Build an Artificial Hand


Educational Innovations Blog

by Donna Giachetti

Designing and building an artificial hand is a great science fair or classroom project.  It’s also a vivid, “hands-on” way to get your students thinking about how such robotic limbs are used in society and industry.  Whether your students work individually or in teams, this activity is a fantastic experience in creativity, problem solving, STEM, and engineering.  Plus, for some students, it may even lead to a future career inspiration!

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Frog Competition Chaos


By Julie Pollard

“When am I going to ever use this?”  “Why do I even need to know this?”  These questions are the bane of the science teacher’s existence—or at least of mine.  Even though science is woven into every aspect of every day of our lives, my middle schoolers just can’t seem to make that leap.  They’re like frogs who don’t know how to jump. They still think of science as something done by nerds in white coats in labs.

During our unit on ecosystems and competition, my students seem to struggle with the concept of competition for abiotic factors.  They have no problem relating to the predator-and-prey, competition-for-food aspect of competition—which makes sense, if you’ve ever watched eighth grade boys racing for the last slice of pizza.

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Hey Now, You’re a Rock Star, Get Your Neuroscience On!


by Donna Giachetti

Want to bring neuroscience, cyborgs, and mind control to your classroom? Watch our Backyard Brains webinar, Wire Me Up!  Neuroscience in the K-12 Classroom.

 

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Neuroscience in a Box


Ted Beyer, Educational Innovations, Inc.By Ted Beyer

Though they are buzzwords, STEM and STEAM have a real purpose.  We all want to get this cross-discipline learning into our classrooms as soon as possible.  Yet we often run into a trade off between the desire for MORE and the reality of budgets.

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Setting Up a Bacterial Culture Lab


by Becca Fanucci

Bacteria is literally everywhere.  In fact, it’s estimated there are more bacterial cells in your body than human cells!  Students are always fascinated with growing bacteria.  It’s an awesome way to discover which surfaces are dirtier than others… or whether the “five second rule” about dropped food is really legitimate.  I usually present my bacterial culture lab during the first week of school.  Not only are students engaged, but it’s a good way to review variables and the steps needed to set up a controlled experiment.  

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