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CPO Science: For those intimidated by the labs....

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I was a bit put off by the CPO lab kit for the classroom. The materials are so nice (and so expensive!!) that I was concerned that I might not be able to re-create good experiments at home.


I just went through the Earth Science Investigations book and most of the labs seem easy to put together. I will purchase a few items (like a geobox and maybe density cubes) and have to rig some things (like a stream table), but in general it's really not challenging for *me.* I am omitting a few experiments that seem difficult or expensive to put together. Over all, it seems very simple and not expensive to implement.


Another option would be to scrap the Investigations portion and use Janice Van Cleave's Earth Science for Every Kid.


I hope this encourages someone!

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In Janice Van Cleave's book, there are several experiments that are the same as CPO experiments with much easier to come by materials. The stream table comes to mind.


We have managed almost all of them, but when we can't we use the teacher's book. In there, they have sample results for the experiments. The real point of all of them is for the student to experience averaging etc. So, on a very few occasions we just take our results from there and figure out our own answers.

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We did the CPO earth science last year and were able to do many of the labs. I was able to find a pdf online of the bathymetric maps they use and the longitude latitude sheets needed.


I ended up using a small, clear plastic Lock & Lock box I got at the grocery store in place of the geobox. The boys used playdoh to make the topography structure and I set a small piece of plexiglass on top. I cannot remember if we did the investigation with the chimneys. I think we did but I don't recall how we modified it.


The real geobox would have been nice to have.

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We are doing CPO Physics this year. Ds tried to construct a homemade photogate using his light sensors and Lego NXT, but he ran out of time and ideas. For many of those experiments, we went over the experiment together and I provided them with the data from the TM and they did the calculations. I did buy a digital scale, measuring springs, magnets, and a bunch of stuff I can't think of right now from home science tools. I bought a whole bunch of washers from the local hardware store for a couple of dollars. We just used them for investigation 11A last week.


Also, the link http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/pendulum-lab provides some real cool investigations. We used this one for the pendulum lab and it worked great.

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