Fidget Spinners, Physics, and Sir Isaac Newton


by Ted BeyerTed Beyer, Educational Innovations, Inc.

Fidget spinners are the latest fad to sweep, seemingly, the world. Love them or hate them, they are everywhere—on playgrounds, in backyards, living rooms, and even schools, although many schools have banned them as being distractions.  But wait just a minute here!  For once, let’s see if we can’t use a fad to teach something.  You see, there is actually a fair bit of science lurking in those spinney things.

Read the rest of this entry »


Join Our Elementary Science Club Today!


Tami O'Connorby Tami G. O’Connor

As elementary school teachers, we are expected to help our students become scientifically literate (among many other things), but let’s face it:  too often we have limited time for science instruction during the school day.  Still, we know that kids just love science!  They’re always eager to learn more about the world around them, especially when the material is taught in fun and creative ways.

But what can we do when our science teaching time is so limited in school?  How do you get students involved in scientific discovery outside the classroom?  Sure, you can give them homework, but many kids find simply reading about science unappealing.  You want your students to LOVE learning more about science… not dread it.

Read the rest of this entry »


What Does It Take to Be an Engineer?


What Does It Take to Be an Engineer? - Educational Innovations BlogBy Cathy Byrne

This is one of my favorite team-building, icebreaker activities.  It’s also a great way to introduce your students to engineering!  It can be done with students at many different grade levels.  At the beginning of class, I start by welcoming my students to the staff of [Insert-the-name-of-your-school-here] Engineering Company.

I split the class into small groups and tell them: your team has been tasked with constructing the tallest free-standing tower you can build with the materials provided.  I give each team a bag containing 20 pipe cleaners and I let them dive right in.  It doesn’t take long for the teams to figure out that they need a strong base to hold the flimsy pipe cleaners.

Read the rest of this entry »


Tabletop Fossil Safari: Science Camp in a Box!


Tabletop Fossil Safari: Science Camp in a Box! Educational Innovations Blogby Priscilla Robinson

Dinosaurs inspire curiosity and wonder in scientists of all ages.  With the help of Educational InnovationsHome Science Lab: Tabletop Fossil Safari, young learners can conduct investigations at home to dynamically discover how fossils were created millions of years ago, and to better understand how they continue to be unearthed by paleontologists today.  Everything you need comes in the nifty Home Science Lab box: six activities organized in a booklet filled with easy-to-follow instructions, whimsical illustrations and photographs, assorted chemicals, household items, and of course, real fossils!

It’s so easy, even a grandmother can do it.  Seriously!

Read the rest of this entry »


How to Throw a Science-Themed Birthday Party


by Linda Dunnavant

Most kids find the idea of science thrilling.  It conjures up images of potions, explosions, and top-secret laboratories.  When I asked my son what kind of birthday party he wanted this year, he eagerly exclaimed, “A science party!”  That night, I was taken aback when I Googled science birthday party ideas.  Many of the suggestions seemed far too adult-led and complicated—not to mention expensive!

Read the rest of this entry »