General Science and Teaching

Getting the Students Excited About Science

Are there any activities, engagement lessons, links you would recommend to get students interested/excited about learning science?

Aleida Torres
Aleida Torres
315 Activity Points

Hey Aleida! I think it's great that you want to get students actually interested in science; I had some teachers who didn't seem to care regardless and their teaching methods really kept me from loving science as I otherwise might have.

For one, having a good hook that draws on student's prior knowledge is a great way to engage students. If you can tie that to student interests and their own experiences, it'll be even more engaging. It could also be helpful to show an interesting video clip- there are plenty available online!

Using trade books can also help students who can be engaged in learning through reading and looking at realistic pictures. The NSTA store has many fiction and non-fiction trade books:

http://www.nsta.org/publications/press/nstakids.aspx

Using hands-on activities is also a great way to immerse students in the learning process and have them engaged and connected to the science concepts that are the focus of the lesson.

Education.com has some great ideas for science projects for different grade levels that can be used as science activities in the classroom. Another great site that features STEM-based projects is https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/science-experiments-and-activities/. I hope this is useful, and feel free to let me know if you have any additional questions!

Rida Rangoonwala
Rida Rangoonwala
390 Activity Points

Hi Aleida, I found this really fun website where you can find several activities to teach your students about different topics. I found this interesting lesson about KE and PE. Hope this helps! https://www.sciencebuddies.org/teacher-resources/lesson-plans/balloon-car

Lory Hernandez
Lory Hernandez
753 Activity Points

Hello, What I have noticed in different classrooms and in my own experiences is that a video, or even a personal story, can be the most captivating. Another way to engage them is to start off with an investigation or exploration to see if the students can teach themselves before explaining to the class and eventually learning about the topic. With these techniques, I have seen students become more excited to learn about science rather than having them begin with the textbook information, for example. Good luck!

Janice Venezuela
Janice Venezuela
2935 Activity Points

Hello, When I am creating new lessons for my SCE class, I always check Crash Course Kids youtube channel to find quick, informative, and entertaining videos that summaries the lessons topic and starts the conversation for the experiment. They provide vocabulary, interactive questions, and colorful art work. You may show these videos at the start or end of your lesson. Additionally, I have found a wonderful website that provides science lessons for grades K-5. This website is known as Mystery Science. The lessons provide the teacher with talking points, videos, guiding questions, and the experiment. The lessons line up with NGSS and Common Core. I would definitely use this website in the future on days where I didn't have enough time to put an original lesson together or I needed additional help. https://mysteryscience.com/r1

Ashley Planas
Ashley Planas
675 Activity Points

[size=4][font=Helvetica]Yes! To keep students engaged in learning and excited about science, we should present science not as facts to be memorized but as a process of exploration and discovery. I would consider “must-haves” to include the Phenomenon-Based Learning Books (from NSTA Press) and accompanying materials (from Arbor Scientific). Here are links to the elementary version [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica] [/font][/size] [url=http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9781936959389][color=blue][size=4][font=Times New Roman]http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9781936959389[/font][/size][/color][/url] [u][color=blue][size=4][font=Helvetica] [/font][/size][/color][/u] [size=4][font=Helvetica] [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica]the middle-school version [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica] [/font][/size] [url=http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9781936959372][size=4][font=Times New Roman]http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9781936959372[/font][/size][/url] [size=4][font=Helvetica] [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica]and the high-school version [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica] [/font][/size] [url=http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9781936959365][font=Verdana]http://www.nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9781936959365[/font][/url][size=4][font=Helvetica].[/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica] [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica]of the books. [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica] [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica]On any of those pages, you can scroll down, and under “Details,” you’ll find a link for downloading a sample chapter. And if you click on that link, you get not only the sample chapter, but also the table of contents and the Introduction. Teachers will find the Introduction quite informative in describing how they should present the activities in ways that will be most pedagogically effective for all levels of students.[/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica] [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica]The books are based on "Phenomenon-Based Learning" (PBL), which builds knowledge of, and interest in, physical science as a result of observations of real-world phenomena, in this case, some fun gizmos and gadgets. The idea is to teach broader concepts and useful thinking and performance skills (as with [i]NGSS[/i]) rather than asking students to simply memorize facts and formulas. Students will investigate an interesting gadget and, motivated by their own curiosity, explore and discover how it works and what physical phenomena are involved. So the approach to learning is based on curiosity and creativity. [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica] [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica]You can see the kits of materials designed to go with the books here: [/font][/size] [color=black][size=4][font=Bookman Old Style] [/font][/size][/color] [url=http://www.arborsci.com/nsta-kits][size=4][font=Helvetica]http://www.arborsci.com/nsta-kits[/font][/size][/url] [color=black][size=4][font=Bookman Old Style] [/font][/size][/color] [size=4][font=Helvetica]Click on any book to see the kit(s) for that book. [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica]The kits are expensive, but they provide enough materials for dozens of activities and would be a great investment for any school, even without the books. [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica] [/font][/size] [size=4][font=Helvetica]James[/font][/size]

James Dotson
James Dotson
100 Activity Points

Hi Aleida,

I have some really good website that can share with you.

https://www.science4us.com/?gclid=CjwKCAjws6jVBRBZEiwAkIfZ2vnyIFSJFQ0Ml76gCrl3XY4OXOiGEf70iralidguChm5EStk9n93LRoCCWMQAvD_BwE

https://www.education.com/activity/science/

https://www.education.com/resources/activity+lesson-plan/science/

Those websites have many good ideas that can help you prepare the lesson.

In my opinion, science class should have more hand on activities, teacher shouldn’t let student memorize the concepts all the time.

Yixiu Yan
Yixiu Yan
265 Activity Points

Hi Aleida! Getting students excited about science is easy with the right tools and activities! When I was younger science was always one of my favorites, because I always found out something new that seemed mind blowing at the time. For example, anything that tested my already established point of view or a misconception I may have had, it was always so interesting to learn that it wasn't what I thought. I found this article that I thought was a good guideline to selecting activities for science that are effective and also fun! It goes through different ideas to look for and it provides a "Science Activity Evaluation Form" teachers can use to help in the planning process! I hope this helps!

Brianna Martin
Brianna Martin
3074 Activity Points

Have you checked out Mystery Science? There's lots of fun lessons and videos that keep students engaged. The videos are really short and usually have some fun aspect to them.

Brenda Velasco
Brenda Velasco
2060 Activity Points

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