Learn about endangered manatees
Educators looking for ideas for marine science lessons can tap into resources offered by the Save the Manatee Club. The club offers printable and downloadable activities, bookmarks, fact sheets, coloring books and more about the gentle mammals that are endangered largely because of human activity and shrinking aquatic habitat. Since January, more than 585 manatees have been adopted by New Yorkers through the club's Adopt-a-Manatee program. For more, visit www.savethemanatee.org.
Series explores engineering feats
PBS offers a five-part miniseries on mega-structures — bridges, domes, skyscrapers, dams and tunnels. BUILDING BIG explores the history behind some of the world's greatest feats of engineering. Resources include hands-on experiments, an educators' guide and lesson ideas. For more information, visit www.pbs.org/wgbh/buildingbig.
Teaching fi$cal $mart$
Comparecards.com, an Internet resource that allows consumers to search, compare and apply for credit cards online, offers free lesson plans for students in first through 12th grades. The downloadable, hour-long lesson plans focus on financial literacy and introduce students to several concepts, including: the basics on credit scores, how to maintain good credit and much more. Each lesson includes a glossary of relevant terms, visual aids and quizzes. For more information, visit www.comparecards.com/education-center.
Survival kit for science teachers
Flinn Scientific offers first-year science teachers a free "survival kit." The kit contains demonstration ideas, safety contracts, safety posters, coupons and a Flinn Chemical & Biological Catalog Reference Manual. To order your kit, visit www.flinnsci.com/newteachers. The company offers freebies for veteran science teachers as well through its Fantastic Flinn Freebies program and free online safety training courses. Visit www.flinnsci.com.
Calling all pest police
With support from the Orkin pest control company, your students can become Junior Pest Investigators. They can learn to put pests under surveillance and uncover the essentials of Integrated Pest Management, a greener and more effective approach to keeping unwanted pests out of learning and living spaces. Orkin offers lesson plans geared to primary (K-3) and intermediate (4-6) students. Resources can be found at www.juniorpi.com/teacher_materials.php. Printables and interactive online games are also available. And educators in communities with Orkin locations (Amherst, Elmsford, Falconer, Latham, Long Island, New Hyde Park, Queensbury and Syracuse) may also request a classroom visit from the "Orkin Man." For more information, visit www.orkin.com/learningcenter.
Stop, drop and roll
Featuring the likes of Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch and other Sesame Street favorites, the U.S. Fire Administration offers Sesame Street Fire Safety Station, a pre-school education project. The activity book and accompanying CD helps educators reach preschoolers with simple, memorable fire safety messages. The full kit is restricted to preschools and fire departments. However, some portions are available for download or to order individually. Visit www.usfa.fema.gov/citizens/teachers/sesame.shtm for more information.
The "Freebies" column offers free opportunities for educators and their students. We do not screen for subtle or not-so-subtle plugs.