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STEM Instruction Through Tinkering July 22-Sept 3 2015
Tinkering Fundamentals: A Constructionist Approach to STEM Learning
Tinkering activities provide a powerful way to inspire students' interest, engagement, and understanding in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). The Tinkering Fundamentals course will help educators and enthusiasts develop a practice of tinkering and making. This course will focus on key design elements of high-quality, science-rich tinkering activities, effective facilitation strategies and environmental organization. This innovative mixed format course, offered in partnership with ScienceWorks, Exploratorium, and SOU, comes to you from national leaders and local experts in tinkering and science education.
New content is posted through Coursera each week, including videos, readings, and hands-on activities to try. Anyone interested in the course may register and participate online for free at https://www.coursera.org/course/tinkering
Cool Experiments To Try
Cabbage & Chem-eleon Chemistry!
1) Make your own red cabbage pH indicator.
Chop the cabbage into small pieces until you have about 2 cups of chopped cabbage. Place the cabbage in a large beaker or other glass container and add boiling water to cover the cabbage. Allow at least ten minutes for the color to leach out of the cabbage. (Alternatively, you can place about 2 cups of cabbage in a blender, cover it with boiling water, and blend it.)
Filter out the plant material to obtain a red-purple-bluish colored liquid. This liquid is at about pH 7. (The exact color you get depends on the pH of the water.)
Pour about 50 - 100 mL of your red cabbage indicator into each 250 mL beaker.
Add various household solutions to your indicator until a color change is obtained. Use separate containers for each household solution - you don't want to mix chemicals that don't go well together!
2) Make a chem-eleon!
Paint your cabbage indicator on a drawing of a chameleon and let it dry. Then paint on with acidic or basic liquids to create patterns.
Try lemon juice for a safe acid, and dissolved antacid for a safe base with younger students.
Experiment samples with template and completed painting:
Websites we Love!
DIY.org - Hook your students up with this inspiring online community of DIY (Do It Yourself) learning. Kids can attend virtual camps or work individually to foster creativity and develop skills like Cardboard Building, Fabric Hacking, and Illustration. They can complete challenges to earn patches and upload their projects for others to see. There's even a patch for learning how to relax! This site is a perfect way to extend the learning for those students ready for some enrichment.
NASA's Space Place Newsletter - Free resources on the Space Place website that can be helpful for kids and grown-ups interested learning about science, technology, and space.