Science WebQuests

WebQuestscan help teachersintegrate the Internet into the curriculum while creating fun instructional activities that motivate students and educators alike.

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A WebQuest is an enquiry-oriented activity using at least some internet resources. Rather than simply asking pupils to research a word or topic and trawling through a mountain of mostly irrelevant sites the WebQuest provides directed learning using a number of sites as sources of information.

There are hundreds of ready made webquests online, made by teachers all over the world, for almost every subject and ready for use by teachers everywhere. The hard work of designing an activity and finding suitable weblinks has already been doneand they can even be edited to suit your particular needs.

Most Webquests are not single lesson activities - they are more project type, extended, motivational activities, often giving pupils insights into how real scientists work.

Dr. Bernie Dodge and Tom March, the originators of the WebQuest concept, present a comprehensive look at WebQuests, how to make one and much more: The WebQuest Page.

Bernie also provides a large and  regularly updated database of  Science WebQuests (sorted by age):

Elementary School WebQuests
(Years 1-4; Grades 1-3)

Junior School WebQuests
(Years 4-6; Grades 3-5)

Middle School WebQuests
(Years 7 -9; Grades 6-8)

High School WebQuests
(Years 10-12; Grades 9-12)

Senior/AdultWebQuests

The Pennsylvania Education
Network

Using Webquests in your Classroom

provides a nice overview of the Webquest concept and help in designing your own WebQuests.

 

WebQuests produced by the Berks County Intermediate Unit during T-N-T (Teachers-N-Technology) workshops and Pennsylvania Department of Education Inservice Courses.Science & Technology

Selected Subject Specific WebQuests

Chemistry

Acid Rain  (Years 7-9; Grades 6-8)

Assuming different scientific roles, students research the acid rains causes, effect and possible solutions and make a web report.

Global Warming. Do we need to act?  (Years 9-11; Grades 8-10)

Look at both sides of the Global Warming argument.  Make a decision as to whether the US should act on this issue and ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

This Quest has a straightforward research format for individual or paired working. But  it arttempts to tackle a fundamental question.

Biology

Freaky Frogs (Years 7-9; Grades 6-8)

"Discover what scientists have called a disturbing biological warning light: the existence of freaky frogs. Explore the possible causes of frog deformities and let everyone know about these poor creatures' plight."

Save the Whales (Years 7-8; Grades 5-7)

"A killer whale shows signs of distress after moving to a new marine aquarium. Assuming different scientific roles, students research the animal's natural habitat, compare and contrast the aquarium environment, and recommend changes."

Genes, the Building Blocks of Life (Years 8-10; Grades 7-9)

"In this WebQuest you will work with a team of three other students to form a consensus on how funding for genetics research should be distributed. Each member of your team will choose one of the given aspects of genetics to research."

A WebQuest on the Dying Coral Reefs (Years 7-9; Grades 6-8)

"Find out who (or what!) is the culprit in the coral reef murders. Along the way, you must also determine the most likely cause(s) of death of the coral reefs, the effects of coral reef death on other organisms, and one method by which this death can be stopped."

The Real Scoop on Tobacco (Years 7-8; Grades 5-7)

"You have been hired by the parents of Icabod, a sixth grade student. They suspect their child of smoking or about to start. He's listened to the lectures of his parents and teachers. However, he thinks they are all just handing him a line. After all, he sees lots of adults smoking and figures it isn't really so bad. In fact, he thinks it's pretty cool. But he might listen to you. After all, you're his peer. That's what his parents are counting on. They've hired you to convince him to quit smoking. To do so, you must show your commitment to the fight against youth using tobacco and create a memorable message for him. Do a good job - it could be a matter of life and death."

GE Foods - Friend or Foe?  (Years 9-11; Grades 8-10)

"Imagine this...an orange that contains all the nutrients in a multivitamin, a tomato with more flavor as well as cancer fighting substances, sweeter strawberries, a potato that produces healthier french fries, allergen-free peanuts, a rice high in beta-carotene as well as bananas that deliver needed vaccines..........What are genetically engineered foods and are they dangerous to our health and to the environment? "

Science Across the
World

Work on Science
projects with schools
across the world.

Physics

Searching for Just the Right Planet   (Years 7-9; Grades 6-8)

"It is now the year 2025. Z-Tech, a large multi-national company, wants to put a space hotel in orbit around one of the other planets in our solar system. Your class has been given the job of searching for the perfect location for this hotel. You have two weeks before Z-Tech expects a report on which planet would be the best place for an orbiting space hotel."

More 'WebQuests'

Frank Potter has assembled a range of science 'webquests', made by K-12 teachers attending the Summer Science Institute of the University of California at Irvine over recent years.  There are many useful activities but most do not conform to the usually accepted definition of a webquest which requires a problem solving, open ended approach.

1998 WebQuests  Includes Body Builders, Desert Biome, Fast Food Nutrition, Comets, Viruses and lots more.

1999 WebQuests  Includes Endangered Animals, Electrical Circuits, Flowers, Properties of light, Electromagnets and lots more.

2000 WebQuests  Includes Genetics, Dinosaurs and Mammals.

2001 WebQuests  Includes Plant and Animal cells, Plate Techtonics, Electromagnetic Spectrum and lots more.

Science Across the World             

Interested in linking with other schools around the world?  The Science Across the World project, is a programme run by GlaxoSmithKline in partnership with The Association for Science Education.

A variety of topic areas are available, including 'What do you Eat', 'Acid Rain', 'Energy in the Home' and many more. The selected unit is investigated your students, and their results shared with other schools around the world, studying the same topic. There are over 1000 participating schools, from across Europe, Australasia, Africa, Asia and North and South America.

Great for enhancing the learning of a foreign language or multicultural awareness through science.

Aimed at 14 - 18 year olds.

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   © copyright Ray Le Couteur      Last update  20 January 2002