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Incorporating science in a family vacation trip | Posted in Informal Science

Greetings!

As teachers, we’re always on the prowl for ideas and resources for our classrooms. You can tell who the teachers are at amusements parks (figuring out the physics principles at work), on the beach (identifying shells and other critters), and on the hiking trails at state and national parks (with binoculars and guidebooks or ID apps). We take (drag?) our families and friends to museums, science centers, zoos, nature centers, botanical gardens, and arboretums. Even at historical sites, we can find applications of science to share with our students (for example, while my husband and I were exploring the history of the Gettysburg Battlefield, I was also photographing the lichens on the monuments). We stop the car to photograph interesting rock outcrops or fantastic cloud formations. Our souvenirs include rocks, sand samples, fossils, pressed wildflowers, maps, brochures, books, and thoughts and reflections about improving what we teach. (Be sure to follow local procedures about sample-collecting, though. Photographs are good!)

My husband got used to the fact that our vacations always had a science component! And I enjoyed sharing my experiences with students.

Mary B.


Mary Bigelow

Gardening at school with young children | Posted in Early Childhood

Sounds like a great plan of action. You're planting the seeds for further garden lessons in the spring (pun intended). Keeping the school garden going throughout the summer and planting things kids could experience the entire life cycle of was always a challenge for me too! I never balanced it quite right. Our preschool teacher did a great job with her students. They planted potatoes and popcorn each spring and then the new class would harvest in the fall. She also kept her gardening/healthy eating program alive throughout the snowy winter by incorporating specific produce into her baking lessons each week. i.e. beet cake, zucchini muffins, avocado pudding, etc.


Sarah Benton

Field Trips | Posted in Elementary Science

Greeting Rochelle! 

Of everything that I can remember loving in school, field trips topped the list for me! For science class, I can remember loving going to the local science museum. The one in the state I live in is extremely interactive and covers many different scientific concepts. I think if you decide to take them to a museum, first visit it yourself. Make sure the museum is interactive, fun, but still educational. If it meets all of that criteria, take them! They will learn so much and love it! But, the field trip that tops the list for me was in the 5th grade when we went camping. At this trip all of our lessons were incorporated in some way to nature. The thing I remember the most was the science sections of the lessons; we were able to have ands on lessons with different rocks we were learning about. We also were able to go on nature hikes and study the plants and creatures we saw. It was such an amazing experience that I think all schools should encourage it if the resources are available to make it happen!


Nicolette Walker

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Hailey Bellows

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