Quick Science: Videos from Space

Astronaut Don Pettit created a series of videos called Saturday Morning Science that you’ll want to check out! He performs experiments, usually with water, in microgravity on the International Space Station. This resource could work for children of any age.

Here’s a channel with a short version of each video. My kids especially like seeing what happens when you add an effervescent tablet to a large bubble of water, how you can “eat” tea with chopsticks, and the behavior of a bubble of water in a bubble of air inside a bubble of water.

BTS with Buoyancy!

I just posted a new product Resources for Teaching about Buoyancy. Here’s the link that I included in the product. Check out the condiment diver, it just needs a pop bottle with water and a packet of ketchup. Families love the activity. Floating and sinking paperclips on a sheet of foil* can be a great way to start the year with a simple science activity. You might use this as a team building activity, practice for following directions, or that always fun open house with families as we start our school year. You just needs foil, paperclips, and dishpans of water. …

Is your class going to rock and roll this year?

Let me make it easier if you’re planning to teach about the different kinds of rocks. I’ve created a product* that includes a website <= just click on this link and you’ll find activities, vocabulary, idioms, and suggestions for non-fiction books to add to your Earth science unit. * Included in the product: copyright free images, a glossary in English and Spanish, short texts that have been recorded, word walls with two sizes of paper and both English and Spanish terms, math worksheets for practicing basic computation, mazes, rules and game boards for playing mancala, and writing prompts.  

Quick Science: Bernoulli’s Principle #3

Another fun demonstration to add to a science unit, use for a science night, or show students just for fun. No prep time or materials? Use the videos at the end of this post to prompt a conversation about science! Depending on the age of your students this could be demonstrated by a small team of capable students. All you need is two balloons of the same size, about a meter of string, and a drinking straw. The materials are so common students will be able to repeat the activity at home.  🙂     Inflate two balloons to the same size. Tie …

Quick Science: Bernoulli’s Principle #2

Need a quick thought provoking demonstration that inspires a conversation in your classroom? Perhaps another activity to demonstrate air pressure that will enrich your weather or physics unit? All you’ll need is a wooden spool, an index card, and a thumbtack. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly to show students the power of air or let Dr. Boyd F Edwards demonstrate it for you! Trim a 3” x 5” index card in half to create a 3” x 2.5” card. Push a tack into the center of the card.    Place the point of the tack into the tube in the center  of a wooden …

Quick Science: Bernoulli’s Principle #1

It’s April, almost May. Need a quick activity to punch up the enthusiasm in your science class? This activity could be part of a weather unit with air and wind. It could be added to a physics unit about force and air pressure. It’s a great demonstration that students can share with family members at a science night or open house.   Turn on the hair dryer and aim the flow of air up. Carefully balance a ping-pong ball in the stream of air. Gently tilt the hair dryer. How far can you tilt the hair dryer before the ball …

Check It Out! Paper Helicopters

Cut and fold paper to create a helicopter that spins as it’s dropped to the floor. Create a second helicopter but this time change the size or mass of the helicopter. It can be hard to time a helicopter as it drops so consider dropping the two helicopters to determine if the change affects how the helicopter falls to the floor. For more about this activity, check out these resources: eGFI Dream Up the Future or a FREEBIE created by Bryce Hixson. My students enjoy this activity so much I included it in my Pushes and Pulls product at TpT.

Check It Out! Leaning Tower of Pasta

Here’s another activity to consider that requires less common materials, raw spaghetti and miniature marshmallows. You’ll want to set aside time if your students love this activity like mine do. Suggested grade level is sixth. Younger students might struggle with being patient and handling small materials. If you have younger students you might use tape instead of marshmallows to create towers. After your students complete their structures consider, if space allows, leaving them out on a shelf. As the marshmallows dry the structures remain intact. Kids love seeing their work displayed in the room! You might view this TED talk to find out why kindergarten students are better at this kind of …

Check It Out! Build a Tower

Need a quick activity that requires only newspaper and tape? Maybe an activity for a family science night? www.flickr.com/photos/vinzcha/ / CC BY 2.0 Consider this online resource adapted from PBS that combines science and engineering. It includes a clearly written procedure, vocabulary, background, and suggestions for an assessment. It could be completed by teams of engineer/scientists in your classroom!   My students love this activity. The site suggests 20 minutes but my students always ask for more time to try variations they’ve seen other teams attempt. That’s what scientists do right, build on each other’s work?