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100 Best Web Tools for Science Students

With advances in every arena, from computer technology to healthcare to food production to the automotive industry, our world has changed in ways we could not have predicted. Students today need a firm grasp of science in order to fully understand our world and make logical and informed decisions. In the last twenty years, educators and researchers have begun to look carefully at science education and technology and how students learn best. We tools are a way to expose students to different types of learning styles and engage them in constructive knowledge, experience, and scientific interpretations. We have selected 100 of these web tools we think will inspire our upcoming scientist to experiment, explore, model, research & collaborate, and create a solid scientific foundation for the future.

Virtual Laboratories & Experiments

Easily run thousands of experiments, changing the variables and getting results in minutes with these virtual laboratories and experimentation.

1. Virtual Labs at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute  A free tool that enables students to take on the role of scientist, technician, doctor, and immunologist. They participate in labs on topics related to cardiology, immunology, and bacterial identification.

2. Windward  In cooperation with Discovery Education, The Weather Channel, and NASA, this interactive game will teach students about weather as they sail in a race around the world. Players learn how to sail, read weather maps, negotiate winds and more.

3. Nature: Virtual Serengeti  Students are introduced to East African vegetation, climate, and animal life. A journal, field guide, and virtual video recorder are used to explore environments, watch animal videos, and multimedia record observations.

4. Space Academy GX-1  Students can explore a virtual solar system and investigate the astronomical basis for seasons, phases of the moon, gravity, orbits, and more.

5. Digital Frog  A virtual, interactive frog dissection that teaching students about frog anatomy and body systems. It also allows exploration of the diversity and ecology of frogs.

6. Virtual Space Tour An animated encyclopedia that gives students a virtual tour of space learning about the unique features of comets, asteroids and each planet along the way.

7. StepDemonstrate the principles with this physics simulator. Place an object in a scene, add forces like springs or gravity, and see what happens.

8. ChemLab Interactive simulation of a chemistry lab using common lab equipment and procedures that are meant to copy the steps involved in performing a chemistry lab experiment.

9. Virtual Field Trip is a series of 3 singular titles allowing students to explore a variety of virtual habitats such as wetlands, the rainforest, and desert.

10. BBC Science Simulations Provides students the opportunity to manipulate variables and explore virtual science experiments on a variety of topics including, plant growth, electricity, forces, friction, and food chains.

11. ProtoMol  A framework for molecular dynamics simulation. This app was designed by a scientist to be highly flexible, easily extensible, and to meet high performance demands.

12. Virtual Scanning Electron MicroscopyStudents can use a virtual Scanning Electron Microscope to look at a variety of specimens. You can adjust the focus, contrast, brightness, and level of magnification.

13. BBC Science GamesFree games and simulations on a variety of topics in science and nature.

14. ElectroCity An online computer game that lets players manage their own virtual towns and cities. Designed to teach students about energy, sustainability and environmental management.

15. Virtual Labs: Light & Electricity Bundle These virtual light experiments will allow students to use lasers and optical tools to safely investigate the nature of light, reflection and mirrors, refraction and color of light.

16. Space Trajectory Analysis This app lets educators analyze, simulate, and visualize the paths of objects that have been launched into space. It’s currently being used by the European Space Agency and a number of international universities.

17. Virtual Labs This software enables students to conduct experiments on a number of scientific topics.

18. Operation Frog DeluxeGuides students through the virtual dissection of a frog. It includes pre-lab instructions, lab simulations, and post-lab reinforcements.

19. A Virtual Journey into the Universe This free online activity exposes students to the cockpit of a space shuttle as they explore the solar system. Students can also engage in lesson to gain knowledge about various planetary features.

20. ElastoLab A fun program for young students that lets them play with sound, images and motion in a simulated physics environment. Springs, elastics, and gravity come to life all on a computer screen.

21. Physics Animations  This animated 3-D HTML based program offers physics experiments and visualizations on waves, mechanics, optics, and thermodynamics. Most of all, all animations are accompanied with theoretical explanations and references.

Explorations & Web Quests 

These assignments will seem like a blast compared to the traditional science research reports.

22. A Journey Through Time  Scientists have found the remains of an Eryptid on Long Island. Develop a picture of what life was like on the earth millions of years ago.

23. Intertidal Zone Tour In this simulation students will be part of a team of marine biologists focusing on Intertidal Zones. Your expertise is needed to assist thousands of tourists who visit the tide pool areas each year.

24. Animal on the Ocean Floor  Students will explore and discover a number of deep sea creatures on this ocean quest.  They will create a picture dictionary and models of the animals they study.

25. Robots: New Age Assistants In this mission students research the field of robotics to help them with a particular experiment being conducted in the brutal cold of the Antarctic.

26. Acid RainOn this quest, students have been hired to investigate the effects of acid rain on the environment. Students can take the role of Chemist, Ecologist, Health Scientist, or Economist and research from that point of view.

27. Save the Coral Reef  As a scientist for the World Wildlife Organization, students are asked to go to Little Island to collect data because other scientists are concerned that the tourists might do damage to the endangered coral reef.

28. An Insects Perspective Created by third grade teachers, children can study a bug of interest and write about it in their journal. They are also responsible for creating a slide presentation from the bug’s perspective.

29. Blackholes: Journey into the Unknown Students and a group of scientists are currently enjoying a tour of the universe. The tour guide suddenly informs you that the rocket’s engines have failed. In order to navigate, students help the captain navigate using the gravity of a blackhole to guide them to a help station. 

30. Animal Life Cycles The job of the student is to search, observe, and record the differences and similarities of animal life cycle phases.

31. Global Warming Webquest Be transported 100 years into the future with a team of scientists for two weeks. The mission is to study the effects that global warming has had on the Earth in the future and report findings back to Central Base.

32. Blooming Butterflies On this quest, students will learn about how a butterfly comes to life through the process of metamorphosis.

33. Are Chickens the Only Ones? First grade students will enjoy learning about different kinds of animals that lay eggs. They will use a world map to find out what continent their animal lives in and make a book with information on that animal.

34. Hermit Crab Study  Students can look deeply into a tide pool and see one of the most unusual tide pool creatures, the hermit crab. Find out why this sea crustacean makes its home in an abandoned shell.

35. Whales World  Do research for an internet study on several different species of whales. The final product is a baseball type card based on all the information students have studied. 

36. Take the Rip Out of the Current  With Rip currents plaguing tourist on a local beach, students have been hired as writers of "Sea Star Publications” to write a series of articles on rip currents and ocean safety.

37. A Bluebird Quest  Primarily for kindergarten students to learn about the bluebird. They play the role of an ornithologist hired by their school to learn about ways to help the bluebird survive.

38. Under the Canopy of Kelp  After seeing a 30 foot length of kelp spiraled along the beach, students are asked to become Ecologists and research the three different parts of kelp called holdfast, stripes, and blades.

39. Conserving Energy  This Web quest was designed for students to research and implement ways to help save Earth and conserve energy in the future.

40. The Journey of a Water Molecule  Primary and intermediate students will love this journey as a water molecule, beginning in a lake, venturing into the sky, and finally making its way through a green plant.

41. Weather Forecast Showdown  The Government has hired students to rate the performance of weather forecasters in their town due to an epidemic of bad weather predictions. Use the web to collect daily temperature forecasts made by television and newspapers to find out the best and the worst.   

Basic Foundation & Principles

Learn key concepts and basic principles of science with the tools below.

42. Logal Science Explorer Series Educates students on detailed coverage of key concepts in biology, chemistry, and physics. The subject matter of is commonly covered in advanced placement and college courses.

43. Logal Science Gateway Series  Uses an interactive computer simulation to teach and reinforce science principles. Students will develop critical thinking, scientific processing, and problem solving skills.

44. Kalzium Contains a plethora of data on the periodic table of the elements. It also solves chemical equations, shows pictures of the elements, and includes a helpful glossary.

45. Sammy’s Science HouseDesigned by early learning experts for our future scientist. Teaches the basics about observation, analysis and test of theories.

46. Thinkin’ ScienceFive environments familiarize students to the scientific concepts needed for comprehension of basic earth, life, and physical sciences.

47. Desktop Lunar Calendar  A simple calendar that is accurate anywhere in the world. The 4 main quarter phases: Full, New, First Quarter, and Last Quarter are marked on the calendar.

48. Science PiratesPerfect for middle school students, this 3D educational computer game t communicates food safety knowledge in an environment of scientific exploration and process.

49. Encyclopedia Galactica  A planetarium program that lets students create different types of sky maps in which practically any element is customizable.

50. CHEMIX  An educational tool for students learning chemistry. Geared toward college level chemistry, features include advanced calculators for molecules, thermo chemistry, electrochemistry, and more.

51. Stellarium  With this app, you can input coordinates for any point on earth and view the night skies for any particular point in time. It’s so accurate, even planetariums have been known to use it.

52. Dhaatu This program lists the properties of the elements of the modern Periodic Table. A must for Chemistry students.

53. Martindale’s Calculators On-Line Center-Electrical and Computer Engineering: Computer science students can take advantage of this awesome collection of both basic and complex calculators.

54. Celestia  Like Stellarium, this app lets you view the night skies from earth, but it also lets you fly through 3D space to any place in the universe. It uses actual photographs of planets, asteroids, and other objects, so that you can see what they really look like.

Research & Collaboration

Students can work as part of a team to gather, analyze and disseminate data with some help from these tools.

55. The Great Ocean Rescue   Take students on four rescue missions that lead them deep into the world’s oceans. They have to draw on information about ocean ecosystems, marine biology, and environmental science to solve the problems.

56. Knowledge Forum An electronic team workspace that supports the knowledge building process. Students can share information, launch collaborative research, and build networks of new ideas.

57. Note Mesh  A web 2.0 app that allows college students in the same science classes to share notes online using a wiki set-up.

58. Science Seekers  Let a scientists guide students as they research data and work together to complete exciting adventures. Develop a deep better understanding that creates a foundation for real world science.

59. Timeliner  Students can organize data to aid in research of scientific processes. Gather information from anywhere and organize it into a sequence or timeline.

60. Created by doctoral students at Stanford University with an aim to help people do research faster. Search their collection of PDFs, find out about new papers, and share data with their lab.

61. The JASON Project  A hands-on inquiry based curriculum that mirrors the work of real scientists. Based on national core curriculum standards for science students in grades 4 through 8.

62. Seismic Toolkit (STK)  Makes it easier for you and your students to research data from seismic events. It includes tools for filtering and plotting data, polarization, and more.

63. XoscopeTurn any Linux PC into a digital oscilloscope for analyzing sound waves. With this tool, you can visualize up to eight channels at once, control the time scale, and make measurements.

64. Thinkin’ Science ZAP!  Experiment with laser beams, electrical circuits, and sound waves while practice valuable thinking skills involving observation, prediction, deductive reasoning, and hypothesis testing

65. MaxData  Works with Microsoft Excel to give students an age appropriate introduction to databases. Learn all aspects of data handling from the first steps of simple representation of data to records, tables, and filters.

66. The Great Solar System Rescue  Like The Great Ocean Rescue, except students travel through the solar system.

67. GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment)  A worldwide hands on science program for primary and secondary education. Promotes collaboration on investigations from students, teachers and scientists of the environment and the Earth system.

68. Scholarpedia  A free encyclopedia written and reviewed by scholars around the world.

69. Water on the Web  This tool helps college and high school students understand and real environmental issues using the latest advanced technology. It includes data from many national lakes and river, data interpretation and Geographic Information System Tools.

70. Moon Phase Calculator Students can calculate the phase of the Moon for any time in the past, present or future. They can also search for the next or previous full moon, new moon or first or last quarter moon.

71. Winning Science Fair Projects Find dozens of exciting science fair project examples. From tadpoles to volcanoes, these samples will give students plenty of ideas on where to start for their own project.

72. PhET Project Fun, interactive, research based simulations of physical phenomena from the PhET project at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

73. Flashcard Exchange Print flashcards, create flashcards and study science topics online with this tool, the world’s largest flashcard library.

Modeling & Mapping Tools

These tools enable students to manipulate objects in ways that would otherwise be impossible.

74. TINKER free molecular modeling software for molecular mechanics and dynamics.

75. ChemSense  A NSF funded project to study students’ understanding of chemistry. Investigate chemical systems and express their ideas in animated chemical notations.

76. Mayomi  A free flash-based mind mapping tool that lets you map out ideas, projects, research topics, or anything else that can be dug into. Great for students research papers and science projects.

77. SpaceCAD  Make sure your model rocket is stable, how high it will go and which engine you should use. By just clicking a button, students calculate how high their rocket will fly.

78. Rainforest Designer  Students can design and assemble rainforest habitats with this tool. Choose from hundreds of animals, plants, people, and objects to create original scenes.

79. Cmap Tools Build interactive, collaborative mind maps with text, video, and web links. Used by many high school and college students in advanced project work. 

80. MathMol  Designed to serve as a starting point for those interested in molecular modeling. There are also links to a variety of tutorials.

81. MDL Chime View chemical structures from within popular Web browsers such as Java. This tool is used by scientists but has also been implemented in high school chemistry courses.

82. Jmol  This java based app lets students create diagrams of atoms, molecules, crystals, and more. The site includes a handbook and tutorials for helping you learn how to use the software.

83. YASARA  A molecular graphics and modeling simulation program for Windows and Linux. A great tool for helping students visualize molecular models.

84. Starry Night A variety of astronomy software titles that give students the ability to view a virtual night sky from any point on Earth. Activities include traveling to planets, viewing planets in daylight, twilight, and nighttime views, and much more.

85. ByoDyn  Used by a number of Biology students, this app can be used for estimate and analyze the parameters when building biochemical networks.

86. Virtual Cell  A simulation of the look and feel of moving through an actual cell or cellular component. Students are encouraged to play the role of a biologist and examine cellular organelles, conduct experiments and form conclusions.

Search Engines and Databases 

Scientists keeps databases of huge amounts of information but they sometimes don not show up in commonly used search engines. These tools can help you find out what you need to know.

87. CiteSeer.IST  This search engine and digital library will help students find information from a collection of scientific literature.

88. Scirus With this science search engine your research will go far beyond journal articles. It also includes searches among such resources as scientists’ webpages, courseware, and patents.

89.  You can look for science information using this connection to international science databases and portals located around the world. 

90. GoPubMed  Search for a number of biomedical texts with this search tool that will let you accesses public medical articles and health studies. 

91. The Gene Ontology Explore the Gene Ontology database for specific genes, proteins, or Gene Ontology terminology to help you with your studies.   

92. Offers specific categories of research including agriculture and food, biology and nature, Earth and ocean sciences, health and medicine, and more. 

93. Scopus. Find an abundance of academic science information on categories like technology, medicine, and social sciences. 

94. Solar Databases for Global Change Models  A comprehensive solar database used for Science in higher education.  It has been used to document satellite measurements since 1978 to show that the amount of energy from the Sun varies over decadal time scales. 

95. Protein Data Bank  Perform simple and advanced searches of molecules based on annotations relating to sequence, structure and function. These molecules are visualized, downloaded, and analyzed by users who range from students to specialized scientists. 

96. Scitopia This advanced and thorough search will give students the most accurate information they need in the fields of both science and technology. 

97. WebCASPAR  A database system containing information about academic science and engineering resources.  Included is data from several academic surveys plus information from National Center for Education Statistics. 

98. Scitation There is over a million scientific papers to help you with any of your research needs. From journals to conferences, to magazines this is the tool for you need for your investigative services. 

99. PubFocus This search engine searches through Medline and PubMed for requested data related to your specific field of interest. Analyze the solution through articles, authors, and publishing trends. 

100. SESTAT For students interested in the scientific field, this integrated system of information on employment, education, and demographic characteristics of scientists and engineers in the United States has casual features for the more novice user.

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