I made ScienceFix.com to share my favorite demos that I do in my middle school science classes.  

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Media that I like...
  • Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Moon
    Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Moon
    by Sara Howard
  • NOVA - Origins
    NOVA - Origins
    starring Neil Degrasse Tyson
  • Human Body: Pushing the Limits
    Human Body: Pushing the Limits
    starring Bray Poor

Entries in inquiry (3)


Scientific Method Box

It’s far from the beginning of the school year but that doesn’t mean you can’t teach students how science works. The way I ease my students to this somewhat complex concept is to expose them to the scientific method concept box. Students first make observations with their eyes about the box. After they share what they actually see (colors, words, numbers, and most importantly one side is covered up), they should come up with a question that they are wondering about. The question is “what does the covered side look like?” Students then generate hypotheses about the numbers, colors and words that make up that covered side. They then make more observations and see if there are any patterns in the data. They adjust their hypotheses as they continue to make observations. They finally get to uncover the side in question and compare the results to their hypotheses. For some students the results are expected and match their hypotheses. For others the results do not match their hypotheses. It’s a really good lead to a discussion that what is important in science is data that can lead to a conclusion regardless if the hypothesis is supported or not. In fact it is the unexpected results that lead to new scientific questions and discoveries that weren’t thought possible before. If you want the template for the boxes, email me at darren@sciencefix.com and I will send it to you.



What Causes the Different Spinning Rates of a Radiometer?

My students often stare in wonder at the radiometer that sits in the window sil of my classroom. A lot of them think it's the temperature that causes the different spinning rates. Others think it's the amount of light. I decided to attempt to see which factor determines it. This could be a good inquiry activity for students and it also demonstrates how smartphones are becoming useful data collection devices.


Differences in Lava Lamp Activity

I have two lava lamps that rest in one of the window sils in my classroom. It is both a great distractor to the students and a source of fascination/curiosity to my students. It also helps that my students have to learn the concept of density. One of my lava lamps always seems lethargic and to be frank quite a dissapointment for viewing. I had been thinking that maybe it's a really good observation that might lead to a science inquiry for my students. I did some video and time lapse filming which may result in an inquiry for my students to do. Take a look at the video and see if it's a good idea.