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

outer reaches by KeriMelhorn, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License   by  KeriMelhorn 

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

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@sirkenrobinson on Standardisation by mrkrndvs, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  mrkrndvs 

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

YA book review. Head of the River by Pip Harry

Head of the River

Head of the River by Pip Harry

Head of the River is not simply a novel about sport. It is about so much more. It is ultimately about friendship, growing up, relationships, identity, insecurities and anxieties when you are becoming an adult and family bonds. Sport is the mechanism but it is not an “issues” book.

It is an interesting read, looking at the pressures placed on young people the world of elite school sport. Money and prestige play a big part in this rather insular world where winning seems all-consuming.

This novel tells the story of Cristian and Leni Posescu who are twins on rowing scholarships. There are high expectations that they will perform well, partly because their parents are both medal winning Olympians and partly because they must maintain high performances to stay at the school. The pressure to do well and win the Head of the River eights, in both boys and girls sections, place almost unbearable pressures on both them and others in their circle.

The narrative unfolds with the voices of Cristian and Leni in alternating chapters as they explain their struggles. Each is trying create a balance in their lives whilst finding a place for study, working out their relationships as well as keeping up with the rigorous training regime in preparation for the final race.  Each finds out that not everything can be achieved the way they want it to.

At the end of the novel, the love they have within their family, and the support they give to each other, leaves the reader with a positive impression of life beyond school.

An interview with the author about this books can be found at http://www.kids-bookreview.com/2014/1…

There is a review here and here.

Teachers notes can be found here for encouraging further discussion.

This book raises some real-world issues that younger athletes may experience when they seek to excel in a sport. The boys are exposed to the use of anabolic steroids and performance enhancing drugs. The consequences of this use comes to light in a way that introduces some topical questions about sporting culture and the detection of drug cheats as well as the pressure placed on young athletes to perform at elite levels

Book trailer for the novel below.

Useful links

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

Useful links

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

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