|Type of Product:||NSTA Press Book (also see downloadable PDF version of this book)
|Grade Level:||Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Internet connections for Brain-Powered Science
Our reviewers—top-flight teachers and other outstanding science educators—have determined that this resource is among the best available supplements for science teaching.
[Read the full review]
• How can a long metal needle pass through a balloon without popping it?
• How can water flow at very different rates through two identical funnels?
• How can a stick, placed on a table under several sheets of newspaper and extended over the edge of a table, snap when quickly struck—without lifting or tearing the paper?
Author Thomas O’Brien takes these and 30 more science inquiry activities to a higher level in this book for educators who love to surprise and challenge their students with unanticipated results. Using experiments based on the science of a “discrepant event”—an experiment or demonstration in which the outcome is not what students expect—O’Brien shows how learners can be motivated to reconsider their preconceived notions and think more closely about what has actually occurred and the underlying scientific explanations.
What makes this volume more valuable than a mere activity book is the addition of a science education component to the extensive science content found in each activity. Each discrepant event is shown to be analogous to a pedagogical principle. Speaking directly to teachers, O’Brien writes: Your participation as teacher-as-learner-experimenter (rather than simply passive reader) in these minds-on activities will lead you to question, and help you to revise, your implicit assumptions about the nature of science, teaching, and learning. At the same time, you will develop expertise with activities that you can use with your own students. The dual-purpose activities thus allow you to unlock two doors with one key—the doors to your own learning and to your students’ learning. The detailed analogies between the activities and science learning make the book an ideal resource for middle and high school teachers, science teacher educators and their preservice students, and professional development specialists alike.
This thorough and thought-provoking text includes more than 200 up-to-date internet resources, as well as extensions to each of the physical science, biology, and chemistry activities—bringing the total number of inquiry activities to nearly 120. Most important, the author reminds teachers that the study of science is full of surprises and should be both meaningful and fun for students.
“The internet resources alone are worth the price of the book!”
—Walt Woolbaugh, grades 6–8 science teacher, Manhattan, Montana, and adjunct assistant professor of graduate science education, Montana State University
“This book is an excellent text for college of education teachers to use with their prospective teachers grades 5–12.”
—Janice Crowley, science department chair, Wichita (Kansas) Collegiate Upper School, and former secondary science methods instructor, Wichita State University
|Intended User Role:||Curriculum Supervisor, Elementary-Level Educator, Middle-Level Educator, Teacher
|Educational Issues:||Assessment of students, Classroom management, Curriculum, Educational research, Inquiry learning, Instructional materials, Interdisciplinary, Learning theory, Professional development, Science safety, Teacher preparation, Teaching strategies
About the Author
Science Education Topics
Section 1: Introduction to Interactive Teaching and Experiential Learning
Activity 1: Analogies: Powerful Teaching-Learning Tools
Activity 2: Möbius Strip: Connecting Teaching and Learning
Activity 3: Burning a Candle at Both Ends: Classrooms as Complex Systems
Section 2: Human Perception as a Window to Conceptions
Activity 4: Perceptual Paradoxes: Multisensory Science and Measurement
Activity 5: Optical Illusions: Seeing and Cognitive Construction
Activity 6: Utensil Music: Teaching Sound Science
Activity 7: Identification Detectives: Sounds and Smells of Science
Section 3: Nature of Cognition and Cognitive Learning Theory
Activity 8: Two-Balloon Balancing Act: Constructivist Teaching
Activity 9: Batteries and Bulbs: Teaching Is More Than Telling
Activity 10: Talking Tapes: Beyond Hearing to Understanding
Activity 11: Super-Absorbent Polymers: Minds-On Learning and Brain “Growth”
Activity 12: Mental Puzzles, Memory, and Mnemonics: Seeking Patterns
Activity 13: Sound Tube Toys: The Importance of Varying Stimuli
Activity 14: Convection: Conceptual Change Teaching
Activity 15: Brain-Powered Lightbulb: Knowledge Transmission?
Activity 16: Air Mass Matters: Creating a Need-to-Know
Activity 17: 3D Magnetic Fields: Making Meaningful Connections
Activity 18: Electric Generators: Connecting With Students
Activity 19: Static Electricity: Charging Up Two-by-Four Teaching
Activity 20: Needle Through the Balloon: Skewering Misconceptions
Activity 21: Happy and Sad Bouncing Balls: Student Diversity Matters
Activity 22: Electrical Circuits: Promoting Learning Communities
Activity 23: Eddy Currents: Learning Takes Time
Activity 24: Cognitive Inertia: Seeking Conceptual Change
Activity 25: Optics and Mirrors: Challenging Learners’ Illusions
Activity 26: Polarizing Filters: Examining Our Conceptual Filters
Activity 27: Invisible Gases Matter: Knowledge Pours Poorly
Activity 28: The Stroop Effect: The Persistent Power of Prior Knowledge
Activity 29: Rattlebacks: Prior Belief and Models for Eggciting Science
Activity 30: Tornado in a Bottle: The Vortex of Teaching and Learning
Activity 31: Floating and Sinking: Raising FUNdaMENTAL Questions
Activity 32: Cartesian Diver: A Transparent, but Deceptive “Black Box”
Activity 33: Crystal Heat: Catalyzing Cognitive Construction
Appendix A: Selection Criteria for Discrepant Events and Analogical Activities (Includes Connections to National Science Education Standards)
Appendix B: The 5E Teaching Cycle: An Integrated Curriculum-Instruction-Assessment Model
Appendix C: Science Content Topics
This Title Also Available as Part of a Set:
“[The author] provides such in-depth background—even historical context—for the principle under consideration, that every one of the 33 chapters is worthwhile. … Teachers will find that the book places students’ enjoyable and memorable experiences of unanticipated or even startling outcomes of science activities within the framework of the unifying principles of a given branch of science.”
SB&F, August 2010
“Drawing on some 33 years in science education, in both K-12 and higher education, O'Brien (education, Binghamton U., SUNY) presents a practical text inviting current and future grades 5-12 science teachers, professional development specialists, and college-level science teacher educators to engage in science that involves both hands-on play and minds-on mental processing. Its 33 activities provide an introduction to interactive teaching and experiential learning; an exploration of some of the strengths and weaknesses of human perceptions, and how to design and use technology to extend the range, sensitivity, and reliability of our perceptions; and opportunities for exploring the nature of cognition and cognitive learning theory. Each activity includes a title; expected outcome; science concepts; science education concepts; list of required and optional materials; powerful quotes from famous scientists, philosophers, or educators to call attention to the history and philosophy of science; procedure instructions; debriefing suggestions; related activities for further exploration; lists of internet links to supplemental resources; and answers to procedure and debriefing questions.”
Annotation ©2010 Book News Inc. Portland, OR
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