Iowa Public Television



posted on September 20, 2012


NOVA offers a huge catalog of educational content that works for any number of subject areas, including ancient history, biology, earth science, physics, math, linguistics, music, technology, and engineering. NOVA is ideally suited for teachers. You can browse resources by subject areas or topics, narrow your search by media type or search grade level, or perform a basic search.

NOVA offers thousands of resources including purpose-built video clips suited for the classroom, interactives, lesson plans, documents, and additional web resoruces. IPTV has aggregated a list of editor picks: resources that are sure to engage your students and spark genuine excitement in their learning. Once you feel comfortable navigating the site yourself, take a look around and share with us the resources you think are great.

Featured Resources

Earth and Space Science

NOVA's Labs: The Sun

This is a new digital platform, distinct from the regular NOVA website, for "citizen scientists" who want to actively participate in scientific work. One way or another, every Lab will create opportunities for people to handle real data or images, collaborate with peers, and become more familiar with scientists and engineers working in the field.

How Do Tornadoes Form?

tornadoesOn average, about 800 tornadoes occur in the United States each year. They can appear and disappear in moments, and key details about their formation are unknown. These factors make the research to understand and predict tornado occurrence extremely difficult. This video segment describes the challenges of studying tornadoes and shows how computer simulations are helping researchers observe what they can't possibly see in a real storm.


It's an awe-inspiring display of nature: A storm cloud builds, dark and ominous, then releases energy in fiery bolts of lightning and raucous waves of thunder. This video segment, adapted from NOVA, goes beyond the visual and sonic thrill of lightning strikes to illustrate and describe the physics behind electrical storms.


The Myth of Pocahontas

How much of the Pocahontas legend is true? In this video segment, NOVA explores the historical version of the story of Pocahontas and John Smith. Students are then asked to rewrite the story based on archeological and historical evidence.

Explore Ancient Egypt

egyptExplore the ancient sphinx, the Great Pyramids, and other tombs and chambers with this 360-degree, panoramic visual interactive. Combined  with images, documents, and activities, you can help spark  your students' interests in ancient history and archeology.

Grass Bridge

In this video segment, watch residents of a Peruvian society build a traditional, functional grass bridge. This type of bridge enabled the ancient Inca people to flourish by crossing canyons and gorges of their mountainous empire.



In this video clip, the most enigmatic of all codes in the most clandestine of all places has yet to be fully broken. "Kryptos," a coded sculpture in the courtyard of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, contains a long string of seemingly nonsensical letters that conceal a message devised by sculptor James Sanborn. Some portions have been deciphered, but the last bit remains a mystery. Solutions anyone?


Nova scienceNOW talks to the engineers behind Auto-Tune, the pitch-correction software that turns sour notes into sweet ones. Professional musicians use Auto-Tune, but can the software turn host Neil deGrasse Tyson into a singing star?


Frozen Frogs

frogsWood frogs freeze solid in winter then thaw back to life and mate in the spring. How do they do it? Scientists have now figured out how to recreate this extraordinary process of cryopreservation with mammalian organs. To date they have successfully frozen, thawed, and transplanted rat livers and pig hearts. Their dream? Enhanced preservation of human organs for transplant.

Can We Slow Aging?

This video segman examines how a gene called FOXO affects life span. Researchers manipulate the gene in a microscopic worm to double its lifespan.  Students learn how people who possess a single copy of the gene are twice as likely to live to the age of 100.


Physics of Stone Arches

Medieval architects were masters at building stone structures. With taller and bigger churches and buildings medieval architects began to push beyond the boundaries of known structural design. In this interactive, students attempt to construct a cathedral arch and learn more about the physics behind the arch.

Gravity at Earth's Center

gravityIn this video adapted from NOVA scienceNOW, investigate the hypothetical scenario of a person falling into a hole through the center of Earth. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson illustrates the thought experiment; first he defines the conditions—ignore the effects of air resistance, temperature, and Earth's rotation—and then he travels through the hole. A timer and speedometer show how his speed changes as he falls toward the center of Earth, passes the center, and slows to a stop at the opposite end of the hole.


NOVA's Making Stuff Series: David Pogue, hosted a series for NOVA called "Making Stuff," that focused on what engineers are doing to creating cutting edge materials that will help humanity in a variety of ways.

Making Stuff: Cleaner

Learn how materials scientists are designing new kinds of batteries that could power the next generation of vehicles.

Making Stuff: Smaller

In this excerpt, learn how materials scientists are designing a microbot, about the width of a strand of hair, that can travel into a human eye to treat blindness. Students learn how engineers use nature, biology, and organisms to overcome odd forces that microrobotics encounters.

Making Stuff: Stronger

In this clip, David Pogue participates in a derby to test the strength and toughness of steel. Students gain a deeper understanding of how everyday materials guide engineers to build newer, stronger materials.

Making Stuff: Smarter

Learn how scientists are developing an artificial jellyfish to act as an inconspicuous motion detector. Students will learn how scientists are developing new smart materials to help solve problems in engineering, medicine, and daily life.

Tags: biology education educators engineering interactive Language and Literacy linguistics NOVA NOVA Labs nova tv series novasciencenow physicists physics science Social Studies STEM teachers video

Subjects: The ArtsLiteracy & LanguagesMathScience & TechnologySocial Studies


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