Favorite Sites

Helpful sites that I return to time and again over the years.


Science Friday - weekly radio show on Iowa Public Radio (locally KUNI 90.9 FM) every Friday afternoon 1-3 PM. The site also has earlier episodes, a broad range of articles (searchable), videos, a book club, citizen scientists, and more.

Sky Maps - every month, download a FREE two-page guide showing the night sky, a calendar of celestial events, and a list of what to seek with the naked eye, binoculars, and telescope that month.

Astronomy Photo of the Day - Since June of 1995, this site has posted photos of space from NASA and dozens of photographers, each with a paragraph of information.


Sorting by Casey Rule - a comparison of computer methods of sorting data. The pieces to sort are demonstrated through size, color, and pitch. Users can vary the scale, amount, tempo, and instrument to understand and enjoy the methods.

Morse Code Translator - Turn typed text into Morse Code message


FREE Printable Graph Paper & More - sizable graph paper in squares, triangles, hexagons, rectangles and dots. Brick paper for LEGO design, penmanship pages, notebook paper, music paper, story boards, fretboard pages, polar coordinates, ledgers. Customize by both scale and color. Pages can be saved as a PDF file for reuse. I've used them for quilting, Webkinz design, Make-A-Box games, ATCs, and handwriting lessons.


Paletton - choose color combinations and view them in both website and artistic forms to find just the look you need for your next projects. Save color combinations for later use. Store data in RGB and hex formats. Make your own paint swatches and compare color pairings within your palette.


Inspirograph - online version of the classic gears drawing tool Spirograph. Choose your fixed and moving gears, choose your colors and draw.


iNaturalist - community of naturalists and ordinary citizens reporting observations of local wildlife and flowers. Upload a photo and find out from others what that butterfly, identify milkweed for someone asking, see who has posted photos in your neighborhood.

Outdoor Skills Made Easy - short videos by OSME.tv covering a variety of outdoor skills including cooking, shelter, knots, canoeing, fishing, and more.


Radio.garden - spin the globe and find streaming radio stations from around the world. Numerous styles of music and native languages.


The Create/Exchange - a local thrift shop for crafters, Makers, artists, and dabblers.

Threads Cedar Rapids - a local sewing and crafting studio with lots of classes and open to helping people learn where their interest go.

Steve Spangler Science - an online supply of amazing science experiments.

NewBoCo - local resource in education, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Partner/provider of the StarLab Planetarium

Libraries - so much to be learned at our local libraries, including Cedar Rapids Downtown & Ladd, Hiawatha, and Marion.

Dollar Tree - many classroom activities and experiments are done economically with supplies found at local Dollar Tree stores. The supplies are highly variable, so if you like it today, better get it, because it might not be there again next week.

Science Video Series:

There are many sources for science-based learning through live-action or animation. These can be found on video sites like YouTube, Dailymotion, and Vimeo; on DVDs at your local library or online shopping; or on streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, or Hulu. The sources change, so I cannot list specifics, but please use search engines to find current links for these series.

  • DIY Sci with Steve Spangler

  • Science Max: Experiments at Large - online games + TV Show

  • ZOOM (PBS Learning)

  • FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman (PBS Learning)

  • Crash Course Kids (YouTube)

  • The Magic School Bus (+ books)

  • The Magic School Bus Rides Again! (Netflix)

  • Bill Nye, the Science Guy

  • Schoolhouse Rock (Disney+)

  • Science Court

  • Sid the Science Kid (youngsters)

  • Wild Kratts + Zaboomafoo

  • Bill Nye Saves the World (Netflix)