NASAs Space Place is out of this world!
As a teaching tool, NASAs Space Place is terrific!
It emphasizes all areas of space and encourages students to explore ones that they are not familiar with.
Each tab at the top of the page indicates a different topic dealing with space -ones that often are not addressed in other sites.
On the right side of the page, there are three buttons - explore, do and play.
Each button has MANY options for any child to select.
Within these selections there are instructions written for an advanced learner, or one who has an adult nearby.
The games are engaging, and educational, rich with language specific to the task.
Mostly all of them are not timed - one thing I feel is a benefit to this website.
Children don't feel the need to "perform" - rather it is more of an emphasis on learning and exploration.
For the explore button, there are MANY fun facts, videos and photos that would entice any child to want to know more about our solar system.
Further, the "do" button encourages children to complete activities at home or at school with a variety of materials.
It is similar to a lab instruction at school.
For parents / educators - this website is a terrific tool for any one.
An advanced reader / learner would benefit most from this individually.
Although with an adult's assistance, this website could be used with small children as well.
How I Use It
For my teaching, if I were a science teacher, I would utilize the resources on this site.
One area that was quite beneficial was the "Ask Dr. Marc" link.
It provided a transcript of questions / answers with audio regarding the solar system from a renowned expert in the field.
Some of the games took a little while to load, so I would recommend that if a teacher was going to use this in his / her classroom that he / she check out the site before using it with students.
If you are going to use the site at home, ensure that the child can load the appropriate game / activity.
Overall - advanced language for advanced learners but engaging enough on the "explore" button so that younger children would be intrigued with the photos.