This demo demonstrates the greenhouse effect by comparing the air temperature of a room with the air temperature inside a clear plastic bag containing black construction paper. The bag models the Earth’s atmosphere and the black construction paper models Earth’s dark surface. Continue reading
In this activity, students will observe a variety of soil types and describe the characteristics of these soils. Soil is made up of air, water, recycling organisms, rock particles, and humus. Different types of soils are defined by the different proportions of humus and rock particles they contain. Humus is formed from the decomposition produced by recycling organisms. The three types of rock particles are sand, silt, and clay.
This activity helps to illustrate the particle theory and how it applies to solutions. Some earlier work using the particle theory is a prerequisite. Dissolving salt into water increases the water’s density, allowing more dense materials to float in the salt water which would have sunk in unsalted water.
These three demos allow students to experience applications of knowledge of the digestive, respiratory, and circulatory systems by doing very short activities on themselves. They also allow the opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of using humans as test subjects. It is very useful for students to get the idea that scientific experiments do not have to be very complicated. Continue reading
Dr. Horodyskyj is the CEO of Science in the Wild (Boulder, Colorado). This is a citizen science adventure company. Prior to this, she held a post-doc position at the National Snow and Ice Data Center based in Boulder, Colorado. Currently, she is taking people on expeditions around the world and educating them in field science methods, as well as teaching at Colorado College as visiting faculty. Continue reading
Concept attainment exercises often use verbal or written forms of thought. The attached student exercise uses visual imagery to teach the concepts of Elements, Compounds and Mixtures at the atomic and molecular level. Continue reading
This demonstration shows some differences between potable (drinkable) water and non-potable (non-drinkable) water. Variations in temperature, turbidity and pH level also determine the types of microorganisms that can thrive in each water sample. Continue reading
The Italian scientist, Galileo Galilei, created one of the first thermometers in the late 1500s. It was a rather simple apparatus involving a long thin tube, open at one end, and a pan of water. Students can replicate this experiment, demonstrating the principle that air expands when heated.