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Scotch: Science Fair Central

  What it is:   Scotch Science Fair Central is a website collaboration between Scotch brand products from 3M and Discovery Education.  The site is a wealth of free resources for creating innovative science fair projects.  The site leads students step by step through creating a science fair project starting with choosing a project idea.   Students can search through multiple science topics in life sciences, earth science, or physical science.  Within each of these topics is several subcategories and then ideas based on a testable question, what is tested, and what data is collected.  This site is very comprehensive and will have your students thinking like a scientist in no time!  The site then leads students through the steps of differentiating their project between investigations and inventions so they can choose the appropriate project type.  Step two actually leads them through the investigation or invention process depending on which project type was chosen.  Step three takes students through the process of creating the actual presentation portion of the science fair project.  There is a great section of parent resources as well as a section for science fair coordinators. How to integrate Scotch: Science Fair Central into the classroom:  Science fair projects have the potential to teach students a lot.  They learn organization, responsibility, the scientific process, observation, testing, inquiry, problem solving, and critical thinking.  Science fair projects are extremelly worthwhile when they are accompanied by a quality process that students can follow.  I remember years when the science fair meant quickly pulling something ‘scientific’ together (two cans with a string in between to show sound travel) with very little gained from the project.  This was due in part to being assigned a science fair project without understanding the basis of how scientists work and think.  Scotch: Science Fair Central solves this dilemma because students are led step-by-step through the scientific process and along the way learn how a scientist thinks.  Before you assign a science fair project, spend a day in the computer lab with students and let them go through this site and begin to plan their science fair project.  I love how this site is organized into different types of science because it gives every student the opportunity to find a project that they are interested in and motivated by.  If you don’t have access to the lab, set up a science fair planning center on your classroom computers or guide your students through the site with a computer and projector.  If you are a science teacher, take a look at this great resource and use the planning guide to plan a school science fair.   Tips:  Be sure to send this site home to parents, they will appreciate the parent section as they help their child at home.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Scotch: Science Fair Central in your classroom.

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History Pin

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Evaluate, Geography, History, Middle/High School, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 02-10-2012

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What it is:  History Pin is a really neat website that lets students (and anyone) electronically “pin” historical pictures, videos, audio clips, and stories to a digital globe.  There are three main ways to use History Pin: exploring it, adding to it, or curating things on it.  History Pin has some great collections and tours that have already been created that can be used in the classroom.  Collections bring together content around a theme.  Students can explore collections or create one of their own.  With a Tour, students can go step-by-step through content, a story, explore a place or walk through time.

How to integrate History Pin into the classroom: History Pin is a neat place for students to learn about history.  They can see history through pictures, video and stories submitted by people around the world.  History Pin is also a fantastic place for students to demonstrate learning.  They can add pins, create collections or tours around their learning.  In many states in the US, students have standards that are related to learning about the state history.  In Colorado, this is true of our 4th grade students.  History pin is a great place for them to demonstrate their learning of their own state.  The best part?  This learning can be viewed and used by others all over the world.  Our students get really excited about sharing their learning when they become the “experts”.  History Pin lets them be the experts.  Way cool!

Depending on which Collections and Tours your students engage in, there are great opportunities for incorporating other subjects.  Our students enjoy comparing statistics from history with statistics of today.  They are really enjoying knowing how to use ratios these days!

I love the way that Geography is so ingrained in History Pin.  Students can easily see (and track) where history occurred in the world.  This helps students understand how movements, revolutions, immigration happen as a result of geography.

Tips: Be sure to check out the school channel on History Pin.

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using History Pin in your classroom.

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