EI TV – Winter Science!

Educational Innovations Newsletter - EI TVWinter Science Videos that Sizzle!

Taking your class outdoors may not be an option in winter, but showing videos that explore the wintry world is a great way to explore winter science!

If you come across a video you’d like us to add to this list, leave us a comment below!

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I Was a Science Convention Newbie

donna_giachettiBy: Donna Giachetti

 First Day of School Jitters

Heading to LaGuardia airport for my first science convention, I was reminded of my first day of kindergarten.  Instead of a shiny new lunchbox, I toted a battered old suitcase but otherwise, it felt much the same.  My first convention!  Would I make friends?  Would there be name tags?  Bathroom breaks?  Worst of all, would I get lost?

When I joined Educational Innovations in September 2014, my new colleagues tried to describe the magic and mayhem that occurs at science conventions.  “You’ll see,” I heard more than once.  They tossed around terms like “regionals” and “nationals” as if they were talking about March Madness.

I listened to their stories wondering when I would get my turn to become part of the larger-than-life Educational Innovations convention crew.  And then, in mid-November, my moment arrived.  CAST—the Conference for the Advancement of Science Teaching—would be my initiation into the world of science teachers.

Dallas, Here We Come!

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Reinventing Morse: Build your own Telegraph

Bennett Harrisby:Bennett Harris

If you are a science teacher who has ever taught a physical science class or attended a physical science workshop then you’ve probably done the activity where you wrap a piece of magnet wire around a nail and use it to make a paper clip or another flap of metal move in response to an electrical current flowing in the wire.  This experiment is often called “building a telegraph” and its a good way to illustrate electromagnetism.  The experiment usually goes over well with students, but from experience I’ve found that this simple activity has a lot of stumbling blocks for younger kids and have always thought that it should be possible to teach MORE with your half hour or less activity time.  To that end I’ve created the Reinventing Morse: Build your own Telegraph science kit.  This article will explain some of my educational design choices for the kit and give teachers or anyone using the kit for educational purposes a few tips to help them in the classroom.Build your own Telegraph

Fun Fact: Even though making a piece of metal slap into another piece of metal using an electromagnetic field makes a click, this kind of simple apparatus is not actually a telegraph sounder.  To be a true telegraph sounder the device must be capable of making a click on both ends of its travel.  This is how a telegraph operator can distinguish dots from dashes, by noting the time difference between the up and down click’s for each “bit” of code that comes through.  Reinventing Morse is designed to operate as a real sounder because the arm makes a click on both ends of travel. Read the rest of this entry »