While environments which are too dangerous for people, such as the eye of a hurricane, can be viewed remotely, in these investigations "robot" arms and eyes can be manipulated from remote sites. Aquarius is one example of this idea in action.
We many links to astronomy resources, but Hands-On Universe makes special software available for students to manipulate images from telescopes, just as real astronomers do. Google Sky provides an in-depth look at the universe using the same interface as Google Maps.
Companies, such as Vernier, offer sensing instruments which are linked to software programs for data analysis and manipulation. These probes for every major subject in science can be used with portable computers so students can take them on field trips easily. Point Six is another company which sells science lab probes for personal computers.
To access additional remote-sensing applications review the Reflections on Earth website. It illustrates how Smithsonian scientists conduct investigations. A Teacher's Guide is available to help students practice interpreting Landsat images.
Water on the Web offers data about water quality from deep within 4 Minnesota lakes. This approach also represents a new method for visualization of information, especially appropriate for some students.
For underwater robotics MIT's Sea Grant's Sea Perch Program is aimed at pre-college students.
Infrared detection has reached secondary schools. Though a college CalTech has pioneered this work.
These projects foreshadow the next century in which research and learning can be explored online first and then real investigations undertaken or the virtual and real studies could be performed simultaneously and synergistically.With the addition of portable computers to these learning tools students can truly investigate the real world and conduct on-the-spot data analyses.
Other Areas To Check Out...
• An Evaluation Checklist for Educational Web Sites
• Biology Studies Groups
• Chemistry Experiments
• Computer Recycling
• Handheld Devices: Smartphones and Tablets
• Math Models in Nature
• National, State and Regional Networks (sample)
• Treks and Primary Sources
• University and Non-Profit Research Resources