Setting Up a Bacterial Culture Lab


by Becca Fanucci

Bacteria is literally everywhere.  In fact, it’s estimated there are more bacterial cells in your body than human cells!  Students are always fascinated with growing bacteria.  It’s an awesome way to discover which surfaces are dirtier than others… or whether the “five second rule” about dropped food is really legitimate.  I usually present my bacterial culture lab during the first week of school.  Not only are students engaged, but it’s a good way to review variables and the steps needed to set up a controlled experiment.  

(more…)

Potential and Kinetic Energy Explained


by Arthur Murray

Teaching about potential and kinetic energy is always exciting, whether your students are in kindergarten or college.  There is so much to explore, and the world is full of examples of these types of energy in action.  Any time that you’re chewing gum, typing on your computer, or launching a rubber band into the air…  you are demonstrating potential and kinetic energy in all its glory.

Read the rest of this entry »


Keep Your Shirt On Review Game


Tami O'ConnorBy Tami G. O’Connor

By far, my students’ favorite way to review for tests and quizzes was a game we called “Keep Your Shirt On.” I found that I was able to use this game for virtually any subject and any grade level.  No matter what subject, my students’ scores increased dramatically!  As long as your students can read, they can use this tool.

Keep Your Shirt On was a great review game before math tests (multiplication, division, addition, subtraction or properties), Social Studies (state capitals, explorers, landforms…) and especially Science!

Read the rest of this entry »


Using Solar Cells to Teach Series and Parallel Circuits


By Marty Mathiesen

During the electricity unit in my high school physics class, I like to do an activity in which students determine the effect of having batteries placed in a series circuit and also in a parallel circuit.  We explore questions such as What are the similarities?  The differences?  What are the advantages of each method?  Do you see any patterns?

Read the rest of this entry »


Classroom Coasters, Mazes and More!


Chris Herald

By Chris Herald
NSTA STEM Teacher Ambassador 2017

I always love when Spring arrives because we start physics topics in my eighth grade physical science class!  Don’t get me wrong—my first love is chemistry and I have a Master’s degree to prove it—but there’s just something about physics in the Spring.  My students delve into the topics of speed and momentum with great gusto.  Two highlights?  Rolling marbles down a ruler and designing their own Hot Wheels experiment.  Not only are these students exploring some key physics topics, they are ALSO getting a chance to dabble in engineering:  a great combination!

Read the rest of this entry »