Compressed Air as a Force in Rocket Balloons


Norman Barstowby: Norman Barstow

When the National Research Council produced the National Science Standards in 1995, they did so without including sets of lesson plans nor did they design them as part of a standard curriculum package. They were written to be used as goals for our students’ achievement in science.

In my classroom I always used the National Standards when designing my lessons, and they were always clearly represented in the objectives I set for my students. I have found that the topics of Force and Motion, as well as Air, (as part of a weather unit), can be easily taught using balloons to demonstrate the concepts of each. Read the rest of this entry »


Make Slime, Gak, and Oobleck | Gross Science


Tami O'Connorby: Tami O’Connor

Let’s face it, kids of every age love gooey substances! The school year is never complete until you and your students make slime. Depending upon your grade level, the topic you’re teaching, your classroom budget, and the time you have available, there are a number of options open to you.

One of my favorite “recipes” is the ever popular Elmer’s Glue Gak. Aside from the fact that it’s easy to make, it’s rare that you wouldn’t have most of the essential ingredients at your fingertips.

Borax and Elmers Glue for making SlimeTo make Gak:

Read the rest of this entry »


High School Density Kits


Ron Perkinsby: Ron Perkins

Whether teaching general science, chemistry or physics, one of the first experiments I assigned was to determine the density of a metal using a set of different sized cylinders of aluminum in a tray.

Each Student:

  • Determined both the mass and volume of a single assigned sample.
  • Recorded their data point on a large classroom Mass vs. Volume Graph.
  • Participated in a class discussion on: determining volume by different methods; drawing a straight line through the data points (including the origin); and calculating the slope of the line (rise over run)

Density Graph

Ron’s suggestions:

Classroom Density Assortment 1. The Density Sphere Experiment Kit (DEN-10) or Steel Sphere Density Kit (DEN-350) are ideal beginning sets. The Density Paradox (DEN-300) is interesting as the solid object sinks and then floats in one beaker of water, but when put into a second beaker of water, it floats at first and then sinks. The Poly Density Kit (DEN-460) is interesting because Read the rest of this entry »


AntWorks Ant Habitat


George Kerrby: George Kerr

Now is the perfect time of year to use the ants from out on the playground, campus fields, or any location near your classroom for some serious experimentation! First, have your students google information about ants and the roles they play within their colony. Then use your media center/school library to supplement their research . After you’re comfortable that your students have learned enough about ants to give them the background they need to begin to make educated guesses about ant behavior,AntWorks Ant Habitat take your students to an ant hill and circle out along where the forage ants are walking.

Since ants are social insects, your students should easily see the work being done that was described in your research. Guards are guarding the entrance to the nest, builders are hauling pebbles and grains of sand, nurse maids are hauling trash, and foraging ants are hunting and dragging food back to the colony.

This is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how ants communicate using pheromones. Trap a few ants by the entrance, and watch as the alarm spreads outward like a rock in a pond. All ants will stop what they are doing and turn to the task of defense. Read the rest of this entry »