B.C. Science Probe 4
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Unit A: Weather

Unit B: Light and Sound

Unit C: Habitats and Communities

Unit A: Weather

Chapter 1

Section 1.1 : What Is Weather

Atmospheric Encyclopedia

This resource gives simple definitions for all things related to the atmosphere. There are also technical links if you want to learn even more about each topic.


Droplet and the Water Cycle Game

This online game which will take you through all the different steps of the water cycle, as you try to get "Droplet" back to its home in the clouds.


Section 1.2: Observing and Measuring Weather

Weather Observation Tools

Use these activities to construct your own barometer, rain gauge, wind scale tool.


Lesson On Heat Energy

Simple explanation about heat (thermal energy).


Section 1.3:Measuring Temperature

Measuring Temperature

With this activity, you can learn to read the temperature both in Celsius and Fahrenheit, as well as make a temperature graph to use as an accurate weather observation tool.


Section 1.4:Measuring Precipitation

Measuring Rainfall

This activity helps you construct a rain gauge, and helps you understand the different levels of rainfall over a period of time.


How do you Measure Snowfall?

This article briefly describes the steps to measure snowfall.


Section 1.5:Measuring Cloud Cover


A brief description on the composition and function of clouds.


Section 1.6: Measuring Wind


Instructions for you to make your own anemometer to measure wind speed.  


The Importance of Wind Direction

Marine forecasts, and unusual terms used to describe different wind speeds for sailors.


Section 1.7: Measuring Air Pressure

How a Barometer Works

A newspaper article about how different kinds of barometers work.


Section 1.8: Finding Weather Information

Environment Canada's Weather Office

An interactive map of Canada which will give you the weather conditions for the major Canadian city you click on.


Climate Kids

Puzzles and activities about climate.


Chapter 2

Section 2.1: Weather and the Seasons

Why Earth has Seasons

For the strong reader, neat experiments and examples for you to understand why summer and winter have such different weather patterns.


Section 2.2: The Effect of Mountains and Oceans on Our Climate

Earth's Oceans

An introduction to the oceans with lots of facts, and helpful links to further Ocean-related sites


Mountains and Rainfall

A short description and diagram of how rainfall patterns are affected by mountains.


Section 2.3: Weather Patterns in Different Places

Weather Radio

A list of radio channels which constantly broadcast current weather information for your area.

Weather Data

Weather data for the biggest 100 cities in Canada, as prepared by Environment Canada.


Try This Activity: Question 7

Rainfall and Temperature in Your Area


Section 2.5: Using Air Pressure to Predict Weather

Air Pressure

All the terms related to air pressure are explained here, and how air pressure relates to weather.


Introduction to Air Pressure

A simple explanation of air pressure illustrated with diagrams.


Section 2.6: Using Clouds to Predict Weather

Cloud Watching: More About Clouds

Information about the three main types of clouds and the other types that result when they combine.


Cloud Chart

Photos of different types of clouds, and the type of weather conditions they predict.


Tech.CONNECT: Weather Satellites

Weather In Motion

Satellite pictures of the weather animated to show regional weather patterns over an extended period of time.

Chapter 3

Section 3.1: Weather Affects Non-Living Things

Erosion Experiment

A fun and informative way to learn and report about erosion.


How Rocks and Minerals are Formed

Good descriptions of how rocks are formed and how erosion plays a big part of that process.


Section 3.2: Seasonal Weather Affects Living Things

Migrating Animals Fact Sheet

Illustrations and facts about many migrating animals. Also on this site are facts about hibernating animal species.


Arctic Plants and Animals

The strategies animals will use to survive the harsh winter conditions in the Arctic.


Section 3.3: Winter Weather Affects British Columbians

British Columbia's Weather and Climate

Here you can find out about the five climatic zones and mountain and coastal weather for British Columbia.


Section 3.3: Extreme Weather Events Affect Living and Non-Living Things

Earth Observatory

Many articles about the atmosphere; See the link for "DAAC study: Dropping in on a Hurricane"


Mount Washington Observatory

This New England observatory has recorded some of the most extreme weather conditions of any observatory in the world. Check out the information link for the full story about the 327 kph wind.



ScienceWORKS: The UV Index: A Canadian Success Story

Angus Fergusson Biography

Angus Fergusson: The Canadian who started the Children's UV Index Sun Awareness Program.

Unit B: Light and Sound

General Unit Links:


This site takes to you links where you can learn about sound and light by using the Search Nova box. Simply type in what you are interested in within the topics of Light and Sound and check out what is available. Sound, video, and text are available.


An Overview of the Light Unit.

A good overview of light with simple drawings.


Chapter 4

Section 4.1: What Is Light?

Make a Solar-Powered Marshmallow Roaster

This site uses a Fresnel lens to roast marshmallows. A Fresnel lens is a lens similar to the circular pattern you see under an overhead projector glass. You can get inexpensive plastic Fresnel lenses in many book shops where they are sold to magnify book print. Science stores also have them as do science supply houses.


Making a Solar Powered Cooker

This site discussed how to make a solar cooker, with kids who have tested different types of solar cookers.


Section 4.2: Natural Light

Northern Lights

This site has a self-guided tour of the Northern Lights and other auroras seen from earth and from space.



A great site for volcano information, pictures and movies. It features current eruptions as well as historical ones. One very special volcano to look at is Eldfel on the Island of Hiemay where the people actually were photographed in the light from the volcano as they saved their town and harbour from the lava flows.


The Sun

A source of all kinds of information and pictures of the Sun and the light it produces.



A National Geographic site on lightning with good text and photos.



This site explains meteors and has a few more pages on meteor showers and other facts about our solar system and its travellers.


The Moon

This site has a great deal of information about Earth's Moon.


Awesome SCIENCE: Creatures That Glow


This site gives much information on living things that produce light. It is very complete and has more photos of the animals found in this feature.


Section 4.3: Artificial Light

The light bulb and its inventors

A diagram of a light bulb and some history of its inventors.


Artificial Light in Ancient Rome

Discussion of the history of lamps using Roman examples.


Candles: history

A good explanation of the history of candlelight as well as other links to candle information.



A history and explanation of fireworks.


Sparklers and Other Fireworks

Wonderful explanations and diagrams of all kinds of fireworks including sparklers.


Neon lighting and how it works

Description of how neon lighting is made and how the colours are produced.


Chapter 5

Light Appears to Travel in Straight Lines.

This site is an excellent but concise tutorial on the properties of light used in this chapter with clear diagrams and a separate page for each property.


Section 5.1: Light Travels in a Straight Line

Light Travels in a Straight Line

Excellent photographs of light rays traveling in straight lines.


Ray Optics

This site has a good example of the Try This Activity, as well as a demonstration of an interactive angle of reflection.


Section 5.2: Light Behaves in Different Ways in Different Materials

Transparent, Translucent or Opaque: Art Explorations

Scroll down past the exhibit by Daniel Buren, to the Art Explorations section to find the integration of art and light science introduced, with great explanations of how these properties can be explored using paint.


Section 5.3: Reflected Light

Reflected Light

An interactive example of mirror reflection where you can move the ray to show how the angle of incidence changes.


What is Reflected Light?

This site has several diagrams of light being reflected with clear captions.


Section 5.4: Refraction


A neat applet (animated diagram) that allows you to vary the angle of the light hitting water and seeing two things - how the angle of refraction changes and how the object is magnified as seen in the pencil in the water photo in the Try This activity in the student book.


Section 5.5: Light Can be Separated into Colours

The Electromagnetic Spectrum

A neat applet (animated diagram) that lets you move the wavelength bar and see the parts of the electromagnetic spectrum including infrared and ultraviolet.


Chapter 6

What is a Sound Wave?

Great description of what makes up a sound wave.


Section 6.1: What is Sound?

What is sound?

This site provides a good description of the definition of sound plus other topics.


Section 6.2: Sound is Caused by Vibrations

Kids Science News Network - Sound

This site has a full description of sound, presented in a kid-friendly manner.


Section 6.3

Animation of the Ear

Click on any of the different parts of this illustrated ear to see full descriptions of that's an interactive learning experience.


Detecting Sound Vibrations

This site describes how humans detect sound vibrations.


How Other Animals Detect Sound:

Amazing Animal Senses

This site is a general description of animals and their senses.



Chapter 7: We can observe the properties of sound.

The Nature of a Sound Wave

Several properties of sound are explained clearly in this site. (For the more advanced reader).


Section 7.1: Sound Waves

Sound Waves

This site has good descriptions and visuals of sound waves as well as diagrams illustrating loudness and pitch.


Section 7.2: Loudness

Sensing Sound Loudness

Explanation of how humans sense loud sounds.


Section 7.3: Pitch


Here you'll find a brief description of pitch, with illustrations


Doppler Effect

This site allows you to look at an animation of the Doppler effect which is experienced in the Try This Activity-Spinning Penny.


Section 7.4: What Sounds do Animals Hear?

Richardson's Ground Squirrel and Ultrasonic Sound

This is an article about how these animals warn each other of danger.


What Sounds Do Animals Hear?

This site lists many other animals than those listed in the student book, and their range of hearing.


Section 7.5: Conduct an Investigation: What Materials Can Sound Travel Through?

Sound Transmission

A clear description of why sound travels fastest in solids plus a table of various substances and how fast through these solids sound travels.


Section 7.6: Transmitting Sound

Sound Transmission

Same site as in Section 7.5


Section 7.7: Reflecting Sounds


An interesting animation of an echo. The text can be read by the computer if necessary or desired.


Section 7.8: Absorbing Sounds

Anechoic Chamber at UBC

This article describes a use of a room that has been designed so there are no echoes or ambient noise. It is used to accurately measure how much sound an object produces. (for the strong reader)


Unit C: Habitats and Communities

Chapter 8

Ocean Footage of Sea Otters

Footage of sea otters


Section 8.1: What Habitats Provide

Creature World

Information about the different creatures that live all over the world.


Section 8.2: Different Habitats Have Different Features

Pallid Bat Habitat

Learn what changes are happening to the habitat of the pallid bats, and why they are on the endangered species list.


Whooping Crane Habitat

Where the rare whooping crane calls home.


Home/Habitat Theme Park

This is an interactive way to learn about different animals and their habitats.


Section 8.3: Construct an Investigation: What Is the Best Habitat for Mealworms?

The Mealworm

A description of mealworms and where they can be found.


Section 8.4: What Are Adaptations?

Animal Adaptations

Navigate to the Games section to play the animal adaptation game.


What Are Adaptations?

More information about the different types of plant adaptations.


Section 8.5: Structural Adaptations


Learn the different structural adaptations of penguins living in their extremely cold habitat.



Here you can read about the structural adaptations of the common chameleon.


Section 8.6: Behavioural Adaptations

Animal Behaviour

Navigate to the NatureFiles Section to learn more behavioural adaptations of five different animals.


Adaptation Powerpoint Lesson

A powerpoint slideshow with facts and pictures about several animals and how they've adapted to their habitat.


Section 8.7: Responses That Help Plants Adapt

How Desert Plants Survive

Information about how plants survive in a desert habitat.


Section 8.8: What Lives Here?

Youth and The Environment

This is Environment Canada's Youth website; besides being a place where you can get information on animals and ecosystems across Canada, you can also find information on how you can get involved with protecting your local wildlife habitats.


B.C. Climate Exchange

Climate changes, even small ones, will affect natural habitats and all the animals living there. This site will answer many questions you might have about climate change and how it affects the habitats of B.C.

Chapter 9

Section 9.1: Populations and Communities

Animal Ecology

A history of life forms on our planet, from the first algae to the modern animal kingdom, all in a few paragraphs! The third section talks about how animals are organized in communities and populations.


Section 9.2: How Plants and Animals Get Food

Producers, Consumers and Scavengers

This article explains the terms above, and illustrates how the three types live together in the same habitat.


Herbivores and Carnivores

Click on the blue terms in this webpage to learn more about each of the three types of consumers, and how they keep a fine balance of food sources in their habitat.


Vegetarian Diet

Explanation of a vegetarian diet.


Section 9.3: Food Chains

Chain Reaction: Build a Food Chain

Download this software to build your own food chain.


One Link in a Chain

This site discusses the food chain and how you fit into that chain. (If you click on any of the words in blue, you'll link to more information about those terms).


Section 9.4: Changes in Food Chains

The Role of Predators and Prey in the Food Chain

A short presentation which illustrates the need for balance in the food chain.


Section 9.5: Food Webs are Made of Food Chains

Food Web vs. Food Chain

If you want a clear and simple example of the difference between the two, this is it.


Food Chains and Webs

At the bottom of the page there's a link to a fun activity you can click on, where you point and click to create your own Food Chain.


Chapter 10

Water Wizards Club

This is a conservation education club from Canada Fisheries and Oceans, for kids 8-15 to join.



This good Canadian site has games, activities, and printable pages. Topics to choose from are Environmental issues, Wildlife, Energy, Earth and Science.


kids' david suzuki

The kid-friendly version of The David Suzuki Foundation site. There is a Nature Challenge list for younger students and an activity page for different challenges, as well as information about conservation.


bc naturalists

This site provides access to the Young Naturalist's association. Students who join receive a kit which includes a magazine called NatureWILD.


Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Find out information about shoreline cleanups being done around Canada.


Section 10.1: Human Actions Affect Habitats


Follow national geographic Explorer J. Michael Fay on his 15 month tour across the remote Congo, and see videos and hear commentary about how this part of the world would have looked like over 3600 years ago, before the arrival of humans.


Humans and Their Environment: Cultural Ecology

These are some good examples of how humans affect the habitats in which they live. It also talks about the rise of environmentalism since the 1960s.


Section 10.2: The Effects of Changes in Habitats

Endangered Kids' Planet ESPECIES Animal Fact SheetsSpecies Fact-Sheet

Click on any animal in this Endangered species list to find a fact sheet about them, including information on its habitat, current population and behaviour.


eco indicators

Certain species are monitored to assess the health of ecosystems. Shellfish, trumpeter swans, and osprey eggs are a few examples.


Section 10.3: Conservation


A site about creating a patchwork of naturally landscaped yards throughout BC. See the Ambassadors page for ideas about how Naturescape may be working in your community.


salmon river restoration

This site is part of the Salmon River Watershed Roundtable. It has an excellent slide show of before and after shots of the restoration work.


Marmot Kids page

Information about the Vancouver Island Marmot.


Section 10.4: Personal Choices Affect Habitats

Home Energy Tips

This site has a good section on increasing the energy efficiency of your home.


Kids' David Suzuki

Join the nature challenge with ten things you can do to protect nature and the environment.


Section 10.5: Traditional Aboriginal Cultures and Habitats

Nk'mip Desert, B.C.

This is the site of the Nkmip Desert and Heritage Center. The picture gallery gives an idea of the habitat.


Chapter 10 Review

Species at Risk

Information about threatened and endangered species in Canada


Unit C: Making Connections: Help a Habitat

Oceans Day

This site contains information from the Canadian Wildlife Federation about Oceans Day on June 8. They have also included suggestions for class activities.


Energy Detectives

Students are trained through a BC Hydro presentation to become energy detectives. They then find ways to make their schools more energy efficient.


Young Naturalists Club

The official website of the Young Naturalists of B.C. Membership in the club includes a quarterly magazine subscription to NatureWILD, and involves students in environmentally helpful activities and projects.