Wolfram Alpha!

There is a great new resource out this week for science teachers. Wolfram|Alpha is a new website designed by the man who brought us Mathematica and Wolfram Demonstrations. It is similar in theory to Google and Wikipedia, but it is all about computational knowledge. Read the Daily Tech article here for more information.

To give you an idea of how powerful this search engine is — and to convince you to use it in your classroom(!) — I tried out a couple things. 

First I typed in “Columbia Teachers College” (my graduate school) and found a whole page of results with information ranging from the number of students attending to the number of academic programs and the geographical location.

Next, I entered “Physics” and was amazed with the outcome. The results page is a listing of all the applicable calculations and equations for physics. What is so incredible is the websites ability to compute for you! In the mechanics section you can compute mechanical work, rotational acceleration, and Keplers Law!

Lastly, I entered my birthday to see what would happen. I didn’t get much information in return (other than the conversion from years into days, months, and weeks), but there’s a space for holidays around the world as well as notable deaths and births. This surprised me because I know I share a birthday with Fidel Castro, Alfred Hitchcock, Danny Bonaduce, and Dan Fogelberg (what a combination!!).

I think this website is going to be a highly useful resource for student research as well as homework help or another bit of technology in the classroom!


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