Tag Archives: inquiry

STEM, literacy and the young mind

What is the best way to introduce science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through literacy lessons in kindergarten? —Y., New Mexico   To young children education is a single entity—they don’t make distinctions between disciplines until adults get involved! I think teachers of young children can easily capitalize on their innate curiosity and willingness to […]

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Tired of Cooking

I am sick of using cookbook labs in my chemistry class and want my students to conduct more inquiry labs. However, my principal thinks that this might be a recipe for disaster. What do other chemistry teachers do to incorporate more inquiry into their chemistry labs? —R., Kansas I spent several years using cookbook labs […]

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Vernier Structures and Materials Tester: An Engineering Marvel To Test Student’s Engineering Marvels

Vernier Structures & Materials Tester

Back in 1986, David Vernier wrote a book titled “How to Build a Better Mousetrap: And 13 other science projects using the Apple II.” The premise of the book was to use software, hardware, and materials to construct what David called “Laboratory Interfacing.” In many ways, the book truly is more how to build a […]

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The Vernier Go Direct SpectroVis Plus Spectrophotometer: A picture is worth 570 wavelengths (Part 1)

SpectroViz_Plus in hand

Of all the cool things invented by the universe, light is one of the most amazing. It solves all kinds of problems, can travel great distances with little effort, and its very existence has become possibly the greatest metaphor ever. And on the science education side, light is a critical feature of wave science yet has properties […]

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Myths about Science, with an early childhood focus

The National Science Teachers Association website has a section for families titled, “Help Your Child Explore Science.” Here’s my adaptation  of the “Myths about Science” page in that section, giving it an early childhood focus.  Myths about Science, with an early childhood focus Myth #1: Science teaching is better left to the teacher. Your child has […]

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Let it go! Let it go!

  I’m a pre-service teacher who is a little scared about teaching inquiry-based science in the classroom! What are some things you wish you knew before teaching elementary school science? —K., New Mexico   I understand your anxieties about inquiry-based learning but think of it as the most natural thing a child does! Adults just tend […]

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Active or passive science?

One of my biggest questions is how to get the younger elementary students involved in science. Should we do more hands-on activities, having them participate in the environment or should we watch videos? —F., Texas “Every kid starts out as a natural-born scientist, and then we beat it out of them. A few trickle through […]

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Inquiring about Inquiry

How beneficial and effective can inquiry-based learning be at the younger elementary school grades (K-2)? What are some ideas for incorporating this type of learning at this level? —K., Wyoming I would argue the only way to teach science to our youngest students is through inquiry!  Humans were born with innate curiosity and a willingness […]

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Explore, investigate, experiment, and inquire: What do we call it when young children “do” science?

Learning about the natural and human built world begins at birth, if not before. The early childhood years, usually described as including children from birth through age eight, are a time when new experiences build brain connections that form the foundation for later connections.  The way we provide experiences for children may open or close […]

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Engineering activities

Are you interested in enhancing your STEM teaching repertoire? Or in integrating engineering concepts but not sure where to start? There have been some new features added to a free resource which is appropriate for in-school and informal K-12 educators. The TeachEngineering digital library is an online collection with more than 1,500 engineering curricular materials […]

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