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There are many endeavors called science, some well-founded in methods and results, some struggling to get there, and some just pseudo-science. One of the great challenges is telling them apart. This endeavor is greatly complicated by the fact that occasionally a pseudoscience gives birth to a science, as in the ancient development of astronomy from astrology and the transmutation of alchemy into chemistry.

To the extent that experimental activities can be provided via the XO that safely use readily available materials and do not require adult supervision, the learning of science with an XO computer could be an outstanding example of how children can explore their world beyond the boundaries of the classroom.


People who have worked on Science collections:



As noted here, the OLPC is the best-ever platform for learning about and supporting backyard / schoolyard astronomy and the movements of the Sun, stars and planets. It is both great for daytime simulation of observing, and for night-time support of observing, where it's capability to work without contributing to local light levels and without AC power make it truly unique.

NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day could be a source of images. Note that not all images on APOD are owned by NASA; some are by private photographers. NASA images are usually available for public use, though this should be checked.

See the Moon activity, also the StarChart activity and off-wiki developed Planetarium activity.

Health / Biology

This type of content is being developed by the Health and Biology Projects.


Somebody needs to write a practical book on applying scientific method in daily life. Not the lab equipment and the elaborate theories, but just the constant queries, How do I know? Can I check the sources for that? along with a willingness to suspend judgment when presented with seemingly contradictory evidence, and occasionally to change your mind. A bit of elementary logic and descriptive statistics, both essential for recognizing fallacies, also goes a long way in this area.--Mokurai 22:39, 18 October 2006 (EDT)

Here is a page on the scientific method.


Classic texts are those of Kuhn and Popper. Both give partial theories of how science is done. Both theories are known to be at odds with the facts. Popular interpretations of both are even further from the facts.

  • Frank Shu's text on Astronomy is another great classic.
  • various software of interest
  • Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) Winners
    - provided by the American Association for the Advancement of Science
    The Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) has been established to encourage innovation and excellence in education, as well as to encourage the use of high-quality on-line resources by students, teachers, and the public. Essays with links to resources from the SPORE winners are published each month in Science, and are collected here.

Journals on-line


UNESCO-developed Lab courses

Global Microscience Project (GPME)

This is an incredible resource for science education that was developed in South Africa with UNESCO funding. Contains a huge collection of experiments that can be conducted with fairly simple supplies, and it comes along with teacher guidance. Highly adaptable to OLPC purposes.

See also International Foundation for Science Education (IFSE), UNESCO-Associated Centre for Microscience Experiments,The RADMASTE Centre, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Each is currently a 2-3 MB PDF.


Global Project on Microscience Experiments: Primary Level

Biology / Environmental

Biology, Learning Worksheets

Biology, Teacher Notes

Water Quality and Water Treatment-Manual for Learners

Water Quality and Water Treatment-Manual for Teachers

Chemistry / Physics

Chemistry, Worksheets/Workbook for Students

Chemistry, Teacher Guides

Organic Chemistry–Manual for Learners

Organic Chemistry–Manual for Teachers

Electrochemistry Experiments-Manual for Learners

Electrochemistry Experiments-Manual for Teachers

Electricity, Student Worksheets

Electricity, Teachers Notes