This is a unique mixture of commercial and professional. The Flinn site offers materials for cost and for free. It seeks to support the safe teaching of science for grades 6-12.
The learning goals are not specifically stated but it appears that Flinn is providing a resource for purchasing safe equipment and supplies. The company is also trying to provide learning opportunities for 6-12 grade learners. Once again, learning goals are not stated and can only be assumed.
Target Student Population:
The target student population is from grades 6-12. It is also targeting teachers that are pre and post credential.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
The materials are presented with an expectation that there has been a continuum of some prior preparation in the subject area that would be appropriate for the target grade level. Basic quantitative skills would be a prerequisite.
Type of Material:
This is a support site. It has weblinks, freebies, and material for sale via the company catalog.
Science teachers of grades 6-12 are recommended for this resource. Science methods teachers at the college and professional development level are also encouraged to utilize this resource.
Users will need a browser and possibly Java for the chat capabilities.
Evaluation and Observation
The site does provide significant models, skills and resources for the discipline. Available material and links to methods are valuable. Pre-requisite knowledge is not stated but is implied. Resources appear valid and useful. Chemistry is particularly strong.
Many of the listed resources are not backed by any specific research. There is no reference to content difficulty.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Excellent resource for discrepant events. Exciting methods and then material (for sale) to support the methods. It's very convenient. Material appears to be very flexible and can be used in multiple contexts. Excellent and effective lesson plans can be derived from and based upon the content of this website with relative ease.
Although the resources are good... This is a commercial website.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
This website is built well and is extremely easy to navigate. All buttons are functional. All links are working at this time. Technical support is in place. The information/resources are well explained and supported.
Other Issues and Comments:
There is a conflict between a commercial site providing direction in curriculum development. This is a good resource for science teachers, however.