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 falls …

Quick Science: Videos

I’ve just posted a couple of comprehensive products with Resources for teaching Force and Newton’s Laws. I wanted to share an amazing resource I added to the Newton’s Laws web page – sixteen short videos posted by NASA that you’ll want to show your students. Each video introduces a common toy and demonstrates how it’s used on Earth and then on the International Space Station. Choose a video to introduce a toy. Pause and challenge your students to predict how the toy will behave on the space station. After a conversation show the rest of the video. Consider turning off the audio the first time to avoid the explanation giving away too …

Quick Demos for Light

Need an idea to introduce light to students in your classroom or their parents at an open house or after school meeting? I’ve collected a few for you to consider. From the Exploratorium Museum in San Francisco Bird in a Cage – color Hole in Your Hand – illusion Magic Wand – reflection Exploratorium Science Snacks are fun activities in many areas of science. They have suggestions for family friendly science activities you might suggest for your families.   From SteveSpanglerScience Magic Arcs  – video – illusion Disappearing Color Wheel  –  video – color Science Clips at the BBC are great although they’re not being updated so check them …

Web Resource: NGSS Evidence Statements

  Do you find a page from NGSS with several standards and the Science and Engineering Practices, and the Disciplinary Core Ideas, AND the Crosscutting Concepts all on one page to be a bit overwhelming?? Consider downloading the Evidence Statements.   What are Evidence Statements?   They are resources you’ll find at the Next Generation Science Standards web site.               In the pages shown above, you can see four physical science standards from third grade are saved on four different pages. Notice the grey boxes at the bottom of each page? That’s the  “Observable features of the student performance by …

Quick Science: Walk through Paper

Do you have a pile of scrap paper, scissors, and a few minutes for a quick science demonstration? Challenge students to figure out a way to walk through the paper. If you have any students familiar with the activity caution them to explain after the demonstration. They might have a variation to share like a spiral cut or be able to help classmates with the activity! Fold a sheet of paper in half along the dashed line and then make the vertical cuts along the solid lines. Cut the center section of the fold itself along the heavy solid line. …

Any Skeletons in the Closet?

You might be surprised at what has been stored in bins, boxes, and closets from past science adoptions. It takes a bit of snooping and a willingness to sort through supplies that might be unfamiliar to you. I am amazed at the materials I have collected for my science class! The title of the post is a reference to an actual skeleton we found in a box. A bit of wire (unbent paper clip) and a cleaning and it was a great greeting when students came into our classroom! If you find supplies that may not be familiar to you, check with colleagues, the company online, …

Need Even More Time for Science?

Who doesn’t need more time? There are many ways to integrate science and writing. Obviously, read and answer questions. OK, describe how to do an experiment and write an analysis of the results. Sure, but can science be used to encourage reluctant writers? You bet it can! I’ve had more than one student tell me they’re working to be better at math and writing because that’s what scientists do. Some students respond when there’s a reason to write clearly and solve math problems correctly. Here’s a few suggestions for integrating writing and science: Writing Clear Directions for making a peanut butter and …

Short Can Be Great!

A science lesson doesn’t have to take 40 minutes or even several sessions of 40 minutes. It needs to be focused on the science you’re presenting, be interesting, and, of course, be fun! I’m teaching inertia and gravity in a fifth grade classroom. Between my 40 minute classes I want to keep students interested and talking about the topic. I could use a few short demonstrations to review or reinforce inertia and gravity. Do you have a meter stick? Try this Center of Gravity demonstration. Do you have a large glob of clay to add to the meter stick? Try this Balancing …