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Science Projects – A Kids’ Guide Grades 4 to 8 Tucson schools

Created by a faculty member in the Tucson schools, this is a great guide for elementary science projects and activities, with lots of pointers, tips, and research suggestions. Try the “perfect project” section for a step-by-step example of using scientific method to conduct an experiment. There’s lots of great advice here, but the site doesn’t do the project for the user.

Amusement Park Physics Grades 4 to 8 CPB/Annenberg

This site, part of the Annenberg Center’s collection of web activities, offers a simple introduction to the physics involved in riding a roller coaster, and allows young experimenters to design their own roller coaster (friction-free, no less!) to see how it performs. Students could use this site easily.

Antimatter Mysteries Grades 4 to 8

Here’s an introduction to the concept of antimatter for younger students. Nicely written text and charming illustrations step users through a concept that’s tough for many adults. Try this one if you have a few students who need a little “something extra” to think about!

Astronomy Grades 4 to 8 American Museum of Natural History

From cosmic connections to gravity and the planets, this unit presents an engaging, animated introduction to astronomy and the study of the stars. Students can try a Flash-based planets game, take an interplanetary quiz, and do several other activities. This unit is part of the American Museum of Natural History’s “Ology” series that explores different aspects of the life sciences.

Be Inventive Grades 4 to 8

Here’s a classroom activity from the Boston Museum of Science that asks students to create their own inventions to solve a problem of their own choosing. Based arounsd Leonardo DaVinci’s and the properties of simple machines, the unit asks students to design their own invention.

Building Big Grades 4 to 12 PBS

This instructional set from the PBS Building Big series shows the physical properties of various building materials, the structural characteristics of different shapes, and lots more. The simple animations help students understand why engineers use particular forms and materials for various projects.

Building Big projects Grades 4 to 8 PBS

This is the teacher’s guide to the PBS “Building Big” series which describes the engineering methods required to create a variety of huge structures. The exercises and demonstrations let students try their hand at small models that demonstrate the same principles used for larger structures. Lots of “hands-on” stuff for different grade levels and topics. Well worth a visit.

Craftsman/NSTA Young Inventors’ Program Grades 4 to 12 NSTA

The National Science Teachers’ Association offers this competition for science students at various levels. The site offers entry information, resources, and examples. If you’re looking for more than a simple science fair, check this one out.

Cycling Science Grades 4 to 8 The Exploratorium

The Exploratorium introduces all the scientific and mechanical principles that go into today’s bicycle. This is a great site for those studying simple machines, and its content also goes well into other mechanical topics. The video clips are nice, but in no way essential to the presentation.

Einstein Grades 4 to 8 American Museum of Natural History

How (and why) do you introduce Einstein to an elementary student? Here’s a presentation that does it effectively, drawing on Einstein’s love of trying something new and his willingness to “think outside the box.” While it’s mostly text, this site would be a great introduction for a student who is already curious about inventors, scientists, or the universe. This unit is part of the American Museum of Natural History’s “Ology” series that explores different aspects of the life sciences.

Fastball Reaction Time Grades 4 to 8 The Exploratorium

Use this game to test your reaction time and see if you can hit the ball out of the park. The game will show you your reaction time to each “pitch.” From San Francisco’s Exploratorium.

FIRST Competition Grades 4 to 12 FIRST

Created by inventor Dean Kamen, this competition encourages students in different age groups to team up and tackle challenges in robotics, physics, and engineering. The site offers detailed instructions as well as information on previous competitions – including some examples.

If you have students who are serious competitors, this would be a great challenge.

How Stuff Works Grades 4 to 8 Howstuffworks, Inc.

Here’s a site that does what it says: provides explanations of how commonly encountered machines and devices work. There are diagrams, text, and whatever it takes to show a curious student what makes something tick. Great site for “kitchen science” projects, for getting budding inventors started, or to simply explain why things work the way they do.

How to Make a Pinhole Camera Grades 4 to 12

Here’s a science project that actually works. This site includes complete instructions for building a pinhole camera that students can use to take “real” pictures that can be surprisingly good. The required materials are easy to find, and this one can be both fun and educational.

Learning from Baseball Grades 4 to 12 TeachersFirst

Here’s a collection of resources on math, science, and physics that all revolve around baseball. Learn about statistics, figure out what makes a slider work, or learn how al home run flies into the stands.

Robotics Education Project Grades 4 to 12 NASA

NASA’s page on its robotics education activities offers links to ongoing, real-time projects, robotics news updates, and listings of robotics activities and competitions. Robotics is becoming hugely popular in many schools, so the pool of resources gets deeper daily. Jump into this one!

Science and Sports Grades 4 to 12 The Exploratorium

Here’s another site from the Exploratorium. A high-tech look at the physics involved in hockey, baseball, and other sports. Younger kids can grasp the concepts; older students can learn the details. Includes sound and video clips, but they aren’t essential to using the site.

Science of Hockey Grades 4 to 8 The Exploratorium

Here’s the latest in the Exploratorium’s series on the physics of sports. The science of hockey includes information on the physics of skating, the materials used in the game equipment, and the reaction times required to stop a puck moving at 90 miles per hour. There’s lots of great exploring in this one.

Simple Machines Grades 3 to 6 Franklin Institute

Franklin Institute’s simple machines unit outlines the advantages of each machine and offers links to pages that provide more extensive illustrations, including several that use Lego blocks to show how the machines work. You’ll find the basics here, and that may be just what you’re looking for.

Timelinescience Grades 4 to 12 Timelinescience

There’s a wealth of detailed information on the history of science behind the deceptively simple interface of this site. Students will find extensive biographies of important scientists, along with helpful chronologies of scientific breakthroughs and activities. Plan to spend some time on this one.

Teachers will find the site useful for developing background on the evolution of scientific thought and process.


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