2016 in Review: Top Resources

2016 is coming to a close. See what classroom resources were most popular on Science NetLinks this year:


  • Growth Stages 1: Infancy and Early Childhood (3-5): This lesson introduces students to the stages of human growth and development that take place during infancy and early childhood.
  • Systems of the Human Body (3-5): This lesson explores the different systems within the body and how they work independently and together to form a functioning human body.
  • Sink or Float (K-2): In this activity, students determine whether various objects sink or float in water.
  • Exploring Pendulums (6-8): This lesson helps students understand concepts related to how gravitational forces act on objects by exploring the motion of pendulums.
  • The History of the Atom 1: The Ancient Greeks (9-12): This lesson introduces students to the ancient theories of matter that led to the work of John Dalton.


  • 3D Brain App (9-12): This app allows you to rotate and zoom around 29 interactive structures in the brain.
  • Shape It Up! (3-8): This interactive from Kinetic City provides students with the opportunity to experience how mountains, rivers, and canyons were formed.
  • All Systems Are Go! (3-8): In this online activity, a fictional character named Arnold is missing a number of body parts. It's your job to complete each body system so Arnold can function.
  • MARE's Build a Fish (3-8): In this interactive activity, you must build a fish whose adaptations make it suited to its ocean environment.
  • Nowhere to Hide (K-12): This interactive is based on the classic story of evolution by natural selection—the story of the peppered moths in England during the Industrial Revolution.


  • Big Heads: If somebody is really smart, other people might say: "She's got a really big brain." But when it comes to brains, does size really matter? In this Science Update, you'll hear the complicated answer to that simple question.
  • Fever Chill: This Science Update answers the question, "Why do fevers give you chills?"
  • Body Temperature: Even a 90-degree summer day is cooler than your body temperature. So why does it feel so warm? You'll find out in this Science Update.
  • Mona Lisa's Smile: In this Science Update, hear how Mona Lisa's famous smile changes depending on where you look on the painting.
  • Tilted Earth: In this Science Update, learn how the earth got tilted on its axis.


  • Science of the Summer Olympics: The Biomechanics of Usain Bolt (9-12): This video is from the "Science of the Summer Olympics" series, produced by NBC and the National Science Foundation. It examines how Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt's stride, strength, and muscle coordination have helped him record the fastest time in the world in the 100 meter sprint.
  • What Is a Watershed (3-12): This video provides a brief explanation of a watershed.
  • Tsunamis: Know What to Do! (K-5): The friendly crabs in this video will help you understand tsunamis and how to be better prepared if you're ever in a coastal tsunami area.
  • The Surfrider Foundation Explains Watersheds 101 (3-12): What is a watershed? Learn about watersheds with this clip from Surfrider Foundation's educational video "From Sea to Summit: A Journey through the Watershed."
  • Football Physics (6-12): Yale scientist Ainissa Ramirez describes the physics behind the game and what gives a football its speed, drag, and spin in this video.

Afterschool Activities

  • All Systems Go! (3-5): Through this online interactive activity, kids learn about the concept of separate body parts working together to build a body system. Help your kids explore the inside of the human body with this activity.
  • Falling for Gravity (3-5): Your group will watch various objects (pens, pennies, erasers, etc.) fall from the same height to see if they reach the ground at the same time. They also will roll marbles down an inclined plane to see if they reach the bottom at the same time.
  • Fun with Forces (3-5): Almost any place can become a “lab” for exploring forces. Your group is going to experiment with the force they feel when pressed against the side of a car that is going around a curve really fast. They’ll explore a similar situation, an object that stays in a mini-bucket as it is swung overhead.
  • Gravity Launch (5-7): There are a lot of challenges with space flight. One is simply getting the rocket off the ground. This is because the thrust to launch a rocket has to work against the force of gravity. So, there are two forces at play in this game: earth’s gravitational pull and thrust. Your kids will play with a computer interactive that demonstrates these two forces in action.
  • By the Light of the Moon (3-6): As the moon goes through its phases, it looks a little different each night, ranging from not there at all to full. Your group will act out how the sun illuminates the moon as it orbits Earth, to understand how the moon moves through its phases.


  • Science Apps: Science NetLinks reviews STEM-related apps for both the iPad and the Android.
  • Charles Darwin and On the Origin of Species: Here are resources on Charles Darwin, evolutionary theory, and natural selection so you and your class can celebrate one of science's great texts and great minds.
  • Black History Month: Science NetLinks and AAAS have developed a number of resources that will help you honor the achievements and scientific work of African Americans.
  • The Science of Weather: This collection focuses on different types of weather and the natural forces that cause them.
  • Reaching for Olympic Gold: This collection shows the excitement and hard work that takes place during the Games, and also looks at the work in laboratories and on computers beforehand.

Finally, we at Science NetLinks always think it's interesting to see what you're looking for. The top searches in 2016 were for "integumentary system," "zap," "lunar cycle," "games," and "body systems." The most popular search term that comes up with no results on the site is "cutting dead cells." (If you were looking that up, were you looking for one of our resources on skin or cancer? Our lesson on Lasers Saving Sight? The Electric Healing or Tissue Regeneration Science Updates? Something else? Let us know in the comments. We'd love to be able to update our metadata to better accomodate you.)



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