien Evidence?," read two theories behind a sketch of some mysterious lines found on the Nazca Desert of Peru--that they were created by aliens or by ancient Peruvians. Grades 6-8.

Lost King of the Maya
In "Reading Maya Hieroglyphs," figure out the Maya numbering system, a base 20 system of counting. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Lost Treasures of Tibet
In "Deciphering Buddha Imagery," learn about some of the familiar traits found in the Buddha image, as well as the meanings of the five most common hand gestures. (Flash 5 plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Mummy Who Would Be King, The
In "Making Mummies," discover the techniques for classic mummification. (Note: This feature contains graphic photos of mummies. Please preview for its appropriateness for your classroom.) (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

NOVA scienceNOW: Maya
In "A Masterpiece Revealed," explore an ancient 14-foot Maya mural predating the time of Christ. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Perfect Corpse, The
In "Tollund Man," meet the most famous bog body of all and learn how scientists reconstructed his final hours. (Flash plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Pyramid, The
In "Hieroglyphs: Say What?," learn about hieroglyphs and then try to decipher a message. Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.

Pyramid, The
In "Scaling the Pyramids," click on a parts of a pyramid to learn more about it and print out and assemble a scaled-down version of the Great Pyramid. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Search for the Lost Cave People
In "Be An Archaeologist," reassemble shards from a Mayan pot. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Easter Island
In "Move the Moai," figure out how to move a moai across Easter Island. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8.

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Easter Island
In "How Big Were They?," compare the weight of the largest moai to a herd of elephants. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Medieval Siege
In "Destroy the Castle," design a trebuchet--with five adjustable elements--to destroy a castle wall. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Pharaoh's Obelisk
In "Lever an Obelisk," use a lever, movable fulcrum, weights, and support blocks to tip an obelisk three feet off the ground. (Shockwave plug-in required; non-Shockwave version available.) Grades 6-8.

Secrets of Lost Empires II -- Pharaoh's Obelisk
In "How Big Were They?," compare the weight of the largest ancient obelisk to a herd of elephants. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 3-5, 6-8.

Stone Age Toolkit
In "Stone Age Took Kit," discover what roles ten different kinds of primitive artifacts from Europe and North America played for our earliest ancestors. (Flash plug-in required.) (Printable version available) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Sultan's Lost Treasure
In "Date the Dish," interpret design, marks, and quality to correctly assess the age of a fine blue-and-white porcelain artifact. (Shockwave plug-in required.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Treasures of the Sunken City
In "Seven Wonders -- Get Clued In," use science, geography, and history clues to name the Seven Wonders of the World. Grades 6-8, 9-12.

Viking Deception, The
In "The Map in Question," explore the Vinland Map and examine evidence that it may be -- and in some cases may not be -- a 20th-century forgery. (Flash plug-in required; non-Flash version available.) Grades 6-8, 9-12.


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