Ideas and info from NSTA’s December K-12 journals

The Science Teacher: Novel Science Tools

I once worked with a teacher who said that he would put off doing anything with technology until “things settled down.” I suspect he’s still waiting… The featured articles in this issue look at some current (as of now anyway) technologies that related to teaching and learning in science, such as mapping tools, digital probeware and sensors, and online simulations. The lessons show their connections to the NGSS.

  • Wired for Controversy describes the materials and methodology used to explore ethics in autonomous systems through cyborg roaches and robotic insects. Sounds almost like science fiction!
  • Turn Your Smartphone Into a Science Laboratory has several activities in which students collect and analyze data related to force and motion as al alternative to more expensive probes or monitors. We can use our phones in class!
  • Where the Birds Live is another phone-enhanced activity in which students use real data and online maps to explore bird habitats, migration patterns, and biodiversity.
  • Clearing the Air explores the greenhouse effect in the context of black-body radiation and Wien’s Law in a 5E lesson using online simulations.
  • The Learning Portal describes a source of free classroom-tested web-based activities that use probes and models.
  • Science 2.0: Did They Really Read It? Describes two online tools to assess student comprehension of reading and video resources. (See the authors’ related blog).

For more on the content that provides a context for these projects and strategies see the SciLinks websites for Acceleration, Birds, Biodiversity, Blackbody Radiation, Centripetal Force, Conduction Convection and Radiation, DNA Replication, Forces and Motion, Gravity, Greenhouse Effect, Max Planck, Migration of Birds.

Continue for Science Scope and Science and Children

Science Scope: Science and Engineering Practices

Assessing Science Practices: Moving Your Class Along a Continuum groups the eight science and engineering practices into three categories: investigating, sensemaking, and critiquing. The authors include an assessment tool and describe how it can be used during a lesson.

Other featured articles:

For another engineering project, see Engineering Encounters: Creating a Prosthetic Hand from Science & Children.

For more on the content that provides a context for these projects and strategies see the SciLinks websites for Forces and Motion, Plant Growth, Plate Tectonics.

 

Science and Children: Earth’s Place in the Universe

As always, the articles in this issue have ideas for classroom activities that align with the NGSS, along with photos of students, examples of their work, rubrics, and downloadable resources.

From the Science Teacher: Career of the Month: Earthquake Engineer

For more on the content that provides a context for these projects and strategies see the SciLinks websites for Archaeology, Constellations, Fossil Discoveries, Fossils, Fossil Record, Planets, Properties of Light, Seasons, Stars, Sun, Using Models in Earth Science.

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