Reference/Links: For Kids


The Environment

Environmental Education for Kids - EEK!, an online magazine for grades four to eight created by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, offers short articles and activities about animals, plants and environmental issues.

EPA Student Center - At this Environmental Protection Agency site, you'll find environmental games and quizzes, tips on improving the environment in your community, and a list of environmental contests and awards for kids.

The Green Squad
The Green Squad
Kids taking action for greener,
healthier schools

The Green Squad - This NRDC website (also available in Spanish) shows you how to identify and solve environmental problems. Guided by four environmentally conscious students known as the "Green Squad," you can explore a colorful virtual school room by room, and use the mouse to locate potential hazards. Parents and teachers will find the site useful as well -- the school's library and parent-teacher room offer fact sheets and environmental resources.

The Greens - Izz and Dex are green -- literally! These animated characters not only have green skin, they've got lots of great ideas about protecting the planet. Visit this site to watch short cartoons about environmental issues, and find out how your daily actions affect the earth.

Kids Do Ecology - At this website, find tips for conducting experiments, information on ecology-related careers, and explanations of terms like "data" and "scientific method."

Nature Rocks -This Nature Conservancy website encourages families to go outside and explore nature. Search by zip code to find outdoor and nature-themed activities happening in your town.

Tunza - Tunza is a global environmental network for youth created by the U.N. Environment Programme. Read articles, stories, and art created by and for young people around the world.

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Animals

All-Star Endangered Critter Cards - This Why Files collection of online trading cards is a great introduction to endangered species around the world. The front of each card features an animal photo; move your mouse over it to read about the species and how it is threatened.

Animal Diversity Web - Written by students at the University of Michigan with the help of professional biologists, this website features information about thousands of animal species, including detailed descriptions and photos. Some records even include audio and video, like these frog sounds.

ARKive - Wildscreen, an organization based in the U.K., created this website to teach people about endangered species using wildlife pictures, videos, profiles, and fun activities.

Bug Bytes - Looking for a website with lots of downloadable, underground music? Here's one, but it's probably not what you'd expect. Instead of up-and-coming musicians, the site features audio recordings of insect sounds, many of which are recorded using subterranean microphones.

Going Bug-gy - Did you know daddy longlegs aren't really spiders? Or that some butterflies have tongues almost as long as their bodies? Find out more by reading the question and answer section of this Scholastic website, which offers "facts and fun about insects."

Infrared Zoo - Even if you already know which animals are warm-blooded and which ones are cold-blooded, it's still fun to look at these pictures taken with a thermal infrared camera at NASA's Infrared Processing and Analysis Center. Scientists use infrared to study how well feathers, fur, and blubber insulate animals, but you don't need an advanced degree to appreciate a rainbow-colored tiger!

Journey North - Track the migrations of birds and mammals at this website, which maps wildlife sightings across North America. If you see migrating wildlife in your area, report your sightings here.

Kids' Planet - This fun site is packed with kid-friendly environmental information. Learn about animals from around the world, play animal-themed games and find simple ways to help protect the environment.

National Geographic Kids - You'll find lots of articles and games about science and nature at this website. Like what you see? Additional web features for kids are available in the National Geographic Explorer section.

National Zoo AnimalCams - The National Zoo has so many webcams, it's hard to decide which one to watch first. Whatever animal you choose to spy on, you'll find streaming video of that creature in action and a few paragraphs of background information on the animal and its natural habitat.

Pup's Supper Interactive Book - Small children will love this online storybook (available in English and Spanish) about a mother sea otter and her pup.

Shark School - How sharp is your shark knowledge? This kids' site from the San Diego Natural History Museum offers a shark FAQ, a glossary, profiles of sharks that live off the California coast and an overview of a shark's anatomy. If you think you've already got the basics down, test yourself with the quizzes in the "Fish and Games" section.

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Plants

Biology of Plants - This Missouri Botanical Garden website uses simple explanations, Flash animations and time-lapse videos to teach kids in grades K-3 about plants and how they grow. Sidebars offer definitions of plant vocabulary words, answer common questions and suggest plant-themed song lyrics.

My First Garden - Visit this website for help planning a kid-friendly garden. The University of Illinois Extension site uses simple, fun language to explain each step, from choosing a location to deciding what to plant. Don't forget to come back when your plants grow to submit a photo to the garden gallery!

Treetures - Websites don't get much cuter than this! The "Treetures" are tiny guardians of the forest who'd love to teach you about trees and how important they are to the environment. Visit the adorably illustrated website to try out tree-themed activities, listen to the Treeture theme song, or send a TreeMail message to your favorite character.

What Tree Is That? - Want help identifying a tree? Answer a few questions about the tree you're looking at, and this website will help you give that tree a name.

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Habitats

A Walk in the Woods - As kids click through this photo-filled University of Illinois Extension website, they'll discover that a walk in the woods is a great way to learn about and appreciate nature. If your computer has speakers, turn them on to hear an enthusiastic voice read the text of each page.

Biodiversity: Everything Counts - If the word "biodiversity" makes you think of exotic habitats and endangered species, this website from the American Museum of Natural History will help bring the meaning closer to home. Find out how biodiversity affects your everyday life (even if you live in a city).

Field Trip Earth - You don't need a school bus to take a field trip! Travel the world with your web browser at this site, which offers interviews, discussion groups, field reports, essays, slide shows and educator resources. Start on the "Choose a Field Trip" page, and use the airplane cursor to select a wildlife conservation project you'd like to visit.

MBGnet - This Missouri Botanical Garden website offers an introduction to six terrestrial biomes and six aquatic ecosystems. Each section includes a descriptive overview of the featured habitat, answers to frequently asked questions and facts about the animals and plants that live there.

Nab the Aquatic Invader! - Developed by NOAA's National Sea Grant College Program, this website invites kids in grades four to ten to become "Sea Grant Super Sleuths." Use the site's resources to track down aquatic invaders in U.S. waters.

Soil Biological Communities - Meet Wilbur, the soil wizard, and learn the different creatures that make their home in soil. Want to get down and dirty? Collect soil bugs or make your own earthworm farm.

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Clean Water

Water Busters - This Flash game from the Saving Water Partnership invites you to help a little blue guy explore his house and find ways to save water and help the environment. A friendly salmon named Bert offers advice and encouragement along the way.

WaterSense Kids - At this website, a friendly drop of water offers simple tips on saving water and explains why it's so important.

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Oceans

Marine Biology: The Living Oceans - At this website, scientists from the American Museum of Natural History take you beneath the waves to explore ocean ecosystems. The site uses simple games and activities to explain how sea organisms depend on each other, why researchers believe life developed in the oceans and how adaptation helps animals survive.

MarineCareers.net - So you want to be a marine biologist, an oceanographer or an underwater filmmaker? Make a splash in your chosen career with the help of this site, part of the National Sea Grant College Program. You'll find job descriptions and salaries, detailed profiles of marine professionals, and tips to help you earn the necessary qualifications and get hired.

Ocean Life - A joint project of Scholastic and the Earthwatch Institute, this website sends you on a virtual expedition to study sea turtles and dolphins in Costa Rica. Use your investigative skills to learn about the animals and discover how human activity affects them.

Ocean Portal: Find Your Blue - Explore the ocean from your computer with the help of this Smithsonian website. View gorgeous photo slideshows, learn about different undersea habitats, and find out how you can help protect the ocean. Planet Ocean - You don't have to get wet to learn lots of fun facts about the ocean at this Discovery site. Find out how creatures like the tubeworm and blue whale survive in their underwater world, and vote for your favorite "Marine Megastars."

Secrets@Sea - Set up like an interactive cartoon, this website invites you to play the role of Ace, an investigator assigned to explain the unusual behavior of local whales. Created as a joint project of the Vancouver Aquarium, Science World and Pacific Space Centre, the site takes you through a series of ocean-related learning activities as you attempt to solve the case. There aren't many instructions to help you along, but keep clicking and you'll find the clues.

Splash Zone Ocean Homes - This Monterey Bay Aquarium website introduces you to the creatures that live in three areas: rocky shores, kelp forests, and coral reefs. Fun facts, activities, and videos explain what makes each habitat special.

The Truth Behind SpongeBob - If too much TV-watching has you thinking that sea sponges are square, yellow and talkative, this Ocean Futures Society website will help you get your facts straight. It uses the SpongeBob SquarePants cartoon characters as a basis for introducing the fascinating creatures and coral reefs that really live under the sea.

Women Exploring the Oceans - Considering a career in oceanography? Find a role model -- or several -- at this website, created by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the National Science Foundation. The site features remarkable women working in marine science, including scientists, professors, an engineer on a research vessel and an illustrator of oceanic data.

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Air Pollution

The Know Zone - Want to learn more about air pollution and smog? This California Air Resources Board website links to lots of air pollution resources. Visit the student section for fact sheets and an air pollution glossary.

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Energy

Energy Hog - According to this website, energy hogs are "nasty critters that hide all over your home and pig out on wasted energy." Battle the energy hogs (and pick up a few energy-saving tips) with hog-busting online games; complete all five games to earn the title "Hog Buster."

Energy Quest - You'll need lots of energy to explore everything on this site, which includes science project ideas, online games, movies, scientist profiles, and explanations of lots of energy-related topics.

Kids Saving Energy - This U.S. Dept. of Energy website offers energy-themed games, an overview of different kinds of renewable energy, and energy-saving tips from Tinker Bell.

Roofus' Solar Home - At this site, meet a dog named Roofus who's an expert on solar energy and energy efficiency. As you visit different parts of Roofus' energy smart house, you'll find energy saving tips and simple experiments to help you understand how energy works.

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Global Warming

Climate Change in Your Garden - If cold weather is keeping you indoors, use your mouse to explore the interactive garden on this U.K. Phenology Network website. Click on the plants and animals to learn how climate change could affect them. If your speakers are on, you'll hear an audio introduction to each section.

Climate Kids - At this NASA website, you'll find answers to common climate questions, games, videos, career options, and project ideas (like cooking s'mores with the sun's energy). Polar Action Guide - Want to help protect the polar ice cap? Download this PDF guide to find out what you and your family can do about global warming's impact on the arctic.

Professor Polar Bear's Education Center - This website, created by the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program, explains global warming in simple, straightforward language.

A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change - Find information about the causes and effects of climate change -- as well as the steps you can take to help solve the problem. View engaging videos, animations, and expeditions focused on climate change around the world.

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Recycling

The Adventures of Vermi the Worm - This Flash website from California's Integrated Waste Management Board is your chance to accompany a vermicomposting worm on a variety of compost-themed adventures. Think you're too grown up for that stuff? Skip the cartoons and head straight for the site's composting instruction pages.

Clean Sweep U.S.A. - At this Keep America Beautiful website, you'll meet the citizens of "the cleanest town in America." Get to know the town's residents in online comics about recycling, reducing waste, and planting trees.

Recycle City - Want to learn more about recycling and reducing waste? Click on this site's colorful maps and illustrations to explore a virtual town and pick up a few tips from the locals.

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Health

Environmental Health Student Portal - How much do you know about the relationship between human health and the environment? Learn more at this site, which offers facts, games, videos, experiments, and resources.

EPA Home Tour - Each room in this home includes various household chemicals. Click on each one to learn helpful safety tips.

ToxMystery - Explore an animated house with the help of a talking cat named Toxie, and answer multiple-choice questions about the toxic chemicals that may be present.

Parks

WebRangers - Planning a family trip to a national park? Sign up as a WebRanger before you go. You'll get an overview of the National Park Service, and pick up a few facts about the individual parks while trying out the games and activities.

Windows into Wonderland - Designed for students in grades 5 to 8, this Yellowstone National Park website offers "eTrips," virtual field trips that use audio, video and Flash animation to teach kids about the park and its animals. Recent features cover Yellowstone's wolves, the shifting shorelines of Yellowstone Lake and the microorganisms that live in the park's hot springs.

Forests

Rainforests around the World - With the help of the Rainforest Alliance, you can take a virtual tour of rainforests around the world, learn forest facts, and get to know the different species that make their home in the rainforest.

Rainforest Heroes - At this Rainforest Action Network website, you'll find tips for taking action to protect forests, success stories from other young activists and forest-related activities. Don't miss the "About Rainforests" section -- it's packed with facts and photos.

Discover the Forest - Get connected with nature, online and off! This website offers a searchable map of forests and parks, a guide to fun outdoor activities (Ever made a leaf rubbing?), and a gallery of outdoor photos.

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