Complete Science Lesson Plans from Noble Foundation

These are professionally-written, complete lessons that are keyed to objectives.  These lessons all have some sort of  tie-in to Agriculture and are generally for middle-school through high school levels.  There are currently about a dozen complete lessons, but check back often as they are being re-written and new ones will be added in the future.   http://noble.org/noble-academy/

Hour of Code 2015 – for all ages.

Think computer science is only for an elite group of professionals? An Hour of Code could change your mind – and inspire your students!

Join more than 41,000 U.S. schools, libraries, and other organizations celebrating Computer Science Education Week this year by hosting hour-of-code events from December 7 to 13. One public school in every U.S. state (and the District of Columbia) will win $10,000 worth of technology.

The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event. One-hour tutorials are available in over 40 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104.

The main link is https://hourofcode.com/us

Here are some great resources, mostly free, from http://teachers.egfi-k12.org/      If you teach any STEM at all in grades K-12 be sure to check them out!

There are Star Wars-based tutorials for beginners as young as four, inspiring videos about learning computer science, fun Minecraft adventures that children can program using smart phones or tablets, and even “unplugged” Hour of Code activities for people without a computer or Internet connection.  Check out these teacher-led activities and other educator resources to get some ideas for your classroom.

No computer science teacher at your school? Edhesive offers a free AP Computer Science massive, open online course (MOOC). It’s one of 14 providers of curriculum, classroom tutorials, and platforms for teaching computer science to kids that you can integrate in your lessons.

Seek more information? The September 2013 eGFI Teachers newsletter focuses on computer engineering activities, as does the eGFI Teachers blog post with computer science education resources.

50 more easy science activities

Another fifty (or so) easy science activities, most require few materials, with links to many more.   http://buggyandbuddy.com/science-activities-kids/

Sky Brightness Maps

Wow is this cool.   We’ve all seen the black-and-white world-at-night map; this one is more accurate and more current.   There is a series of about a dozen maps to pick from.   It lets you ask your students questions about sociology and geography.  Plus pick our your location for your next star party!   Thanks John WD5IKX for the link!

Click on http://djlorenz.github.io/astronomy/lp2006/overlay/dark.html   and then click on “More Information” to access the other maps.

Science Toy Maker

This guy is a middle school teacher.  His site has about 40 carefully-selected science toys that can be easily made for cheap or even free.  Each one has instructions, images, and most have videos and animations.   Everything is explained which makes YOU look like the expert!

http://www.sciencetoymaker.org/

Toys from Trash – 100’s of cheap and easy activities.

This is a wonderful science education site from India.   There are literally several hundred easy little toys to make from paper and other scraps.   He does not go deeply into the science of each however you, the trained professional, could easily have them modify different variables and you have an instant STEM, STEAM, or EDP activity.

Many of them also have short videos.   Don’t overlook the opportunity to teach cultural diversity as the language, etc are slightly different from here in rural USA.

With several hundred activities you could literally have one per day – as if you had THAT kind of time!

Appropriate ages?  Use your professional judgement.  Most are intended for upper elementary but with the proper presentation I have used some up to grades 9, 10 and even in college!   When working with the little ones though be aware of safety hazards.

http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/toys.html

Oklahoma’s Environmental Riches – More Links

We will be having a live conversation on KCNP – Chickasaw Community Radio, 89.5 FM on Wednesday, Jan 14.  You can also listen to it on the web where the show will be archived.   Full details are at their website at http://www.kcnpradio.org/connections.htm

In anticipation of the broadcast I will be posting some links here.   Don’t forget: there are plenty of Oklahoma maps to be found here on my blog too!  Everything Oklahoma that can be mapped – geology, climate, vegetation, just search this blog for “maps”.  Of course I would be very excited to hear about any others that I should add.   Just submit your comment and I’ll get right after it.

Winter Birdfeeding in Oklahoma, here is an article in Oklahoma Outdoors, 2012 by Rachel Bradley, that describes some of the birds in our area and how to attract them.  It also has links for Oklahoma birdwatchers.  https://www.wildlifedepartment.com/wildlifemgmt/diversity/2011winterbirdfeeder.pdf

Oklahoma’s rich biodiversity:   Wikipedia says ” Oklahoma contains 10 distinct ecological regions, more per square mile than in any other state by a wide margin”.  This delightful little article then goes to to describe each of these regions, with links to most of them.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s Rich Biodiversity:  Talking points

 

Herps:    “Oklahoma is rich in reptiles and amphibians, ranking third of all fifty states in number of species”.

Source:  http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/R/RE029.html

Approximately 80 species are identified in Oklahoma.

Birds: There are currently 417 species of birds recognized in Oklahoma.  Compare this to 639 in Texas with 5 times the landmass, and merely 113 in HawaiiThe Oklahoma checklist of birds is at http://okbirds.org/obrc-official-checklist.htm   A major website for birders in Oklahoma is  www.okbirds.org

Mammals:  Approximately 101 native species of mammals in the state.  http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/M/MA008.html

A working checklist of the identified and probable mammals of Oklahoma,  from UCO at Chickasha can be found at   http://biology.uco.edu/uconhm/pdf/MAMMALS_OF_OKLAHOMA_August_24_2009.pdf

A more detailed list of mammals, with a paragraph or two about each one and a nice reference section is available at http://www.nsrl.ttu.edu/publications/opapers/ops/op181.pdf

The Sam Noble Museum of Natural History has a mammal list and an easy key which is posted at http://www.snomnh.ou.edu/collections-research/cr-sub/mammalogy/mammalkey/index.shtml

The current favorite book is the classic hardcover  “Mammals of Oklahoma” by William Caire and Bryan P. Glass.

Fishes:  There are around 175 to 180 species of fishes in Oklahoma.  The differences in numbers usually reflects changes in how certain species are classified.

“Most anglers are aware that our state is home to one of the most diverse and productive fisheries in the nation.”  “A Field Guide to Fishes of Oklahoma”, pub. Oklahoma Department of Wildlife.

One list is the Wikipedia species list at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fish_of_Oklahoma

An older, foundational list and description is found at http://digital.library.okstate.edu/oAs/oas_pdf/v72/p7_19.pdf

A current and favorite book is “Fishes of Oklahoma” by Miller and Robison, 2004.  It is available in hardcover or paperback and is full of color and B&W drawings, descriptions and maps.

 

Butterflies:  A list of the butterflies of Oklahoma http://www.thebutterflysite.com/oklahoma-butterflies.shtml

Crawdads – 28 to 30 species of crayfish in Oklahoma.  A species list is at http://iz.carnegiemnh.org/crayfish/country_pages/state_pages/oklahoma.htm

A full 57-page document with a description of each one is at http://www.academia.edu/4889895/Crayfishes_Decapoda_Cambaridae_of_Oklahoma_identification_distributions_and_natural_history

Geography

Over 1000 square miles of water.

55,646 miles of shoreline: 2,000 miles more than the Atlantic and the Gulf coasts combined.

Water use information and facts are at http://www.owrb.ok.gov/util/waterfact.php

Geology

Oklahoma’s geology varies from the most ancient, precambrian rocks to the sand and gravel washed out from the end of the last ice age merely 10,000 years ago.  It include the  ancient, Pre-cambrian granite in the Wichita Mountains to the southwest, more modern  Cenozoic deposits in much of the state, with dry, salty Permian deposits in the northwest, extensive Cretaceous limestone deposits in the south and carboniferous mountains in the East.  Much of this can be seen crammed altogether in the Arbuckle Mountains near Davis and Ardmore.

 

Opening the Refridgerator Door – can it be science?

I got this idea from Robert Krampf, the “Happy Scientist” (more about Robert later).

So you open the freezer, get out some ice cream, and close the door.   That’s easy.  Then you open the door again to put the ice back, and it’s harder to open!

The science is easy.  When you open it the first time the cold air falls out, and warm, lighter air flows in.  When you close the door that thin warm air starts to contract.   The outside air is pushing the door closed, with more pressure.  It will stay that way until the pressures equalize.

You can try it again and again, but don’t forget to eat some ice cream each time.  Sort of like a drinking game but for the sedentary and mature.

Robert Krampf has lots of these on his website.  You can sign up for his free weekly take-home experiment, or for a small fee you can subscribe to the entire access, videos and all.  http://thehappyscientist.com/