If this is the first
science class of the new school year, have students discuss their impressions
of science. Students’ knowledge of science should be good if they
have used the Integrating Science, Math, and Technology program throughout
elementary school. If starting this program for the first time, or
only in the second year, students may have difficulty with some of the
activities. We suggest you start with some of the fourth or fifth
grade Science and Math activities.
Science is a built up accumulation
of content and process. However, if students have not been exposed
to content, they cannot make connections to truly understand the scientific
method. “Light bulbs” should begin turning on if students have
been prepared to understand that math and science are the foundation of
- Discuss your
particular lab procedures. Stress safety when using any item in the
lab. If a lab is not available, make sure students know the rules
of your classroom.
- Introduce students to
a science lab by showing them beakers, flasks, or any other science equipment.
See if they remember what the items are used for. Students should
be cautious and careful when using equipment. Scientific equipment
is used for investigation.
- Misconceptions in science is very common. You
may want to go over some of these misconceptions listed below.
|1. snakes are slimy
||no, they have scales
|2. dinosaur is the biggest animal ever to live
||no, the great blue whale, which is living today is the
largest; dinosaurs are the largest land animal
|3. penguins and polar bears live at the North
||only polar bears; penguins live only in the south pole
|lightning never strikes twice
||it can strike in the same place
|4. You can't get sunburned on a cloudy day
||Ultraviolet rays, which cause your skin to burn is
present on cloudy days
|5. Sun is farthest from the Earth in winter
||Earth is closes to Sun in December
If students have gone through the entire I. Science MaTe
program, many of these misconceptions have been corrected.
- Go over scientific methods
with the students by using the enclosed lab sheet. Remember, there
is usually more than one way to answer a question. This can be a
homework assignment followed by discussion of students answers.
- Suggested answers:
Question 1. What effects
do different colored lights have on plant growth? Key points:
Students should remember to have a control so they can compare their experiment
with a plant that is not part of the experiment. They might design
an experiment to evaluate the effect of colored lights. Students
may use different colored lights but they must use the same type of plant.
Question 2. How do you
tell if two rocks are the same? Key points: Scientist could
describe the minerals in the rocks and compare the minerals to see if they
are the same. They also might test the rocks to see if they have
other similar properties like density or color.
Question 3. Does smoking
cigarettes cause lung cancer in humans? Key points: This is
a hard one. A scientist cannot force humans to smoke and then see
if they die. However, they can study the health of people who smoke
and don't smoke. Scientists then see if there is a higher percentage
of death due to cancer over a 20 year period by recording which percentage
died due to cancer. A scientist also may look at county medical records.
They study the information related to causes of death of people and then
calculate the percentage due to cancer.