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Science Friday’s lesson plans and activities are produced by our education staff and with partner organizations.

Aug. 28, 2014

No Waffling on the Numbers

By Bedtime Math

Three delicious math games you can play on your waffles to build math fact fluency and geometry skills, from the folks at Bedtime Math.

geometry, math facts, mathematics, multiplication, education, learning, home, kitchen, food, games, elementary

Aug. 22, 2014

Classroom Strategy: Image of the Day

By PA Earth Science Teachers Assoc.

Three approaches for using images as gateways to instruction in grades 4-16

earth science, media use, classroom, higher education, Common Core, observation, inference, multimedia, scientific method

Aug. 15, 2014

Salad Dressing Science: Emulsions

By Ariel Zych

In this experiment, you will test a few common household ingredients to see which is the most effective emulsifier for making salad dressing—and you can eat your results!

hydrophobic, hydrophilic, NGSS, emulsions, experiment, mixtures, solutions, suspensions, chemistry, molecules, polarity, soubility

Aug. 07, 2014

Create a Disease Map

By Ariel Zych

Map the spread of tick and mosquito-borne illnesses in the United States using real data.

mosquito

Jul. 31, 2014

Balloon Rockets

By Chemical Educational Foundation

In this lesson from the Chemical Educational Foundation, apply the concepts of pressure and Newton's laws of motion to build balloon rockets.

newtons laws, force, thrust, pressure, motion, rocket, straw, balloon, middle school, NGSS

Jul. 18, 2014

Fashion Circuit

By Ariel Zych

Add some pizzazz to your favorite clothing and accessories using some wire, tape, a battery, and an LED.

circuit, electricity, current, LED, tech, wearable, soft circuits

Jul. 11, 2014

Talk Like a Firefly

By Ariel Zych

Learn to speak the language of fireflies and invent your own secret flash code.

bioluminescence, communication, lightning bugs, insects, mating, reproduction, code, outdoor activities, summer, camp, flashlight

Jul. 01, 2014

How Fireworks Get Their Colors

By Science Buddies

In this activity from Science Buddies, you will burn some metal salts to investigate what colors they make, then you'll explain to your family and friends how fireworks colors are made!

Jun. 27, 2014

Physics Secrets for Hula Hooping

By Science Buddies

In this activity from Science Buddies, kids will create their own hula hoops and investigate how the hoops' masses affect how they spin. Which do you think will spin better, a heavy hoop or a lighter one?

physics, speed, forces, weight, gravity, rotation, DIY, make, outdoor activities, sports, inertia, torque

Jun. 23, 2014

How Does an Octopus Change Its Body to Blend In With Its Environment?

By Ariel Zych

Watch footage of a live octopus to model different ways that these animals can camouflage themselves by changing their body’s texture, shape, size, and color.

camouflage, description, adjectives, media, multiple sources, informational text, inference, observation, texture, color, art, STEAM, STEM

Jun. 20, 2014

How Tails Help a Kite to Fly

By Science Buddies

In this activity from Science Buddies, you will experiment with how a kite's tail affects how it flies.

aerodynamics, wind, flight, forces, sled kite, drag, lift, force, resistance, outdoor, activity, summer

Jun. 12, 2014

Have a Cricket Tell You the Temperature!

By Science Buddies

In this activity from Science Buddies, you will investigate how the chirps of crickets can be used as a kind of thermometer.

crickets, insects, bioacoustics, sound, temperature, mathematics, behavior, stimulus, summer, camping

Jun. 04, 2014

Chocolate Crystal Concoctions

By Ariel Zych

Act like an experimental chocolatier and determine how different melting and cooling procedures impact the shine, hardness, and texture of finished chocolate.

crystals, crystallization, colloid, melting, states of matter, phase change, melting point, properties, solids, chocolate, chemistry, boiling, common core

May. 23, 2014

Blog: These Student Filmmakers Have Science Stories to Tell

By Ariel Zych

Student video competitions engage the minds of future science communicators.

video, competition, student, engagement, digital learning, media, technology

May. 09, 2014

Lovely Leidenfrost

By Ariel Zych

Experiment with the relationship between boiling point and the Leidenfrost effect using different aqueous solutions, a metal pan, and a little baby powder.

boiling point, water, solutions, mixtures, solvents, temperature, heat, force, evaporation, steam

May. 02, 2014

Going to Extremes: Chia Seeds From Outer Space

By MAVEN Education and Public Outreach

In this activity, students will devise an experiment to find out whether chia seeds are still able to grow after exposure to extreme conditions like the ones we may find on other planets. This activity was created by MAVEN Outreach and Education to help t...

astrobiology, environment, extreme, experiment, extremophiles, botany, plants, life, organisms, characteristics of living things,

Apr. 25, 2014

Blog: Battle of the Bots

By Ariel Zych

An international robotics competition challenges high schoolers to fund, design, and build an intelligent, semi-autonomous robot.

the bot side, first tech challenge, robots, robotics competition

Apr. 18, 2014

Make a Model Eardrum to Detect Sound Waves

By Ariel Zych

Create a model eardrum to visualize sound vibrations, and then use a smartphone to identify your model’s natural frequencies.

frequency, hertz, sound, waves, amplitude, resonance, vibration, natural frequency, resonate, system, ear, hearing, eardrum

Mar. 27, 2014

Make an Art Machine

By Ariel Zych

Safely find, build, or hack a machine that makes any kind of art.

machine, mechanics, science club, art, sciarts,

Mar. 27, 2014

About the Science Club

By SciFri Staff

SciFri’s Science Club is a month-long challenge in which we ask you to go out, do science, and share it with others.

Mar. 21, 2014

Blog: Teaching Digital Design Using New World Studio

By Ariel Zych

Teenage girls learn computational design in a collaborative weeklong workshop at the New York Hall of Science.

digital design, second life, virtual world, virtual, architecture, teens, pedagogy, workshop, cooperative learning

Mar. 14, 2014

Make a Wire Critter That Can Walk on Water

By Ariel Zych

Learn how insects have inspired engineers to make a robot that walks on the surface of water. Design your own water-walking critter using thin wire, and test its effectiveness: how many paperclips can it hold up using surface tension?

intermolecular forces, properties, water, molecule, cohesion, adhesion, biomimicry, robotics

Mar. 07, 2014

Zip Line Zoo

By Bedtime Math

In this activity from Bedtime Math, you'll build a stuffed-animal zip line and practice measuring time, distance, and angles.

slope, line, gravity, hands-in, common core, math, measurement, games, toys, zip, angles, time

Feb. 28, 2014

Make a Model of a Home Made From Shipping Containers

By Ariel Zych

Watch an interview with a couple who built a home from shipping containers. Then, design and construct a scale model of a unique shipping container home using printed templates, and estimate the cost of flooring and paint based on model dimensions.

architecture design scale ratios mathematics Common Core engineering

Feb. 21, 2014

Use Clues to Solve an Ice Mystery

By Ariel Zych

Use the physical characteristics of ice to determine where and how several mystery samples could have been frozen.

Ice, melting point, cystal, solid, liquid, phase change, physical science, glacier, olympics, frozen, melt, dissolved oxygen, properties

Feb. 14, 2014

Test the Finger Wrinkle Hypothesis

By Ariel Zych

Perform an experiment to determine whether smooth or wrinkled fingers are better at holding wet objects. The experiment requires only a water bottle, paperclip, and plastic ruler. Downloads: Video, student data sheet, illustrated instructions

physiology, nervous system, biology, form, function, adaptation, human, evolution

Jun. 13, 2011

Pinhole Viewer

By Science Friday Education

By building their own pinhole camera, students will learn how cameras, telescopes, and their own eyes use light in similar ways.

observatory, light, telescope, pinhole viewer, planets, photography

Jan. 31, 2014

See the World Through Color-Filtering Lenses

By Ariel Zych

Explore color by creating color-filtering glasses using paper and tinted cellophane.

light, color, vision, spectrum, waves, perception, images, bulb, filter, glasses, make, craft, activity,try,

Sep. 15, 2010

Lighting Up Celery Stalks

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students will conduct a series of hands-on experiments that will demonstrate how the working of these veins, known as capillary action, enables water to travel throughout the length of a plant. Students will learn how the forces of water...

water, plants, root system, leaves, biology, botany

May. 23, 2011

Delicious Smelling Chemistry

By Science Friday Education

Use household materials to investigate and explore their ability to smell an odor. Students will compare and contrast results to determine if some individuals have a better sense of smell than others. Students also will observe the Maillard reaction and ...

olfactory system, molecules, smell, amino acids, chemical reactions, diffusion

Aug. 25, 2011

Wind Power

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students will discuss the differences between the Bear Creek Wind Park and Bergey Windpower turbines. Students will learn the basic parts of a wind turbine and then build their own model wind turbine out of recyclable materials. Students...

turbine, recycle, wind, electricity, windmill, energy, sustainable, renewable energy, engineering

Jan. 22, 2010

Mushroom Prints

By Austen Saltz

In this lesson, students will be amateur mycologists--collecting and analyzing various mushrooms. Through observation and discussion, students will gain knowledge of the basic anatomy of mushrooms, their life cycle, and their method of reproduction throug...

mycology, fungi, organic matter, penicillin, spore, biology

Sep. 12, 2011

Termite Symbiosis

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students will sort and classify interactions between pairs of organisms under the appropriate symbiotic relationship of commensalism, parasitism, and mutualism. Then students will observe mutualism in action, as they perform a termite di...

ecosystems, symbiosis, termites, lichens

Dec. 05, 2011

Cool Craniums

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students will observe three “mystery” mammal skulls and compare and contrast the features of each skull. Students will learn the anatomical terms for skull features such as orbits, nasal passages, and foramen magnum. Students will learn...

bones, vertebrate, biped, fossil, skeleton

Jan. 03, 2012

Microorganisms on the Move

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students will learn how to prepare deep well slides for observing two types of microorganisms called Paramecium (a group of protozoa, or single-celled organisms, which move with cilia, so they are called “ciliates”) and Euglena (microorg...

microbes, microscope, cilia, organisms, plant

Nov. 07, 2011

Keeping a Betta

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students will research general information about bettas and use that information to determine suitable habitat requirements and maintenance. Students will work collaboratively to perform weekly maintenance duties to keep their betta aliv...

aquarium, fish, genus, species

Oct. 24, 2011

Mineral Madness

By Science Friday Education

Geologists are greatly interested in minerals because they can reveal an enormous amount about the history of the geologic environment in which they are found. Geologists can classify and identify minerals by observing various properties such as strea...

minerals, rocks, geology, iron, volcano

Aug. 10, 2011

Colorful Chromosomes

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students review how human physical traits, such as eye color, are determined by specific segments of genes. Students will use basic crafts materials to build a simplified model of a pair of chromosomes that represents some of their own p...

DNA, cells, genes, reproduction

Jun. 23, 2011

Brine Shrimp: Getting to Know a Salt Water Arthropod

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students will assemble a small saltwater aquarium to raise and observe brine shrimp. Then students will observe and record the growth of brine shrimp through various stages of their life cycle, and examine their various anatomical featur...

Horseshoe Crab, brine shrimp, exoskeleton, invertebrate

Jun. 03, 2011

Fossil Detectives

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students will learn about the two main types of fossils, body and trace fossils. Students will observe and examine a set of fossils to classify them as body fossils and trace fossils. Students also will act as paleontologists and try to ...

paleontology, dinosaurs, fossils, prehistoric organisms

May. 06, 2011

Make a Speaker

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students will learn how an electromagnet works by making a simple one. Using this knowledge, students will design a diagram to make a working speaker using household materials. Then students will follow instructions on one method of ma...

electromagnetic, magnetic field, currents, amplifier

Apr. 18, 2011

Glowing in the Dark

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students will learn about phosphorescence and how certain materials can absorb and store energy from a light source. Students will use critical thinking skills to hypothesize which type of light -- incandescent, ultraviolet, infrared or...

phosphorescence, light, slime, electrons, chemistry

Apr. 06, 2011

How to Cultivate Moss

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, to learn about the biological needs of mosses, students will grow and maintain their own moss terrarium. Through daily maintenance and observation, students will identify those factors necessary for the successful cultivation of moss.

terrarium, moss, cultivation, horticulture

Mar. 09, 2011

Building A Solar House

By Science Friday Education

Buildings that are called “green” or “environmentally sustainable” are designed to use energy as efficiently as possible. In Missouri, Washington University’s Tyson Living Learning Center achieves sustainability by incorporating green technologies in diff...

green, environment, solar panels, solar energy

Feb. 07, 2011

Explosive Science

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students will use household materials to investigate and explore how the release of carbon dioxide gas from a chemical reaction can cause a small-scale explosion. Students then will experiment with variables to determine which factors la...

chemistry, Carbon dioxide, fireworks, explosion, air pressure

Feb. 02, 2011

Grabbing a Bite to Eat

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students will perform an experiment that replicates the dilemma that birds face in acquiring food from a confined area. Students will be given a variety of objects to use as “tools,” and will explore various ways of extracting the food ...

problem solving, tools, evolution, birds, animals, psychology

Dec. 29, 2010

Fun With Optics

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students will perform several experiments, using simple materials to explore the properties of reflection and refraction and how they work in telescopes.

telescopes, light, reflection, refraction, physics, invention, engineering

Dec. 20, 2010

Stream Table

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students will use a stream table to investigate river formations in two different landscape scenarios. Students will compare and contrast how the formation of the river differs if the topography of the land is changed from a flat plain t...

rivers, topography, water, erosion, earth, geology

Dec. 16, 2010

Ugh, a Bug!

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students will familiarize themselves with the distinguishing physical characteristics of an insect. Students will observe and maintain live crickets to learn the function of various body parts of a cricket. Further, students will have t...

insects, phobia, bed bugs, habitat, biology, senses

Nov. 16, 2010

Blood Typing

By Science Friday Education

In this activity, students will learn about another form of forensics: blood typing. Students conduct experiments with simulated blood to determine the blood type of each sample. Using the results of the experiment, students will determine if a blood sam...

anthropology, body, insects, forensics, blood type, human body

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