Sharon Chern

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Recent Posts by Sharon

Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:55 PM in Science Fair Topics
It is challenging to find original and interesting science projects. Something I've tried is to go on the Intel international science and engineering or Siemens math science & tech type competitions, look at the projects abstracts and see if there are any topics of interest to the student, and then help the student scale down the complexity of the project to whatever academic/cognitive level they...

Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:39 PM in Hawaii and Coral Reef Systems
I've collected a lot of resources from this thread, thanks everyone. I'd like to share a coral reef demo that gets students' attention. Put a small piece of chalk in a cup of vinegar (or stronger acid!) and the chalk literally disintegrates. Students can see the bubbles forming and pieces of chalk falling apart. Then we talk about the increasing CO2 concentration in the air, climate change, acidif...

Sat Apr 21, 2012 9:29 PM in Earth Day April 22, 2012
I teach marine science. I think for Earth Day 2012 I will start with the chalk-in-vinegar (or stronger acid!) demonstration to show how increased CO2 concentration leads to change in pH which affects corals and shells, then we'll brain storm causes of increased CO2 in the oceans, etc., and finally end with a debate on possible solutions to climate change at the end of the week.





Recent Reviews by Sharon


Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:01 AM
4 Fun simulations for students
Although listed for grades 5-8, this SciGuide is appropriate for 9th grade earth science class. This is an excellent collection of resources. I especially liked the interactive included in the sciguide where students generate conclusions from simulations. Some of the simulations are: “Sedimentary rocks”, “Metamorphic pressure cooker” where students “cook” their rocks thus changing the type of rock throughout the experiment, “the rock cycle”, and the “Geologic Adventure” where students figure out the sequence of events of plate movements. I could use the many interactive animations to teach concepts, or as review before a quiz or test, or simply to add interest to engage our internet-savvy students. A suggestion for improvement would be to add more 10th grade+ level resources would be helpful to high school geology or environmental science teachers.


Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:51 AM
4 Excellent resources for a more abstract topic
Although listed for grades 5-8, this SciGuide is appropriate for a high school level conceptual physics course (for regular level or lower level math students). It covers electric charges, forces, conductors and insulators, electric circuits, interaction between electricity and magnetic fields. This is an excellent collection of resources. Many use real world technology and are fun for the students to explore, for example, the build-your-own circuit lab. There are many student-friendly, fun interactive activities like “Electric forces”, “Force, distance, charge”, “Rutherford’s Gold foil experiments” virtual lab where students will enjoy learning about freefall, air resistance etc. I could use the many interactive animations to teach concepts, have them predict what might happen before they carry out the simulation, observe the simulation and reflect on whether they were right or wrong and why. They can also calculate quantities based on the variables used in the simulations. An improvement I would suggest: perhaps add some links for the high school level, maybe for a 12th grade physics class with mathematical applications.


Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:42 AM
4 Many fun interactives for students
This is a great collection of resources for the study of coral reef ecosystems, covering coral reef biology, ecosystem and conservation. There are many educational yet fun interactives such as the “Make a Reef”, “Populate a Coral Reef”, and “Life in the Balance” simulations where students design a functioning ecosystem. A detailed “Reef of One’s own” lesson plan is included where teachers provide resources for students to complete a written report on the coral reef ecosystem. I could use the many coral reef simulations for students to apply concepts taught in class. They can try out different ways to create and ecosystem through trial and error to see what works. I could also used the detailed lesson plan on “A Reef of One’s own” to allow students to synthesize what they’ve learned in the unit. Overall, it’s an excellent SciGuide for all levels k-12.