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.

Continue reading

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.

(more…)

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.

(more…)

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.

 

(more…)

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.

(more…)