A Hotline Into How the World Works

This week is National Science & Technology Week, and the National Science Foundation and other sponsors want to encourage parents, teachers and students to become more involved in science and engineering.

Learn to communicate in science language by asking a top U.S. government scientist or engineer a question you've always wanted answered, such as, "Why is the sky blue?" All week long you can send questions to the NSTW Hotwire at asknstw@nsf.gov, or call the toll-free hotline, (800) 682-2716, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday. Check out the archive of previous years' questions at NSTW Online, (http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/nstw/quest/start.htm).

The NSTW home page features a hefty teaching activity packet, "Webs, Wires and Waves--the Science and Technology of Communication" for kids ages 5 to 12, available in English or Spanish. For a print copy, e-mail the NSTW regional network site at the Discovery Science Center, Santa Ana (robc@ioc.net).

More Resources: What do kids think of their science education? The answers in the National Student Report Card, sponsored by Bayer Corp., might surprise you (http://www.bayerus.com/science/news). The site also has a "Making Science Make Sense" online brochure with nifty science experiments for kids.

Teachers will find excellent science resources at NSF-sponsored Science Learning Network (http://www.sln.org).

CYBERSPACE

* The Internet is often touted as bringing together the global community. And what better day to do that than Earth Day, which is Tuesday. At http://www.cfe.cornell.edu/Earthday/about/history.html, you can read all about the history of Earth Day. You can fill out a survey about what you're doing to celebrate Earth Day at http://www.sdearthtimes.com/edn/report.html. The Wilderness Society (http://earthday.wilderness.org) has a number of activities for kids on Earth Day: Download pictures to color, take a quiz or send an Earth Day postcard. Read Earth Day founder John McConnell's Earth Magna Carta and find out how to become an Earth trustee at http://www.earthsite.org. And Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, will be online at http://mungopark.com, answering questions from beneath the ocean off Fiji.

* Passover begins tonight at sundown. You can learn about the celebration and get traditional Seder recipes at http://www.holidays.net/passover. To download "Uncle Eli's" Haggada--the book that tells the Passover story--visit http://www.ucalgary.ca/~elsegal/Uncle_Eli/Eli.html.Test your Passover trivia knowledge by playing the Matzoh Ball Game at http://www.his.com/~chabad/passover/.

* The Los Angeles County Office of Education is online at http://www.lacoe.edu as your gateway to the department's programs and services. There are biographies of Board of Education members, listings of educational programs and services, and county school facts and statistics. Also read up on what the county is doing to bring today's schools into the technology age.

* There are a number of ways you can help Five Acres (formerly the Boys' and Girls' Aid Society of Los Angeles) in their mission to help abused or severely emotionally disturbed children become caring and productive adults. The Altadena-based nonprofit agency is looking for volunteers. For more information about Five Acres and what you can do, point your browser to http://www.5acres.org

* The latest Southern California fish reports, tide predictions and other marine-related information can be found at http://www.iwol.com/

* If all this perfect California weather has been getting you down, maybe you need a break. How about the Canadian Arctic? "The Nunavut Handbook," the complete guide to travel in Canada's eastern Arctic, wants you to "Step Into the Adventure." Take an online tour of the area at http://www.arctic-travel.com, which also has travel information if you decide it's the place for you.

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