Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show is a website that has short videos with easy directions on how to make a wide range of items – from the soft-circuitry products featured in the photo above to paper rockets and sidewalk chalk. Sylvia is a kid with a lot of personality and very engaging videos. If you are looking for some suggestions for your students for the summer, show them this site. They will have many projects to choose from, and they might want to send Sylvia a request for a new video. Your really creative students will see these, and want to make their own videos! Here is the short link to the YouTube video below: http://youtu.be/j3g_tdPIo0o
Ewok Escape is one of 12 Design Challenges (7 current ones, and 5 in the archives) offered by Boston’s Museum of Science on their website. The question posed by this particular challenge is, “CAN YOU DESIGN AND BUILD A BALANCING DEVICE TO HELP AN EWOK ESCAPE THE IMPERIAL FORCES BY SLIDING DOWN A TIGHTROPE TO SAFETY?” What student wouldn’t want to accept that challenge? Each of the challenges come with Educator Guides in PDF format, and many of them have additional worksheets, as well. If your students aren’t Star Wars fans, they can use other figures that pique their interest, or they can try to design a house for an animal or tools to help them survive in case of a shipwreck!
This site from the Science Alberta Foundation describes itself as follows: “Wonderville is a fun, interactive destination for kids to discover the exciting world of science. This award-winning site encourages exploration and curiosity, while helping kids discover how much fun science can be.” The site include videos, games, comics, and other activities about topics such as “Milk Mystery” and “Tree Cookies”. This would be a great link for a teacher to suggest to parents, or to use as a supplemental resource in the classroom.
O.K. It’s Sesame Street. But you would be surprised how engaged kids of all ages can be by this series of linked videos that allow the viewer to make choices that determine the next video that will be watched. An experiment showing whether or not different objects float is the purpose of the video. However, it could also be used as a general lesson that demonstrates the Scientific Process. If you enjoy this interactive video experience, and would like to learn how to make your own set of videos that link together, you can find some very simple instructions here.
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 😉