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iLabs: NEWTON, Or Where to Go When Google Doesn’t Know

August 7, 2012

You are teaching a class and your student asks you a science question you can’t answer.  Google is often the first stop, but where do you go when Google doesn’t have any answers? How about NEWTON?

What is NEWTON? Here’s how they describe themselves:

“NEWTON, Ask A Scientist is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators that answers questions to enhance the knowledge of students and teachers alike!

Our service features three main sites, NEWTON Ask A Scientist, a site designed to answer and post certain questions from outside a textbook, NEWTON Teachers, a site designed to help teachers develop an exciting science curriculum, and the Cook County Nature Bulletins Site”

Who is NEWTON? From the NEWTON website’s “about” page:

NEWTON is operated by the Educational Programs of Argonne National Laboratory, which is located about 40 km (25 miles) southwest of downtown Chicago

NEWTON was started in November of 1991 to provide K-12 science, math and computer teachers (and their students) a place to practice telecommunications, to retrieve useful information in a wide variety of subjects, to contact research scientists from all over the world and to open communications between classroom teachers. NEWTON is associated with the Argonne Community of Teachers (ACT) and operated by the staff at Argonne’s Educational Programs.

So, last question….Why did I need to go to NEWTON?

In my next post, the answer to the question I couldn’t answer:

If black absorbs ALL wavelengths of light, shouldn’t plants be black instead of green?

Stay tuned.

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