I discovered a cool feature of Google today. It's called Google Calculator. It's built into to your Google search. It will do mathematical calculations, return scientific or mathematical constants, or do conversions. Very handy when trying to make parallels between real life (which is typically English) and science class (which is in metric).
Just go to Google and type in:
- Speed of Sound or speed of sound in feet/second
- Need to convert? 180 lbs in Newtons
- Need to double or triple a recipe? 3 * 4 table spoons or 3 * 4 table spoons in cups
I stumbled across this one by complete accident. Visual Thesaurus is a really cool tool for investigating word meanings and word relationships. You type in a word of interest and you get a graphic organizer of your word surrounded by its synonyms. If you click on a synonym it becomes the central term and you see the words related to it.
If you don't have a clear picture in your head yet (or even if you do) you should just go play with it. You get a free trial, the program itself is not free, but is pretty cheap. After clicking around a bit it will tell you your trial is over. If you want to play more just quit and re-open your web browser. Visual Thesaurus runs in Java.