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Science Toy Maker

What it is:  Science Toy Maker is a teacher-created website with fantastic instructions and ideas for science toys and projects.  These are mysterious, kinetic, noisy, do-it-yourself science projects that spur scientific investigation.  The science toys and projects are inexpensive (seriously so cheap that anyone can make them!) and don’t require special skills, tools, materials, or work space.  Each toy or project has a “more about” page that includes explanations, historical context, related activities, and high-quality links for more research.  Each toy/project also has a clear step-by-step video directions or text instructions with helpful pictures.  This is a GREAT resource for the classroom, for students interested in science and for parents. How to integrate Science Toy Maker into the classroom: Science Toy Maker is a fantastic place to visit for fun science projects and inspiration.  These simple toys/projects demonstrate powerful science concepts and can be used as an introduction to a new concept or an illustration of a concept.  They are easy enough to follow for kids to do them independently making this a great stop for a center activity. Do you have students who just can’t get enough science?  Send them to Science Toy Maker to continue that passion inside and outside of school.  Parents will appreciate the resource to keep their kids learning and students will enjoy the continued exploration and creating. I love sites like this one, it may not be the most visually appealing site, but the content and ideas behind it are wonderful.  Why not have your students create their own science experiment site?  Throughout the year, students can record science experiments with photos or videos and add information and research they have gathered.  This can be added to a class wiki for reference later in the year and to share with other students. Tips: The most developed projects and toys are at the top of the site with those that are still a work in progress toward the bottom. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Science Toy Maker  your classroom!

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Planet Quest: Alien Safari

Posted by admin | Posted in Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 10-05-2011

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What it is: Planet Quest Alien Safari is an interactive exploration adventure that encourages students to click on “life zones” around the world to find bizarre and extreme organisms that live on Earth.  Students will also learn about what the extreme organisms reveal about finding life in space.  As students explore they will learn about organisms that can live without sunlight, those with the highest radiation dose, those that are the most acidic, those that live the furthest underground, those with the strangest habitat and those that are the hottest.  Students click on a life zone on the 3D Earth to begin a video introduction to the organism.

How to integrate Planet Quest: Alien Safari into the classroom: Planet Quest Alien Safari is going to be a popular one with your boys.  My students got a kick out of “discovering” new organisms.  Use Alien Safari when discussing different life forms, classifying organisms or studying space.  My students wanted to do more than just explore the organisms, they wanted to write stories about them.  Students wrote creative stories imagining what kind of super hero the organism would be, or making them into super villains (As I said, the boys have fun with this one!).

Ask students to make predictions about the organisms based on where they are found, what does their geographic location tell us about the organism?

Tips: The music on this site gets a little OLD (at least for me, the kids may disagree) I had the kids use headphones when they were accessing this site independently.  If you are using it with the whole class and an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer, you can turn the music off in the bottom right corner.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using  Planet Quest: Alien Safari in your classroom!

Comments (1)

This is a great find and will be a useful one in the classroom for me. Thanks for sharing.

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