Seventy or more science educators vied for 50 seats in one popular workshop at the NSTA Conference in Kansas City. It was called “Activities from Across the Earth System.” Adaptable for K-12 students, the experts handed out these practical lessons and urged groups to demonstrate “adaptation investigation” the first of five take-aways.
Acting as birds with different beak types (think about a woodpecker that needs to drill holes in trees to eat insects, toucans that need to crack shells for food, or hummingbirds that suck the sugar out of flowers, and you get the idea). Leaders issued clothes pins, toothpicks, tweezers, spoons and straws to mimic the beaks. The crowd got into it, tweeting verbally rather than on a cell phone, for a change, and attempted to gather as much food (seeds, rice, sand, and food item replacements) and then compared volumes.
Check out Windows2universe.org for more science-related vocabulary describing these activities. Your students will thank you for it.
Photo: Doug Wheller