WATERLOO, Canada, March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) is now providing the first in a new series of in-class, educational resources designed to help high school teachers introduce and guide students through a variety of topics in science.

The first module on "The Mystery of Dark Matter" features a 25 minute DVD and teacher guide complete with student activity sheets and suggested hands-on demonstrations. The full video and kit can be viewed online at http://www.perimeterinstitute.ca and is available to educators in a hard-copy format.

Creative and Custom Designed

Described by celebrated scientist Vera Rubin as "... imaginative, artistic and scientifically valid," Perimeter Explorations fulfills the number one request from hundreds of high school teachers who attend the Institute's popular EinsteinPlus Workshop on Modern Physics - to receive PI's lessons in a flexible, comprehensive and simple format that can be used in classroom settings.

John Matlock, Director of External Relations and Outreach, says, "It was clear that educators desired content related to curricula, but at the leading edge of scientific knowledge. They also want to challenge their students with deep concepts, abstract ideas, and mathematical formulas in highly visual ways. Finally, we've long known that students can really benefit through engaging with researchers who probe, question, and postulate new ideas. This first module brings all of these elements together and was created from the ground up as an in-class resource for educators."

Shedding Light on Dark Matter

Over the last few decades, physicists have discovered that around ninety percent of every galaxy in the universe is made of an unseen substance called "dark matter". Damian Pope, PI's Senior Manager of Scientific Outreach, comments, "It's currently one of the hottest topics in physics. The module provides teachers with tools to show how dark matter was discovered, to explain why it remains a mystery, and to share the passion of scientists who are trying to discover what it's made of."

Over 100 international educators and researchers contributed to the new in-class resource, "which is designed with both expert and novice educators in mind," says Dr. Pope. Teachers can edit the electronic student worksheets and tailor the content to individual classes. The video also takes viewers inside various research locations, including Canada's Perimeter Institute, as well as SNOLAB, an underground laboratory located in Sudbury, Ontario. The full enrichment resource includes:

- DVD - with state-of-the-art animation and indexed chapters to stop/start as required - Suggested Ways to Use the Module - lesson outlines - Curriculum Links - commonly taught topics related to dark matter - Student Activities - hands-on demonstrations and mathematical appendices - Dark Side of the Universe - introductory article about dark matter

Available to view and order online

This first edition in the Perimeter Explorations series was recently unveiled to international science educators, communicators, and policy makers at two events - including a special workshop with Max Tegmark of MIT , Damian Pope of PI, and John Matlock of PI at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual General Meeting in Boston. Following this event, a special ceremony took place with Canada's Toronto District School Board (TDSB) after which the Director, Gerry Connelly, commented, "As a science junkie and former science teacher, last Wednesday was a real treat for me! Using multimedia, string and washers, students explored the cutting edge of scientific knowledge and shared in the passion of world-renowned researchers." James Ball, President of the Ontario Association of Physics Teachers, says the module "Explains the fascinating subject of Dark Matter in a way that both engages and educates our students . The video is professionally put together and is accompanied by an excellent teacher resource package."

The entire video and kit of materials is free for educators while quantities last and is fully viewable online at www.perimeterinstitute.ca. Future modules will include lessons on Black Holes, Quantum Mechanics, and other hot topics in modern physics. The Institute also provides summer science camps for students and teachers as well as a popular monthly public lecture series that can be viewed online.

About Perimeter Institute

Canada's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics is an independent , non-profit, scientific research and educational outreach organization where international scientists cluster to push the limits of our understanding of physical laws and calculate new ideas about the very essence of space, time, matter, and information. The award-winning research centre provides a multi-disciplinary environment to foster research in areas of Cosmology, Particle Physics, Quantum Foundations, Quantum Gravity, Quantum Information, Superstring Theory, and related areas. The Institute, located in Waterloo, Ontario, also provides a wide array of educational outreach activities for students, teachers, and members of the general public in order to share the joy of scientific research, discovery, and innovation.

For inquiries, please direct: - Outreach-related questions to Julie Taylor at jtaylor@perimeterinstitute.ca - Media related items, please contact Renee Ellis at rellis@perimeterinstitute.ca.

For further information: Outreach-related questions to Julie Taylor at jtaylor@perimeterinstitute.ca; Media related items, please contact Renee Ellis at rellis@perimeterinstitute.ca