Common Sense


Science Museum Learning Resources

Science museums are often a lot of fun for students, offering hands-on ways to explore and discover with experiments and technology. The websites below include general information about the museums, provide virtual tours, host online science games and interactives, offer lessons and activities, provide the latest research and information that scientists are currently pursuing, and let kids make their own observations through videos, pictures, and webcams. The sites are run by some of the best science museums in the world and help teachers bring these valuable experiences into their classrooms.

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Science Activities and Multimedia

Lawrence Hall of Science: 24/7 Science

Outdated site still useful for science games and investigations

Bottom line: Many of these interesting and highly educational activities, though a bit disorganized, still challenge and engage kids in important ways.

California Academy of Sciences

Expert research and diverse, rich lessons inspire future scientists

Bottom line: A perfect companion to (or substitute for) the Academy, this site delivers highly interactive resources and research with a lot of depth.


Science experiments and activities abound in this comprehensive resource

Bottom line: A host of mostly at-home activities are available if kids stick to the Explore tab of online resources.

Smithsonian Tools and Resources

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Virtual tour lets kids explore interactions of humans and our world

Bottom line: A great gateway to explore evidence and artifacts about the natural world; be ready to build your own lesson plans if you don't plan to visit in real life.

Smithsonian Education Students

Kid-friendly access to museum resources on wide range of topics

Bottom line: Even given some limitations, the site is filled with ways for kids to explore meaning in historical artifacts, scientific data, and art.

Smithsonian Learning Lab

Discover, create, remix, and share first-rate museum artifacts

Bottom line: This thoughtfully crafted, open-ended curation and creation tool has a place in most classrooms.

Smithsonian X3D

Touch, explore, and interact with amazing 3D artifacts

Bottom line: A unique, highly credible resource to add to your classroom repertoire -- if a topic matches your course and kids.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

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