Blown Away with Databot at ISTA!


By Robert O. Grover

Not too long ago, we traveled to North Idaho and the beautiful town of Coeur d’Alene where the annual Idaho Science Teachers Association (ISTA) was holding the great Idaho STEM Together!  Over 300 educators and STEM enthusiasts showed up to partake in activities, professional development sessions, and field trips.  Of course Team databot was there!

As advertised, we held a competition to see who could deliver the highest CO2 level possible.  The prize for the highest level?  A complete databot kit! Read the rest of this entry »


Using Solar Cells to Teach Series and Parallel Circuits


By Marty Mathiesen

During the electricity unit in my high school physics class, I like to do an activity in which students determine the effect of having batteries placed in a series circuit and also in a parallel circuit.  We explore questions such as What are the similarities?  The differences?  What are the advantages of each method?  Do you see any patterns?

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STEM Discussion Starters


Discussion Starters - Educational Innovations NewsletterLooking for a free STEM resource to share with your students?  Here’s our selection.  Some websites offer ready-to-go lessons… others share exciting interviews with young people involved in STEM fields.  All of them are worth a visit!

If you find a worthy site that we haven’t mentioned here, please let us know in the comments section below.

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The Magic of Spring, Seeds, and Science!


by Priscilla Robinson

Spring in the Pacific Northwest comes with a fanfare of germinating seeds, blossoming flowers, and budding trees. As a science educator, I like to jump on Mother Nature’s bandwagon to bring this burst of plant life into my classroom with a variety of biology experiments and activities. What your students see every day can bloom into teachable moments. These learning ideas will help you make the most out of the magic and science of spring.

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The Power of Electricity, Magnetism… and Infomercials!


Educational Innovations BlogBy Cathy Byrne

Virtually all fourth grade students explore electricity and magnetism.  As part of this unit, students are asked to do two things:

1 –   Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents (4-PS3-2)

2 –   Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another (4-PS3-4). 

This year, the teachers at my school put a new twist on our electricity and magnetism unit… and the results were amazing!

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