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Science Education

Ellen Wijsman wijsman at u.washington.edu
Fri Jun 13 10:31:14 EST 1997

The publishers "Insights" and "Science and Technology for Children" have
handbooks (and kits) which describe in detail science activities for
children.  These are carefully researched and planned sequences with both
a great deal of education and science background - age appropriate (plus
or minus a bit, depending on the class).  Dale Seymour published similar
statistics and probability activities; the elementary book was scheduled
to come out in April (I haven't checked to make sure it is available yet).

I, too, tried the route you are now trying - going into the classroom,
trying to keep the kids interested.  After a couple of years I realized
that this really will have very little actual effect, and especially in
the beginning, I was badly misjudging what could be done with a class of
7-year-olds.  Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, I decided to try
concentrating on teacher development instead (with still an occasional
trip to the classroom - but as a special guest, not a regular).  I think
this has worked better.  I (and a number of colleagues) have been working
at getting techniques and ideas from science & statistics into the teacher
training.  We got a big NSF grant for science training for the Seattle
School district, and have also done smaller-scale statistics workshops. We
chose to work with existing materials - there has been a lot that is well
designed & keeps the kids excited, yet is still on their level & teaches
them scientific inquiry methods. The two publishers above are some of the
curriculum materials.  There is also FOSS (Full option science systems),
but I don't like them as well since they are much more abbreviated.

Ellen M. Wijsman			Express mail address:
Div. of Medical Genetics and		
Dept. Biostatistics 			1914 N 34th St., suite 209
BOX 357720, University of Washington 	Seattle, WA  98103
Seattle, WA   98195-7720		(Note:  do not mention the	
phone:  (206) 543-8987			 Univ. of Washington !!)
fax:    (206) 616-1973			email:  wijsman at u.washington.edu

On Wed, 11 Jun 1997, Chris Odt wrote:

> Hello.....I am looking for specific ideas, or a newsgroup, or a Web Site,
> that describes "easy to do in an hour or less" science projects for
> elementary classrooms. Any ideas of good resources for this?  I am a
> microbiologist, and have done some micro related "experiments" with my
> daughter's K-1st-2nd grade classes the past 3 years, but now need more
> ideas. I'd like to get some projects together over the summer, I assume
> from education related web sites, or from teachers. Any and all scientific
> or math related areas are fine.  I just want to get these kids attention
> and get them interested in science before its too late.  Its been so cool
> this past year when I went into my kids 2nd grade class, and one
> particular little girl would always come up to me, and say "I want to be a
> scientist when I grow up, just like Emily's mom"!
> Thanks in advance,
> Chris Odt

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