Category Archive for: Activities

#18 – How Redesigning a Face Mask can teach Biology (and student empathy too!)

Teaching arts and sciences together can make science more applicable and exciting. That is one of the suggestions in the article My Wish List for University Science Education published on Medium.com. At its core, the article suggests ways in which we can alter university science education to make it reach more learners, to show more…

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#17 – How We Use Gift Cards for an engaging KMT activity (and teach Sustainability too!)

How can I make an abstract concept – one where I may not be able to look at close up – engaging and applicable? For example, the kinetic molecular theory (KMT) is one of the most important concepts for high school students to learn. Demos like adding food colouring to hot and cold water or…

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#15 – An Awesome Density Lab Fresh from the Oven (hint: Baking is involved!)

Density is an awesome property of matter. Density can help identify unknown materials (circa Archimedes and the Gold crown). Differences in density determine the relative position of objects (ie. Which objects sink and which objects float). Unfortunately, students too often learn that density is just a formula. A calculation. That it’s not applicable to the…

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#11 – How We do Science Curriculum & Team Building by playing “Telephone”

Team building is an important part of running a class. And, it requires constant upkeep. If I want my car to run smoothly throughout the year, I can’t change the oil once a year and expect it to last. Similarly, I can’t just do a science team building activity at the beginning of the year…

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#10 – Why we use gas prices to teach unit conversions (and why you should too!)

Unit conversions is important to learn, but to teach unit conversions is boring because most examples are irrelevant to life. Sure, we can teach students to convert kilometres to millimetres (and that might be important for certain science applications). But, when is a student really ever going to need to know how far the distance…

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#9 – Does Aspartame help with weight loss? 3 CER practice activities from real science data

CER (Claim Evidence Reasoning) is a great way to teach students to draw conclusions by analyzing their data and linking it to with scientific facts/reasoning, but CER practice resources are hard to find. In Blog 4, I give some CER examples in the form of infographics. The infographics are great in helping students see samples…

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#8 – How to use peanuts and fire for teaching STEM (note: prepare for smoke!)

Is there something we can do to start teaching STEM in a simple way? STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is an increasingly popular way to teach science and math in a holistic, applied way by using the engineering design process. Teaching stem gives off the impression that it requires teachers to go well beyond…

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#6 – The useful science skill you probably struggle to teach (note: here’s how we do it)

Students are always looking for a “right answer” in science, which leads students to be myopic when it comes to analyzing data. “What am I supposed to get” or “What is supposed to happen?” are common lines I hear from students as a result of the quest for a right answer. In labs, the expectation…

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#3 – 24 Parts to a Sweet Periodic Table Lesson (hint: chocolate is involved)

A periodic table lesson can be boring because it focuses on facts. We should focus on the application – it’s much more exciting! So, what’s the most amazing application with regards to the periodic table? It’s that it allowed Mendeleev (who first proposed a version of the periodic table that led to development of the…

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#2 – Why we use film canisters to teach scientific method (and why you should too)

What do we tend to focus on when we teach scientific method? Part of “doing” science is to come up with models that describe invisible phenomena. Bohr, Rutherford, and Thomson developed models of the atom. Watson and Crick developed the double-helix model of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). However, when we teach scientific method, we don’t always…

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