Mazzocchi ESL

Posts Tagged ‘science

Ready, Set, GLOW!


According to the Children & Nature Network (2008), only 6% of children ages 9-13 play outside in a typical week. The National Children’s Museum developed Ready, Set, Glow! to encourage kids to get outside and have fun learning about fireflies. The homepage links to Firefly Jokes, Be a Scientist, and Games.

For Educators offers K-5 lesson plans, activities for Girl and Boy Scout badge activities, camp craft activities and games, and science project ideas. Lessons and activities are available as PDFs. An example grade 3-5 lesson is How Do Fireflies Glow? In this lesson in bioluminescence, students use light sticks to gain insight into how a chemical reaction inside fireflies produces their light.

Activity Sheets include coloring pages, maze, word searches, secret code, and data sheet for recording firefly field observations.

Parent Tips suggest how to interest kids in science and observing fireflies, recommend supplies, provide tips on collecting data, and describe firefly experiments. One experiment called Talking to Fireflies instructs students to observe and imitate female firefly flashing behavior and to imitate it to attract males.

For students who participate in firefly watching activities, an Official Firefly Watcher Certificate is available for downloading and printing.


Understanding Science


Understanding Science was developed for K-16 teachers and students and provides a look at the process of science, its principles and methods. A Site Tour outlines the website. An interactive flow chart How Science Works describes the process scientists use to understand the world.

Understanding Science 101 examines what science is and how it works, how scientific argument is constructed, how science influences and is influenced by society, and how media affects public policy and public perceptions of science. Organized under eight headings, each webpage can be printed and includes a sidebar with supplemental information and links. For example, The Real Process of Science links to an example of science in action and to grade specific strategies and lesson plans.

For Teachers contains grade-leveled resources for the classroom. Resources can be accessed in Teacher Lounges (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12,13-16) or by type. For example the K-2 Lounge provides information on the readiness of elementary students, tips for teachers and starting activities, and strategies for integrating the process and nature of science. In one sample lesson, Watching Animals Move, students observe animals to determine how they move.

Resource Library has a number of sections. The basics covers misconceptions about science and answers frequently asked questions about how science works. Science in Action gives three examples of how science and scientists work. Cells Within Cells: An Extraordinary Claim With Extraordinary Evidence describes how microbiologist Lynn Margulis proposed that several fundamental transitions in evolution occurred, not through competition and speciation, but through cooperation.


Incredible High-Resolution Interactive Map of the World’s Shrinking Forests

This beautiful data visualization tool gives the first comprehensive, high-resolution look at deforestation around the world. It is based on 654,178 Landsat satellite images from the U.S. Geological Survey that were analyzed by a team of academic, government and Google researchers.


Spooky Science Ideas

By Deva Dalporto (WeAreTeachers)

With all of its creepy, spooky elements, Halloween is a great time for some mad science! Here are four freakily fabulous science experiments that will chill and thrill your students:

DIY Creepy Lava Lamp: Teach your students about polar molecules with this great, ghoulish activity. It’s easy and has a big “wow” factor. Fill a jar one quarter the way full with water and top off with vegetable oil.  Next, squirt in some food coloring and drop in an Alka-Seltzer tablet to form citric acid and sodium bicarbonate. Then, watch the carbon dioxide bubbles carry the creepy blood red bubbles to the top! Read the full directions!

Black Dry Ice Bubbles: Halloween is a great time to bust out the dry ice and teach your students about the properties of carbon dioxide. Fill a dish with bubble solution (or dish soap and water), add a few drops of black food coloring, and pop in a piece of dry ice. The water in the bubble solution will melt the dry ice, forming gaseous carbon dioxide that the soap will trap it into bubbles. Boo!

Slime Time: Get your hands dirty and give your students a lesson in polymers with this icky, sticky experiment. Have them mix together borax, craft glue, food coloring and water to create some spooky slime! Read the full directions!

Ghost Dance: Give your students a lesson in static electricity with this spooky ghost experiment. Have the children cut little ghosts out of tissue paper. Then give them each a balloon to inflate. Have each student rub his or her inflated balloon on his or her head to create static electricity, then hold the balloon over the ghost and watch it eerily rise!

Science Standards:

The following links to information on the Next Generation Science Standards are very useful to those wishing to know more… 

New York Times: Science Videos

The New York Times has just begun producing one minute “Science Takes” videos on its website. Read more…

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