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Frequently Asked Questions

Why 4 sites?
The easy answer to this question is that four rhymes with explore and makes a cute project title. The real answer relates to the nature of the Internet. The idea started as we searched for websites that could be used with classroom activities. When we just listed one site in an assignment, Murphy's Law always seemed to apply. The site we needed was "not found", loaded too slowly, or the content was changed. With two sites we're assured that at least one will work, however we really only have one resource. Just as we need three legs for a sturdy chair, we need a least three resources for a successful exploration. With four sites, one can be down and we still have enough for information comparisons. In some cases, we've listed more than four websites on a particular topic. For example, we might provide a few for younger readers and others for more advanced learners.
What's the target age group?
We believe in life-long learning and encourage people of all ages to explore information. Our primary audience is students who need starting points for a particular project. Some topics are more logical for a particular age group. For example, younger people are generally more interested in bugs, while older students might be interested in architecture or buying a car. Middle schools students often study explorers, while younger students learn about life on a farm. Overall, we try to select sites that would be good starting points for anyone wanting to learn more about a topic.
How are topics chosen?
We pick topics based on three criteria. First, as life-long learners we like to find topics that are of interest to us. Second, we seek out popular topics that teachers often work with in the K-12 classroom. Finally, we try to find topics that will draw the interest of children and young adults. One of our goals is to encourage young people to make productive use of the Internet as a tool for their own personal development. Feel free to suggest a topic for a future 42eXplore!
When are topics posted?
A new topic is posted each week. You can scan previous weeks' topics by going to 42eXplore by date. In some cases, they will be directly related to a season, holiday, or timely theme. You'll find a mix of subjects including fine arts, social studies, science, math, language arts, and other content areas. Although the topics will be introduced on a particular week, they will be updated regularly. We see the weekly introduction as a way to build a great online resource over time.You'll want to check back occasionally and see the website evolve. We'd love to hear your ideas!
How can teachers use the resources?
Each school, classroom, and teacher is unique. As such we didn't try to provide specific activities for particular grade levels. Instead we suggest that teachers explore each link, then design specific, developmentally appropriate activities such as discussion questions, small group activities, or webquests to fit the needs of their curriculum. We'd love to add your activities to the site. Let us know how you use them.

Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 1/99
Updated, 6/04.