Toxie the Cat helps students find the hazards hidden in each room and offers hints when needed. This resource uses a child-friendly, interactive game interface to get younger students to think and learn about household hazards. The sound effects are fun; turn on your speakers and move your mouse to the front door on the home page for an example! The “For Teachers” section includes lesson plans and activity pages. ToxMystery is available in English and Spanish.
Environmental Health Student Portal (Grades 6-8)
The Environmental Health Student Portal provides a safe and useful resource for students and teachers in grades 6 – 8 to learn how the environment can impact health. The site explores topics such as water pollution, climate change, air pollution, and chemicals. It includes a Teacher’s Page with resources to engage students in active learning, a Homework Help page, and a section about careers in the environmental sciences.
This site was developed based on teachers’ input. It addresses the “what’s in it for me” of why students should care about the environment, and keeps students engaged with hands-on activities, games, videos, experiments and projects. SIS has plans for future web site improvements and enhancements.
Tox Town (Grades 6-12+)
Tox Town is a guide to commonly encountered toxic substances in a colorful, graphic interface. Teachers can integrate science with literacy skills, by enabling students to engage in teacher-developed expository reading and writing activities. The site can be used for Earth Day activities, and can also test Spanish language/reading skills. It ties an environmental science curriculum with the effects on human health. Tox Town is designed to provide information on:
- everyday locations where you might find toxic chemicals
- non-technical descriptions of chemicals
- links to selected, authoritative chemical information
- how the environment can impact human health
- Internet resources on environmental health topics
Tox Town is also available in Spanish. Here is the interactive Southwest page in Spanish:
Tox Town-Based Curriculum Units/Science Club (Grades 6-8)
Discovering the Connection: Your Environment, Your Health is an after-school science club curriculum for middle school students. It can also be used in a science classroom or in an interdisciplinary program that connects science and society. The curriculum sequence consists of six units. Each unit introduces one environmental health topic and includes three to four 50-60 minute lessons. It is an excellent resource for multidisciplinary education, as it combines science, social studies, and language arts, an important component of the Common Core State Standards for education.
Lessons and activities of the curriculum combine research on the Tox Town website with hands-on experiments, communication, and social action activities. The objective is to introduce middle school students to environmental health issues in their everyday lives, emphasizing the relevance of science to informed citizenship. The curriculum was developed as a collaboration between the National Library of Medicine, University of Maryland College of Education, and an inter-disciplinary group of middle school teachers. It is based on National Science Education Standards and is grounded in problem-based learning.