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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Battleship Science!


Ted Beyer, Educational Innovations, Inc.

By Ted Beyer

You may be familiar with the game Battleship!  The version most people recall includes two plastic folding boards (red and blue) plus two sets of grey plastic ships and pegs.  It was released by Milton Bradley in 1967.  I had a set myself—a birthday present in 1969 (yeah, I’m that old).  The objective of the game is to sink your opponent’s ships.

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The Think Tube


Tami O'Connor

By Tami O’Connor

Many years ago while attending a summer ChemEd conference, I had occasion to sit in on an amazing presentation.  I have to admit that as a seventh grade teacher, much of the information presented at this conference would have been a bit over my students’ heads, but I still enjoyed the chance to learn new teaching ideas. One presenter, Jeff Hepburn, came out with a prop called the Think Tube.  I’m not honestly sure whether that was his name for it or if that’s how I eventually christened it, but suffice to say, I knew immediately that I had to build one for my students.

Back to School with the Think Tube

The first week of school was always my favorite because that was the time I worked especially hard to truly “hook” my kids on science.  I tended to bring in the most awesome and thought-provoking activities to share in class.  My students typically left my room busting with excitement and looking forward to what the rest of the year would hold. 

On day two, I brought in my homemade Think Tube.  Over the summer, my husband built it out of PVC pipe, string, and wooden cubes.  Initially, the students were unimpressed… that is, until the unexpected happened.

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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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Have Dogs, Will Science!


by Donna Giachetti

If you’ve read our CEO’s blog, “Why I LOVE Working at EI,” you already know that Educational Innovations is a VERY friendly workplace for dogs.  We started with Brody, our official “EI Lab dog.”  Next came Hunny, then Griffin, and last—but NEVER least—our frisky young Molly.  These puppies are doted upon by all EI employees.  There are always fresh carrots in the fridge and various sized Milk Bones on hand for our furry tribe.

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