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Favorite earth science extras

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What are your favorite earth science extras -- not books so much, but videos, fun websites, games, kits, that sort of stuff? Preschool through middle school, independently doable or all together, doesn't matter. Rocks, planets, stars, ecology, whatever. Just looking to round out our texts, experiments, projects, and supplemental books.


Is the TOPS rocks kit really worth having? The booklet looks good, but the bigger kit is expensive, and I think we have a lot of it. I was intrigued at the idea of being able to find stuff in our own backyard, but not if that's going to be impossible.

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Home Science Tools ... They had backpacks for exploring/study.  While we didn't purchase these particular packs, we did assemble our own for "adventures".


Specimen kits ... I spent weeks sending away and/or requesting from various organizations.  The best, Alaska.  They even sent oil!

Ex.  http://www.geology.ar.gov/education/rock_packets.htm  You call and request one packet.  


I printed and downloaded maps and handouts from the state geology site for us.  As well, I sent away for anything and everything that I could that was free and covered under our topics.   :)  Honestly, you get a lot of stuff, and it is free to the public, not just for teachers. (ETA:  I said "I", but I made it a point to teach dd how to address envelopes, make calls, and email.)


One of my go-to sites ... http://www.topscience.org/home.html


And last but not least ... we did space too when studying the earth, and I have to say grab an iPod or some type of tablet.  Enable the GPS, download a stargazing app, and grab a blanket.  We kept sketches in a composition book of each constellation found with dates, notes, and research.  Very informal, and certainly a very "smashed" notebook.  They added NASA photos and astronomer bios.  It was very eclectic.



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I like the rock and mineral kits, and the weather station, from Home Science Training Tools.  You can get several weeks' worth of mileage out of each of those kits with the experiments/activities that are suggested.  I also like the video "How The Earth Was Made" (History Channel) for lessons on plate tectonics and related Earth Science stuff.


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