In the Central Valley of California lies a city called Modesto. My students attend a well loved small K-8 school that has been around for decades. The students that attend this school come from diverse backgrounds. Some students live on the surrounding almond orchards or on family farms. While other students ride the bus from the downtown area of Modesto.
My students are engaged, motivated to learn, and creative.
They inspire me to keep opening up windows of opportunity for them. The one thing that they all love is doing science investigations!
Teaching science has always been a passion of mine. I can't wait for this school year to start so I can begin engaging students in hands-on science investigations. Many districts are in the process of leaving behind the old science standards and implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). I teach in a small school district (two schools, one district) and resources are spread thin. Updating the new science curriculum is very costly and it will be a couple more years until the district I work in starts to make the transition to the NGSS.
I am eager to start implementing the NGSS and need science materials in order for students to engage in the hands-on science investigations.
This summer I took a class on the NGSS and my professor recommended I try using some of the lessons off of MysteryScience.com to get started. I have devoured that website and I am inspired to teach many of the lessons this year. I have gone through the lessons and made a list of the materials students will need to engage in these investigations. For example, students will be making rubber band racers to examine the relationship between stored energy and motion. Materials needed for this one investigation include: rubber bands, paper cups, plastic cup lids, toothpicks, straws, pony beads, hole punch, and masking tape. Many of the materials can be reused. However, some of the lessons require different materials. For example, students will need a 3X magnifying lens to develop a working model of a human eye to discover how their eyes work.
My hope is for my students to find a love of science and to be motivated to learn more about the way our fascinating world.
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