Superb Science Resources and Tools

Superb Science Resources and Tools

There is an almost endless world of incredible opportunities waiting to be discovered when it comes to Science and learning. So many brilliant minds have spent countless hours bringing Science concepts to life to inspire and excite young minds. I’ve taken some of these brilliant resources to share with you in the lists below but could go on for days and weeks with many more of these – hence the need for Episode 1 hopefully of many more!

As you set out to explore Science digital tools and resources, have a look at Siyavula resources. I was part of creating the Life Science series and can vouch for the rigour with which these resources were created.

The Scientific Process

Reading scientific text can be challenging for many. Try using Hypothes.is: it’s a web annotation tool that allows your learners to collaboratively annotate any online text and you see where they are working. 

To get the same effect you can share a text in Google Docs as can comment and they use the comment feature. 

The scientific process starts with asking scientific questions. The Next Generation Science Storylines provide wonderful stories to engage learners in every aspect of the scientific process and to act as lesson starters or end-of-lesson conclusions, or whatever you want it to be. You can also break down investigation in other ways like in this Cartoon Guide to System Dynamics. I also absolutely love Mystery Science’s Open and Go Lessons for teaching every aspect of the scientific process.

In the absence of laboratories and still wanting to conduct investigations, there are various wonderful digital simulation tools and resources you can use: PhET Interactive SimulationsExplore Learning  and the STEAM Powered Family

Working with Data

If you don’t have a classroom engagement tool yet, consider using any one of these: Edmodo , Google Classroom or Socrative.

You can set up surveys and run quizzes on these and collect results for real-time data feedback.

You can also use Google Forms for real-time data collection and if you have a Google Hangout, Zoom or Skype lesson being presented, you can show your learners the results page and how it changes as they add their data. Counting toilet rolls and bottles of hand sanitizers could be a fun starting point!

Other tools to collect real-time data from learners include Kahoot!QuizizzQuizlet and GoSoapBox. As you can see these can also be used for online assessment which of course collects data too!

To visualise your data you can use an array of infographic makers, some are free and others not so much: CanvaInfographiCreator and Piktocharts are some of these. I also like LucidChart to create charts and diagrams. You can also make all sorts of posters and infographics like this one →

If you want learners to work with actual data, consider using Data Nuggets – a truly magnificent site! Then there’s this world-wide challenge asking volunteers to get involved in unlocking historic data sets. Just watch the video below to find out more.

Chemistry

The resources for educators and students on the American Chemical Society are phenomenal. Then there’s the Molecules App that you can use on all devices to learn about chemistry – absolutely treasures!

There are some wonderful movies for learners to watch. Some of these are Hunting the Elements and Osmosis Jones. These are pretty hysterical and in parts especially the part with Chris Rock and the … well let me know spoil it!

Have you visited Chem4Kids.com yet? If not, you’re in for treat! Don’t let its old-school presentation fool you, the curated resources and videos are really good.

OnePagers are great to get learners to summarize everything they learnt about a topic on one page. They can use paper or create an infographic (see the links above for tools to create these). Here are tips and ideas about One Pagers.

Life Sciences

CellsAlive is a wonderful tool for teaching cells and everything about it.

Also have a look at the BBC One Episode guides – they’re superb!

When teaching cells, here are few great resources: Open.EduThe Cell City lesson Plan, and the Cell City Answers you’ll need for the different questions.  Then you can end off with a Quizlet Cell City game.

Virtual dissections can be done at SteamPoweredFamily. Of course they provide many other resources and activities so have a look around.

If you’re looking for a great collection of lesson ideas, Liz Belasic’s Middle School Science Blog and particularly her Life Science section is great! She also posts daily lesson plans on all things science!

Earth & Beyond

The Global Problem Solver Series is a game-based challenge that learners can get involved with. It takes global problems and challenges learners to find real-life solutions for these.

HyperDocs provide a wonderful way for learners to engage with resources online. Have a look at the many premade Science topics with particularly the Earth and Beyond lessons in the Google Drive.

You can study global weather patterns with your learners with GLOBE Weather – a really interesting resource!

In Closing

Was this useful? I really hope so! 

In the next blog I’ll look more closely at Life Sciences, Earth and Beyond and finish a few related topics that didn’t get space in this blog.

As always, please feel free to leave comments and questions below and we’ll happily help where we can! Be sure to subscribe to the blog or follow us on Social Media to make sure you get our next blog post your inbox!

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