Flatware | Hardware | Software | Meatware | Courseware

flat·ware [flat-wair] – noun – relatively flat objects
(including anything commonly printed on paper) used for specific tasks.

Munsell Color System

"MunsellColorWheel". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MunsellColorWheel.png#/media/File:MunsellColorWheel.png

“MunsellColorWheel”. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

The Munsell Color System is scheme for classifying colors based on three color dimensions: hue, value (lightness), and chroma (purity). Is was invented by Professor Albert H. Munsell in the early 20th century. Soil scientists began using it in the 1930s as the official color system for soil research, but nowadays many other scientists use it when they wish to compare the colors of insects, plants, rocks, and many other observable entities.

We sometimes use this PDF version in our science class, but by far the most useful version for use in both lab and field investigations is the Munsell Book of Soil Color Charts, like the one published by X-Rite, which has pre-punched holes to help make color identification more accurate.

Alternatives to the Munsell Color System include the Pantone Color System. Pantone produces the Pantone Color Guides, which often consists of a large number of small (approximately 6×2 inches or 15×5 cm) thin cardboard sheets, printed on one side with a series of related color swatches and then bound into a small deck that can be fanned to resemble a hand of playing cards. You might recall seeing versions of these in the painting sections of home improvement stores. Dr. Merritt keeps a laminated copy of the Pantone Matching System (PMS) Color Chart for student use in the classroom. If you want to, however, you can print your own from this 21-page PDF file.

SEED Magazine Crib Sheets

Seed Magazine

Seed Magazine

Back in 2005, Seed Magazine published an interesting, practical, factual set of “cribsheets,” which were designed to be quick reference cards for non-scientists seeking to learn more about a variety of contemporary scientific subjects, phenomena or processes. I’ve assembled the downloadable versions for you here.

Stem cells | Climate change | Avian flu | Hybrid cars | Nuclear power | Hurricanes | Extinction | Elements | String theory | Photosynthesis | Plate tectonics | Genetics | Light | Exoplanets | Quantum computing | Synthetic biology

Lab/Field Notebooks

When it comes to buying a lab/field notebook, students should look for an A4-sized notebook (in Europe) or an 8-1/2″ x 11″-sized notebook (in the U.S.) with horizontal lined paper. The most durable notebooks have sewn bindings–Dr. Merritt asks that you do not use notebooks with spiral (wire) bindings.

One of the best sources of high-quality science notebooks is an online seller called the Book Factory. The Book Factory’s custom lab notebooks are quite impressive, and students who take science very seriously might want to order a couple from them. To be sure, beside being highly functional, they will help you stand out from your classmates. Recently, however, Dr. Merritt has uncovered some additional vendors for notebooks that might be worth investigating:

1. RHODIA notebooks
2. WHITELINES notebooks
3. LEUCHTTURM1917 notebooks
4. FIELDNOTES notebooks
5. MOLESKINE notebooks
6. RITE IN THE RAIN notebooks
7. VELA SCIENCES notebooks

Notetaking & Research

Below are links to downloadable templates that will assist you when doing different types of assignments. Remember, be sure to set your printer to its appropriate paper size (e.g., A4 or US 8.5″ x 11″).

The Cornell Note Taking System
– Cornell notes intro/explanation [PDF]
– Cornell notes template [PDF]

Columned Charts for Comparing and Contrasting
– Blank two-column chart [PDF]
– Blank three-column chart [PDF]
– Blank four-column chart [PDF]

Know-Want to Know-Learn (KWL) Templates
– Electronic form (you can type on this form and then print it) [PDF]
– Printable form (you can’t type on this form) [PDF]

Mind Mapping Templates
– Multi-squared [PDF]
– Multi-circular [PDF]
– Gridded [PDF]
– Blank [PDF]

Periodic Tables

Each of the periodic tables linked below were last updated in 2016, which means they include element numbers 113 (Nihonium – Nh), 115 (Moscovium – Mc), and 117 (Tennessine – Ts). All three of these elements were first reported by teams of scientists in 2003, but remained unnamed–at least officially–until 28 November 2016. All three of the periodic tables below were taken from www.sciencenotes.org.

The Periodic Table

Periodic Table of (Known) Elements

– Printable periodic table (w/muted color) [PDF]

– Printable periodic table (w/shiny color) [PDF]

– Printable periodic table w/oxidation states (B&W) [PDF]

Another useful periodic table, one in which students can see (illustrated) pictures and read (brief) descriptions of the common, everyday objects containing certain elements, can be found on this interactive periodic table of the elements. Another useful periodic table is one in which the atomic masses are rounded off to the whole numbers. This format makes it easier for students to calculate the number(s) of protons and neutrons in single atoms with basic math operations.

Printable Molecules (Basic)


Working with atoms and molecules can be hands-on work

Modeling biological and chemical reactions is much more interesting and meaningful when moving individual atoms and/or molecules around with your eyes and hands. These cut-out paper templates will help you do exactly that.

– H2O, CO2, and O2 molecules [PDF]
– Macromolecules and essential elements [PDF]

Printable Rulers


Printable rulers are available on many Internet sites

– 30 cm ruler formatted for A4 paper [PDF]

– 30 cm ruler formed for 8.5″ x 11″ paper [PDF]

You can find and print a wide variety of other types of rulers HERE.

IMPORTANT NOTES: (1) be sure you disable any “Shrink to fit” options when printing, and (2) accuracy with these rulers can be excellent, but it will largely depend on how your printer is set up, as well as the type of paper you use.

Printable Graph Paper

Graph Paper

Printable graph paper is available on Internet sites such as http://www.printfreegraphpaper.com/

On the site linked HERE, you can customize the type of graph paper you would like to print and use. For example, you can choose different paper sizes as well as grid sizes (and grid units). I have already customized the two sizes that we will use most frequently in class:

– A4 | Cartesian style | 5 x 5 mm grid
– A4 | Cartesian style | 10 x 10 mm grid

Another type of graph paper that we frequently use in science class is bolded graph paper with 10 lines per inch.

Printable Lined Paper

Printable lined paper

Printable lined paper is available on Internet sites such as http://www.printablepaper.net/

On the site linked HERE, you can customize the type of lined paper you would like to print and use. For example, you can choose different paper sizes as well as line spacing. I have already selected some of the sizes that we will use most frequently in class:

A4 | portrait | college-ruled
A4 | portrait | narrow-ruled
A4 | portrait | wide-ruled

Letter | portrait | college-ruled
Letter | portrait | narrow-ruled
Letter | portrait | wide-ruled

Specimen Sheets

When scientists go out into the world and come back to their laboratories, museums, institutes, and offices with specimens–both living and non-living–they must keep careful records regarding the collection of their specimens.

You can view and download the specimen sheet we sometimes use for TASIS insect projects HERE.

TASIS Campus Maps

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If that’s true, then a good map must be worth at least ten thousand. In our class we’d have a hard time communicating with each other about the different parts of the TASIS campus without some sort of map.

The links below connect you to different types of TASIS campus maps that we’ve used over the years in our class projects and activities.

– An online campus map divided into six major sections | 2016
– A downloadable campus map | PDF version | 2016
– A downloadable campus map | PDF version | 2012
– A downloadable campus map | PDF version | 2010
– An online campus map | satellite photos 
from Google | 2005 or 2006

Last updated: July 2019

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s