Category Archives: Science

Bubble Ball (Reblog)

For the summer, I have decided to use my Tuesday and Thursday posts to reblog some of my favorite posts that some of my readers may have missed the first time around.

Bubble Ball is one of my favorite iDevice apps.  It is a free download, and has 48 levels.  You can purchase more after you finish the 48  for  99 cents.  The purpose of this game is to use the various materials that appear on the screen in each level to direct a ball to roll toward a flag.  I don’t usually like to recommend game apps for the classroom, because students seem to get enough of those at home.  But this Physics challenge encourages problem solving and creative thinking.  Many of the levels have more than one solution.  This could be a fun center in which the students could take screen shots of their solutions and explain them using the free Screen Chomp app or other methods.  It would be interesting to compare the different solutions groups develop, and have them explain their thought processes.  Of course, I highly recommend that you play around with the app yourself – just to get familiar with the levels, of course 😉

Bubble Ball (Reblog)

For the summer, I have decided to use my Tuesday and Thursday posts to reblog some of my favorite posts that some of my readers may have missed the first time around.

Bubble Ball is one of my favorite iDevice apps.  It is a free download, and has 48 levels.  You can purchase more after you finish the 48  for  99 cents.  The purpose of this game is to use the various materials that appear on the screen in each level to direct a ball to roll toward a flag.  I don’t usually like to recommend game apps for the classroom, because students seem to get enough of those at home.  But this Physics challenge encourages problem solving and creative thinking.  Many of the levels have more than one solution.  This could be a fun center in which the students could take screen shots of their solutions and explain them using the free Screen Chomp app or other methods.  It would be interesting to compare the different solutions groups develop, and have them explain their thought processes.  Of course, I highly recommend that you play around with the app yourself – just to get familiar with the levels, of course 😉

Leave No Child Inside

“Leave No Child Inside:  How Nature Benefits Children” is a blog post on Roots of Action that showcases a video from the “No Child Left Inside Coalition” as well as some ideas for outdoor activities for children and families.  The video shows the importance of outdoor education, and the post by Marilyn Price-Mitchell also offers a list of other valuable resources.  I think that we often forget that taking the classroom outdoors can be an easy way to engage kids in learning.

What is a Flame?

http://flamechallenge.org/

As part of the World Science Festival going on in New York this weekend, The Flame Challenge (presented by Alan Alda) asked adults to come up with a way to explain what a flame is to an 11-year old.  The finalists will be judged by a panel of, well, 11-year olds, fittingly enough.  This particular animated video, “What is a Flame?” caught my eye, and my ear, with its graphics, comedy, and music.  But, does it meet the challenge?  We will find out on 6/2/2012.  You can see the other finalists on this page, and judge for yourself who should be the winner.

Sick Science Videos

Here is another summer recommendation for parents: How about choosing one or two “Sick Science” videos each week to watch, and then supervise your child performing the experiment?  These videos, produced by Steve Spangler Science, are short how-to videos for all kinds of science projects that can be done at home.  One of my personal favorites is “The Shrinking Chip Bag”, but that requires an old microwave and definite parental supervision.  For a less “electrifying” example, check out the video below on moving toothpicks with sound.  You can also find it at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLC02CFDE5690E4010

Wondermind

Wondermind is about Science, Art, and Alice in Wonderland.  It’s hard to describe this enchanting site, which just got nominated for a Webby Award in the Youth category.  I recommend that you visit the site, play the delightful games, and learn about the brain and its perceptions.  You will be enchanted.

Trap a Leprechaun

Our next holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, is right around the corner.  I was looking for some creative ideas for that theme, and came across a fun concept – trying to trap a leprechaun.  If you teach students in higher grades, you could really get into some math and physics with this challenge.  Pretend there is a leprechaun hiding in your classroom, and see if the students can deduce from clues (footprints in the soil of a plant, for example) his approximate height and weight.  Or, just bring a bunch of supplies to class and see who could build the most clever trap.  This would spark some great writing activities, as well.  Here are a few links to spark your imagination:  To Catch a Leprechaun, Leprechaun Traps, Leprechaun Trap Cake.  And, if you are interested in some more creative thinking activities for next month, you can also download my March S.C.A.M.P.E.R. packet here.