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By Jan Suszkiw, June 2010
Sci4Kids, an educational website operated by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at www.ars.usda.gov/is/kids, now has a new look and "feel."
The redesign builds on Sci4Kids' past success in educating kids about the importance of agriculture and science in their daily lives with easier site navigation, vibrant graphics, interactive content, videos and animation, among other improvements.
Since its debut in September 1998, Sci4Kids has posted more than 126 stories about what ARS scientists do and the discoveries they've made. The website, which is primarily geared to youngsters aged 8-13, offers a "Teachers' Desk" loaded with classroom resources and activities designed to stimulate kids' learning about agricultural research. The site also includes science fair project ideas.
-- "Science Spotlight," where-with a single mouse click-kids, parents or educators can tap into the latest news from the frontlines of ARS research.
-- Interactive games such as "Color a Pepper Plant," which demonstrates in a fun way how plant breeders can change the features of popular crops to suit consumer preferences.
-- "Images of Ag Research," a captioned slideshow depicting science in action, from a dive-bombing fly that's forcing fire ants to take cover, to parasitic tapeworms "pickled" in a jar.
-- "Sci4Kids Files," an archive page with links to past stories and other content.
Produced by the ARS Information Staff in Beltsville, Md., Sci4Kids operates with the recognition that today's children are tomorrow's farmers, scientists, policy makers and consumers. With this latest iteration, the website reaffirms its commitment to making sure kids have access to information about agricultural research in a way that's fun, timely and significant.
Check back for fun Sci4Kids contests throughout the summer.
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