Help Topics Frequently Asked Questions


Why are some browser controls missing when I click on a link to an external Web page? The primary aim of sciLINKS is to take students to web pages that will enhance their understanding of a particular topic in their textbook. To that end, we have tried to minimize the temptation to wander off into the uncharted waters of the World Wide Web. We cannot at this point restrict them entirely to a specific page or set of pages—many of these pages contain links to additional pages; also, students are free at any time to type in their favorite Web destination in the Location box of their browser.

Some might argue that it runs counter to the spirit of the the Web to attempt to keep users where we put them. But, again, sciLINKS is meant to provide a more focused experience than the usual Web “surfing.” Students who are given wide latitude in their use of the Internet, and who possess the necessary skills, can use other resources (like search engines) to perform broader, independent research.


How are Web pages selected for inclusion in the sciLINKS database? The selection process involves three stages:
  1. First, a cadre of college students search the World Wide Web for resources on particular topics.
  2. Next, the addresses of these Web pages are sent to teacher-webwatchers with expertise in given fields and grade levels. The teacher-webwatchers can also submit Web pages that they have found on their own.
  3. Finally, NSTA staff approve Web pages submitted by the teacher-webwatchers and edit the information provided for accuracy and consistent style.


Who pays for sciLINKS? sciLINKS is a free service for textbook users, but obviously someone must pay for it. Participating textbook publishers pay a fee to the National Science Teachers Association for each book that contains sciLINKS. The program is also supported by a grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Adminstration (NASA).


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