Comprehensive Sites

Athena Project
The Athena Project is a NASA-funded education and public outreach effort in Washington State led by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). The Project’s Web site provides instructional material, lesson plans, and activities on topics in the earth and space sciences. Activities frequently require the use of real data. The site includes a space and astronomy curriculum with good information and activities on the Sun, the Sun-Earth connection, the solar system, and the individual planets.

International Solar Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) Web Site
This is the home page for the NASA ISTP program. It includes a public outreach page that has lots of good information about geospace, the scientists who study it, and the ISTP spacecraft missions. Provides resources for students and teachers.

Oulu Space Physics Textbook
A project of the Space Research Group at the University of Oulu in Finland, this extensive on-line textbook addresses the following topics: basic plasma physics; the Sun and interplanetary medium, the Earth’s magnetosphere and ionosphere; coupling processes; phenomena such as the aurora, cosmic rays, and space weather; and space instrumentation and analysis techniques. A useful resource, particularly for undergraduates. The presentation is probably a bit too technical for a general audience. The URL for the Oulu textbook homepage is

Science Education Gateway (SEGway)
SEGway is a NASA-funded education and public outreach effort led by the University of California at Berkeley. The SEGway site provides lesson plans and some self-guided lessons on a number of topics in earth and space science, including the aurora, sunspots, the electromagnetic spectrum, astronomical observation at non-visible wavelengths, and many more. A wonderful resource for teachers to locate classroom activities for use in their K-12 classrooms. Space Science Institute
The Space Science Institute (SSI) web site contains information on a variety of topics of interest to researchers, educators, and the general public, including: space weather, travelling exhibits (Electric Space, Marsquest), downloadable curricula, and education workshops for scientists. SSI is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to improve communication among scientists, educators, and the general public by combining space science research with science education.

Space Science News
An attractive, user-friendly on-line “newspaper” sponsored by the Space Sciences Laboratory at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Every “issue” contains several recent headline stories on topics in space physics, astrophysics, and earth science. The stories are clearly written, provide good background information, and are amply illustrated with colorful and well-chosen graphics (including movies and animation). Links to many other related sites, including a featured “site of the day,” are provided.

The Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum
The education and public outreach site for NASA’s Sun-Earth Connection theme, developed jointly by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the Space Science Laboratory of the University of California at Berkeley. The site offers a tutorial on the Sun-Earth Connection, links to space science mission pages, and a very nice “resource index” with links to other Web sites.

Windows to the Universe
“Windows to the Universe” is an innovative, graphics-rich Web site offering a nearly comprehensive treatment of the Earth and Space Sciences at three levels of content, corresponding to upper elementary, middle, and high school levels. The site also features interdisciplinary arts and humanities content relevant to the scientific topics. A supplementary CD is available. “Windows” was developed at the University of Michigan with NASA funding.

Exploration of the Earth’s Magnetosphere (also listed under Magnetosphere)
A non-mathematical overview of research on the magnetic space environment around Earth, about 80 files, illustrated, includes Spanish version (MIntro.html) and one in French (incomplete), glossary, timeline, over 100 answered questions by users, teacher guidance, a history overview and articles “Birth of a Radiation Belt” and “Secrets of the Polar Aurora.” Stresses history, also conceptual understanding and some basics such as electrons, ions and their motion in space, plasmas and energy.

From Stargazers to Starships
An extensive (ca. 100 files) illustrated non-calculus course on astronomy, mechanics, the Sun and spaceflight. With translations into Spanish (Mintro.htm), French (Fintro.htm) and Italian (Iintro.htm), 46 lesson plans (Lintro.htm), 14-part math course (Math.htm), guidance for teachers, timeline, glossary, more than 200 answered questions by users, problems, some hands-on projects, etc. Follows a historical thread, stresses intuitive understanding, applications (esp. to space), connections with society, culture and technology, stories of discovery and discoverers.

The Great Magnet, the Earth
A non-mathematical historical overview of the Earth’s magnetism, written for the 400th anniversary of William Gilbert’s book “De Magnete,” which is covered in some detail. Also discusses electromagnetism, solar magnetism, dynamo theory, ocean floor magnetization, and magnetospheres of Earth and planets. Includes a long review “A Millennium of Geomagnetism,” a detailed article on teaching magnetism in high schools and translations to Spanish, German and French.