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Cool Stuff

All this Cool Stuff connects with the science in the book Dr. Artıs Guide to Science. This website will introduce you to each chapter, but you need the book to understand what it's all about.


  • Carbon Cycle Demonstration   DVD icon
    Demonstrate the distribution of carbon in the different reservoirs of the carbon cycle, and model how carbon moves between the reservoirs. Also check out the "Carbon Cycle Studio Version" chapter on the DVD. Chapter 7
  • Carbon Dioxide Emissions   DVD icon
    This activity dramatically illustrates the different per person amounts of carbon dioxide emissions from different parts of the planet. Also check out the "Global Emissions" DVD chapter. Chapter 13
  • Dynamic Balance in a Bottle
    This activity illustrates the principle of dynamic balance, how a system can stay the same even though changes are happening. It also can be used to illustrate what happens when changes alter the balance. Chapter 7, Chapter 13
  • Evolution Statements
    Chapter 11 and 12 provide background about evolution, and ask readers to consider whether they agree or disagree with seven statements. As promised on page 222, here is how Dr. Art would respond to those statements.  Chapter 12
  • Exploring Systems
    This exercise provides experience in thinking about, discussing, and analyzing systems. We use three systems questions: What are the parts of the system? How does the system function as a whole? How is the system part of larger systems?  Chapter 2, Chapter 3
  • Greenhouse Effect   DVD icon
    By viewing or creating their own physical simulation of the greenhouse effect, participants can gain a deeper understanding of this important concept. Also check out the "Greenhouse Effect" chapter on the DVD. Chapter 8
  • How Long Is a Light Year?
    Dr. Art made a math mistake! You calculate how long a light year is, and then play with other units of distance that combine rate and time. Chapter 6
  • Make a Stripped Down Generator   DVD icon
    Electricity can be made simply by moving magnets past wires. This important feature of electromagnetism is how power plants make electricity to power our home electronic devices. The Electromagnetism chapter of the DVD "Dr. Art Does Science" includes some experiments with the Stripped Down Generator. Chapter 5
  • Three Principles Play   DVD icon
    This play illustrates that Earth is essentially a closed system for matter, an open system for energy, and a networked system for life. See it as part of "Dr. Art's Planet Earth Show" on the DVD. Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9
  • Who Is Afraid of Dina the Monster Bee?
    Systems generally have properties that are QUALITATIVELY different than their parts. Even if you use the same kinds of parts to make the same kind of system, changing the scale (size) can make dramatic changes. That is one reason we care about the scale of systems, and the amazing range of sizes in our universe. Chapter 2, Chapter 6
  • Yeast Respiration   DVD icon
    Experiment with yeast to observe the effect of cellular respiration, the chemical breakdown of sugar that produces carbon dioxide. See the "Respiration" chapter on the DVD. Chapter 9


  • Animation of Photosynthesis
    This animation from NOVA shows the basics of photosynthesis. Chapter 1
  • Carbon Cycle Preview   DVD icon
    Preview a clip from the carbon cycle studio version chapter on the Dr. Art Does Science DVD. Chapter 7
  • Carbon: Ingredient for Life
    This video segment adapted from NOVA illustrates the special characteristics of carbon that make it an essential ingredient for life. Chapter 10
  • Chemical Reactions Preview   DVD icon
    Preview a clip from the chemical reactions experiment on the Dr. Art Does Science DVD. Chapter 3
  • Dating with Radioactive Carbon
    In Chapter 12, Dr. Art explains how we determine the ages of things by measuring radioactive potassium and argon. This animation explains dating using radioactive carbon. Chapter 12
  • Decomposers
    This video salutes the decomposers including insects, fungi, and worms. Chapter 9
  • Electrolysis Video Preview   DVD icon
    Preview a clip from the electrolysis experiment on the Dr. Art Does Science DVD. Chapter 3
  • Electromagnetic Spectrum Video
    This video illustrates the electromagentic spectrum from gamma rays to radio waves. Chapter 8
  • Elements Song   DVD icon
    An animated version of Tom Lehrer?s Elements song. Chapter 3
  • Energy Video Preview   DVD icon
    Preview a clip from the energy chapter on the Dr. Art Does Science DVD. Chapter 4
  • Exploring Changes in States of Matter
    Dr. Art's 50th Anniversary Ball models the differences between solids, liquids, and gases. This video shows how mystery mud changes states because of magnetism. Chapter 4
  • Galileo Discovers Jupiter's Moons
    I joked that Galileo found out about the telescope through the internet. This video tells the true story. It also illustrates the Big Idea that the telescope changes the way we see ourselves. Chapter 1
  • Global Emissions Animation   DVD icon
    This 4-minute animation compares societal carbon dioxide emissions from different regions of our planet, and explains why we care. Chapter 13
  • Greenhouse Effect Animation   DVD icon
    This animation explains how the greenhouse effect works. Chapter 8
  • Greenhouse Effect Video
    This video explains the greenhouse effect, and how adding greenhouse gases can change Earth's cimate. Chapter 13
  • Hubble's Expanding Universe: The Big Bang
    This video describes research done by astronomer Edwin Hubble that changed our understanding of the universe. Chapter 6
  • Magnetism Preview   DVD icon
    Preview a clip from the magnetism chapter on the Dr. Art Does Science DVD. Chapter 5
  • Making the Elements in Stars
    This video shows how nuclear fusion in stars makes all the elements. Chapter 6
  • Nazca Plate Animation
    As described on page 111 of Dr. Art?s Guide to Science, the Nazca Plate moves away from the Pacific Plate, and dives under the South American Plate. Chapter 7
  • One Wrong Letter
    In Chapter 10, we discuss how the change in one DNA base causes a change in one amino acid, causing the disease sickle cell anemia. This video describes a different genetic defect causing Tay-Sachs disease. Chapter 10
  • Ozone Hole
    This animation explains how ozone in the upper atmosphere is formed and destroyed.  Chapter 13
  • Photosynthesis Video
    This video includes van Helmont's experiment and an animation of photosynthesis. Chapter 2
  • Plate Tectonics - An Introduction
    This video explains the basics of plate tectonics. Chapter 7
  • Radioactive Dating with Uranium
    In Chapter 12, Dr. Art explains how scientists determine the age of objects by measuring radioactive potassium and argon. This video shows how uramium is used for radioactive dating. Chapter 12
  • Rock Cycle Animation
    This website includes animations and photographs illustrating the many processes within the rock cycle. Chapter 7
  • Sickle Cell Mutation Story
    Why do large numbers of people, especially of African descent, have the mutation that causes sickle cell anemia? This video connects the biochemistry of Chapter 10 with the natural selection in Chapter 11. (NOTE: the video is a big file to download.) Chapter 11
  • Single-Celled Organisms
    This video shows the wide diversity of single-celled organisms, and the features they have in common. Chapter 10
  • Stars and Supernova
    Stars balance the forces of gravity pulling inward and nuclear fusion reactions pushing outward. This animation shows the stages leading to a supernova explosion. Chapter 6
  • Static Electricity Video   DVD icon
    See why rubbing a material can cause it to pick up and then release some other material that has not been rubbed. The "Dr. Art Does Science" DVD has a static electricity chapter. Chapter 5
  • Water Cycle Animation
    This animation has a beginning level to show the basics of the water cycle. Intermediate and advanced levels take you deeper without getting wet. Chapter 7
  • Why Doesn't the Moon Fall Down?
    This brief video/animation explains that how the Moon stays in the sky, despite the gravitational attraction between Moon and Earth. Chapter 5
  • Why Matter Is Hard
    We learn that the atom is mostly empty space. Yet, we experience that matter is hard. Dr. Art discusses this question in the book, and this video also provides an explanation. Chapter 3, Chapter 4


  • Animations of Plate Movements
    Watch Pangea form and break up. Many animations show how plates have moved over Earth's long history.  Chapter 7
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
    Explore biodiversity and discover how the Field Museum in Chicago is involved in this important local and global environmental issue. Chapter 13
  • Biodiversity Explanation and Explorations
    This website from the American Museum of Natural History explains biodiversity, and takes students into the field and engages them in life science research: the inventory of plants and arthropods outside their own backdoors. Chapter 9
  • Biomes of the World
    Explore our world's different biomes, and see how ecosystems everywere have the same pattern of organization. Chapter 9
  • Careers
    This website has information about careers in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and computing. Chapter 1
  • Changes (Chemical)
    Chemical changes generally release or absorb energy. This website provides background, common misconceptions, and activities about chemical change. Chapter 4
  • Changes (Physical)
    Adding or removing energy can cause physical changes to matter. Website includes background, common misconceptions, and activities.  Chapter 4
  • Chem4Kids
    Information about the elements and atoms. Also features the Periodic Table of the Elements, and provides an introduction to chemistry. Chapter 3
  • Chemical Reactions
    This website from the American Chemical Society provides background information and invites you to explore chemical reactions. Chapter 4
  • Deep Time
    Explore 4,550,000,000 years of changes in Earth's geology and biology. Chapter 12
  • DNA Interactive
    After you learn the basics from Dr. Art, this website from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute will help you become an expert on DNA and the genetic code. Chapter 10
  • Earth's Energy Budget
    Chapter 8 introduces the Big Idea that Earth has an energy budget with equal amounts of energy flowing in from the Sun and radiating back to outer space. This website from the Oklahoma Climatological Survey explains Earth's energy budget. Chapter 8
  • Electromagnetic Spectrum
    This site on discoveryschool.com has an extended lesson on the electromagnetic spectrum that includes an electromagnetic spectrum tutorial. Chapter 8
  • Evolution and Religion
    The last episode of the PBS "Evolution" series discusses the relationships between science and religion, offering the view that they are compatible.  Chapter 12
  • Explore Earth's Geological History
    Explore from 4500 million years ago to the present time using the web geological time machine from the University of California Museum of Paleontology. Chapter 12
  • Exploring Energy
    From the California Energy Commission, a website expalining energy science and how we use energy sources. Dr. Art prefers his way of defining energy over the one provided here ("ability to do work"). Chapter 4
  • Fossils in Los Angeles
    Explore the world of Rancho La Brea--one of the world's most famous fossil sites. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, the La Brea Tar Pits is home to over three million fossils revealing an entire Ice Age ecosystem. Chapter 11
  • Genetics Science Learning Center
    Review what you learned in Chapter 10, and then go deeper into the science of biochemistry and molecular biology. Chapter 10
  • Global Warming
    A hub website dedicated to global warming and climate change science education and solutions.  Chapter 13
  • Interview with Mario Molina
    This is a student interview with Mario Molina, the first Mexican American to receive a Nobel Prize. He won the Nobel Prize for the important discoveries he and two other scientists made about the dangers of chemicals to Earth's ozone layer. Chapter 13
  • Isaac Newton Biography
    This biography from the BBC tells about one of the most important and fascinating people in the development of modern mathematics and science. Chapter 5
  • Magnetic Lines of Force
    Gravity and magnetism set up invisible fields. We can visualize magnetic fields using magnetic materials, as demonstrated in this "snack" from the Exploratorium. Chapter 5
  • Maya Astronomy
    This page is from the Canadian Museum of Civilization "Mystery of the Maya" website. Of all the world's ancient calendar systems, the Maya and other Mesoamerican systems are the most complex, intricate, and accurate.  Chapter 1
  • Periodic Table, National Research Council Canada
    Introduces the Periodic Table and has information about all of the elements. Chapter 3
  • Plate Tectonics
    This middle school science webpage has plate tectonics information, activities, and links to animations. Chapter 7
  • Powers of Ten on the Web
    This interactive website allows you to explore reality on scales ranging from galaxies to planet Earth to subatomic particles. Chapter 6
  • Reading Skills for Science
    This is the science page of the Literacy Matters website, a project of the Education Development Center, Inc. The website has resources for teachers, parents, and students. Chapter 1, Chapter 2
  • Rocks Falling from the Sky
    Until just two hundred years ago, the best scientific minds of the times ridiculed the idea that rocks could fall from the sky. Things that we know today and take for granted were once considered ridiculous. Chapter 12
  • Roots & Shoots
    Chapter 13 describes serious global environmental issues. Fortunately, groups such as Roots & Shoots empower people to make a difference by becoming involved in projects that promote care and concern for animals, the environment, and the human community. Chapter 13
  • Rosalind Franklin
    Find out about Rosalind Franklin, a scientist who provided the decisive clue in figuring out the structure of DNA, but who did not receive the honors that were due her. Chapter 10
  • Stripped Down Motor
    In Chapter 5 we discover that electromagnetism is the glue of matter. It is also the engine of modern society. This "snack" from the Exploratorium demonstrates the role of electromagnetism in motors.  Chapter 5
  • Systems in National Science Standards
    "Unifying Concepts and Processes" is the first heading in the content chapter of the National Science Education Standards. The very first of these unifying concepts is "Systems, order, and organization." Chapter 2
  • Understanding Evolution
    From the University of California Museum of Paleontology, one of the best sites for understanding and teaching about evolution. Chapter 11
  • Volcano World
    Only Earth's internal energy can make mountains out of molehills. Volcano World is sponsored by the University of North Dakota Department of Space Studies and the NASA North Dakota Space Grant Consortium. Chapter 8
  • Water Cycle
    This website from the U.S. Geological Survey has a diagram of the water cycle in many languages, and information about each of the parts of the water cycle. Chapter 7
  • Windows to the Universe
    Windows to the Universe includes images, movies, animations, and data sets, that explore the Earth and Space sciences and the historical and cultural ties between science, exploration, and the human experience. Chapter 6