Tag Archives: lab

The Vernier Three-Axis Magnetic Field Sensor: A Magic Wand for Magnets

What could be better than one anisotropic magnetoresistance magnetic field sensor? How about three anisotropic magnetoresistance magnetic field sensors and a Hall effect sensor as well! Pack them all into a lightweight watertight housing with a rechargeable battery and wired or wireless connectivity and you’ve got yourself a Vernier Three-Axis Magnetic Field Sensor. I’ve been […]

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The American Jobs Act and science labs

Last week President Obama introduced his new American Jobs Act, which included provisions that will impact schools, teachers and, specifically, science labs. A press release on the American Jobs Act claims that “as many as 280,000 education jobs are on the chopping block in the upcoming school year. These cuts could have a significant impact […]

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“Distractions” in the classroom

I’m having some classroom management problems in my middle school science classes. I think the classroom itself provides many distractions and contributes to the problem. My middle-school students sit at lab tables, facing each other.  Their chairs spin, they are able to open the drawers and put trash in, they can turn on the sinks, […]

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All day in the science lab

For the past few years, I’ve had a self-contained fifth-grade class, and my students and I enjoyed doing many hands-on science activities and investigations. Next year, I’ll be teaching science to all of the sixth-graders. The science classroom is well equipped, but I’m looking for suggestions on managing five sections of science every day, especially […]

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Lab safety question

I started my first full-time teaching position this semester—high school biology. According to the students, they did not do many labs last semester. I’m eager to do inquiry activities with my students, and obviously I want to do so safely. The department chair gave me copies of the safety contracts and handouts to use. Do […]

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When your students don’t know what to do …

At the beginning of the year, I covered measurement, basic equipment, and other fundamentals I thought my students (seventh graders) needed before we started our labs. Now they seem to have forgotten everything and need to be taught this information again whenever we do a lab. What can I do to help them remember? —Diane, […]

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Cooperative learning in the lab

I teach fourth and fifth graders in our school’s “Discovery Lab.” With over 700 students I am constantly brainstorming procedures to help the lab run smoother. One thing that I want to try is to assign student roles for group work. Do you have suggestions for these roles or any other information that might be […]

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Grant evaluation

Our school recently received grant funds to upgrade the technology in our science labs next year, and the funding organization requires an annual report. This is a new endeavor for us. Do you have some suggestions on what to include in the report? —Patricia, Philadelphia, PA Congratulation on your grant! It’s a lot of effort […]

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Science activities: quantity vs. quality

My ninth grade students enjoy labs, but my colleagues say I do too many and the students aren’t learning anything. How many labs should I do each week? —Carolyn, Billings, Montana I’m curious as to what you mean by “labs.” Some teachers use the word lab to describe a variety of activities from investigations and […]

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Designing a laboratory

We are opening a new academy for grades 10, 11, and 12. We’re going to have a science lab for combined use in biology, chemistry, and physics. I’ve taught in labs, but I’ve never designed one. Where do we start? —K. D., Oklahoma There’s nothing more exciting for a science teacher than walking into a […]

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