143 science and STEM projects

caliThis is one of my favorite finds – thanks Cheryl!  Great for rainy days or about any days.   If you only find one out of the bunch that you can use then it’s worth your time – – but my bet is you’ll find a dozen or so that fit your teaching methods and ages.

Mostly elementary through middle school, but adults like many of these too.

Each one has a short VIDEO and full instructions with color photos for building and use.   From the nice folks at the  Watsonville Environmental Science”Workshop.

http://www.cswnetwork.org/projects/index.php?survey=optout

or just http://www.cswnetwork.org/projects

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/

Class-opener demos for any age (almost) from the Exploratorium

The Exploratorium in San Francisco is literally the mother of the modern hands-on inquiry musems (we have five of them here in Oklahoma!).

They have oodles of resources for science teachers and here is one:  Over 100 quick demonstrations and activities.   Some require advance  preparation and some do not. They call them “Snacks”.

http://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/

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 Bridges

A photographic history of bridges throughout Oklahoma, and some discussions and diagrams of the various kinds of trusses. Especially useful for students working on a balsa-wood bridge for Engineering Day!  The pages “Bridge Design” and “Oklahoma Bridge Types” would be excellent required reading for these students.

http://okbridges.wkinsler.com/

 

 

 

Fossils of Oklahoma

Great explanations of fossils and of geology, with quality photos of many fossils. Some parts of this are good for stand-alone lessons.  Also a gallery of images, how a fossil is formed, more.

Hint:  Once you get there, click through the “Geological Ages” on the right to get the most out of this site.

http://commonfossilsofoklahoma.snomnh.ou.edu/

Minerals of Oklahoma

If you teach rocks then you teach minerals, right?  Here is a nice little site devoted to the minerals of Oklahoma.  It even has a county-by-county list of what and where you can find in each county.  You will need to know how to read legal descriptions though.  It’s only a few pages long and like many things on the internet you might want to just print it out.  There are also some good links and other information for rock and mineral collectors.

http://www.brightok.net/~rockman/index.htm is the mineral site.

http://homestead.org/NeilShelton/Legals/HowToReadLandDescriptions.htm is a site you can use to teach (or learn) how to read the legal descriptions.

Soils maps of Oklahoma

This may take you a little time the first time you use it, but if you are studying soils it is worth it; it takes basically four steps.   You can get a soils map by any size area of interest.  You can then modify, save or print your maps.  http://www.soils.usda.gov/survey/printed_surveys/state.asp?state=Oklahoma&abbr=OK

Free Geology Downloads – maps, time scale and much more.

We are fortunate here in Oklahoma to have the Oklahoma Geological Survey.  These fine folks present a tremendous amount of material, for free!  You will find maps of all kinds, and teaching ideas, and teaching materials.  The more time you spend exploring the site the more you will find.  I have found it even better to pay them a visit in person – they are on the north side of Norman, east of the airport.

Like most sites, the best place to begin is the tab labeled “outreach”.  The link below also takes you directly to  a page with lots of geology goodies.

They also have inexpensive materials, like a geology map of Oklahoma that is huge – it takes two bulletins boards in my classroom!

http://www.ogs.ou.edu/pubs.php

Wetland and aquatic plants of Oklahoma

If you do any environmental work with kids you will eventually be drawn to the water’s edge – or get deeper into it!   All of us who do this need to know the basic aquatic plants.  This site will help you in two ways.

First, it has the easiest key you will ever find.  You use pictures, photographs and short descriptions, not the detailed descriptions in Latin that we had to learn for Waterfall’s book back in the day.  Granted, these keys might not take you down to the most specific level but they can give you an answer in less than a minute to “what plant is that?”.   This is one reason to (carefully!) take that laptop into the field.

Second, it provides great photographs to many of the plants, but not all.  Did I mention that this is a work in progress?

Third, there are range maps for most of these plants.  I know, I said there were two reasons so think of the range maps as a bonus.

Add this to the bookmarks of your smartphone or tablet:  http://www.biosurvey.ou.edu/wetland/wetland_interactive.html