Everyone Loves a Mystery

Janice cup picture.ipgby:  Janice VanCleave

Identify the Physical Properties of Mystery Artifacts

The mystery artifacts used for this investigation are special and can be purchased at Educational Innovations.   The artifacts are called “Ice Melting Blocks,” but this name gives too much information. Prior to the investigation, I suggest that you introduce them as artifacts, objects that have been intentionally made or produced for a certain purpose.


To investigate mystery artifacts and determine their possible purposes as well as the real or imaginary culture that might have made them. Set the stage by placing the mystery artifacts on a table and covering them with a cloth. If possible, screen off the investigating area so that only the “student science explorers” can view the blocks.

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Compressed Air as a Force in Rocket Balloons

Norman Barstowby: Norman Barstow

When the National Research Council produced the National Science Standards in 1995, they did so without including sets of lesson plans nor did they design them as part of a standard curriculum package. They were written to be used as goals for our students’ achievement in science.

In my classroom I always used the National Standards when designing my lessons, and they were always clearly represented in the objectives I set for my students. I have found that the topics of Force and Motion, as well as Air, (as part of a weather unit), can be easily taught using balloons to demonstrate the concepts of each. Read the rest of this entry »