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Some of us can sense food flavours more strongly. The clues for being a “supertaster” really rest on our tongue. Are you game for testing your tasting tendencies with a simple experiment involving small paper rings and food colour? During this experiment you can count your fungiform papillae, which are taste buds located on the tongue. If you have more than 30 fungiform papillae, you are considered a supertaster. Learn how to do this experiment on our featured website www.scientificamerican.com. The website is the e-version of one of the oldest science magazines in the world.

ScientificAmerican.com hopes to stimulate the grey cells of young science enthusiasts with several such activities that can be easily done at home. On the website, discover whether your brain uses the left side or the right side more, learn how to do a yogurt culture or hydrodynamics by building a boat that can also carry cargo. All experiments come with detailed explanations on the procedure and the precautions to be taken during the activity. Students will also find the resources listed in this section useful to increase their scientific knowhow.

The 167-year-old magazine is notable for its clarity of text and quality of articles as well as for presenting science news for a long period of time on a monthly basis. The website, launched in 1996, maintains the same standards set by the magazine. It contains articles from current and past issues of the magazine, features, daily news, topic-driven blogs, podcast series and a video directory.

For homework help and general science awareness, start surfing with the news and features section on the homepage. From dinosaurs to hydro power, readers get to explore latest news and developments in a broad range of topics. There are seven central categories and over 100 sub-topics covering space, technology, health, evolution, energy, sustainability, mind and brain. I experienced this diversity when on a random read I discovered the revelation of a new prime number and that 4.5 billion earth-like planets are spread across the galaxy, a slideshow on how dust contributes to cloud formation and a video on how scientists in Zurich are testing new algorithms on juggling machines.

For a century-old publication Scientific American has kept abreast of the times by embracing latest technology and presenting information through blogposts, podcasts, videos and slideshows. They also have an active presence on social networking sites and can get science news delivered to your inbox through their newsletter.

Their blog is in itself multidimensional. The Scientific American staff members maintain nine blogs. Several independent and guest bloggers also write on a variety of themes. For instance, The Network Central is the blog where you get updates about the Scientificamerican blog network, including weekly summaries. The Scientific American Incubator, on the other hand, is a community blog that highlights the work of new and upcoming young science writers and journalists. For aspiring science journalists, there is a lot of fodder for thought at the incubator blog as it discusses the current state and the future of science writing and promotes the best work of young writers.

The site design packs a punch with an impressive medley of images and links. It’s a busy site that makes a good example of how to maintain a well-organised and easily navigable website in spite of an information overload.

Scientificamerican.com is a website to bookmark for your daily dose of science news. The site will hook the science buff as well as the casual reader searching for scientific information. With the huge range of topics covered, readers will find an area of interest. The advantage is that the articles are easily comprehensible and devoid of scientific jargons. Students will enjoy exploring various scientific discoveries and can refer the site for homework help and class projects.

Scientificamerican also lists news from several other top science publications. Visuals are a strong aspect of the site, so enjoy some mindboggling nature images, slideshows and videos. However, a Q & A forum would have been a good idea for youngsters interested in science to ask queries. Also, news tends to be predominantly from the western world.

fast facts

WHAT IS it?
A portal that hopes to stimulate the grey cells of science enthusiasts with experiments that can be easily done at home

ADDRESS
www.scientificamerican.com

DOWNSIDE
A question answer forum would have been a good idea for youngsters interested in science. Also, news tends to be predominantly from the western world

 

Tessy Koshy
Tessy Koshy@yahoo.com