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Found 25 results

  1. I've been having a lovely conversation on a thread on the k-8 board about science activities. I will have to admit that with the exception of Leeyeewah and Rose, it was pretty much a one-way conversation! I think I scared almost everyone off the thread :001_huh:. So I thought I would move it here where the students are older, and the moms (or dads) a bit more jaded about the time they spending setting up and running science activities ;). Why do you choose to do a science activity? Do you have goals you are trying to meet? Do these activities/labs/observations/experiments/demos meet your goals? How do you know if your goals were met? Think first about these questions and then read my x-posts. (I don't want to completely sway you.) I am really curious if I am the only one who doesn't follow science curricula as written. If you change the suggested activities, why do you change them? Ruth in NZ
  2. Someone, anyone, just tell me what to do and I will do it. I promise!! We just do not "do" it. I want to do it..the kids want to do it....we just don't....please just tell me what to do. :confused::confused::confused::confused: WTM notebooks don't happen. We have such good intentions and we try, but alas, not so much. My children are (in the fall) 7th grade boy (only mildly interested) and 3rd grade girl (VERY clever and VERY highly motivated) I just can't reinvent the wheel, so I would love to combine at least on some level. Secular would be preferable (though we are Christian). I'll do some experiments. I'll buy extra books. I just need a plan!
  3. Every year each of my kids does a large scientific investigation, and it is that time of year again. As I did last year , I will write up what we have accomplished each week, so that you can see true scientific inquiry in action. Often people only see the outcome of a scientific investigation, and it always looks so tidy. This is not how science works as you will soon see with my kids' projects. So last year, my older son won the Regional Science Fair and was so excited that he started planning his next project 2 months later! Here is what I wrote up in October: x-post Coming up with an idea. October. Older ds who is in 7th grade. Well, it has been 2 months since the Regional Science Fair, and my ds is already planning his next project. We are studying chemistry this year, so he would really like to do a chemistry project. This is a very difficult thing to do for a few reasons: 1) How does a 12 year old uncover anything new in chemistry? 2) We have no chemical equipment. His first idea was to determine which chemicals made the biggest explosion. Yes, I am sure most of you are smiling. Not really surprising in a 12 year old boy, but not a great idea from the point of view of my insurance. Plus, not really original. The next idea came from his reading on fracking (which unfortunately for me has a different meaning because of watching Battle Star Galactic .) He read an article in Scientific American and was curious as to why the concrete pipes leak underground. So we discussed testing different kinds of concrete for resilience to seismic disturbances. I knew we could get cement for free, and we have lots of different levels of grit for rock tumbling (we had to buy in bulk), which would allow for a quantitative comparison as we know the grit sizes. So we talked about creating different types of concrete and testing it for strength and flexibility. He could have some fun designing some objective ways to smash or shake the concrete, but I was not clear how he could make any tubes. He also was interested in having it set at different temperatures, possibly under water kept at a certain temp with ice cubes etc. Seemed pretty promising, but he just never took to it. His current idea concerns air pollution. He has noticed that one of the longer tunnels in our town is quite smelly. We have to roll up the windows in the car and turn the vent to internal circulation or we are really gassed out. This got him to thinking about what kind of ventilation existed in that tunnel. We also discussed what else affected the air pollution - number of cars, direction the tunnel faces compared to the prevailing wind direction (we live in a very windy town), and the length of the tunnel. Then, he starting thinking about parking decks. We have some smelly ones and some clean ones. Some underground, some above ground. Some with multiple open walls, some with only one open wall. Some with fans, some without. He starting getting excited about building a M.O.D.E.L.... yes , this is my very mathy kid, and he is very motivated to win the math award 2 years in a row. So next up he starts researching how to measure pollution. CO2, lead, CO, etc. He wants to do it himself rather than send the air samples to a lab. He very quickly finds a site that tells him how to build a pump and where to buy the CO2 kits. They are $65 per 10. hummm. I tell him that he has a $200 budget. Given that I spend nothing on lab equipment, it seems like a fair but generous amount. I told him if he plans to spend more, he needs to dip into his $700 winnings from last year's fair. Last year's project cost us $12 for a new ruler when he left it behind + $12 for a poster board. So definitely a money making venture! I told him that we could go to an exhaust testing station and talk to them. I also discussed with him that he does not have to test for ALL the different pollutants. One could be representative. His current question is NOT: Is there pollution in the different parking decks?, but rather creating a model to explain the different pollution levels. So one pollutant could be representative of pollution in general. But he needs to know the *levels* of pollution for this question, not just if the pollutant is found. We also discussed counting cars going through the tunnels during different parts of the day, and counting the number of cars per volume of space in the different parking decks. Good thing he is starting early! Currently, he is very excited about the pollution question. But he needs to see if he can do the work within the budget. I am not so sure. Really depends on the replication he needs. But there is still much more research he needs to do. Scientists do have to work within a budget, so it is not a bad problem to have from the point of view of replicating real science. Ruth in NZ
  4. Every year we do a large scientific investigation for our science fair. And I thought that there might be some in the hive who would like to see how scientific inquiry works, especially while we are in the middle of it rather than all tidied up and sugar coated at the end. :001_smile: We are studying Earth Science this year and have done 9 weeks each of astronomy, geology, and oceanography, so there are 9 left for our investigations. Earth Science is always the hardest science topic for kids to study IMHO because the processes are slow (plus I have never studying Earth Science (ever) so I am always at a loss.) I have a 6th grader and a 2nd grader, and the 6th grader will try for the regional science fair this year so there a lot of restrictions on originality and independence. Week 1 6th grader: We discuss what he will study and decide that since he has been reading about Oceanography most recently and has just started learning to sail that he would like to study the ocean. I try to sway him towards studying life in rock pools, maybe how different animals are affected by the tides or prevailing wind etc. He is not interested. "That's Biology; I want to study Earth Science!" sigh. "ok, so what are you interested in?" "I want to study the movement of sand." :001_huh: hummmm. Now, how is an 11-year old going to do that? After some more questioning, he tells me that he would like to see how sand moves differently depending on the location in the bay he sails in. Ok, that is a good question, just maybe not answerable without a million dollars worth of equipment. We go to the library, and find a textbook on seashore ecology which has a chapter on how waves affect animals (my original idea). But not much else. Next, we hunt for articles on sand movement in the peer-reviewed science journals using the library databases. We find that scientists use radioactive sand that they can then trace or they study a shoreline over the period of 5 years. Ok, neither of those are possible. But we discuss how maybe we can use a different color sand and dump it in the water and time its movement and measure its direction. We also brainstorm all the factors that could affect sand movement: sand size, wind speed and direction, prevailing currents, orientation of the bay to the wind and currents (sheltered?), obstacles (rocks, jetties), slope of the shore. WOW. That is a lot of variables to control once we set up the experiment. On Saturday, after sailing he takes a look around the bay to see if the sand moves at all. It does. That is all the information he brings back.:001_huh: Next, we go to a different beach and collect the sand there (which might be a different color), and collect magnetite (magnetic soil mixed into the sand on this beach, it is black and will definitely show up). Finally, we discuss how much he can generalize given the sampling he is considering. Tomorrow, we plan to put the collected sand and magnetite in the water and see if we have any chance of measuring anything, or if this is just a wild goose chase (which it definitely could be). Time: 4 hours including discussions 2nd grader: I start with my this ds trying to convince him that looking at animals in rock pools would be cool (can you see *I* really want to study this) but alas he is not interested. He wants to study how deep the roots of trees go into the soil. :001_huh: I tell him that we could look at this using road cuts, but that perhaps it would be pretty difficult to study. But he does still want to study soil (4 months ago, I read 30 minutes about soil profiles to him, so I am pretty surprised he remembers anything). So we review what we know about soil: layers A,B,C; earthworms, and that is about all he knows. We go to the library and find no books on soil in the kids section and 2 books with a chapter on soil profiles and topsoil composition. The next day when I am out for a walk in the early morning with a friend, I look at the road cuts and notice different layers in the soil. Perhaps we can identify the soil profile using these cuts. I tell ds, and he loves the idea. He packs a backpack and brings a tape measure, a "data collection booklet", a broken pencil :001_huh:, and a trowel. We go to his favorite spot where he digs out "mudrocks" and loves to throw them and watch them smash. I am wondering what a "mudrock" is from the point of view of a soil strata. We get to the site, and start measuring and recording and then promply cannot remember anything about the different strata and how to identify them:lol:. So back home we go, look up the info in the older ds's textbook, take some notes, and go back out. We measure the strata and feel pretty confident. Next, we walk around the woods looking at the different cuts and their strata. Our woods is on a small mountain (large hill) and it was used 100 years ago as a sheep farm so there are lots of old wagon trails that were cut out of the hill side (think Lord of the Rings Weathertop and "get off the road" scenes, because they were filmed 200m from my house). What really really surprises us is that the soil profile just along this one road cut is very different. Top soil thick to non-existant, B horizon 20cm to 150cm deep, or even areas with bedrock exposed. Funny how I have never noticed this before. So, now I ask *the* question: Why? Why is the soil profile different in different areas? We brainstorm a few reasons (I guide him here, but some he comes up with on his own): Slope, vegetation, bikers. He suggests (on his own) that pine trees inhibit the growth of plants under them so that there would be less topsoil where pine trees grow. !!! Excellent thinking and really cool hypothesis. He also suggests that the B horizon is thicker in some areas because in ancient times more soil collected and then over time compacted into b-horizon soil. so.... WOW, this is going to be an AWESOME project. How does the slope and vegetation of the mountain affect the amount of topsoil? If he were 11+, he could win the regional science fair with this one. (or is it that *I* could win? :lol:) Time: 2 hours Ruth in NZ
  5. Move along.... nothing to see here. Actually, since the new board does not allow tagging by anyone but the OP, I am having trouble keeping track of all the big posts I have written since Nov 2012. So I have decided to keep a running list here so that I can just send people to this post and not have to keep tracking down all the things I have written. So, just ignore me while I go troll through all my 3000 posts to see what is valuable, and what is really not. It is going to be a mess for a while as I edit bit by bit over time. Ruth in NZ Big Picture Goals Developing advanced reading skills in science Science activities - setting goals and evaluating usefulness of activities posts 2, 3, 4, 14 Content, skill, and attitude goals for K-12 post 58 General ramblings in this thread: Science again...someone shoot me now Individualized plans for authentic learning Hands-on science plan for 7th grade using a discovery approach rather than follow-the-directions kit approach Advanced science for a dyslexic child Systematic unschooling for a student who dislikes most science programs Designing a program using only resources you have and adapting for travel opportunities Learning physics and chemistry under the umbrella of astronomy: post 15 Studying biology and earth science by way of gorillas and snakes post 16 Creating high school 'Science in Society' courses for non-STEM kids: posts 37 and 38 Physics for Poets: my attempt at a living books curriculum for physics Defining the role you have to play. 7th grade science Integrating language arts with science Using bigfoot documentaries to seriously study pseudoscience post 21 conflicting thoughts about interest led vs having a plan Resources Help me assemble a complete list of science curricula/ Resources I use: post 62, 64, and 65 Earth Science, Chemistry, and Physics spines Earth science videos we have seen Hands-on ideas for Bio and Earth Science using nature study Hands on without a curriculum Scientific investigations Scientific investigations with my 12 and 9 year old Scientific investigations with my 11 and 8 year old Shorter examples of scientific investigations: post 47, 48, 54, an 61, 65, 66 (and others on this thread) Easy biology projects How much help is too much help in a science fair project Organizing a Science Fair Topical Discussions Answering questions about evolution Nonscience stuff How to work through progressively more challenging fiction My evaluation of numerous writing curricula Differentiating between unschooling and not educating
  6. I've been asked in this thread http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/489738-living-books-approach-to-9th-grade-biology/ to write a living books approach to physics. Although I am a qualified teacher in all sciences, my speciality is biology, so I am sure that others (obviously Regentrude) will have suggestions to improve this plan. I hope that it is helpful to all the poets out there (read humanity types) who want to be educated in physics, but don't have an interest in using a mathematical or textbook-based approach. I have found this week-long project to be fascinating! See post 25 for an explanation of *why* I designed this course in this manner. Physics for Poets: a living books approach to physics This will be a conceptual class using 'living books.' It is not a history of science or a study of the biographies of scientists. It is about understanding physics concepts. This class is at a high school level, so although no textbook will be used, the resources chosen are targeted at a reasonably high level. This class could be taught with or without a lab component. GOALS: 1) To understand why objects behave as they do 2) To understand how technology works 3) To study modern physics 4) To understand physics issues in the news OBJECTIVES: 1) To gain a general understanding of basic physics: mechanics, optics, electromagnetism, modern physics 2) To apply this understanding to everyday objects and observations 3) To research current physics topics and understand the importance of large physics projects like CERN 4) To explain both orally and in writing, the physics behind everyday objects and issues in the news 5) To do practical scientific investigations in physics in order to gain an understanding of the scientific method. I don't have time to plan out the labs, but expect them to take about 4-5 hours each (including write-up), so more like investigations than quicky labs. This adds to 20-25 hours lab work, a bit light but still respectable. I have copied an example investigation at the bottom. WORK LOAD I am assuming 6-8 hours per week which includes reading. Reading classes, like English, require more reading hours, so student might find that 8 hours per week is required. Read 5 books (averaging about 45 pages per week) Watch 1 lecture per week Write 5 small papers Make 3 presentations Research and write about 1 larger issue If the work load is too heavy, drop Physics of the Impossible, and reduce to 30 pages per week on average. Your student should read more on reading-only weeks, so that there is more time for the presentations/writing/investigation weeks. RESOURCES Video Lecture Physics in your life - The Great Courses Unit 1. The Physics of Everyday Objects (Mechanics/motion, optics/waves, electromagnetism, digital/machines): 15 weeks. (40 pages/week) 1)The New Way Things Work. Macaulay (400 pages) 2) For the Love of Physics: From the End of the Rainbow to the Edge of Time - A Journey Through the Wonders of Physics. Lewin. (pages 1-188 only) Unit 2. Modern physics: 17 weeks. (40 pages/week for 15 weeks, then 60 pages/week for last 6 week of the easy read) 3) How to teach physics to your dog. Orzel(250 pages) 4) Physics of the impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel (350 pages) 5) Lightweight book: choose one from these three 5a) Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman. Feynman. Biography (350 pages) (see Regentrude's post #15 below about possible inappropriate content) 5b) Both The Wizard of Quarks and Alice in Quantumland (380 pages together) 5c) The Physics of Superheros (380 pages) For students with a more mathematical bend, replace selections 2, 3, or 4 with one of these selections, and remove the lightweight book to make more time for the harder selection. 6) The physics of football (300 pages) 7) A Brief History of Time. Hawking. The physics of astronomy. (340 pages) 8) Thirty Years that Shook Physics: The Story of Quantum Theory. Gamow. Requires some algebra but not more advanced math. (240 pages) For students with less time or less-skilled students, remove either For the Love of Physics or Physics of the Impossible (depending on interest), thus dropping out all reading for the last 6 weeks so the student can focus on his/her research paper. Unit 3: Research paper on Socio-Scientifc issue Student selected resources. Useful websites listed below. SCHEDULE: 6-8 hours per week. 36 weeks. Unit 1. The physics of everyday objects (weeks 1-15) Watch: Lectures 1-15 Read: How Things Work and For the Love of Physics. 40 pages per week Present: Three 20-minute presentation on the most interesting objects you have studied Write: Three 2-page papers explaining in your own words the physics behind everyday objects (see at the bottom of this post for ideas) Investigate: Three topics Weeks: 1-2 Read, prepare presentation on mechanics 3-4 Read, write 2-page paper on mechanics 5 Read, investigation #1 6-7 Read, prepare presentation on waves/optics 8-9 Read, write 2-page paper on waves/optics 10 Read, investigation #2 11-12 Read, prepare presentation on electromagnetism 13-14 Read, write 2-page paper on electromagnetism 15 Read, investigation #3 Unit 2: Modern physics (weeks 16-32) Watch: Lectures 16-32 Read: How to teach physics to your dog; and Physics of the Impossible; and begin one of the lightweight books Research: Two topics in modern physics Write: Two 4-page papers on modern physics (see bottom of this post for ideas). Investigate: 2 topics Weeks: 19-21 Read book 22 Read, Research topic on modern physics 23 Read, Write 4-page paper 24 Read, Investigation #4 25-27 Read book 28 Read, Research topic on modern physics 29 Read, Write 4-page paper 30 Read, Investigation #5 Unit 3: Research paper on Socio-Scientifc issue (weeks 33-36) Choose one topic that is particularly interesting to you and do an in-depth study. Write a 10-page research paper both describing the issue, persuading the reader to either support or decline funding to the area of research (see bottom of this post for ideas). Watch: Lectures 33-36 Read: Finish lightweight book Research: One large topic Write: One 10-page paper Weeks: 33-34 Research 35-36 Plan and write 10-page paper Useful websites Physics in the news http://www.physics.org/news.asp http://www.sciencedaily.com/news/matter_energy/physics/ http://phys.org/physics-news/ http://www.physnews.com/ Investigations http://scifun.chem.wisc.edu/wop/homeexpphys.html http://seniorphysics.com/physics/eei.html http://www.sciencefairadventure.com/Physics.aspx http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-physics http://www.courseworkbank.info/Dndex.php?d=R0NTRS9QaHlzaWNz&catagory= PhET simulations Physics Fun and Beyond ASSESSMENT 3 Presentations 5 Papers 1 Large research paper 5 Investigations IDEAS FOR WRITING ASSIGNMENTS After writing up the above plan, I went looking for resources to augment the books. I found to my utter amazement, that the NZ 12th grade physics curriculum includes the exact same writing assignments :blink: (yes, apparently great minds think alike :thumbup:). So I have included here the description of the writing assignments to give some clarity to what I was talking about: UNIT 1: Demonstrate understanding of the application of physics to a selected context Option 1. Semiconducting Today’s society is very reliant on the use of electronic devices. These devices make use of semiconductors, therefore understanding how semiconductors (and the electronic components they are made of) are used in modern technology is increasingly important. Apply your understanding of physics to a real life context. You need to apply your knowledge of circuits and semiconductor physics to the function of a semiconductor component used in an electronic device. Possible electronic devices: light emitting diode (LED) photodiode bipolar junction transistor (MOSFET, CMOS, JFET) light dependent resistor (LDR) thermistor. Research your chosen electronic device. Using your knowledge of circuits and semiconductor physics, explain the function of a semiconductor component used in the electronic device. You are encouraged to use diagrams and pictures to support your explanations. You need to clearly link key physics ideas together to provide a coherent picture of the physics relevant to the semiconductor component. Option 2. Other ideas General – bridge building, musical instruments, sound recording, stellar evolution, radio astronomy, and particle accelerators Specific – GPS and the Large Hadron Collider. Investigate how physics applies to your chosen context. You need to clearly link key physics ideas together to provide a coherent picture of the physics relevant to your selected context. You may choose: producing a written report, preparing an oral presentation (with handouts), preparing a multi-media presentation, or constructing a poster. UNIT 2: Demonstrate understanding of Modern Physics Option 1. Nuclear fusion by 2030 Write a report for your local council about the physics of producing power using nuclear fusion. Research the subject. Write your report. In it, explain clearly the physics concepts and principles at work in a nuclear fusion power generator. Explain also how these concepts and principles work in conjunction with each other to create energy. Based on the physics, discuss the potential of nuclear power as a future energy source for your locality. Conclude your report with a recommendation(s) to the local council. They should be well supported by your earlier explanations of the relevant physics. Option 2. High-powered solar cells Write a report for your local electricity lines business (ELB) about the physics of solar cells. Research the subject. Write your report. In it, explain clearly the physics concepts and principles at work in a high-powered solar cell. Explain also how these concepts and principles work in conjunction with each other to create energy. Based on the physics, discuss the potential of high-powered solar cells as a future renewable energy source for your locality. Conclude your report with a recommendation(s) to the ELB. They should be well supported by your earlier explanations of the relevant physics. UNIT 3: Use physics knowledge to develop an informed response to a socio-scientific issue Option 1. Should your locality remain ‘nuclear power’ free? Conduct research on electrical energy generation using nuclear power. Develop an informed personal response to the issue of your locality remaining nuclear power free based on the physics knowledge. The format of your response is an opinion article for the editorial pages of a newspaper. To prepare for this article you will research and explain the key physics ideas relating to electrical energy generation using nuclear power, identifying the potential benefits and risks to your locality. The benefits and risks may be related to economic, ethical, biological, or environmental factors. Keep a research log book (or folder/electronic record). All your research notes, outlines, drafts, and so on must be kept in this log book. You need to date your work and reference your sources as you take notes. Hand in your log book with your final article. In your article: provide key physics knowledge that includes:key physics concepts and processes that relate to electrical energy generation through the use of nuclear power physics and social implications – the benefits and risks (for example, economic, ethical, biological or environmental) of nuclear power use the key physics knowledge you have gathered to state your personal position and recommended action(s) about your locality remaining nuclear power free justify your position and action(s) by providing supporting evidence to explain why you chose your position and action(s) analyse and prioritise the physics knowledge used to justify your position and recommended action(s). This may include: comparing the significance of implications of the issue on individuals and society considering the likely effectiveness of identified action(s) commenting on sources and information, considering ideas such as validity (date, peer reviewed, scientific acceptance), bias (attitudes, values, beliefs), weighing up how science ideas are used by different groups. Option 2. Renewable energy technology in new buildings – should it be compulsory? In January 2011, scientists published peer-reviewed findings that suggested global energy demands could be reduced by 73% using energy efficient technologies in buildings, industries and transport. Your local council is investigating the feasibility of requiring renewable energy technologies such as solar panels and wind turbines to be compulsory for new buildings. You are the consultant hired to prepare a presentation on this socio-scientific issue for their consideration. Use your physics knowledge to develop an informed response to a socio-scientific issue related to renewable energy technology. You are required to develop a presentation that: gives an informed personal response to the issue of whether renewable energy technology in new buildings should be compulsory includes recommendations of actions that could be taken as a result of your informed position. Research the physics of renewable energy technologies for buildings. This may include photo-voltaic solar panels and wind turbines, identifying the short and long-term benefits and drawbacks to individuals and society. The benefits and drawbacks may be related to an economic, ethical or environmental issue. Develop an informed personal response to your chosen issue of whether renewable energy technology in new buildings should be compulsory, based on physics knowledge. Develop suggestions for actions that could be taken. You will be assessed on the overall comprehensiveness of your presentation, whether it explains the relevant physics ideas, and your analysis and discussion of the issue(s). Keep a research logbook to record your notes, references, article outlines or plans, drafts of paragraphs, comments on the validity, bias or purpose of resources, and so on. This information will help you to prepare and refine your presentation. Topics you need to cover in your presentation provide physics knowledge that includes:physics concepts and processes that relate to the renewable energy technology for buildings. This may include ideas such as energy storage/links to the national grid, conversion between AC and DC, voltage and frequency considerations etc. a comparison of the renewable technologies in buildings with the technologies currently used to provide electricity physics related to social implications – this may include possible short and long-term benefits and drawbacks to individuals, society and the environment use the physics knowledge you have gathered to state your personal position and recommend action(s) about compulsory renewable energy technology in new buildings justify your position and action(s) by providing supporting evidence to explain why you chose your position and action(s) analyse and prioritise the physics knowledge used to justify your position and recommended action(s). This may include: comparing the significance of implications of the issue on individuals and society considering the likely effectiveness of the identified action(s) commenting on sources and information, considering ideas such as validity (date, peer reviewed, scientific acceptance) and bias (attitudes, values, beliefs), and weighing up how science ideas are used by different groups. EXAMPLE OF AN INVESTIGATION Baby bouncers behave differently for different sized babies. This assessment activity involves modelling a ‘baby bouncer’ using a spring-mass system in order to test a physics theory involving two variables in a non-linear relationship. You will take suitable measurements, use techniques to maximise accuracy, process and graph the collected data, determine the equation of the non-linear relationship and critically compare this with the theoretical relationship between the variables. Plan and prepare the investigation The aim of the investigation is to find out how the period of oscillation, T, is affected by the mass, m, which is suspended on the spring. Construct a spring-mass system to model a baby bouncer. Gather data When gathering your data: gather a reasonable range of data points plot the data points and conduct graphical analysis decide what kind of relationship exists between the variables. Account for accuracy and uncertainty in your measurements at all steps during the investigation. Analyse data To analyse your data: Process your data, including uncertainties Transform your processed data in a way that allows you to plot a suitable linear graph that shows uncertainties Determine a mathematical relationship based on your linear graphs that links the period of oscillation, T, and the mass, m. Write the report Write your report using the data that you have gathered and analysed. In your report include: a summary of the investigative process a detailed presentation of your results and analysis, including graphical analysis that includes uncertainties a conclusion that states the equation of the relationship between the variables and compares this to the physics theory identification of how other uncontrollable variables may have affected the results consideration of the limitations of the theory’s applicability in the practical situation and/or at the extreme values of the independent variable a discussion of any unexpected outcomes of the processing of the results and how these have been caused and their impact on the validity of the experiment.
  7. We haven’t done a lot of formal science. I need to try to get my 7th grade daughter ready for high school science and I have 2 years. I am doing BFSU Vol 1 with all of my children (7th down to K) but not at a pace that is going to be sufficent for her. I will continue to include her in that, but I want her to do something on her own. Any ideas? I would especially appreciate ideas that might use what I have. Should I take the 4 science areas and split them up into 4 parts and do 2 each year and just get done what we can? I don’t want to buy an expensive program. Thanks, Kendall
  8. This is an x-post from this thread. I thought it might help someone else and was pretty buried in that thread. The thread also contains all the questions I asked about the situation and the answers Aimee gave me which I used to create the plan. Ruth in NZ X-post Well, here is my thoughts on a plan. Obviously, you need to adapt it to work for your very lovely dd. If you have any questions, please ask! Goals To rekindle the love of science. And that is it! Plan: Topics (each 1-2 months) Biochemistry and Neurobiology Microbiology Astronomy Anatomy Chemistry Electronics Let her pick the order she wants to do them in, but I would suggest that she completes one unit before moving onto the next (exception is biochem/neurobio which can be split in 2). Output 1) Awesome lab notebook separated into units. She would include her lovely drawings for the dissections and microscopic organisms, her diagrams and cartoons for biochem/neurobiology, her charts of the moon and sun for astronomy, and her documentation and graphing for the silly putty investigation. 2) Presentation: at the end of each unit she would spend the last week (or 2) bringing it all together. Making a poster showing off her work and preparing a presentation to give to mom and dad. This is a time for celebration rather than critique and evaluation. Evaluation None. However, you would have the notebook, posters, and recorded presentations for your records. Schedule (I'm not super clear on this, so please adjust as needed) Monday and Wednesday – reading textbooks, watching short internet clips when desired, doing diagrams from texts Tuesday and Thursday – Activity days. Working through the models, investigations, drawings, microscope work that I list below. These are the days where she is likely to need about 20-30 minutes of your help to make sure things are going smoothly. Friday - You said that you have more time on fridays to help. So I would schedule an hour to initiate her lab work, which I think will be the hardest part given that she is not just following directions. Then every Friday make sure to work with her to evaluate where she is at and what her goals are for the hands-on work for the following week. You can even write down the goals. This will be a very important time for both of you to make sure that she can mostly independently implement the activities during the week. Weekends- for electronics with dad! Last week (or two) of each unit - she works M-F on her poster and presentation. Your role here is to offer guidance as to what to focus on and how to present it. Your role: facilitator. You need to: 1) buy what is required 2) make reading goals for each week (or day). Just take each book and break it up into the number of weeks she will work on things. You need to do this ahead of time. Don't get too stressed over finishing a book. So perhaps schedule only half of each book, and then put in some 'extra optional readings' for if she is motivated and has time. That way she has success by meeting reasonable deadlines, but has the option of a laid out plan if she has extra time and motivation. 3) Lab oversight. I think that she would need at least two 20-30-minute of oversight each week and 1 hour on fridays for lab work. She will definitely need oversight to make sure that she knows how to do the activities I have laid out. I have not given extensive directions, so she will need some from you or she will just stumble in the dark. 4) Help with finding any internet resources needed to complete the activities 5)General encouragement and positive can-do attitude. These things are contagious Units and Resources (I found most of these books in my library, but they seem to be pretty cheap second hand on Amazon. I'm obviously not clear on her reading level, but I did the best I could to think up complex books written at a 6th grade level which is a pretty tough ask) Biochemistry and Neurobiology (3 months, could be split into 2 months for The Brain and 1 month for biochemistry, putting a different unit in between. This unit is definitely the hardest in terms of the resources I could find and the actual material to study, so it might be better not to start with it. Don't want to turn her off right at the beginning.) Text: The Way Life Works (easier than Exploring the Way Life Works, but still might be too hard. You may need to team read, not sure) Curriculum: Ellen McHenry's Brain Video: Coursera's Understanding the Brain. If nothing else, download the dissection videos for each week, they are with a human brain. This course will close, so make sure to download ASAP what she might like to view Activities: included in The Brain curriculum: anatomy drawings, surveys, youtube clips. My son also drew cartoons of the processes he learned about in The Way Things Work (which is cartoon based) Microbiology (2 months) Text: The World of the Microscope Internet resources: scale of a cell Microworld has classification info How to measure with a microscope Activities: Biology Corner – lots of labs 1) Go into a field where there is a ditch that typically has standing water in it, sample some from the bottom, come home and see what you can find. Draw, measure, and identify the litter critters. Get water from other sources and compare what you find between different bodies of water and different locations within the same water. Document your findings 2) Make slides of anything you want: hair, fiber from clothing, skin cell, plant cell, paper, food, etc. Have fun! Astronomy (1 month, but certain the sun activities will continue for 6 months) Text: Exploring the Night Sky Haven't used it, but heard good things. The Way the Universe Works This is what we used. It is the best I have found at the reading level I think you are talking about Activities: 1) Track the vertical movement of the sun in the sky with a shadow length at the same time each day. Record every 2 weeks 2) Track the setting location of the sun with a mark on your wall or something for 6 months (or even a year) 3) Make a scale model of the solar system using a old-fashioned adding-machine tape (so 6+ meters long) and a dot for the size of the planets 4) Document the location of the moon and the phase for a month 5) Identify constellations. Watch how they move throughout the night, and over the year 6) Track the movement of the planets with respect to the constellations Anatomy (1- 2 months depending on how excited she gets about dissections text: The Way We Work A basic (but fat) human anatomy book. I can't remember the exact reading level of this one so you should preview it. internet resources Biology corner again with info on how to dissect a heart You can just google any dissections and get directions or a youtube video walking you through it Activities: dissect a fish, a muscle or oyster; a liver, eye, heart, brain (from cow, pig, or sheep) See what else your butcher has. If it is food grade, then there are no disposal issues, just dump it in your garbage. Chemistry (1-2 months) I'm not clear on what she knows and doesn't know, so can't really recommend a text or curriculum book: history of the periodic table internet resources: Periodic Table of Videos Activity: The best open ended activity I have ever found for chemistry is making silly putty (like I mentioned above). Just google a basic recipe, and get 2 types of glue (blue and elmers white), borax, and corn starch. Start with the basic recipe, make up the putty, put a touch of food dye in it to differentiate each batch, and wrap in plastic. Then change one ingredient at a time while keeping everything else constant. Help her set up a bounce height test and a stretch test, and a table to record her data, and start measuring which one is better at what. It can get as complicated as she wants as she can vary 3 different variables, so the graphing can be quite complex. Real science this one, and real chemistry. Change the inputs and get a different product. But make sure she knows that borax is a poison, so should be handled with care and she needs to wash her hands after she uses it. It is standard practice in chemistry lab not to touch your face during a lab either, so remind her of that also. This investigation took my son a full month of mucking around resulting in lots of pretty colored putties! Electronics (during weekends with dad) Well that is it! I hope it works with some tweaking. :001_smile:
  9. As some of you might know, for the past 2 years I have written up our scientific investigations week by week, as they occur. This allows people to see science as it happens, rather than just the tidied-up results at the end. Science is messy and unpredictable, as I am sure that this project will demonstrate. I never know going into an investigation how it will turn out. Can we actually study the question? Will we find anything useful or interesting? Will we need to switch projects? So it is a bit of a leap of faith for me to just put the process out there, with no idea of success or failure. But it is very good for all non-scientists to see, because so many ideas go nowhere. So this year, my kids have decided to skip projects. Last year's projects just about did us in, and next year both boys will be old enough to go to the regional fair, so we want to be well rested! :001_smile: My younger boy is interested in doing some sort of plant survey work in the alpine regions of the local Forest Park, so I might be writing up his research in January! (For those of you who are now scratching your heads, we are in the southern hemisphere, so it will be summer.) The project I am going to write up in this thread is a neighborhood kid's project. He is a friend of my boys, and my tutoree for math and science. What makes this project different for me is that I have no knowledge of what he has studied in science as I have only started working with him, AND I have to meet the school's rules and deadlines. Finally, I have to start from scratch in his understanding of scientific methodology because he clearly has no experience in it. So this project will be a very nice contrast to the larger projects that I have done with my boys as last year they were my older's 7th and my younger's 4th science fair projects, so they had a lot of previous experience! I'll post this, and start writing up how we chose a question. Ruth in NZ
  10. OK, so here I am--average mom, homeschooling the people, learning latin, and mainly doing experiments on whether or not I can buy healthy food for my 8 and stay under budget. In my spare time, though, I burn the midnight oil reading books like, "North and South Pole," "The Disappearing Spoon," and last but not least "The Faith of Scientists." (The last book is a collection of scientists' own writing on their faith or non-faith.) I really enjoy reading about how the earth's spreading seafloor records earth's changing magnetism over billions of years. It's explained in detail and I get it. It makes sense to me. I can read a huge volume explaining scientists' thoughts on faith and religion and I can get it--both of them, the faithful and those who are secure in the belief that the earth was not created. I can read a book about chemistry and understand how we know how elements form, break down, spread throughout the universe--it makes sense to me and I get it. But when I put a video on for my kids and a picture of a mammal pops up and the slow drone of the announcer tells us all (while the pictures show it) how this mammal lost its legs, grew fins, etc, etc, etc, and turned into a dolphin, I JUST DON"T GET IT. I am looking at this science, I am listening, but the whole thing seems so ridiculously, hilariously, miraculously walking on water ridiculous to me. Yes, I will use the word ridiculous twice. Apparently, I am one of those many generic unscientific Americans who look at the theory of evolution and question how "believable" it is. But it's not just me. I can't think of a single science teacher I had in public school who ever gave evolution more than a cursory nod. It was such a non-issue. I wish that there was some writing for people like me--people who are willing to study and learn, but really wrestle with the whole "believability" factor."
  11. The purpose of this thread is to allow Hive members to petition Ruth (lewelma) to write a science book. For those of you who may have missed her threads, please read: Scientific Inquiry How important is science curriculum? Rigorous Logic Stage Science Sequence If there are any other great threads I might have forogtten to link, please let me know. Ruth's book could talk more in depth about scientific inquiry vs. scientific history, how to incorporate WTM science in a practical way, how to choose those three science books per year, whether you should let your student just absorb what's in those science books or if you should require some sort of report, why you should resist the urge to just buy a boxed curriculum, why science is usually taught the way it is to children in classrooms, and of course science projects (this would probably be half the book). I'd love to hear more of her ancedotes on the projects she's done with her children, and it'd be great to see more problem-solving tips to keep science projects from hitting a brick wall. I humbly submit that she contact Peace Hill Press to see if this is something they'd like to get involved with. If not, she should at least self-publish on Kindle! What say the Hive? Will you join me on bended knee in asking Ruth to write a book in her copious free time? If you'd like to treat this as a kickstarter project, feel free to copy my pledge into your comment as a show of support. I will absolutely buy Ruth's book about teaching children science. I'd be willing to pay $15 per copy.
  12. I'm cleaning out my in box and ran across this list I made for someone. Thought a few of you might find it useful: Here are the ones we have seen both in geology and astronomy (and some environmental science). National geographic: Living Rock: an introduction to earths Geology birth of the earth birth of the solar system birth of the universe colliding continents deadliest planets death of the sun destructive forces earth's core ring of Fire BBC: How the Earth made us Deep Earth Water Wind Fire People Modern Marvels Coal mines diamond mines Quarries Renewable Energy Salt Mines Snow Water Weather prediction BBC Planet Earth: you have this one BBC Space Star Stuff Staying Alive black Holes Are we alone New worlds Bodly go BBC State of the Planet Is there a crisis why is there a crisis the future of life BBC The planets Different wolrds terra firma giants moon star atmosphere life \destiny BBC Wild Weather wind wet cold heat Individual docos: Eyewitness: rocks and Minerals Discovery: everything you need to know volcanoes BBC Horizons: The Core BBC: The jet stream and us BBC Space Odysses: Voyage to the planets
  13. For elementary? I have a PreK, 2nd, and 4th grader (I already have curriculum for the older ones) and I just don't want to be tied down to a curriculum. But, I'm a bit nervous about "winging it". I need some type of plan to keep me on track. We have The Nature Connection for Nature Study and I am looking forward to using that. I have CKE Earth and Space but we tried that last year and it just wasn't our cup of tea. If you do interest led science, how do you do it? Do you plan out your year, wing it, combo of both, lol? I really need some help so I am :bigear: Thanks!
  14. I've been pondering elementary science, wondering what my goals are for my children in the science area. I understand the WTM/Classical perspective of children getting a foundation of understanding in Biology, chemistry and physics, with increasing difficulty. With hands-on and exploring the scientific method, the child has a good basis for future exploration. Then there are those that have more of an exploratory attack on science--giving children good science books, experiments in many different areas, nature study, etc. More informal, but giving children the opportunity to lead study through interest and dig deep into those things that catch their attention. I'm realizing I'm more of a middle ground kind of person. I don't feel comfortable with the less structured, interest-led science in elementary years. In what grade do you become more structured, if you follow less structured science. On the other hand, in the WTM rotation, where does life science, earth science, astronomy, and all those other interesting things fit in? So, can we discuss elementary science? What are your goals for your children--preparation for high school, understanding scientific method, exposure to as many topics as possible, and/or following their interests? And what do you use that helps you accomplish your goals? And, if you are less formal, when do you change to more formal studies?
  15. Ohhhh Ruuuuth. Lol. Help? 1) What content do you want your daughter to learn in middle school? Are you more concerned about breadth or depth? I want breadth at the moment. Because DD enjoy science but likes a variety (she wants Biology and Chemistry; my husband also wants her exposed to Physics), right now I want to expose her to a variety of fields, not just dive deeply into one. My husband is taking care of physics every other Saturday with her. That leaves the rest on me. 2) What content does she want to learn? What is she interested in? Have you asked her? Right now she wants to learn chemistry. 3) What skills do you want her to learn in science? Skills that you do not have covered somewhere else. For example, she could learn to read and write about a history textbook, but she could learn to make oral presentations and write lab reports in science. etc. Skills. This one is tough. Autumn is dyslexic and while she *can* read well, it takes her a considerable amount of time to get through the same books/texts - and it frustrates her. She hates reading with an unrivaled passion. I'm not sure how much I want to push it in science. She is required to read and write for every other subject and I think that contributes to her dislike of many other subjects (she loathes history, for example). I suppose it may be best for her to approach science with oral presentations and lab reports. DD is a visual learner. She retains very little when it is presented TO her orally. This is two fold in difficulty - her dyslexia makes it difficult for her to read higher level content that she craves/needs, but she must read it/see it in order to retain it. 4) What kind of program do you feel comfortable implementing? Do you have the time and inclination to work with her? Do you need 1 book or can you manage many? Can you do a hands on program or do you not have the space or inclination? I can implement almost any programss? Do lab work? Does she like to read living books or more get-to-the-point short and dense books? Does she like documentaries or lecture series? How does she process/remember the information? She wants to use the labs. She hates reading in general and dislikes "living" books. If she has to read, she prefers a text. She does enjoy visually stimulating documentaries (not lectures though). She remembers by *seeing*, *doing*, and *reading*. 6) And here is the most difficult question for you, and I don't mean this in a snarky way - really. Are you ready to actually design a program that works with her strengths and desires? Or are you just going through the motions? Do you think in your most honest moments, that you really can't be bothered and that tailoring a program is just too hard and not really worth the trouble? Do you kind of know that in the end, you will still put her with a traditional textbook program? (And I am not against textbooks, I am just not convinced that she has the capability or interest right now to read them) Definitely ready. I want to work with her ONE area of interest; I realize the importance of doing so since she appears to struggle so much in other areas and generally dislikes school - but for science. We tried a traditional text at the beginning of the year, but it was nothing new to her so she lost interest quickly. I'm willing to purchase more in terms of supplies, books, or texts - I'm just not sure where to go with it. On hand, for chemistry, I have the following right now: Conceptual Physical Science a couple TOPS units Thames and Kosmos Chem kit The Story of Science (chem, physics, astronomy, I believe) Horrible Science boxed set
  16. Well, it has been 2 months since the Regional Science Fair, and my ds is already planning his next project. We are studying chemistry this year, so he would really like to do a chemistry project. This is a very difficult thing to do for a few reasons: 1) How does a 12 year old uncover anything new in chemistry? 2) We have no chemical equipment. :tongue_smilie: His first idea was to determine which chemicals made the biggest explosion. Yes, I am sure most of you are smiling. Not really surprising in a 12 year old boy, but not a great idea from the point of view of my insurance. :blink: Plus, not really original. The next idea came from his reading on fracking (which unfortunately for me has a different meaning because of watching Battle Star Galactic. ;)) He read an article in Scientific American and was curious as to why the concrete pipes leak underground. So we discussed testing different kinds of concrete for resilience to seismic disturbances. I knew we could get cement for free, and we have lots of different levels of grit for rock tumbling (we had to buy in bulk :tongue_smilie:), which would allow for a quantitative comparison as we know the grit sizes. So we talked about creating different types of concrete and testing it for strength and flexibility. He could have some fun designing some objective ways to smash or shake the concrete, but I was not clear how he could make any tubes. He also was interested in having it set at different temperatures, possibly under water kept at a certain temp with ice cubes etc. Seemed pretty promising, but he just never took to it. His current idea concerns air pollution. He has noticed that one of the longer tunnels in our town is quite smelly. We have to roll up the windows in the car and turn the vent to internal circulation or we are really gassed out. This got him to thinking about what kind of ventilation existed in that tunnel. We also discussed what else affected the air pollution - number of cars, direction the tunnel faces compared to the prevailing wind direction (we live in a very windy town), and the length of the tunnel. Then, he starting thinking about parking decks. We have some smelly ones and some clean ones. Some underground, some above ground. Some with multiple open walls, some with only one open wall. Some with fans, some without. He starting getting excited about building a M.O.D.E.L.... yes , this is my very mathy kid, and he is very motivated to win the math award 2 years in a row. :001_smile: So next up he starts researching how to measure pollution. CO2, lead, CO, etc. He wants to do it himself rather than send the air samples to a lab. He very quickly finds a site that tells him how to build a pump and where to buy the CO2 kits. They are $65 per 10. hummm. I tell him that he has a $200 budget. Given that I spend nothing on lab equipment, it seems like a fair but generous amount. I told him if he plans to spend more, he needs to dip into his $700 winnings from last year's fair. :D Last year's project cost us $12 for a new ruler when he left it behind + $12 for a poster board. So definitely a money making venture! I told him that we could go to an exhaust testing station and talk to them. I also discussed with him that he does not have to test for ALL the different pollutants. One could be representative. His current question is NOT: Is there pollution in the different parking decks?, but rather creating a model to explain the different pollution levels. So one pollutant could be representative of pollution in general. But he needs to know the *levels* of pollution for this question, not just if the pollutant is found. We also discussed counting cars going through the tunnels during different parts of the day, and counting the number of cars per volume of space in the different parking decks. Good thing he is starting early! :001_huh: Currently, he is very excited about the pollution question. But he needs to see if he can do the work within the budget. I am not so sure. Really depends on the replication he needs. But there is still much more research he needs to do. Scientists do have to work within a budget, so it is not a bad problem to have from the point of view of replicating real science. Ruth in NZ (in shock that I am dealing with an investigation again so soon!)
  17. If you are doing a STEM curric, please provide all the info you can -- who, what, when, how -- For philosophy, I am looking at (and leaning towards) Stottlemier. I am looking for suggestions for Science Curric (includes STEM) - the non-STEM part does not have to be teacher intensive - I would do 'pacs' or anything like that as the STEM will more than make up for the 'teacher time.' And, for very bright 7th graders, I am leaning towards Philosophy as somewhere in my mess of things, there is an excellent Stottlemier curric -- I figure we will do Logic in 8th grade. Share, please -- thanks many thanks!
  18. Ds is entering 7th grade. He wants to do physical science/astronomy. He is resistant to textbooks - reminds him of public school! He would like to read books like Manga Guide to Phsyics, watch documentaries, do experiments. Then, he would like to spend the last part of the year working on a science project. I want him to learn to think like a scientist, ask questions like a scientist and document his findings like a scientist. But how do I take our informal approach and reach these goals in an organized way? I am not a scientist; I don't think like a scientist. How can I teach ds to think like one? I am fine with science being relaxed and interest led. I just don't want ds to miss out on the important skills that he needs. How does someone like me teach science? Should I just have ds write in a science notebook throughout the year? Will an in depth science project be enough to put those skills into practice? What can I use to guide me through all of this?
  19. I am responsible for hosting our homeschool organization's first science fair and I don't know where to start. Does anyone know of a good resource to walk me through it? I know where I can get judges (lots of scientists in our group). I need to know about the administrative stuff. I have googled it and haven't come up with anything that is very clear. Thanks!
  20. I don't like science much so I let it slide many times. Dd has Joy Hakim's Story of Science, all three books. She did book one and part of book two this past year. I had planned on her doing the rest of book two and book three in 8th grade. But toward the end of the year I realized the books had become too simple for her. She isn't learning much and she isn't engaged. I'm sure my lack of interest may be rubbing off. So I have this one final year of middle school to make up for the lack of science to prepare her (and me) for high school level work. I need something engaging for a bright kid. Something that is secular would work best for us. I'm not adverse to buying a kit or small set of books. I'm also not adverse to buying book one of something she can use through high school - like a 5 year science course. Maybe earth science, biology, astronomy, chemistry and physics? Right now her goal in life is to own her own dance studio and teach kids to dance. But I'd really like her to have more of an interest in science than I do. Any thoughts?
  21. I struggle with science, because it seems like one of our most difficult things to fit it. An actual science curriculum, that is. My dc are constantly learning a lot on their own. They are voracious readers, especially when it comes to animals, they are always looking up types of-whatever (birds, bugs, amphibians,etc...) in animal ref. books, or on the computer, they watch tons of animal shows & dvd's, Bill Nye, science guy.... They spend a lot of time outside, we do weekly nature walks, and we have lots of discussion. I have started soooooo many different curriculums-good ones-but life and their free learning always gets in the way. So, how important in the elementary years is a science curriculum? (Btw, I was thinking about it today; I don't remember anything from my grade school science stuff-I don't remember if we did experiments. )
  22. Hi Ruth, Your science postings have been so informative, thank you for taking the time...My question is how do you use the scientific method when you are doing something like dissection or watching butterflies go through the life cycle? These are some of the things we will be doing for our biology year and I would like to move beyond demonstrations. Any help would be great! Thanks. Carolina
  23. My kids entered the regional and state science fairs this year. It was my oldest's second time and she's an 11 year old 5th grader. My boys are 8 and 5 and they had fun and got exactly the right experience for their age from this. My daughter, however, was disappointed at her score in the state science fair. Initially I was very surprised she only received Honorable Mention when last year she received Second Place. But looking at many of the other projects I think it wasn't that she didn't do a good job. It was that her experiment/ project wasn't as indepth as some of her peers. After her shock and disappointment, she has determined that she will work very hard with the goal of First Place in mind. She found she will have the added incentive of being in the Middle School category for the first time. This will make her eligible for one of 20 spots from each state science fair that goes on to a National Science Fair. Now I've told her that 8th graders are most likely to be chosen for most of those spots since it's their last year of eligibility, but I told her that she shouldn't let that stop her from trying. My big question is, though, is that some of the projects didn't seem to have experiments. I wish I could go back and look at some of them now to see how some are put together. I am wondering how a Science Fair Project is put together without an experiment? Such as, one girl, a friend she made last year, had a project asking if a certain flower is used as a coloring or a healing drug. I wish I'd looked more closely at her project but with 3 kids in the fair, spread across the gym, it was hard to look around much. I know she couldn't have been injecting this in drug form into people to see if it cures cancer, so how would she test her theory? And how would she come up with a hypothesis? It really sounds more like a research project. Another girl, my daughter said, had a project about if there are more male or female pandas in captivity. She wrote zoos to ask for information. Again, I don't know all the details, so I don't know if she wrote every zoo. And I dont' know how she came up with a hypothesis or an experiment. I just know that my daughter mentioned this girl's project when I told her that some of the information she might use could come from writing zoos, aquariums, manufacturers, scientists, etc. I told my daughter that I will help her and work her as hard as she wants so she can acheive her goal. But I need to understand how to help her acheive this. I never had the privilige of making a science project ever while growing up. I never heard of or saw a science fair at all. So, I'm a bit out of my league and it's not fair to my kids, most especially my daughter. I really want to help her be successful. I told her I may even have her do one over the summer, with everything except making the display board, and then do another after that. If she can research and work on topics that interest her between now and then, she will be able to pick and choose whichever of her projects she feels she did the best job on and is the most interesting. At these science fairs, there is a large group of kids from one school in another town. It's obvious they have a large support group in not just the school, but the parents as well. The girl who had the flower project this year had an iPad showing some videos of something to do with her project. Last year she did solar powered cars, which she told me she worked on over the summer. We can't afford an iPad, but I know my daughter wants to work hard and compete. I know if she does work hard and learn a lot, she will do well and doesn't need expensive technology to acheive her goals. I sure wish I'd asked this girl about her project this year. She is very confident, but she's also a very nice girl. So, if my daughter has a science fair project, my understanding is that it should have a Purpose, Hypothesis, Procedure, and Conclusion. Say she decided to discover which is more lethal, venom or poison. What would her procedure be? I mean, she's not going to go collect venom and poison and then inject into mice. She's 11 and I don't know anyone who would allow that, plus, I doubt she would want to do that. I've got the first Janice Van Cleave book on 50 Science Fair Projects which is helpful, but I'm still not quite understanding what all her options are. Sorry for this really long ramble. The science fair was just last weekend so we have an entire year to make a plan and execute it. I just feel like I've failed her and wasn't a good enough teacher and I want to make sure that I don't fail her again. She's smart and loves science and she shouldn't fail because of me.
  24. I have started a new thread on the logic board of the same name. My 6th grader and 2nd grader will be working on large scientific investigations until June, and I have posted a description of their first week. As I state in the other thread, I thought that there might be some in the hive who would like to see how scientific inquiry works, especially while we are in the middle of it rather than all tidied up and sugar coated at the end. Ruth in NZ
  25. I have two boys at home (grades 5 and 8). I have been using Singapore Science (Ineractive for the older) and MPH 5,6 for the younger. I like the information provided and the various subjects covered by the Singapore texts. My problems are in the lack of experiments/hand-on models to add interest. My younger son has been working through Food Webs, Adaptations, etc and most of the work has involved reading the text and then answering questions in the workbook. He is bored....I believe my oldest would feel the same as the majority of his ime is also spent reading and writing. We are about to start a study on cells with McHenry which I hope will add more interesting hands-on activities. If this is successful, we may incorporate some of her other books (Elements). I have been looking at the models (blood/body) people have posted with longing. History Odyssey looks like it would provide the kind of hands-on material that I like but I have read from other threads that it is too easy for the age of my boys. Has anyone used Singapore as a spine and incorporated the experiment/model building from another curriculum?
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