Environmental science (also called ecology or bionomics) is a branch of biology that studies the relationship between organisms and their environment. It encompasses topics such as climate change, energy, endangered species, land use and more. Today's website picks cover a wide range of environmental issues, and offer lessons and activities for all grade levels.
Designed to inspire elementary and middle-school kids to become "life-long environmental stewards," EcoKids from Earth Day Canada uses interactive media to teach kids about their impact on the environment. The Games & Activities section is divided into topics such as Wildlife, Energy and Climate Change. And then further segmented by grade and difficulty level (primary, junior or intermediate.) Unfortunately the EcoKids Challenge is limited to entrants in Canada, but the rest of the site is universal.
The Environmental Literacy Council website is a huge library of K-12 lessons, articles and news about environmental studies, including subjects such as global climate change, biodiversity, energy, and land use. Topics can be accessed via the subject menu on the left-hand side, from the site map, or via the site search. Each article concludes with an outstanding collection of Recommended Resources, making this site a terrific first stop for further research and my pick of the day for middle-school and high-school students writing papers or doing science fair projects.
These sixteen Community Science Action Guides (some for primary grades and others for secondary grades) were created by teachers to support student investigation into local science issues. They include planning resources, activities and ready-to-use material in topics such as water, energy and life science. For example, SWISH (Student Water Investigators Showing How) is a project outline for investigating water usage during toilet flushes and includes two separate tracks: one for middle school and another for high school.
HippoCampus (from the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education) is a collection of educational videos arranged not by popularity (as on YouTube) but by topic as a outline for a high-school science class. In fact, the site contains a complete AP Environmental Science class, covering all the material outlined by the College Board as necessary preparation for the AP exam. In addition to the videos, there are labs, discussion questions, and chapter tests with answer keys.
LiveScience is an online magazine with an extensive Environment section. Visit for articles, videos, image galleries, and quizzes. Here's a sample question from the "What's Your Environmental Footprint" quiz. "Is going vegetarian better for the Earth? Meat-eaters who switch to a plant-based diet save: 1) A few animals' lives, but not much else. 2) Over one hectare of land per ton of food . 3) Over 10 hectares of land per ton of food."