Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE)

July 2, 2002

Health & safety

“BAM!” is a new e-zine for kids (ages 9-13) that answers their questions on health issues & recommends ways to make their bodies & minds healthier & stronger. For teachers, BAM! offers fun, interactive learning activities related to middle school health & science. Published quarterly, this first issue focuses on physical activity & how infectious disease, asthma, safety, disability are related to physical activity. (CDC)



“EPA Global Warming” features materials teachers can use in presentations & classroom activities on climate change science. A kids’ site includes animations of global warming & earth processes (for Grades 5-9). A calculator lets students estimate their household’s greenhouse gas emissions & explore ways to reduce emissions. A database offers nearly 100 lesson plans, videos, books, toolkits, & other fun materials on climate change. (EPA)


Social studies

“Fort Pickens & the Outbreak of the Civil War” recounts what happened in the Pensacola Bay just before the Civil War. U.S. Army Lieutenant Adam Slemmer knew his 51 troops could not defend all four of their forts if Southern troops attacked, so on the day Florida seceded from the Union, he moved all his troops into one:

Fort Pickens. They watched across the channel as as Southern soldiers moved into the other forts. And when the demand to surrender was delivered, Slemmer refused. (NPS,NRHP)


“The Forts of Old San Juan: Guardians of the Caribbean” provides a history of Puerto Rico & the forts Spain established to protect its growing population & riches in the Caribbean. (NPS,NRHP)


“Guilford Courthouse: A Pivotal Battle in the War for Independence” looks at this battle — how it was fought; how its outcome was characterized, including reports from both General Nathanael Greene & Lord Cornwallis; & why it was important. About 1,700 “continentals” (three-year enlistees in the regular army) & 2,700 militia (mostly farmers) fought against the redcoats near this North Carolina town of fewer than 100 people. (NPS,TwHP)


“Guilford Courthouse National Military Park” describes weapons, medicine, food, leisure hours, & the role of women in the Revolutionary War. It also examines the battle that was the largest of the Southern Campaign & that helped change the course of the war. (NPS)


“Independence National Historic Park” presents portraits & descriptions of Nathanael Greene, Alexander Hamilton, John Paul Jones, George Washington, & more than two dozen other battlefield heroes of the American Revolution. (NPS)


“Indian Mounds of Mississippi” is a guide to these mounds, built between 100 B.C. & 1700 A.D. to bury important members of tribes

& to serve as platforms for temples or residences of chiefs. This website highlights 11 mound sites & includes itineraries & three

essays that provide historical context for these sites. (NPS,NRHP)


“Keys Ranch: Where Time Stood Still” tells the story of Bill Keys, whose ranch was the center of a desert network of homesteaders & miners in the early 1900s. In the 1890s, at age 15, Keys left his Russian parents’ home in Nebraska to work at mills, mines, & cattle ranches. In 1917, he filed on an 80-acre homestead under the Homestead Act & began building the ranch. To support his family, he raised goats, chickens, & cattle; grew fruits & vegetables; & operated a stamp mill (which crushes rock to remove gold & other

minerals). He battled the constant lack of water by digging deep wells by hand, constructing windmills, & damming canyons surrounding

the ranch. Convicted of manslaughter in a dispute with a neighbor over the right to use a road, he served a five-year sentence after

which he earned a pardon. (NPS,TwHP)


“The Lewis & Clark Journey of Discovery” provides games, quizzes, profiles of members of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, & lesson ideas & teacher resources. (NPS)



“Little Kinnakeet Lifesaving Station: Home to Unsung Heroes” describes the lifesaving stations constructed from 1871-1915 along the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, & Great Lakes to rescue ships in trouble. Little Kinnakeet was among the first seven constructed on North Carolina’s treacherous Outer Banks in 1874. (NPS,NRHP)


“Log Cabins in America: The Finnish Experience” tells why the log cabin was popular & important in settling the American frontier. The log cabins, barns, school, & other buildings examined by this website were constructed by Finnish settlers around Long Valley, Idaho, between 1900 & 1930. (NPS,NRHP)


“National Park Service Online Books” provides the text of out-of- print publications related to the history of the National Parks — how the parks were created & how they have evolved to the present day. (NPS)


“The Ohio & Erie Canal: Catalyst of Economic Development for Ohio” tells how the construction of this canal (1825-1832) transformed one of the poorest states in the Union in the 1820s into the third most prosperous by 1840. The 308-mile canal helped open New York & New Orleans markets for central Ohio farmers & traders. Stores & taverns sprang up along the canal. People in the vast wilderness were able to get goods from eastern ports — cloth, glass, nails, salt, coffee, & tea. The state’s population nearly quadrupled from 1820 to 1850. In 1913, a flood devastated the canal beyond repair; however, the growth & development spurred by the construction of the canal system is the foundation of Ohio’s economy today.



“Pipestone, Minnesota” features an area in the southwest corner of Minnesota that reflects a rich history of American Indian quarrying, prosperity brought by railroad & mining enterprises, & a distinctive natural landscape. This National Register of Historic Places Travel itinerary highlights 30 historic places, including buildings constructed with beautiful local red stone & land still sacred to American Indians. (NPS, NRHP)


“Roadside Attractions” is a lesson in which students examine five examples of roadside architecture built in the 1920s & 30s to catch the eye of passing motorists. They include the Teapot Dome Service Station, the Big Duck poultry store, & the Benewah Milk Bottle.



“Smithsonian Kids: Collecting” invites kids to start a collection of rocks, shells, postcards, posters, or something else that interests them. Three Smithsonian collections are sampled. “Rocks & Minerals” includes the Hope Diamond; “Stamps” includes Western Cattle in Storm (1898); “Historic Coins” includes the Jefferson Indian Peace Medal. Videos feature individuals who collect jewelry, turtles, lunch boxes, miniature houses, Korean items, snow globes, & stamps & coins. (SCEMS)



CDC — Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

EPA — Environmental Protection Agency

NPS — National Park Service

NPS,NRHP — National Park Service, Nat. Register of Historic Places NPS,TwHP — National Park Service, Teaching with Historic Places SCEMS — Smithsonian Center for Education & Museum Studies