Need a science project? Try Science Buddies

We challenge our Year 7 and 8 science students to do an investigative study in science and technology.  The  year 7 boys have to find something to do with the topic “light”, chosen because this year is the International Year of Light.

Members of the library staff have been working with the classes to assist with developing their information literacy skills. It has been going very well and the boys love the idea that the have some choice with their topic.

When we were preparing tips for the boys I came across the Science Buddies site.

Science buddies - homepg

This is a great website for teachers and students. Science Buddies is a very useful resource that offers many ideas about science projects. The people behind it are a non-profit making group who are concerned with developing science enrichment tool for young people.

It ranges from helping with the choice a project and a framework for investigations and experiments to an ask an expert forum and a Science Fair Project Guide..

Last week a student had to change his topic and he used the topic selection wizard to help him come up with a new idea. This little tool asks the student a lot of questions about their interests and understandings and capabilities.

Once you give some basic information you start the selection survey

topic selection

The answers are either yes, sometimes or no. After completing the questions you are offered an annotated list of suggested topics that fit with the answers given.

topic selection survey

The recommendations are clearly described with the most relevant coming up first.

Recommendations

There are more then 1,100 project ideas, organised into categories and levels of difficulty.

It is a great way for students to develop their understanding of science through well-designed, scientific experimentation.

How do You Choose Good Online Sources?

Rhondda:

This is a great visual to back up my teaching. We had a session last week where I was explaining this information to a year 8 science class as they embarked on a major research project. You know some” get it” but others are still struggle with evaluating a source even if they agree to the reason why. This is clean and concise.

Originally posted on An Ethical Island:

Students often ask how to determine which websites and articles are good sources to cite. My answer is always, “Well, what do you think?” Students need to be able to think on their own. So, if your student offers some questionable sources, ask, “Why did you choose that one?” Try to get the student to think about the who, what, why, and when of the article and website. Let the student use critical thinking to come to a valid conclusion. They might just have a good reason for using the source.

How to chose a good online source…. some questions to ask yourself. How to chose a good online source…. some questions to ask yourself.

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Useful links

It is not what you look at but what you see-sml

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Using photos to understand history.

We had some geography units for our students based around how areas have changed over time. Many of our students enjoyed comparing historical photos I found for the local areas they knew and current photos that I took of the same places.

There are a few opportunities to make this a real life project and add to a global history project.

The tools below could be  useful for either history of geography if they were focusing on local studies.  I also see potential for the information to be used in our language classes where they also look into the culture of the country.

 1. History Pin 

historyPinHOME

Back in 2010 I wrote about a tool called History Pin. It was created  by “We Are What We Do”, a social action movement based in the UK (London) which is now known as Shift. History Pin was created in partnership with Google and is a tool looking at history with a timeline of photographs.

Still supported, it allows users to upload photographs, date them and then slide the timeline through history to see the changes over time. Whether you are interested in buildings, transport or “life” from a particular time, History Pin offers you a glimpse into the past.

It offered our students a great opportunity to do their own research and spend time with older members of their family, talking about the old photos in their family and making sure the stories they hear are kept for posterity. Some used it as a basis for family histories as they did the technical work and the older generations telling their stories/history.

Getting started 

To begin you will need to:

  • collect your own photos and it is recommended that they be outdoor shots.
  • know the location for each photo (the street rather than town or suburb)
  • scan your photos onto a computer

You can register by going to the homepage and clicking on the join button. You will need a Gmail address (you can get one from here) and once you have joined you use will use Google’s Picassa site for sharing photos.

2.  What Was there?

WhatwasThere

What Was There is a free online tool that makes use of Google Maps and the ability for people to upload old pictures of any location, add the date, and then pinpoint the location on a map and match it to the same view today. It provides a brief history of buildings that have long gone or still exist today. You can even look at a building or street via ‘street view’ and then it will overlay the old photograph on top, allowing you to fade the photo to reveal what it looks like today.

It is simple to adjust the view to match the view in the old photograph as it uses eye-level street view tools. When uploaded you can fade from one view to another so you can see the changes appear before your eyes.

This would be useful for pupils to see how streets around their home or school may have changed over time. They could contribute photographs or link from those elsewhere. It is being updated constantly with new photos.  There is also an iPhone app available as well.

 

Useful links

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful links

Educational Postcard: ”Real learning is by Ken Whytock, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Ken Whytock 

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Useful links

Educational Postcard:  ”The Learning Env by Ken Whytock, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License   by  Ken Whytock 

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Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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