Link Science Textbooks to the Internet

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has launched a powerful new initiative that brings the pages of science textbooks to life by linking them to the vast power and pace of the Internet. The program, called sciLINKS, connects key textbook subjects to relevant and age-appropriate Web sites that enrich student learning both inside and outside the science classroom. A grant from NASA helped NSTA develop the program and textbook publisher Holt, Rinehart and Winston is the first company to incorporate it in two of their science textbooks.

NSTA places sciLinks icons and codes in textbook margins at key subject areas. By accessing the sciLinks Web site and entering the code, students and teachers are guided to professionally selected sites that support the particular science subject introduced in the text. Whether students are learning about new endeavors in space exploration, the migration path of whales, or the diversity of life in the rainforests, sciLinks creates a continuous flow of information into the classroom. It captures the Web's constant growth and makes the Internet a more useful tool for teaching and learning science.

Teams of professional educators and curriculum specialists are involved in selecting and maintaining textbook links to key sites on the Internet. NSTA and the publisher review a textbook before it g'es to print and decide which locations would be most appropriate for sciLINKS icons. Finally, a team of classroom teachers serves as a review committee to continually assess the Web pages and give feedback on all aspects of the program. NSTA, Arlington, VA, www.scilinks.org.

This article originally appeared in the 06/01/1999 issue of THE Journal.

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