Science Web Quests

To begin my internet search I relied on some information I gathered in a previous course on Webquests. Bernie Dodge (PhD.) of the Dept. of Educational Technology, SanDiego University has developed a site entitled Webquests.org which contains a searchable repository of reviewed inquiry oriented lessons that fit well with the current mode of using a constructivist approach when using educational technology. 

Using the subject area of chemistry and searching the webquest.org site I located the following webquest called Chemicals at Home. This webquest was developed by Amy Trauth-Nare. It leads students though a series of tasks that enable them to research household chemicals, their formulae, where they fit into the hazardous chemicals spectrum, and how they can be disposed of.

I also found a Chemistry related forensics site during a webquest search within the webquest.org site. This was developed by Linda Stefaniak of Allentown High School, NJ. and guides students through types of tests they need to perform to identify a substance they are assigned.

Another webquest entitled Organic Chemistry in the news, developed by Fiona Clark of Bridgewater, NS had students assigned to one of four different focus groups whose task it will be to investigate one of the following organic chemistry topics: The proposed development of a pipeline between Lockeport and Liverpool that would carry Sable Island natural gas to the eastern US, THM's in local water supplies, the use of chemical warfare, the use of various manmade organic chemicals.

While I was searching through the webquest.org site I noticed in the latest news link that the webquest.org program had recieved the MERLOT Teacher Education Classics Award. MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) is a searchable collection of peer reviewed materials. Upon entering the MERLOT site I found these links to learning materials that also lent themselves to constructivist methodology in educational technology.

The Virtual Chemistry Laboratory - This site allows students to complete chemistry laboratory experiments in a virtual lab that contains all of the lab materials, procedures and equipment that they would find in a real lab.

DNA from the beginning - animated tutorial on DNA, genes and heredity. The science behind each concept is explained using animations, an image gallery, video interviews, problems, biographies, and links.

Another Science related site I really liked was Discovery School's learning activities. This site is part of the accredited Discovery Education network. The learning activities here are similar to the webquests above in that they are mostly interactive and motivate students into a discovery learning scenario.

The only limitations I could see in the sites that I chose to present were the web editing limitations of some of the authors. These webquests are developed by educators from all over the world so the degree of expertise in web design varies. However, all webquests are reviewed for required structure and content before being posted in webquest.org so the intellectual material is still sound.