Saturday, November 12, 2011

Science Centers in 6th

I teach 6th grade in an elementary school.  This poses problems when it comes to planning science labs.  I have no lab stations, my floor is covered in carpet, and I don't have access to lab equipment like I would if I were in a middle school.  So I have to make do.  Having been a primary teacher in another life, I decided that I would set up the energy labs in a center rotation.  Each rotation provided students with a lab sheet that not only gave specific directions to setting up the materials, but also provided guiding questions and enrichments/extensions for those that finish early.

Collecting gas after the baking soda and vinegar create chemical energy.

Students got to explore energy transformation through everyday materials that they probably played with when they were younger.
Students test static electricity's power.

Now with new connections to Newton's Laws and electricity, these seemingly juvenille experiments begged them to deepen their understanding, analyze, and pose new hypotheses.

Waterwheels transforming gravitational energy into mechanical.

It was an eye opening experience for me, and one I hope to repeat in the future.
All labs were taken from the JASON Project free curriculum on energy.


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