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Save Your Students’ Teeth: Try These Science Experiments with Candy

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Nov 4, 2014 11:04:00 AM

science experiments with candyHow do you save your students a trip to the dentist and help them learn a little something about science? Why, you stop by a cool little website called Candy Experiments. All of the science experiments you’ll find on Loralee Leavitt’s website can also be found in her book, but this is a great way to try before you buy.

Here are a few of the science experiments with candy you’ll find on the site. Click here or on the image below to find instructions for each experiment.

science experiments with candy

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Tags: STEM curriculum, science and engineering education, science experiments with candy

5 Websites to Help You Enhance Your Science Curriculum

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Sep 25, 2014 11:05:07 AM


There’s no doubt about it, the Web is brimming with resources to help teachers enhance their science curriculum. But sorting through the clutter and finding the best websites, can be tedious and time consuming. That’s why I’d like to share five science websites that I personally check on a regular basis.

Some of these sites tackle the “serious” side of science; others may push students to rethink their presuppositions about technology, or simply answer wild and wacky questions they have about science.

5 Websites to Help You Enhance Your Science Curriculum

science curriculumI’d probably file How Stuff Works under the wild-and-wacky umbrella. Ever wonder why octopus blood is blue, how NASCAR got its start, or why men have nipples? No problem, the writers, editors, podcasters, and video hosts of How Stuff Works have the answers.

science curriculumLow-Tech Magazine is a website run by Kris De Decker and Deva Lee, a creative duo who write about often-forgotten knowledge and technologies with the idea that not every problem necessitates a high-tech solution.

On Low-Tech, students will find thought-provoking articles about sustainable energy solutions: How to generate power directly from the water tap; why it makes more sense to heat your clothes and not your home; how to heat cities without fossil fuels; and countless other articles that will pique your students’ interest and enhance your science curriculum.
science curriculum
Science Friday began over two decades ago as a radio show, but since then, they’ve developed into a heck of a lot more. Here, you’ll find award-winning videos and articles covering everything from octopus camouflage to cooking on Mars.

science curriculumNova is the highest rated science series on television; it’s also the most watched documentary series on public television. To supplement their television programming, Nova created a website to host their ever-expanding library of science shows, articles and videos that cover anything from Tsunamis and Sasquatch, to planet hunting and stabilizing vaccines with silk.

science curriculumInstructables is a one-stop shop for any do-it-yourself project you can—and can’t—think of. All of the tutorials on the site are user-created, which gives students the opportunity to not only try building other users’ projects, but also take a shot at helping others build their projects.

Photo credit: Amy Loves Yah / Foter / CC BY


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Tags: STEM careers, STEM curriculum, science teachers, science curriculum, science and engineering education

STEM of the Living Dead: 4 Zombie-Inspired Lesson Plans

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Jun 11, 2014 10:00:00 AM

STEM-1This morning, I came across a collection of four zombie-themed lesson plans that are perfect for living-dead lovers and STEM teachers.

These lessons, which you’ll find on the PBS website, ask students to compare the “normal” brain to a “zombie” brain. While you could use these lessons as “stand-alones,” each one follows an accompanying plot line where the world is fighting a zombie apocalypse and the best and the brightest young people are being trained as neuroscientists. The hope is that, with the proper training, students will be able to cure the zombie epidemic and save the world.

To browse these four lesson plans, click here.




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Tags: STEM, science teachers, science curriculum, science and engineering education, zombie lesson plans

Travel Our Solar System With This Interactive Infographic

Posted by Ryan O'Rourke on Apr 24, 2014 9:57:00 AM

Space Race is an animated infographic that takes users on a scrolling adventure that begins on Earth and ends at the edge of the solar system, some 21 billion kilometers away. Comprehending the enormity of our solar system is difficult, but Space Race certainly helps put it in perspective.

Space Race

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Tags: STEM careers, STEM jobs, STEM curriculum, apps for educators, apps for teachers, science curriculum, science and engineering education

Science Buddies Helps Students Find Engaging Science Experiments

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Dec 26, 2013 6:00:00 AM

science experimentsDeciding on a science experiment is a little bit like settling on a research paper topic for many of our students. They often need a little guidance to figure out what truly interests them.

If this sounds too familiar, direct your students to Science Buddies, a website with over 1,000 experiment ideas that cover more than 30 different areas of science.

So that your students don’t have to rifle through their entire database of projects, Science Buddies set up a topic selection wizard, a survey quiz that asks users questions about their interests, grade, and reading comprehension level. Based on these answers, the topic selection wizard will find a collection of science experiment ideas that correspond to users’ interests and abilities.

There are a few other noteworthy things you’ll find on Science Buddies:

The Ask an Expert Forum
This is a place where students can go to find answers to science questions they can’t find elsewhere. If students have specific questions about their science fair project, Science Buddies’ team of volunteer scientists can help. While these experts won't do the work for students, they will make suggestions, offer guidance, and help students troubleshoot.

Explore Careers in Earth and Physical Science

Want to know more about careers in earth and physical sciences? Browse through detailed information on over 100 careers to discover what scientists really do and what it takes to prepare for these careers. Each career profile provides basic career information such as salary, job outlook, degree requirements, etc. Science Buddies has also included videos featuring interviews with real scientists or on-the-job profiles.


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Tags: STEM careers, STEM jobs, STEM curriculum, science experiments, science curriculum, science and engineering education

Frontiers Brings Professional Neuroscientists and Students Together

Posted by Marygrove MAT on Nov 27, 2013 10:06:00 AM

frontiers for young mindsAs a fledgling student, I always took a shine to writing and science, but the closest I ever came to engaging with professional writers and scientists came through copies of my dad’s National Geographic magazines. The pictures were great, but the articles felt impenetrable.

The thought that I could somehow shape the articles I “read” and interact with the professionals behind them never crossed my mind. If only Frontiers in Neuroscience for Young Minds had been around in those days!

Frontiers is a scholarly, peer-reviewed science journal for kids. Not only have they partnered with some of the brightest neuroscientists in the world, they’ve found a way to bring students—some as young as five years old—into the peer review process.

frontiers for young minds 2

Here’s how it works: Established neuroscientists develop articles based on their research—but before publishing it to Frontiers, they invite criticism from young people so that the article can be made more digestible for a younger audience.

Neuroscientists mentor these Young Review Editors, help them review the manuscript and focus their queries to authors. Once the Young Review Editor offers his/her critique, the original author reworks the article and then passes it on to an Associate Editor at Frontiers for publication. How cool is that?

If your students are interested in becoming a Frontiers Young Minds Reviewer, all they have to do is contact the editorial office ( with a short biography and a letter.

Here are some of the topics Frontiers covers:

·  The Brain and Friends (social neuroscience)
·  The Brain and Fun (emotion)
·  The Brain and Magic (perception, sensation)
·  The Brain and Allowances (neuroeconomics)
·  The Brain and School (attention, decision making)
·  The Brain and Sports (motor control, action)
·  The Brain and Life (memory)
·  The Brain and Talking/Texting (language)
·  The Brain and Growing (neurodevelopment)

To read some of the published articles, click here.


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Tags: writing strategies, writing fluency, writing skills, science teachers, science standards, science curriculum, science and engineering education

Get to know science and engineering education's “Big Three.”

Posted by Colleen Cadieux on Jul 26, 2012 11:35:00 AM

Marygrove MAT explains how the Big Three dimensions will benefit science students!The science and engineering world is constantly evolving, and new discoveries and applications are quickly integrated into new understandings! This phenomenon has created a new set of science standards in addition to the STEM curriculum that is used to provide the most up-to-date framework for educating future scientists. As a result, schools and teachers across the country are beginning to implement two tools aimed at transforming science and engineering education in the United States. These are  A Framework for K-12 Science Standards: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas and the Next Generation Science Standards.

The framework is divided into three specific dimensions that are basic to deep understanding of how science and engineering work. They are:

  • Science and engineering practices. Otherwise considered science behaviors, these practices are the actions scientists participate in while investigating, theorizing, and drawing conclusions about the scientific world. These practices also include engineering design which requires a different approach than scientific inquiry. Engineering design involves the discovery of a problem that can be solved via careful and comprehensive design. On the other hand, scientific inquiry requires the scientist to pose a question and then answer the question through investigation and experimentation. 
  • Crosscutting concepts. These key concepts can be applied across all areas of science. They serve as a link between the different domains and are designed to be explicitly taught to students.  It is important for teachers to teach these key concepts and skills just like they specifically teach content because they help students organize, conceptualize, and internalize new knowledge.  These crosscutting concepts are:
    • Cause and effect
    • Patterns, similarity, and diversity
    • Scale, proportion, and quantity
    • Energy and matter
    • Systems and system models
    • Stability and change
    • Structure and function
  • Disciplinary core ideas. Much like threads that weave together the STEM curriculum, classroom instruction, and all forms of assessment, these are essential ideas.  In order for a science idea to be considered “core” it must meet at least two of the following criteria, but  ideally, a core idea will meet all four of the following:
    • Has relevance across a variety of disciplines or represents a key concept of one specific discipline.
    • Supplies an essential skill that promotes understanding of additional ideas.
    • Has importance at a range of grade levels and the ability to be studied at varying degrees of difficulty.
    • Impacts the experiences and interests of students and relates to real life problems that require students to use scientific knowledge.

It helps to understand that all of the disciplinary ideas are divided into four domains: life sciencesearth and space sciencesphysical sciences, and engineering, technology, and applications of science. Each core disciplinary idea contains a clear and concise explanation and range of grades for instructional planning and assessment purposes. The range of grades, each covering 3-4 grade levels, allows schools and teachers the flexibility to reflect on their instructional priorities within the established framework.

The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has a portion of its website dedicated to the Next Generation Science Standards. You can find updates, supporting documents, and resources to help with the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards and STEM curriculum. 

For more information, download our FREE on demand webinar on “Cutting Edge Science,” a lively conversation about the Next Generation Science Standards featuring Marygrove College MAT’s Charles Pearson, Ph.D.

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Tags: Next Generation Science Standards, science and engineering education, on demand webinar

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