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Info for Students - ScienceMystery Info for Teachers - ScienceMystery Read What People Say About ScienceMysteries Info for Sponsors - ScienceMystery

"Well-written and engaging... a great way to involve my 8th graders who have limited access to the Internet in a web-based activity that was appropriate for our science curriculum."

"Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed "The Blackout Syndrome.' I worked on solving the medical mystery during my breaks at work, and I'm happy to report I figured it out correctly each installment. I hope you'll have more mysteries in the future. I work in the library at the KU Medical Center; there's a medical school here. Have you ever collaborated with medical school teachers on something like this online mystery? I think medical, nursing & allied health students would enjoy this way of learning and diagnosing."

"I've been following the site with great interest, because I have found it to be one of the most interesting sites for kids and teens on the web. (I was one of the initial creators of the Internet Public Library's Teen Division, so I have a special interest in this topic.) I think you're really onto something with this approach - it is unique, creative, and fun."

"I'm a student from Mr Santerelli's Biology class and I feel that what happened with those frogs in Croak is awful. Your stories are creative and fun and I'll tell more and more people about them!"

"Dear Writerguy, My students really got into Croak. It was great to hear them discussing their ideas and trying to convince others that their conclusion was correct based on certain pieces of evidence. Scientific method in action!! Please, create more mysteries to solve. Croak really got my students thinking!!"


"Dear Croak Folks, This was great! I'm teaching environmental science and am going to use this as my final exam - solve the mystery and write a paper explaining why you came to that conclusion. Hopefully, I'll be able to round up enough computers for those days!! I felt it was very well done. There's just enough info to solve it if you are logical - not too much, not too little. Thanks for doing this one. It was perfect for our topics - exotic species, pollution, personal values effecting why we do things, etc."

"I used the Croak activity in my classroom this past week. It is rare that 28 high school students are so quiet or so engaged. Many of them were fans of the frog-eating bat theory but the cane toad theory was popular also. I had them write a 300-word speech for the councilman's press conference. I loved this activity and am looking forward to trying others."

"I have just stumbled across your mysteries - they are excellent - please inform me if you add any more. I am teaching the kids a problem-solving process to determine cause and your mysteries fit right in with my life science curriculum. Thanks."

"To whom it may concern: I would like to say that I absolutely loved River of Venom!! It was interactive and suspenseful. I couldn't stop reading. I especially liked the e-mail part of the story where I could send an e-mail to Mr. Garcia and then receive information back. The whole story was fascinating and it definitely kept my interest. I would definitely like to receive notification when more mysteries become available. Are there any past mysteries available? Again, great job and keep up the good work with the mysteries."

"That mystery (CROAK) was awesome! Not too hard that it couldn't be solved, fun enough to last a while, and not so easy as to be boring. Keep up the good work!"

"Hi Writerguy – I am a high school science teacher at a public school for students who are at risk of dropping out. I am always looking for new ways to get my students engaged in science. I think I might have found that with the science mysteries. School starts here next week and I am planning to give this a try. I’ll let you know how it works."

"Thanks for your site. It was a good way to add some variety to my curriculum - and I had some fun, too!"

"Like the mystery itself, you have to diligently search to find anything wrong with this online learning game. One high school student told me, "It's really cool. It makes you wonder, you know, it makes you think about science. It helps you learn, and you don't even know you're learning while you are doing it.' "
(From a review of the science mysteries prepared by a University of Georgia graduate student.)

"Thank you so much for the experience of using science controls and knowledge to solve a problem. I had my physics class do this activity and they loved it! Please inform us of any other websites that offer similar activities."

"I've been following this project with interest - it is a unique way to present critical thinking skills via the Web and I'm impressed with how it turned out. Thanks!"

"What a trip!! It's all in the environment we create!! We need to develop environments where our kids want to learn. You can't learn anything unless there is a need to learn. I try to create that need! Thanks for giving us the opportunity to continue to explore."


"Dear Writer Guy, I thought CROAK was great! I enjoyed it very much and thought it was very well-written and fact-based. I teach high school Biology and plan to take my students into the computer lab in a couple of weeks and have them try to solve the mystery online too. I'll probably give them a data chart beforehand so they can fill out the clues from each source as they find them. I haven't had a chance to try any of the other mysteries yet, but this one is perfect for the ecosystem unit we have coming up."

"I learned about CROAK from one of my professors who used it in her high school classes. The reason I decided to analyze CROAK for my Education class is that I like it. I think it's a great way to get kids thinking about the topics that come up in the mystery, and a more selfish reason... I wanted to explore this type of technology more because I'm going to be teaching middle school next year and want to use it.
    "In my class, we are looking at the design of educational products and why they are designed like they are. This mystery- or scenario-based product is becoming more common and I want to know if it is effective in teaching the kids. The idea that you are not specifically telling the kids about pollution for example or predators in CROAK, but they all come out with knowledge about those topics, is a very interesting way to learn."

"Really enjoyed the mystery. Liked the clues and misdirections (part of the fun). Great way to weave in science. Thanks."

"My 9 year old son and I enjoyed the adventure. We are both new to the Internet at home and look forward to more of the same."

"I think that CROAK was a great article, I enjoyed reading it. I feel we should be saving the frogs too... I think pollution has taken an enormous part in this, as well as invaders. Save what's left! Help the frogs!"

"Hello, I'm Brendan and I have done Croak. I think it is very good. It was quite challenging but my friend Tom and I still enjoyed it. Thanks!"

"I enjoyed playing CROAK even though I didn't get the answer right. I thought you did a great job with the mystery..."

"Hello, i had done the Croak mystery and have received an answer to it. Sorry to say i was wrong with my answer. Anyway i am e-mailing you again to tell you that i thought the Croak mystery was not easy at all. But then again it was not hard. I liked it because you had so many different ways you could go with the answer to the problem. Thank you!"

"Loved the mystery... would like to see more of these for other science subjects."

"I like your mystery; I'm a School-to-Career director for our school district and am always looking for quality curriculum supplements for teachers and students... this was fun and educational."

"Thanks for this wonderful resource... I am a teacher of Year 5 students in Western Australia and hope to use CROAK as part of my environmental programme for next term. I really enjoyed this mystery and hope the students will value it as much as I have."

"I am a student at Bishops Cleeve... (Gloucestershire, UK) and have been completing one or two of the mysteries... They are very good."

" I enjoyed it... The mystery "River of Venom" was awesome. I would like to see some more mysteries come out soon!"


§ "I assigned "Yellow Jackie" to my students... My
Gifted 9th grader, who reads 600 WPM and already scored 23 on the ACT, solved Yellow Jackie on her first try. She rated it a 3 with 5 being most difficult. My Gifted 6th graders still have not solved it and have rated it 5. They are going back and taking notes more carefully and want to continue next week. They all enjoyed the activity and are looking forward to your other science mysteries.
    "I have shared your site with several teachers in Lincoln Parish which is in North Louisiana. My school is housed on the campus of Louisiana Tech University so I also have contact with future teachers also."

§ "CROAK! was an awesome activity for my science class (freshman biology). I used the mystery as an in-class project to teach attention to detail and problem solving. Bravo!"

§ "That's so dumb! In CROAK I talked to the park ranger and Deepti what's-her-face. I think the run-off from the lawn is a possible answer. You could have at least given me some points for my clues!! You probably should have given a few more clues or not have so many possibilities. I know that in real life there are numerous possibilities, but this is a fake story on the web; you can edit. Make it a little easier for the kids who aren't so quick or smart, or the ones who don't have very good observational skills. Hey-thanks for nothin! -Anonymous 10th grader"

§ "The site was great i loved it! it's such a great way to get kids involved into the science zone!! a simply amazing experience, i'll recommend it to everyone i no!! advertise it on t.v!! simply everybody needs to know about it!!"

§ "I thought it was a great teaching tool... I used CROAK to introduce an ecology class to non-majors this week. You will be receiving about 20 emails from my students..."

§ "This was so cool - I really like this. Get a lot more mysteries like this! It's sorta like 'CSI'!"

§ "I really enjoyed the Idaho mystery... (I haven't read the others yet). It was really great and very educational. I learned so much from it. As a school teacher, I will recommend this website to the science teachers in hopes that they will pass it on to their students. As a history teacher, the Typhoid Mary story was so wonderfully interesting. Thank you for the obvious hard work put into these stories. Continue, please."

"Thanks for the awesome activity (CROAK), my students loved it! I show a video by Mark Lewis called _Cane Toads: An Unnatural History_ that fits great with this activity.

"My only concern is that without more info on the cane toads (we watched the video a few days before the activity) the students probably would of had a hard time figuring it out.

"We also discussed an article on fertilizer and pesticide runoff and how the polluted waters are causing disformed frogs.

"Next time I will try this as an introductory activity and see if the students will get the toads on their own without watching the video.

"This will be a great introduction to them discussing the cane toads and water pollution."

§ "This was my first mystery online. It was great! ('Two Forks, Idaho')What a great way to educate people too on health/food issues! Thanks!"

§ "I just wanted to let everyone know who participated in the making of The Blackout Syndrome that I really enjoyed the story and it is a very good mystery. My science class went to this website and story and said the same things I just did. I really enjoyed it, very addicting I might add, and I would love to hear when you have more good mysteries like this out. Thank you."

§ "I just discovered your Mystery of the Strange Dead Bird! Wow! From the title (!) through the story (!) and including the science (!), I am absolutely DELIGHTED! I teach 7/8 grade science at Charter School Morgan Hill. Why have I never heard of this stuff before? This is fabulous!
"Ours is a project-based school with no textbooks, lots of inquiry, lots of  imaginative kids - and this is exactly the kind of thing I need! I am so grateful to you for creating this great story! I am so happy to have found it! This even fits in with our regular walks to the creek (Coyote) behind our school. We hang out and do creek observations and monitoring. And we are so going to look for "strange dead birds"!
"I am going to get back to exploring your website and writing my lesson plan for tomorrow which will include your story. I just had to drop in to tell you how very excited I am to have found you and this great resource! And how cool that you live right up the road! What a great way to end my day! Thank you very much! "





§ "hi
it was challenging & good
later dudes"

§ "I'm venezuelan and my writed english is not very good. But your site is so fantastic that I'm daring of write you to congratulate you. I think that it is an useful tool in learning science. What about a spanish version to latinoamerican children, like "Poison dart frog"?

"Recently I finished "River of Venom", and there is something intriguing me. Why "kissing bug" is named "beetle"? Beetles are not insects of the genere Coleoptera?

"By the way, in Venezuela "kissing bugs" are called "chipos" and they are vectors of Chagas' desease. In Brasil they are called "barbeiros", because the place where they bite.

"I hope that you answer my question, and I'd like to help you with spanish words in future misteries."


§ "Hi writerguy,

"I thought the croak mystery was great. It had enough clues if you were to go thoroughly enough through everything. I thought that this was a great mystery for in and outside school and how it connected so nicely into the real world so I would love to see more stories like it!

"My biology teacher has us using the croak program as a "Getting Ready" sort of thing to kick off the starting of another year (My sophomore year) by being able to hypothesize on the observations we get and use a bit of imagination to find the correct answer and this was a practice sort of thing to get us ready for tougher experiments like murders, and finding fingerprints and hair, and matching it up with certain suspects for later on.  We're also using it for the endangerment of certain species part (the dieing frogs) by making projects, which we're in right now, on species like the Iberian Lynx (my chosen species) and how it's becoming endangered overtime and what we can do to prevent the extinction of it from from happening.

"Well good luck with the next story you make and nice job with what you've done."



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