Pardon us while we brag a bit... Sunday, June 23, 2002

Atlas has been selected by the SciLinks program, a service of National Science Teachers Association.

What is SciLinks?
Many teachers are taking advantage of the Internet to show their students materials that enhance or extend the content covered in the curriculum. These materials are available in the public domain, but they are often difficult to find. By utilizing textbooks as a portal to good online content, more teachers and students can be reached than is possible with the traditional search engine or pointer web site. This is simplified by the fact that 90% to 95% of students learn science through the pages of a textbook. A direct connection from a concept on the textbook page to materials exploring that concept in cyberspace leads readers to the kinds of materials our professional educators believe work best in the classroom. SciLinks is a service provided by the National Science Teachers Association to make that connection between textbooks and useful online content.

How does a site become linked to SciLinks?
To become linked to SciLinks, a candidate site is reviewed by a team of teachers using a stringent set of criteria that ensure selected materials have accurate content and effective pedagogy. (You can review the criteria they used by visiting http://www.scilinks.org/nsfinstitute/criteria.htm.) Once selected, the site's URL is placed in a database. SciLinks staff correlate the site to the National Science Education Standards and write a brief description that indentifies one or more of the site's salient characteristics. When a reader (a teacher, student, or even parent) of a SciLinked textbook comes across a SciLinks icon in their textbook, they know that the content on that page has been enhanced with online content specifically connected to a single concept. The reader goes to the free SciLinks web site, and they type in a code found on the pages of that text, and the SciLinks search engine reports the five to 15 pages our teachers selected. When a user selects one of these sites, a new browser window opens, points to the selected web site, and connects the reader directly to the content provider.

And Atlas is one of these content providers!