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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 video (91)

Wednesday
Aug122015

Teachers Being Students: How Many Molecules Are in a Drop of Water?

Middle school students are often afraid of being perceived as stupid when trying to solve problems in class. When they see adults, in this case their teachers, go through the same struggles, they are more willing in the future to test and share their ideas. I want to thank the very courageous non-science teachers at my school for volunteering to be a part of this video. This activity covers NGSS practices: (2) Developing and using models. (5) Using mathematics and computational thinking. It also covers the NGSS crosscutting concepts: (3) Scale, proportion, and quantity.
Sunday
Nov172013

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.

 

Monday
Sep022013

Teachers Being Students: "What is Mass?"

Four brave non science teachers at my school were asked the question, "What is mass?"  The teachers struggled to answer the question. Students learn science concepts best by confronting what they know about a concept, usually a misconception, and then trying to fit new and often conflicting information with that knowledge. Students often view this as confusing, but studies have shown that they learn a science concept better (see Veritasium's talk on effective education movies). The purpose of this video is to show my students that teachers/adults go through the exact same process.
Tuesday
Jul022013

Review: UFO Balloon

I bought the UFO Balloon from a local education store a while ago, but never took the time to test it out until now. It is supposed to demonstrate the effect of temperature on a gas. Does it? Check out the video to see the results.
Tuesday
Mar122013

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.