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Bio-School Spirit

Dateline: 05/01/97

From elementary school through college, biology has always been one of our favorite subjects. Thinking back ten years ago, it would have been wonderful to be able to log onto the Internet and access science websites from other schools across the country. Thanks to the improvement of computer technology, that dream has now become a reality. This week, we are recognizing three schools (primary and secondary) that utilize technology to enhance the teaching of biology.

Second graders at Hillside Elementary School in Cottage Grove, Minnesota, have found a unique way to explore seed germination with an online experiment called The Great Seed Debate. Questions and answers are provided for teachers to present to their classes along with a list of guidelines for reporting the results. Classes can also view the posted results of the Hillside students who have participated in this experiment. This site provides an innovative example of collaboration among students at the primary levels made possible by the WWW.

Students at West Valley High School, located in Fairbanks, Alaska, have produced a site designed to explore biotechnology ("a blend of classic biology, applied biology, and technology"). The Subarctic Biotech Web allows you to tag along as students go in search of protozoa, collect microbes from the stomach of reindeer, and view ciliates as they appear under a microscope. These students and teachers have done an excellent job of presenting biology related topics in an enjoyable manner. This site is sure to spark interest from both biology and technology lovers.

The Academy for the Advancement of Science and Technology (AAST) in Hackensack, New Jersey, has a wonderful website that features a science project created by Academy students. This project deals with animal populations, and its purpose is to "determine how some species become endangered, and why others are severely overpopulated." These pages contain a plethora of facts about forest, domesticated, and African animals. You can even download movies or view a script of an interactive play about the project. Students and teachers alike can learn a great deal about animals from the data that the AAST students have collected.

We would like to congratulate all of these schools, teachers and students, for providing great sites and information pertaining to science and biology.

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