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Science Resources & Tools


Science Desk Reference

Scientific American: Science Desk Reference - The best science resource out there, it has chapters on every major branch of science. Each chapter ends with a chronology of the branch, biographies of its major contributors, a glossary, and a recommended further reading section. Prior to that, there are lists and descriptions of important information within the branch. Definitely get a copy of this book! You can usually do so here for under a dollar plus shipping.

The Science Teacher's Book of Lists

The Science Teacher's Book of Lists - This book is exactly what is says, a book of lists. I find that most of the lists that are included here are relevant to topics that come up typically in an academic team or quiz bowl match.The descriptions contained in the lists are relatively short, so do not expect a lot of depth of knowledge to be gained by its use, but that is the nature of lists in general. This is strongly recommended as a compliment to the above Science Desk Reference which does provide a little more depth than a standard list book. You can purchase a copy here for under ten dollars plus shipping.

Great Scientists

Great Scientists - When trying to establish yourself as a strong science player, learning the major scientists is usually a good place to start as it will lay a pretty good foundation for the player by also learning the material that made them famous. Also, many science questions will contain the name of the person that made the discovery or carried out the experiment. Knowing the name of the scientist associated with the underlying science will give you a leg up on the competition. Included here are thiry-one scientists, accompanied by their major discoveries and a description of their scientific contributions. You can purchase one here for around six to eight dollars.

Dictionary of Earth Sciences

Dictionary of Earth Sciences - by Oxford University Press - Every good science player needs a dictionary to serve as a reference. Within their study and research they will come across words/phrases/acronyms they're not familiar with. Using a dictionary such as this one allows one easily look up and learn what they don't already know and isn't that the idea? While this dictionary only focusses on the earth sciences per its name, it is very thorough in the areas it attempts to cover. It can by purchased here for around a dollar plus shipping.

Dictionary of Science and Technology

Dictionary of Science and Technology - by Academic Press - Another Dictionary, but with a broader base of science subtopics covered. Again, its not meant to be fun reading. Instead, dictionaries are to be used a reference source and a much needed one. The best use of these is to look up important words or phrases in quick recall questions that are missed both in matches and practices. This book can usually be found here for under ten dollars plus shipping, which is pretty good considering its cover price is $166.00.

Guide to Essential Knowledge

The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge - If you are playing quick recall or quiz bowl, you should already have this on your list of resources, but if you're not yet convinced maybe the science portion of this book will win you over. Broken down into subsections from Astronomy to Medicine to Technology, it covers all areas of science. One thing I particularly like about the Guide to Essential Knowledge is that it divides biology into the subsections ecology, botany, and zoology. Each subsection has includes a history which highlights the important contributes made to the science. Perfect for the science player! One can usually be found here for under five dollars plus shipping. There is also a newer edition that you can buy for a couple dollars more.

The Scientific 100

The Scientific 100: a Ranking of the Most Influential Scientists, Past and Present - by John Simmons. This book contains four to five page biographies on the scientists the author believes to be the most relevant in history. This is one of the better books you can use to learn scientists with as it covers almost all material that could come up in a quick recall question while also providing the depth that could show up in an NAQT or ACF format. While you will come across other scientists in your academic team career, you will undoubtedly score a lot of points with the knowledge you gain from this resource. On top of all that it can be purchased here for under eight dollars plus shipping. From time to time you'll find some for under a dollar so keep an eye out.

100 Scientists Who Shaped World History

100 Scientists Who Shaped World History - by John Hudson Tiner. A similar book to the scientific 100, though it presents each biography in a single page. The biggest difference betweeen the two is that this book organizes its subjects along a timeline rather than by importance. This gives you a better feel for what was accomplished when in relation to each other. Beginning with Pythagoras and ending with Stephen Hawking, it too includes all of the major, relevant scientists. This is a relatively small book and can be purchased here for under three dollars plus shipping.

Web Sites

Fraught Machine's Reference Desk - As with every other subject area, this is an excellent web directory for science. Check this out as there are many good web sites selected specifically for quick recall/quiz bowl purposes.

HyperHistory - The hyper history online section of this site has a link at the bottom for scientists. After clicking this link, you'll see a timeline with the last names of major scientists throughout history. When you click on their name a small biography appears to the right.

Vision Learning - This site is excellent for science players as it is pretty thorough. The Earth Science portion is divded into eleven different sections with a full page (sometimes ten plus paragraphs) of quality information that it a good science player would find very beneficial. Each section also includes a quiz. Definitely use this site!

ReekoScience Glossary of Terms - This site contains a glossary of science terms. If you don't have access to a science dictionary, you can use this site to look up some terms, but do not expect to find every word or phrase you're looking for here.


Top 100 Scientists Lists - This is a collection of lists of scientists. Most of these are included in the books included above. These lists do not include a description of any kind. Thus, they should only be used as a guide of what to study. But if you can't get your hands on any of these books, you can at least find out which scientists each covers through these lists.

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