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Resources for Teaching Middle School Science
(exploration phase). Following a discussion of student observations, the concept of circuit is introduced (concept introduction). Then they engage in a number of activities that lead to an understanding of the term "series circuit" or "parallel circuit" (application phase). Examples of questioning techniques to encourage thinking and understanding are also given.
The last part of the book offers an opportunity for teachers to develop their own learning cycle sequence. Randomly sequenced activities related to the concept of surface tension are presented. Using these activities and others they create, teachers can construct their own learning cycle sequence.
Price: $26.50 (ISBN 0-435-08376-7). Publisher/supplier: Heinemann. Materials: Available locally, or from commercial suppliers.
1.113The Wizard's Lab: Exhibit Guide.
Reprinted with revisions. Cary Sneider and Alan Gould. Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS)/Exhibit Guides. Berkeley, Calif.: Lawrence Hall of Science, 1992.
Recommended grade level: K-8.The Wizard's Lab provides 10 interactive exhibits that can be used in a variety of settings—for example, at a science center, at a classroom learning station, in a discovery room, or on family science night. The wide spectrum of stimulating activities in physical science offered in this guide includes the spinning platform, solar cells and light polarizers, resonant pendulums, magnets, lenses, the "human battery," the oscilloscope and sound, and the harmonograph. Most of the exhibits utilize common materials and equipment available from most hardware, electronics, or variety stores and lumberyards. The skills developed include observing, analyzing, and finding patterns.
The Wizard's Lab provides background information recorded on cards with cartoon wizard figures that briefly explains the principles behind each exhibit. Detailed and illustrated instructions for constructing each exhibit are included in the teacher's guide.
Price: $21 (ISBN 0-912511-71-0). Publisher/supplier: LHS GEMS. Materials: Available locally, or from commercial suppliers.
1.114World of Science and Electronics Integrated Learning System.
2nd ed. Educational Technology Systems, Peter Michael Kellen, and Leslie Ivor Kacev. Teach Yourself Electronics Series. San Diego, Calif.: PLANETS Educational Technology Systems, 1993.
Recommended grade level: 8+. This wire-bound instruction manual—World of Science and Electronics Integrated Learning System—comes with a small box of 50 electronic components and contains directions for 26 electronic building projects. Starting with very basic circuits, students can build electronic sirens, flashing LEDs (light-emitting diodes), an electronic time-delay circuit, a sound synthesizer, and other projects. Students also learn how transistors, capacitors, diodes, resistors, integrated circuits, and silicon-controlled rectifiers work.
The projects, designed to be followed in sequence, each include step-by-step assembly directions, a pictorial guide, assembly diagrams, and electronic schematic diagrams. A teacher's guide, student workbook, and add-on modules are available.
Prices: Teacher's guide with student workbook, $30.00. Software version of book, $99.95. Power kit (AC power), $99.95. Dura-kit (Battery-powered), $89.95. Publisher/supplier: PLANETS. Materials: Available in kit.
1.115Young America Hands-on Activities.
PACT 95. Glenview, Ill.: Scott Foresman, 1996.
Recommended grade level: 5-8+.Young America Hands-on Activities is a teacher's resource guide that offers an 11-week series of interdisciplinary activities related to boats and sailing. (The activities were originally part of an educational program based on the America's Cup Race in 1995. Students were to complete the activities as the America's Cup trials unfolded.) The activities, which are categorized by grade level, help students learn the science involved in how a boat floats and stays upright, what makes a sailboat move, how a fast boat can be designed and built, and what navigational skills a sailor needs. The importance of teamwork in building and sailing a boat is also emphasized. Among the activities, for example, students make an anemometer and use it to measure wind speeds, locate the center of mass and the center of buoyancy of a wooden hull, determine the best rudder design for a model boat, learn how to build a miniature plug (the male mold of a boat's hull) from a lines plan (a drawing of the shape of a boat's hull), find out how to use a navigation chart, and learn how to organize effective cooperative teams.
One activity per week is provided for each of 3 grade levels (grades K-4, 5-8, and 9-12). For each activity, directions, extensions, cross-curricular connections, and information on careers and people related to the world of boats and sailing are provided.
Prices: $15.95 (ISBN 0-673-40240-1). Publisher/supplier: Scott Foresman/Addison-Wesley.