Category Archives: 3-5

Beyond Toothpicks and Marshmallows: Engineering Earthquake Resistant Structures

  I’ve been searching high and low for an earthquake engineering design challenge that gave students more control in planning and evaluating their earthquake-resistant constructions than the common “toothpicks and marshmallows” challenge often seen in primary and middle grades. So … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, Classroom Activities, Digital Tools, NGSS | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Facilitating a Weather & Climate Unit with my new NSTA Kids eBook

NSTA is unveiling a new “Think Like a Scientist” series of eBooks at the #NSTA17 Conference in Los Angeles for elementary age students. While NSTA has been producing eBooks for teachers and older students for some time now, these eBooks may be … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, Digital Tools, NGSS, Professional Reflections | Leave a comment

Using PhET Simulations to Explore the Cause and Effect Relationship between Forces and Motion

One of my goals this year is to develop a third grade forces and motion curriculum with a team of Burlington elementary teachers.  While this work is only in its infancy I am optimistic then at least one of the … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, Curriculum, NGSS, Professional Reflections | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Assessing Human Impact in the Cafeteria

Hundreds of mouths stood agape as six students in white “haz-mat” suits picked through a mountainous pile of trays, plastic wrappers, tater tots and pizza sticks. Shrieks and “ewwwwwww”s carried through the gymnasium. Students and teachers collectively held their noses. … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, K-2, NGSS | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Developing an Understanding of Light Energy through PhET Models

“Light moves in the form of waves” and is “reflected, refracted, and absorbed” are all traditional statements of light energy that become staples of assessment for student understanding. But whether students can apply this understanding is a big question. The NGSS … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, Classroom Activities, Digital Tools, Professional Reflections | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Balancing Bird: The Perfect Stocking Stuffer Science Phenomena!

This year’s holiday giveaway from the Science Center not only makes for a fun stocking stuffer, but is a gateway toward exploring the science phenomena of forces and balance with your kids or students. The “Balancing Bird” is very affordable, a … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, Classroom Activities, K-2, PreK | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Exploring Heat Energy with an Infrared Camera

At this year’s Massachusetts Association of Science Teachers or “MAST” Conference I shared the Science Center’s FLIR One infrared camera purchased last year through Burlington Education Foundation grant funds. Over just the past month teachers at the Marshall Simonds Middle … Continue reading

Posted in 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Digital Tools, Professional Development | Tagged , | Leave a comment