Several months ago I showed my 9th grade students October Sky. As a quick end-of-class assignment, I had them write Homer Hickam letters expressing their personal reaction to his story.
I expected a few fluffy sentences finished with, “thanks for making your movie” type statement.
I received well-crafted, insightful letters expressing their gratitude for knowing Mr Hickam’s story. They could relate to Hickam’s rocky relationship with his father and feeling trapped by a blue-collar community that tends to discourage higher education.
A few weeks ago I finally mailed them and today I received a reply! The letter was from Mr Hickam’s wife, but it included his photograph signed just for us! I cannot wait to get to school tomorrow and share it with my students – now I need to find a special frame to treasure it always :)
Homer Hickam himself!
Here’s a lesson based on the FOSS Populations & Ecosystems curriculum. It is basically a summary of the unit with a really fantastic bead model of the 10% Rule!
And just to give you an idea of what 1111 beads look like:
I’m always thinking of ways to incorporate current events into a science classroom. Recently, Physics & Physical Science Demos, Labs, & Projects for High School Teachers wrote a great post about using the Friday period to discuss current events from any aspect of science.
If you’re interested in this, read the post Science News in the Classroom. Feel free to suggest any other ways you use current events stories in your classroom.
I recently saw this new 4-H commercial:
Thanks for encouraging people to be involved in science. I strongly believe everyone has the capacity to be involved in science, whether on a professional or recreational level. Way to go 4-H!
“Most of the fundamental ideas of science are essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be expressed in a language comprehensible to everyone.” – Albert Einstein
Here’s an opportunity for your students to get excited about next year’s Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. The deadline has passed for this year’s competition, but the website allows you and your students to explore this year’s contestants and start to think about entering in 2010! As stated on the website, the basic goal of the program is as follows:
Do you have what it takes to be America’s Top Young Scientist? Discovery Education and 3M are looking for a few great students to inspire us with their enthusiasm for science, so show us what you’ve got! Create a short (1-2 min.) video about one of this year’s scientific topics and YOU could win a trip to New York City to compete in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge finals.
In the Fun Science Extras section, you can find all sorts of teaching, experiment, and field trip resources!
The Educational Equity Center just launched a new program called “Science: It’s A Girl Thing”. Basically it’s a program for caregivers to do with their young kids (geared towards ages 3-8) in order to encourage girls to get involved in STEM fields.
Links to short lesson plans and activities are on the Science: It’s A Girl Thing website. I see no reason why these couldn’t be used in the classroom with girls and boys!
I’ve been collecting all sorts of different posts and links for neat internet and technology resources for the classroom. I hope they’re useful!
- 45 Websites For Students To Create Original Artwork Online, by Mrs Smoke @ Making Teachers Nerdy
- Education Grant Resources, by Dave @ Educational Technology Guy
- Brainstormer Random Word Picker, by Dave @ Educational Technology Guy
- Lesson Plan Resources, by Dave @ Educational Technology Guy
- Free Scientific Videos, by Dave @ Educational Technology Guy
- My Fair Ladybug, by Linda @ Science Junkies
- Free Collaborative and Private Photo/Video Sites for Teachers and Parents, by Mrs Smoke @ Making Teachers Nerdy
- Quickmaps, by Dave @ Educational Technology Guy
- Booklet Creator, by Dave @ Educational Technology Guy
- Medical Animations, by Dave @ Educational Technology Guy
- Science Resource, by Dave @ Educational Technology Guy
- Sources of Funding for Teachers, by Dave @ Educational Technology Guy
- Blog As A Teaching Tool, by Dave @ Educational Technology Guy
- Interactive Science Website, by David Wetzel @ Teach Science and Math
- The Abstract Cheat Sheet, by WTJ @ Nerdy Science Blog
- Math and Science Problems, by David Wetzel @ Teach Science and Math
- Interactive Virtual Chemistry Lab, by David Wetzel @ Teach Science and Math
- Science and Math Concept Mapping Tool, by David Wetzel @ Teach Science and Math
Can you tell I think Educational Technology Guy’s posts are terrific?