This is the third year that Scientific American gives these awards. This is a collection of 50 sites which have something really neat to offer: science. Here is the introduction.
It's a jungle out there. With more than three billion Web pages to sift through, finding great science sites is harder than ever. The good news is the editors at Scientific American have once again trawled the Internet for the best the Web has to offer. We think our list of winners has something for everyone..
These 50 sites are classified in ten categories:
- Anthropology & Paleontology
- Astronomy & Astrophysics
- Earth & Environment
- Engineering & Technology
- Great Minds
Here are my four favorite sites:
- Great Archaeological Sites
Curated by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication, this collection of web sites offers such wonders as a visit to the painted cave of Lascaux, virtual reconstruction of 450,000-year-old Tautavel Man and tutorials on shipwreck excavation. Explore archeological sites dating from prehistory to the Middle Ages, all searchable by period and geography, and most available in both English and French. Although decidedly stronger in French locales than elsewhere, each interactive adventure is a treat, accompanied by stunning photographs and meticulously detailed timelines, diagrams and textual explanations.
- Exploring Mars
Get ready: Youíre about to join the Diomedes Mission, the first to put humans on the surface of the Red Planet. Youíll be oohing and aaahing in 3-D as you explore the Mars Base, right down to the wall-mounted LCD screens, medical facilities and even the space habitatís privies. With the aid of advanced technology, youíll take a self-guided tour, tread the Kevlar floor of the Baseís laboratory, witness the deployment of a robot rover and even fling open the hatches to take a gander at the vast vermilion vista of the planetís surface.
- Earth As Art
In Australia, it looks like Monetís Water Lilies seen through a rain-splashed window; in Alaska, itís the vivid fire and ice of a Santana album cover. "It" is the Earth, and this NASA-sponsored site showcases snapshots of our Mother Planet not just from a scientific perspective, but from an aesthetic one. Often, satellite photos of Earth, although fascinating, can be a bit dull (they donít call them "earth tones" for nothing). Here, however, wavelengths of light captured by the Landsat-7 satelliteóbut invisible to the human eyeóare assigned false colors, bringing these images to life in resplendent rainbow hues.
- Archimedes' Lab
The tagline of this site is "Puzzles: Can you believe it?" And your answer will almost certainly be "Absolutely not!" once you get a look at the number of IQ tests, optical illusions, droodles (thatís a combo doodle/riddle) and other creative games, curiosities, crafts and whirligigs. Archimedes, that Sicilian wonder who, among many other discoveries, figured out the weight of a body in water, must have had quite a busy laboratory in which he conducted his experiments. This virtual lab borrows the empirical spirit and creative curiosity that Archimedes brought to his work and invites visitors to explore with the same expectations for mind-blowing discovery. Perfect for kids, this hands-on wonderland puts young scientists in the driverís seat for endless learning and fun.
Source: Scientific American, May 27, 2003
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