Big Business: Food Production, Processing & Distribution in the North 1850-1900: This online exhibition from the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) takes readers deep into the workings of American food production between the years 1850 and 1900. Here readers may scout chromolithographs, trade catalogues, trade cards, and product labels to better understand the rapidly changing world of agricultural practices in the late nineteenth century, as well as the shifting technologies that led to innovations in manufacturing, transport, refrigeration, and other game changers. After reading the erudite introduction on the home page, readers may like to browse through sections dedicated to Farming, Seed Catalogues, Manufacturing, Trade Cards, Shopping, and Food Labels. Each section is packed with excellent overviews paired with original source materials.
Carbon Footprint Calculator: For readers who wonder about their carbon footprint, but don’t know quite how to calculate the long and short of it, this Carbon Footprint Calculator from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will arrive as a welcome resource. The site takes users through several steps. First, readers enter the number of people in their household, as well as their zip code. Next, they enter their average monthly bills for natural gas, electricity, fuel oil, and propane. From there, they enter the number of vehicles their household owns, and how many miles household members drive per year. Finally, readers enter how much their household recycles. At the end, the program tells users what their approximate carbon footprint is. Along the way, readers will be introduced to suggestions about how to reduce their carbon footprint.
HHMI BioInteractive: Patterns and Processes in Ecology: BioInteractive, an innovative educational resource from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), features a plethora of award-winning multimedia resources related to science education, from short films to virtual labs to holiday lectures. This collection of lectures by Princeton University professors Dr. Robert M. Pringle and Dr. Corina E. Tarnita focuses its attention on the sometimes surprising patterns and processes in ecological systems. Here readers may scout lectures on Communities as Ecological Networks, The Science of Camera Traps, Africa’s Savanna Ecosystems, and Modeling Populations and Species Interactions, among other topics. Lectures are between 20 and 40 minutes long and feature excellent visual effects to support the cogent analyses that the researchers present. For readers who are looking for real depth of thinking about ecological systems, these lectures will provide hours of edifying entertainment.
Pew Research Center: Major Gaps Between Public, Scientists on Key Issues: This fascinating study of discrepancies between the general public and scientists on a host of science-related issues can enrich classroom discussions of political science, biology, chemistry, physics, agriculture, astronomy, geology, and other subjects. Originally released by the Pew Research Center in July of 2015, the study opens with a pithy graph detailing the divide between scientists and the public on issues such as evolution, animal testing, overpopulation, and other quandaries. For instance, approximately 100 percent of scientists agree that humans and other living things have evolved over time. However, only 65 percent of the public agrees with this statement. In addition to a general overview, the site links to An Elaboration of AAAS Scientists’ Views and a PDF of the complete report.