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The scientific method...

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My boys have done science experiments over the years and written up lab reports (not very complex ones though).  They love to read and watch videos about science and retain a lot of information that way.  However, we haven't had a lot of luck with our experiments turning out -- LOL.  I want to up our game and work more on adding in different variables and expanding on their current understanding of the process.  Are there any really good resources for experiments for any of area of science that would be good for 7th graders?  Would Ellen McHenry's stuff (which is my current plan for science the next 2 years) go a little deeper than the experiments in the elementary years of Elemental Science?  They were in a chemistry class a few years ago that did mostly demonstrations.


Any thoughts or recommendations?  How necessary is this before high school science if they are exposed to a lot of science information?


P.S.  I am in the process of reading through all the science threads I've followed over the years, but I wanted to start this new thread too :-)! 




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I don't really like what passes for "experiments" in most curricula. Demonstrations are awesome. Canned experiments kinda stink. Check out Ruth in NZ's Scientific Inquiry thread for a better way to actually do the experimenting part of science. (Sorry I can't figure out how to make the link look nicer on my phone)

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If you are looking for depth in subject matter, Ellen McHenry materials are great.  But if you are looking for experiments, you will be disappointed.  There are far more games and arts and crafts projects than experiments and hands-on demonstrations. 

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Agreed with Sherry above about the Ellen McHenry stuff and experiments. They don't have any. Like, when we did The Brain, there was *one* optional suggestion for doing a sheep brain dissection. But ds just did Protozoa and it's *so* easy to do a hay infusion and cultivate some pond water and it had nothing like that. I found it a bit disappointing that she didn't at least suggest it. It's a bit baffling, honestly.


I think the Middle School Chemistry is a good one for experiments - they're all standard lab demonstrations (well, most of them - there were a couple of cool things where you set up different things and have the student(s) do all the tests they've learned about to try and figure out what something is) but they're good - very hands on, and they're set up with great questions to get kids to really learn from what they're doing. It pairs well with some of the Ellen McHenry chemistry stuff too - just because they're so different.


But the number one thing... I'd say just have them do all the steps of their own science project. Pick a topic, do a little research, formulate a hypothesis, carry out the experiment to test it, etc. etc.

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