A Simple Experiment to Find the Percentage of Oxygen in the Air
As technology advances we forget sometime that there is a simple story behind every discovery. Priestley's methodology to find the percentage of oxygen in the air is straightforward and really effective way to engage students into thinking and inquiry process. The simplicity of the experiment design and the required materials will be appreciated by students and educators alike. By Leonard Bega and Keith Gale.
Chemicals and the Environment Project: Creative Student Learning
In this assignment, the author asks students to really explore all of the chemicals used in our daily life and the potential side effects or consequences of their use. This project allows students to choose a topic that interests them as well as choose a medium to convey the information. When choice is an option, the final products are often incredibly creative and very well done, from skits, to videos to rap songs. By Sara Dicks, with notes by Leila Knetsch.
Pipe Cleaner Mitosis Manipulative for ELL Students
For the SNC2D8 class a pipe cleaner and yarn in-class activity was designed to help teach mitosis. This activity involves students working in pairs or trios to complete a handmade visual representation of the stages of mitosis along with a brief description of one important detail of each phase. By Scott Jay.
Image from: http://creativitybymeg.blogspot.ca/2012/04/im-still-here.html
A Visit to the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas - A Dream Come True
Over a year ago, I was on a NASA website researching an article when I came across information about the Science Exploration Educator�s Conference (SEEC) held at Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. Organizers were looking for people to give hands-on science workshops for educators at their Conference to be held this past February. This was right up my alley. I applied and was accepted. Learn about this excellent conference, and the people who attended. By Stan Taylor.
Marshmallow Catapults: Launching Your Way into Inquiry-Based Science!
Marshmallow Catapults investigates levers as a simple machine with a focus on their associated inputs, outputs, and components (load, effort, etc...). This was achieved through teacher-guided inquiry that incorporated a PEOE foldable. Students concentrated on properly executing a scientific experiment and applying their previous knowledge to learn the new intended material. For elementary or secondary learners. By Tegan Sitler.
Acid Rain Demonstration (Burning of Sulphur) - An Environmental Connection
I love this demonstration - it is one of my favourites. Generally, you burn sulphur to make sulphur dioxide and allow the sulphur dioxide gas to dissolve in water to form sulphurous acid like in acid rain. If you have a good sense of the dramatic, when you shake the gas bottle, the water turns suddenly from blue to yellow. The students enjoy the dramatic and unexpected change. I love that it can be used at different points in the curriculum for different reasons and that it connects to the making of acid rain. By Leila Knetsch.
The Evening Sky Map - Best Bargain In Town
To help find your way around the night sky, Skymaps.com makes available for free each month The Evening Sky Map. It is a 2-page monthly guide to the night skies of the northern and southern hemispheres. Each issue contains a detailed sky map, a monthly sky calendar, and a descriptive list of the best objects to see with binoculars, a telescope, or using just your eyes. By Stan Taylor.
Space Literacy Task
With the advent of the EQAO literacy test, there has been muh focus on student literacy levels and integrating this across the curriculum. What do our students need to practise? The skill of inferencing. In science, asking students to read an article and write a summary or answer comprehension questions is something that is done all the time. We do, however, need to give our students important feedback on how they are doing in their reading and writing. By Leila Knetsch.
Putting Earth into Science: Activities for You!
What better way to reinforce the importance of Earth and its natural resources in science than to anchor scientific investi- gations for chemistry, physics, and biology, to rocks, minerals, and methods related to the extraction of the resource from the Earth? The activities that follow will highlight how Earth can be used as an anchoring theme in teaching middle school physics and secondary school chemistry. From: Groundwork, a publication of Mining Matters.
On the Storage and Use of Alkali Solutions
While the storage, use and disposal of acids have received a lot of attention, this has not been the case for their complement. Most articles state the safety advice for acids and then include a brief inclusive statement about bases. Most schools have purchased acid cabinets, but cabinets to accommodate bases are generally not found in our schools. Learn why it's important to store these chemicals safely! By Dave Gervais on behalf of the STAO/APSO Safety Committee.
Genes for the Whole Family - Mendelian Genetics
This activity is surprisingly challenging. It generally takes several tries to produce the desired result. Keep track of how many attempts you make in order to produce a homozygous BB pair of rabbits. Because of the probability nature of selective breeding some students will, by pure chance, produce a suitable result after a few generations on their first try. Repeat the process and see if the results are the same.The emphasis here is two-fold: simple Mendelian genetics and the difficulty (and inefficiency) of selective breeding. From the National Research Council.
STAO Hot Website: The Scale of the Universe
So, you think a T-Rex was big? Think again! Learn about the scale of objects in the universe and here on Earth, from the tiniest, almost microscopic beings, to the largest objects in the galaxy (and beyond)! By Shayla Gunter-Goldstein.
Measuring Surface Tension
Students observe capillary action in glass tubes of varying sizes. Then they use the capillary action to calculate the surface tension in each tube. They find the average surface tensions and calculate the statistical errors.
From: http://www.teachengineering.org/ .
Edmodo - Digital Learning Platform as Online Course Binder?
While talking with a colleague about cool websites, I expressed my frustration over the need to create an online course "binder" of sorts. Edmodo was recommended. Our conversation ended with, "You will love it! I will send you a link!" Edmodo is a digital learning platform that takes very little in terms of expert know how. It also doesn't take much effort to get kids to sign up on it. Learn more about Edmodo By Leila Knetsch.
Astronomy Matching Review for Grade 9 Using Veritech Tiles
Astronomy Matching Review for Grade 9 Using Veritech Tiles
Veritech tiles are a kinethestic matching strategy often used with elementary children for math problems. The tiles are a way to introduce a kinesthetic activity in a very different way, using materials that kids really enjoy working with. This time, I used them for a Grade 9 Astronomy course. By Leila Knetsch.
Learning by Accident: The dangers of glue guns, drills and more... a science perspective
As the new curriculum requires students to have concrete hands-on experience, this often involves building models, platforms, and simple apparatus to demonstrate science principles. As a result teachers frequently supply soldering guns, hot glue guns, hammers, nails, screw drivers, drills and hand saws. What are the safety issues surrounding the use of these items? More than you know. Submitted by a STAO/APSO member.
Organ Donation - Plus/Minus Co-operative Learning Activity and OSSLT Style Literacy Task
For this activity, the basics of organ donation were presented then a Plus/Minus activity was done, debating the merits of organ donation. The author believes that it is important for students to do literacy tasks as scientists should be literate in the ways of science as well as just able to extract information and summarize it in a cogent way. It's an important skill and an excellent way to integrate Science, Technology, Society and the Environment (STSE) issues. By Scott Jay.
GO FISH!: An inquiry-based activity about sustainability
Sustainability is currently an important issue faced by humankind in our modern era. Becoming aware of the movement toward a more sustainable future is important, especially for our youth and children. Sustainability is important in teaching about the environment and how we as humans can affect the environment in which we live. The proposed activity can be a powerful tool in helping towards the environmental and sustainable education movement. By Eric Bondy and Aaron Blata.
A Tribute to John Henry, 1943-2013
John Henry, STAO/APSO President in 2003-2004 passed away at his home, on Monday, February 25, 2013 at the age of 70. John was a man of exceptional warmth and wisdom and his loss leaves a void in many lives that will not be readily filled.
Detecting the Higgs Boson
Ever since Newton and his famous hit in the head under the apple tree, we have known that objects with mass have gravity. Newton's laws of gravity, however, do not however explain WHY particles have mass in the first place. What gives matter its mass? This is a question that has occupied physicists for a long time. Today the thought is that there is a particle that exists which is responsible for giving all other particles mass. This particle has been named the Higgs boson. Learn more in this short article. By Simon McMillan.
Life in the Universe
A lecture on "Life in the Universe" was presented by Professor John Percy, from the University of Toronto recently. This free public lecture was sponsored by the Durham District School Board (DDSB). Professor Percy has been a member of STAO for over 40 years. He is a former STAO Honorary President, and he continues to develop astronomy curriculum and resources, in partnership with STAO. Discover what this fascinating man had to say. By Stan Taylor.
Calendar of Events and Science Announcements
What's happening and who is winning what these days? Read all about it!