I especially like the Brains Rule web site. You just gotta check it out, and pass on the info to a curious kid of your acquaintance. I love the "Meet a Brain Whiz" feature, and especially the fact that the Brain Whiz talks about her hobbies and home life as well as her work. In my experience, young girls especially want to know the ways in which a scientist or engineer has a "normal" life in addition to the things they do that are so difficult for the girls to imagine. When they realize that the scientist also wears jeans, has a dog, and likes pizza, they start to imagine that they can be just like her - they can be a scientist, too.
Karmen at Chaotic Utopia has promised to publish a list of links as well and as soon as her post is up I will add an update to this post.
Not related to this post, but of interest I think to the female scientist: Marguerite Vogt, 94 Dies; Biologist and Researcher on Polio Virus http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/18/science/18vogt.html?ref=science
Her comments noted at the end of the article on the lack of recognition for her work: "I'm happy not to have been bothered," she recalled in an interview with The New York Times in 2001. "When you get too famous, you stop being able to work."
Thank you! My seven-year-old reminded me yesterday that she wants to be an "animal scientist." She's making a desktop slideshow about manatees, last I checked... she will LOVE Brains Rule.
Maybe it's me, and bad anti-drug propaganda is following me around like a mangy puppy. The first thing I saw on Brains Rule is "hey, kids, come play this nifty ECSTASY INVADERS game! We're gonna teach you about neurotransmitters and throw in BAD ECSTASY ENEMIES that totally mess with your brain, man! They're bad pods, bad, because they... uh, totally mess with your brain, man!"
I'm sure there's plenty of worthy content on that site, but after the trauma of Cera Bellum talking at me with a British accent (why the "click here to hear me talk" link if she's going to talk anyway?) and that... game, I guess I'll never know.
The verdict--she played at Brains Rule for a long time, made a diagram of the brain on paper for her own reference, and explained to me about neurons and wiggling your toes and what happens when you have a stroke. And she likes the word "occipital." So, it was a good site!
(I should add that this kind of site is also helpful for us, because we're always looking for age-appropriate ways for her to understand about her brother's cerebral palsy and other diagnoses.)
Our website has over a hundred fun free science experiments for children. There are also free videos of many of the experiments. There are also plenty of science related educational products to enhance science learning.