- Education and Science
Science Webquests: Ten Most Popular Topics
Webquests are great resources for science classes. They enable you to set kids free to inquire about interesting topics or to tackle problems related to science. They're student centered activities that make use of technology to support kids learning.
But assuming you are familiar with what a webquest is, you might be wondering... what are the best topics to teach with webquests? While I can't exactly answer that question, I can answer a related one. What are the most popular topics that other teachers looking for when searching for webquests?
I did some keyword analysis on Google and found that these are among the ten top science-based topics teachers are interested in.
Ten Most Popular Searches for Science Webquests
10. DNA Webquests. This is clearly an advanced topic, and it would most likely appear in a high school biology classroom. It appears at the bottom of the list in terms of popularity, possibly because fewer students get a chance to study the concept in depth.
9. Ecology Webquests. In theory these could take place at any level - environmental science is an elementary, middle, and high school topic. However, many of these webquests are geared towards younger students and exploring the ecology of an environment.
8. Volcano Webquests. Volcanoes are fun! So it probably shouldn't be a surprise that volcanoes are a popular topic. Again, these are often geared towards younger kids. Some involve projects like building volcanoes, others involve research and presentations.
7. Mitosis Webquests. Ahh, the magic of mitosis. A good old fashioned biology topic, and a popular one at that. Many high school teachers are looking for webquests about this concept to help their students understand it better.
6. Weather Webquests. There are a lot of cool things you can do with weather. Look at how it's changing over time (i.e. global warming). You could try to predict the weather based on some measured characteristics. Maybe you want to track predictions and see how accurate they are. Possibilities endless!
5. Periodic Table Webquest. Can't say that these are always amazing and inspiring, but they're popular. People have always assigned projects about the periodic table and the elements, and now they're doing it on the internet with webquests. Maybe someone will come up with a truly interesting project someday.
4. Energy Webquests. This is another complex topic that can involve a lot of different things. How is energy converted into different forms? How do machines use, convert, and store energy? How can we be more energy efficient? Can we prove, through the use of manipulatives, that energy never disappears?
3. Cell Webquests. Cells are a big part of biology, and they're a popular topic for webquests. Some involve exploring different types of cells, while others involve researching the parts of cells. There are some cool online multimedia that show cells changing and splitting over time.
2. Planet Webquests. Ahh, the planets. Astronomy. There's lots to learn. These are usually pretty basic, research based webquests. Although I could see some interesting problems developed. Like how's about planning a space mission from earth to another planet - that would require a lot of thinking! Hey, NASA had to do it.
1. Solar System Webquests. Sound familiar? Yup, that's because it's basically the same thing as #2. But it's a different search query. And combined, people search for planets and solar system webquests more than the next four or five topics put together. They're wildly popular.
Finding Webquests to Use
If you're looking for some webquests to use in your class, try this list of science webquests. You can also subscribe to this RSS feed to get automatic updates. Each is updated on at least a weekly basis, and they'll help sort the crap from the useful webquests.
Otherwise, you'll have to sift through the thousands of available webquests on your own. There are some big databases like Zunal, Questgarden, and Teacherweb. There are hundreds of other smaller websites and school districts with webquests. There are some good ones out there, but you gotta be ready to weed through them before you find something truly useful.