What Are Some Good Resources to Help Teach Science to Eighth-Graders?

The Smithsonian Science Education Center and the National Science Teachers Association are two good resources for eighth-grade science teachers. There are also interactive websites that allow middle school students to explore science through simulations and games, such as the Center for Science and Industry.

The Smithsonian Science Education Center website offers teachers a vast array of inquiry-based science lesson plans. The animated series "Good Thinking!" is available on the site; it follows a teacher as she builds upon her skills in teaching difficult science topics. There are also links to external sites to help educators build upon their curriculum resources.

The National Science Teachers Association website provides information about science standards, including ways to implement the standards through a curriculum, in addition to links for NSTA books, journals and articles. It also includes updates about NSTA-sponsored workshops and conferences. Podcasts with scientific themes, such as how science is interwoven into modern media, are available on the website.

The Center for Science and Industry website has online activities and lesson plans to explore science. "Bet the Farm" is an interactive game on the site that allows students to learn about real-world events as they make decisions about crops, fertilizers and sales.