<![CDATA[Science Interactions - Projects]]>Sat, 28 Nov 2015 17:19:49 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Other Hands-On Activities]]>Sun, 10 Aug 2014 16:12:51 GMThttp://scienceinteractions.weebly.com/projects/other-hands-on-activitiesOne of my favorite activity resources is the Exploratorium Museum Afterschool Activities page. There is abundant information here on how to create various interactive science activities. Each activity comes with YouTube instructions and PDF instructions. Here are links to some of my favorite activities. By clicking the link below, you can also scroll through other activities.
Water Bottle Membranophone
   -This was another activity we created with our unit on sound. The make a sound similar to a clarinet and you can cut holes in the paper tube to create different sounds. I had a very musical student cut his holes so that he was able to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
<![CDATA[Sound: Cup Phones]]>Tue, 05 Aug 2014 20:14:49 GMThttp://scienceinteractions.weebly.com/projects/sound-cup-phonesAnother favorite activity that can be used in several grade level standards-Cup Phones. Many children today do not notice the simple things in life that can be fun...its all about technology and gaming it seems. I was blown away the first time I did this activity, because most of my students thought I was crazy when I told them that a phone made of 2 cups and a string will actually work. Many of them were familiar with the Progresso soup commercial, but other than that, had never had any experience with a cup phone. (By the way, the cup phones in the Progresso soup commercial will not actually work...anyone know why?)

To do this activity, I made it very open-ended and exploratory. Students got into groups of 2-3 and i put out various supplies for them to use. I provided cups made of various materials and sizes, string made of various material and of different lengths, and tools to attach the cups and string. I told the students that it was up to them to build a working phone. Many had the right idea of hooking two cups together with the string, but didn't know where to go from there. I let them struggle a little before giving them a few prompts.
1. Describe a sound wave? Main Idea: Sound is created by the vibrations in matter.
2. How could you cause vibrations with your cup and string apparatus?

I let the groups explore after getting these prompts and before long, a few groups figured out that the tightness of the string makes all the difference. I let my class spend the rest of the science on this first day experimenting with different cup setups. They really enjoyed the simple cup phones.

On day 2, we were a little more deliberate. I specified the type of cup and string that would be used for several phones, but students had the option of changing the string length. In another group, I specified the cup and string length, students could change the string material. We did this with several different setups until we found the top 3 phones. From there, we used the scientific method to narrow down which cup material, string material, and string length would create the best phone. Students had to be able to explain why this was the best phone using scientific data from their tests. 

I have a formal lab sheet that goes with this activity that I will add to my Teachers Pay Teacher Store: Science Interactions.

<![CDATA[Jitterbugs]]>Mon, 04 Aug 2014 19:45:21 GMThttp://scienceinteractions.weebly.com/projects/jitterbugsA FAVORITE activity for my students, parent helps, and colleagues!!! The JITTERBUGS! I have to admit that I did not come up with this idea on my own. I colleague of mine was using a similar idea, so I googled it and came across them on the Exploratorium website. This website has a tutorial on how to build them and why they work. 
Exploratorium Jitterbug Instructions
Jitterbug Tutorial
I have always used Jitterbugs as a culminating activity for our Electric Motors and Electricity Unit. 'm sure there are other uses for Forces and Motion as well. We always have contests on whose Jitterbugs will travel the fastest, farthest, which one will spin the fastest, and which one is the most jittery. These can all be accomplished by adjusting the size and position of the counterweight. Every year that we have done these, I have help on to them until the week of state-mandated standardized testing and we would take them out to relax on a non-testing day. Kids and parents love them. I always keep the mini-motors off of the bugs, but I have had many parents and students ask where they could buy their own--hobby shops and Ebay--1.5 Volt DC motor.
<![CDATA[Posters]]>Mon, 04 Aug 2014 19:05:00 GMThttp://scienceinteractions.weebly.com/projects/postersI find descriptive posters to be an amazing learning tool for students. I teach the content as I normally would, we do class activities, and labs as usual, then as an assessment, students are directed to create a poster showcasing their knowledge. This is a great assessment tool for students with test anxiety and for those who like expressing themselves through art. As the posters are created, students are building connections in their minds as the content is gone over and over. When posters are complete, we will do a scavenger hunt, mini-presentations, or some other way for students to view each others work. I also give a traditional assessment and it is often very obvious who spent time and made a quality poster. Pictured are two examples of an Ecosystems poster. I have also used posters for Periodic Table Families, the Layers of the Atmosphere, the Solar System, and Earth, Moon, and Sun Relationships. I will post more pictures as I take them.

Periodic Table Family/Group Posters