Hi! It’s Tuesday, October 29, 2010 and time for Science at ClickSchooling!
Age Range: 5-22 (Grades K-16)
The University of California Museum of Paleontology (with funding by the National Science Foundation) provides this website that endeavors to provide fun, accessible, and free resources to offset the “false and improverished version” of science as a simple, linear, and non-generative process that is taught in classrooms. The activities here are designed to improve students’ ability to critically assess scientific evidence and understand the strengths, limitations, and basic methods of science.
When you get to the website you’ll see a variety of ways to get started. Explore the website or jump right into the 8 lessons called, “Understanding Science 101.” You’ll see other featured lessons and presentations that you can explore as well.
To get to the free science activities, look for “For Teachers” on the menu tab near the top of the homepage. Use the grade level key below it. Click on a grade level and a new page opens. Scroll to “Getting Started” and below it, click on “Sample Starting Activities.” Here is just a example of what is available in each grade level:
K-2 – Exploring Liquids is an activity in which students use their senses to investigate and observe three liquids. They see, hear, touch, smell, and taste to collect data and to ask and answer questions. This lesson can be used to introduce how scientists work. Students share knowledge, observe, draw and record, explain their reasoning, and ask additional questions.
3-5 – Tennis Shoe Detectives has students make observations, examine data, and form hypotheses about a set of footprints and what they can tell us. This activity provides a good opportunity to clarify the difference between the observations we make and our interpretations of those observations.
6-8 – Exploring Bouncing Balls — In this lesson, students explore the physical properties of a variety of balls and how they bounce (i.e., their bounciness or elasticity). The point of the activity is not necessarily to have students arrive at a precise explanation for the phenomena they are investigating, but to provide students with an opportunity to participate in and reflect on the process of science.
9-12 – The Checks Lab — Students construct plausible scenarios to explain a series of bank checks. As students examine additional canceled checks, they revise their original hypotheses with new evidence. In the process, they learn how human values and biases influence observation and interpretation.
13-16 – Umbrellaology — Based on a classic philosophical exercise (Somerville, 1941), students are asked to read a letter that describes detailed data collected on umbrellas. Their task is to determine whether or not umbrellaology represents science.
In addition to the sample activities, you’ll also find tips for assessing your student’s ability, tips for teaching science, and a variety of more free lessons as well.
There is a great deal of free content here. Bookmark the site to make return visits.