12.2 Resources for Students
Big Dummy's Guide to the Internet

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     In addition, there are a number of resources on the Internet aimed
specifically at elementary and secondary students and teachers.  You
can use these to set up science experiments with classes in another
country, learn how to use computers in the classroom or keep up with the
latest advances in teaching everything from physics to physical
     Among them:
AskERIC         Run by the Educational Resource and Information Center,
                AskERIC provides a way for educators, librarians and
                others interested in K-12 education to get more
                information about virtually everything.  The center
                maintains an e-mail address (askeric@ericir.syr.edu) for
                questions and promises answers within 48 hours.  It also
                maintains a gopher site that contains digests of
                questions and answers, lesson plans in a variety of
                fields and other educationally related information.  The
                gopher address is ericir.syr.edu.

Health-Ed:      A mailing list for health educators.  Send a request to
K12Net:         Begun on the Fidonet hobbyist network, K12Net is now also
                carried on many Usenet systems and provides a host of
                interesting and valuable services.  These include
                international chat for students, foreign-language
                discussions (for example, there are French and German-
                only conference where American students can practice
                those languages with students from Quebec and German). 
                There are also conferences aimed at teachers of specific
                subjects, from physical education to physics. The K12
                network still has limited distribution, so ask your
                system administrator if your system carries it.
Kidsphere:      Kidsphere is a mailing list for elementary and secondary
                teachers, who use it to arrange joint projects and
                discuss educational telecommunications.  You will find
                news of new software, lists of sites from which you can
                get computer-graphics pictures from various NASA
                satellites and probes and other news of interest to
                modem-using teachers. 
                     To subscribe, send a request by e-mail to kidsphere-
                request@vms.cis.pitt.edu or joinkids@vms.cis.pitt.edu and
                you will start receiving messages within a couple of
                     To contribute to the discussion, send messages to
                     KIDS is a spin-off of KIDSPHERE just for students
                who want to contact students.  To subscribe, send a
                request to joinkids@vms.cis.pitt.edu, as above.  To
                contribute, send messages to kids@vms.cist.pitt.edu.

Knoxville       Using the newspaper in the electronic classroom.  This
News-           gopher site lets students and teachers connect to
Sentinel        the newspaper, and provides resources for them derived
Online          from the newsroom.  Use gopher to connect to

MicroMUSE       This is an online, futuristic city, built entirely by
                participants (see chapter 11 for information on MUSEs
                and MUDs in general).  Hundreds of students from all
                over have participated in this educational exercise,
                coordinated by MIT. Telnet to michael.ai.mit.edu.
                Log on as guest and then follow the prompts for more

NASA Spacelink: This system, run by NASA in Huntsville, Ala.,
                provides all sorts of reports and data about NASA, its
                history and its various missions, past and present. 
                Telnet spacelink.msfc.nasa.gov or
                     When you connect, you'll be given an overview of the
                system and asked to register. The system maintains a
                large file library of GIF-format space graphics, but note
                that you can't download these through telnet. If you want
                to, you have to dial the system directly, at (205) 895-
                0028.  Many can be obtained through ftp from
                ames.arc.nasa.gov, however.

Newton:          Run by the Argonne National Laboratory, it offers
                conferences for teachers and students, including one
                called "Ask a Scientist." 
                     Telnet: newton.dep.anl.gov. 
                     Log in as: cocotext
                You'll be asked to provide your name and address.  When
                you get the main menu, hit 4 for the various conferences. 
                The "Ask a Scientist" category lets you ask questions of
                scientists in fields from biology to earth science. 
                Other categories let you discuss teaching, sports and
                computer networks.
OERI:           The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational
                Resources and Improvement runs a gopher system that
                provides numerous educational resources, information and
                statistics for teachers.  Use gopher to connect to


Spacemet Forum: If your system doesn't carry the K12 conferences, but
                does provide you with telnet, you can reach the
                conferences through SpaceMet Forum, a bulletin-board
                system aimed at teachers and students that is run by the
                physics and astronomy department at the University of
                Massachusetts at Amherst. 
                     Telnet: spacemet.phast.umass.edu.
                When you connect, hit escape once, after which you'll be
                asked to log on. Like K12Net, SpaceMet Forum began as a
                Fidonet system, but has since grown much larger.  Mort
                and Helen Sternheim, professors at the university,
                started SpaceMet as a one-line bulletin-board system
                several years ago to help bolster middle-school science
                education in nearby towns.
                     In addition to the K12 conferences, SpaceMet carries
                numerous educationally oriented conferences.  It also has
                a large file library of interest to educators and
                students, but be aware that getting files to your site
                could be difficult and maybe even impossible.  Unlike
                most other Internet sites, Spacemet does not use an ftp
                interface. The Sternheims say ZMODEM sometimes works over
                the network, but don't count on it.