Extending Your Lessons with MyStemKits

 In Community Events

Each year the Atlanta Science Festival hosts a variety of events to celebrate science’s impact. We were proud to be invited to support a session at Georgia Tech’s STEAM Leadership Conference. Hosted at Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC), this conference is designed for leaders and administrators at K-12 schools. This event featured interactive, educational sessions, engaging STEAM-focused work groups, and panel sessions with experts in the field.

We had the pleasure of supporting the Authentic Science session with speakers Regan Lawson and Wesley Gillis. We couldn’t have selected a better session if we hand-picked it ourselves.  The purpose of this discourse was to share why we support authentic science and share methods for extending authentic science sessions for exploratory learning.

Authentic Science is a variation of inquiry teaching that aligns closely with how scientists do their work and differs from traditional school science exercises. The value of this particular approach is that students are inspired to seek a deeper understanding of concepts covered while implementing standards-based teaching.  During the session, presenters guided educators through different experiments with the objective of ensuring that they abandon cookie-cutter lessons and create magic in the classroom with Authentic Science. We want to go a step further by demonstrating how easily MyStemKits can be integrated into these experiments creating an extended lesson that is mutually beneficial for all parties involve. Let’s start with the emphasis mystery box  activity they discussed which brought out the inner detective in all the attendees. Not knowing the composition of the box, students must use reasoning to identify the design of the box.  It would introduce early learners to the concept by estimating basic measurements.  Students can use our Measuring with Length Units kit to estimate measurements in both metric and imperial units.

To dive a bit deeper into exploratory learning after students have come up with a few designs, students can follow-up by designing their own 3dprinted Box to demonstrate the accuracy of their estimations.  While this may be a longer term project, you are able to complete the engineering process and scientific method full cycle while teaching important concepts that are now understood by students.

The same design evaluation can be done with Corrugated Tubes. I am sure it might take additional effort from a design perspective but you can use flexible filament to demonstrate if miniature versions of the tube make the same pitched sound.  To demonstrate the difference between how light and sound travels, you can implement our Mirror Maze Kit. Students will be able to use what they learn to draw conclusions about the speed at which light and sound travel.

Last, but certainly not least, you can shake things up with the Blue Bottle experiment.  Depending on how you create the concentrations, you can even have different density in the bottles where you can test the bouncy as it relates to how blue the concentration becomes.  Similar kits which deal with density are Density Cubes Kit,Density Shapes Kit, and the Cell Membrane Kit. To understand the chemistry behind how blue the color is students can investigate our chemistry kits, such as our Glucose Isomer Kit.

So in summary, you can use Authentic Science with our kits as well as other experiments independently. However, if you really want to explore how varying principles taught are interconnected, then combine a kit with an experiment you are currently completing or one that you have scheduled in the future. Happy Printing!

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