Week of April 27, 2003

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

Hold on to your hat as a tornado whisks you away to Forces of Nature online at http://library.thinkquest.org/ C003603. You can learn about historical fires from a safe distance and sift through the ruins from Earth’s worst earthquakes. Interviews with people who endured avalanches, floods and other natural disasters provide firsthand accounts of these scary events. Watch flood and drought simulations. Then test your natural disaster knowledge with quizzes.

Nominate a cool Web site at http://www.4Kids.org/nominations/

Visit the Featured Web sites to find the answers.

What emperor played his violin while his city burned?

Julius Caesar


What layer of the atmosphere extends from Earth’s surface to five miles up?



What’s the scientific name for manatees that live in Florida’s springs?
Massive manatus
Manatus manatee
Trichechus manatus



Warmin’ Up

Heat up your knowledge about the Global Climate Change at www.exploratorium.edu/ climate. Learn about different theories that explain why the Earth’s air temperature is increasing. A near real-time map shows the division of snow and ice in the Northern Hemisphere. You can watch satellite images of the Larsen B ice shelf, which is the size of Rhode Island, collapse in western Antarctica. However, not all global climatic changes are negative. Find out why the greenhouse effect is essential to our existence.

Southern Springs

Dive into Florida’s Springs: Protecting Nature’s Gems at www.floridasprings.org, where you can swim with the manatees and learn about water processes. Follow the journey of water from rainfall to the swimming hole in the interactive tour “Anatomy of a Spring.” Life in a Spring gives you an up-close view of water-loving plants and animals. You’ll learn about environmental threats to nature’s gems in Protecting Springs. An eye-catching photo gallery gives a peek at the exciting side of recreation in the springs.


How do you address family problems in your household?


Speak Out Here!

Dear Amy: What are synergistic systems? — Pete, Jackson, Miss.

Dear Pete: Synergistic systems consist of three to four tabletops that are connected in a circle and partitioned into workspaces. Each station has two computers. Students work and learn together at the stations doing hands-on activities related to science, nutrition, history and other subjects. An example of a classroom that uses synergistic systems is at www.glenridge.org/ourtown/ gref/ syner.html. Because the students work in pairs, they learn to work with others while studying virtually any subject. This type of setting encourages students to teach themselves, allowing teachers to guide students’ learning instead of lecturing to them. (This site is no longer available.)

Dear Amy: Who gives computer and console games their ratings? — Minar, New York City

Dear Minar: The Entertainment Software Rating Board, or ESRB, rates games. Ratings are based on game content and how appropriate it is for certain ages. At www.esrb.org/ratings/ ratings_guide.jsp, you can read descriptions of each rating. You’ll also find explanations of content descriptors, such as comic mischief or edutainment, which provide additional information about games.

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