Interestingly enough one of the 25 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning selected by The American Association of School Librarians for 2012 was NASA Kids' Club. It's included under Curriculum Collaboration, Standards for 21st-Century Learner, 1.3.4 Contribute to the exchange of ideas within the learning community, 3.1.2 Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners, 3.1.4 Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use and assess and 4.3.1 Participate in the social exchange of ideas, both electronically and in person. Within the info for teachers section they state:
NASA will provide a wealth of resources that are safe, fun, and educational for your students. You can expect them to find reliable information on space-related topics, as well as games, Web Quests, and even chats with NASA experts.
The middle button on the top is Window to Earth---What's New, pictures of earth taken from space. After clicking on that button as well as look here, you are taken to a map of the world with place names on the left. There are arrows on either side of the globe. You can select a place from the written names or click on the arrows to spin the globe and choose a place that way. Icons at the bottom left allow users to turn off the sound and seek help.
|Level 1 example|
|Level 2 example|
|Level 3 example|
|Level 4 example|
|Level 5 example|
Beneath this series of challenges are four more areas to explore. They are so complete and detailed you could spend hours here. They are:
- Mars Fun Zone
- Asteroid Naming Contest
- Go Look
- To Infinity and Beyond
The Asteroid Naming Contest is exactly what it says. By December 2, 2012 children under the age of 18 have the opportunity to name an actual asteroid. Try for a chance to name 1999 RQ36!
The missions loosely defined are:
- two different levels of difficulty in loading the spaceship using metric measurements
- a concentration game matching a country's flag with a fact having to do with space exploration
- an I Spy type game where users locate objects tossed about in the spacecraft, as each object is found a fact explains how NASA developed its use
- robotics in space; using an arm to grab
- building the International Space Station, how it was done
NASA Kids' Club is "out of this world". There is so much information at this site presented in a "kid-friendly" manner you could be "lost in space" for weeks. I wanted to go back and try everything again as soon as I was finished. You could not ask for more appropriate resources for the intended age groups with supporting materials for educators and parents than this site provides. I completely concur with AASL's placing this on the 25 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning 2012.