Workshop: finding information

On this page you will find resources for the workshop activity 'finding information'.

Introduction What to do
Finding resources using search engines How search engines work
Finding resources from a portal Links found by participants


There are two main ways in which you can easily find information on the Internet: from a search engine and from a 'portal' site

In this activity, you will use both of these to try and find information for one of three science topics.

Return to top of this page

What to do

In this activity you should first use two of the search engines to try and find useful resources for the teaching and learning of either: the periodic table; the earth in space; or genetics. This will allow the group to compare the usefulness of different search engines.

Then you can try to find resources for the same topic from one of three 'portal' sites - that is sites which contain links to huge amounts of (selected) data on the given topics.

At the end of this task you should be prepared to discuss the ease/difficulty of finding suitable sites using the selected engines/portal sites and which age/ability range of pupils you would use the selected information with.

Return to top of this page

Finding resources using search engines

Your task is to find information from two sites which you would feel to be of use in the learning of your chosen topic using at least two different search engines from the list below.

The links you find will be added at the bottom of this page after the conference.

Alta Vista





Northern Light




Different engines are useful for different kinds of purposes and you can find a useful summary here. It would be interesting to compare these recommendations with your own findings. If you go to this page and scroll down, you will also find a good summary of the ways in which you can construct 'advanced' searches on the different search engines - although search engines will contain information on how to do this on its home page.

Return to top of this page

Finding information using portal sites

The task here is similar to that above - to find information which would be useful for the teaching of either the periodic table, the earth in space or genetics

In this case however your search is limited to the information within a site - or to the links from it. The three sites below are are good examples of 'portal' sites and you should search the one appropriate to the topic you have chosen.

WebElements The Natural History Museum NASA Space Science

The Teacher Resource Exchange is a different kind of 'portal' site. It is a database of (unevaluated) resources devised and posted to the site by teachers, so that they can be shared with others. To use this site you will need to register.

Return to top of this page

Links found by participants

Below is the list of links found for the three topics by the participants in the workshops.

Links for the periodic table    
Links for the earth in space    
Links for genetics    

Return to top of this page
Back to the home page for this site

This page is maintained by Tim Brosnan. Please send any comments to:
Last updated on 11th December 2001