Strawberry Patch Science


Educational Innovations Blog

By Jared Hottenstein

Science really is everywhere – even in a strawberry patch! But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning.

I’m afraid of lunch ladies.  They’re intimidating.  I guess you need to be if you’re dealing with hundreds of hungry kids in a small cafeteria.  As a kid, I usually kept my head down and brown-bagged it (unless it was pizza day).  I didn’t want to do anything to upset the ladies who ran the lunchroom.  I carried that fear with me even after I became a teacher. 

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The Sound of Science


Educational Innovations Blog

By Jared Hottenstein

Any teacher will tell you that kids can be noisy.  They make all kinds of sounds.  Clap their hands.  Click their tongues.  Snap their fingers.  Smack their cheeks.  Burp.  Fart.  Scream.  Sing. Most classrooms are a virtual cacophony of noises.   And where there is sound, there’s bound to be a whole lot of shaking going on.  So why not turn those noises into a teachable moment and explore the science of sound?   

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Composting Fun with Worms!


Educational Innovations Blog

By Jared Hottenstein

First, the Story

Lizzie was in my fifth grade class about fifteen years ago.  She was a solid student academically, but her biggest struggle in life was her retainer.  Mom and Dad had invested a lot of money in that molded plastic-and-wire mouth guard.  Lizzie’s mom even emailed me to ask if I would make sure Lizzie was wearing her retainer throughout the day.  Apparently this little oral apparatus cost more than my car… which would explain why Lizzie’s mom was so upset when she lost it.

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Engineering Dissections


Educational Innovations Blog

By Jared Hottenstein

In the world of STEM learning, most teachers think about designing, building, and creating. But sometimes the best way to see how something is designed is to pull it apart. I’ve always thought that science dissections were awesome. Many of my students wouldn’t agree. Dissections can get a little gross for a classroom setting. Taking the time to carefully open something up to see what’s going on inside doesn’t have to be limited to once-living things. Why not dissect common objects?

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Wild Animal Webcam Ideas


Educational Innovations Blog

By Jared Hottenstein

Of all the branches of science we teach, life science presents the greatest hands-on challenges.  You can always pick up a classroom set of Educational Innovations’ Owl Pellets, but bringing live animals into the classroom is a tricky proposition.  Online learning is the perfect opportunity for students to explore the world of life science—especially through a streaming webcam!  Think of it as your students getting the chance to watch “life science celebrities.”  Students can tune in once a day—or once a week—to see what new snack mama eagle brought back to the nest. 

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