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Exploratory Learning: Science Connections

This guide features information on Library MakerSpaces designed to promote creativity, curiosity, discovery and innovation.

Elementary Ideas

First Grade TEK 8(B)  observe and record changes in the appearance of objects in the sky such as clouds, the Moon, and stars, including the Sun;

Program Dash to revolve around Dot in a large circle. Program Dot so that her eye is lit up fully (white preferred). Stop Dash periodically as he makes this revolution - what portion of Dot's eye can he see?  How does this correlate with the moon revolving around the sun and the lunar phases? 

3rd grade TEK (7B) Earth and space. (B) investigate rapid changes in Earth's surface such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and landslides;

earthquake 
flood 
tornado 

5th Grade TEK (6) Force, motion, and energy. The student knows that energy occurs in many forms and can be observed in cycles, patterns, and systems. The student is expected to:
(A) explore the uses of energy, including mechanical, light, thermal, electrical, and sound energy;  
(B) demonstrate that the flow of electricity in circuits requires a complete path
(C) demonstrate that light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object or travels through one medium to another and demonstrate that light can be reflected  and refracted 
(D) design an experiment that tests the effect of force on an object.

Fifth Grade energy stations (Created by librarians Sara Romine and Wendy Howk)
Circuits - light up card
Potential/Kinetic Energy - marble run
Potential/Kinetic Energy - pompom launcher
Sound - musical instruments
Sound - telephone
Light - ,mirror maze
Force - rubber band cars
Force - drawbot

Secondary Ideas

TEKS 7.7 Force, motion, and energy. The student knows that there is a relationship among force, motion, and energy.
(A) Contrast situations where work is done with different amounts of force to situations where no work is done such as moving a box with a ramp and without a ramp, or standing still. 

Students will design their our own simple machines in Tinkercad 3D software. Then, a panel of shark tank style judges select a winning simple machine from each class to be 3D printed. The prints were then sent back up to the classrooms to integrate into additional learning opportunities regarding simple machines. These prints could also be shared across grade levels, by collaborating with an elementary class that is introducing simple machines to students. (2nd/3rd)

Physics 4 (B) describe and analyze motion in one dimension using equations with the concepts of distance, displacement, speed, average velocity, instantaneous velocity, and acceleration
(C) analyze and describe accelerated motion in two dimensions using equations, including projectile and circular examples
(D) calculate the effect of forces on objects, including the law of inertia, the relationship between force and acceleration, and the nature of force pairs between objects

Investigate how mass affects distance - Dash robot with launcher + 3D printing. Students will use a 3D printing program to design and print ping pong sized balls with various masses, by varying the amount of infill (from 5%-25%). Use Dash and his launcher attachment to launch and test the different balls. Consider how you will record your results to compare. If you do not own a Dash robot, challenge students to design their own launchers, with considerations for how they will guarantee the same amount of force is applied with each launch. 

Sphero Physics -  How does the speed of an object affect its velocity, acceleration, force, and kinetic energy?   Challenge 

Using Stop Motion to Explain Scientific Concepts

Create a Stop Motion Video of the Eclipse Using Emojis by Erin Flanagan @erintegrations.com 

Stop Motion videso can be used to show student understanding of a variety of concepts.

  • meiosis/mitosis
  • eclipse
  • earth's rotation/revolution
  • seasons
  • cell division
  • life cycles of plants or animals

A few suggested tools:

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