By: Thomas O'Brien
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More Brain-Powered Science: Teaching and Learning With Discrepant Events
|Type of Product:||NSTA Press Book (also see downloadable PDF version of this book)
|Publication Title:||Brain-Powered Science Series
|Grade Level:||Elementary School, Middle School, High School
|Read Inside:||Read a sample chapter: Measurements and Molecules Matter: Less Is More and Curriculum "Survival of the Fittest"
Internet connections for More 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]
• What can a chocolate chip cookie tell us about the Earth’s resources and the importance of environmental conservation?
• How can a clear, colorless spray solution unveil a hidden message on a blank sign?
Author Thomas O’Brien uses these and 20 other inquiry-oriented discrepant events—hands-on explorations or demonstrations in which the outcomes are not what students expect—to challenge students’ preconceived ideas and urge them to critically examine the empirical evidence, draw logical inferences, and skeptically review their initial explanations with their peers. More Brain-Powered Science is the perfect dual-purpose activity book for grade 5–12 science teachers who aim to stimulate and motivate their students while expanding their own scientific understanding. Each activity will help bridge the gap between practice and theory for both students and teachers by relating conclusions to science concepts and pedagogical principles. Speaking directly to teachers, O’Brien writes:
"This book is based on the assumption that just as our students learn science by experiencing, thinking, writing, discussing, and doing phenomena-based science with peers, we need similar experiences to grow as teachers of science. ... Careerlong learning with and from our students and colleagues as we engage with them in interactive, participatory, experiential learning is the hallmark of highly qualified teachers who expect and obtain the MOST from themselves (minds-on science teaching) and their students."
The inquiry-based lessons and more than 80 related extension activities can serve as the framework for professional development collaborations or as a supplement to conventional preservice science teaching methods courses. Each chapter includes an introduction, an explanation of the science and science education concepts addressed, a materials list, teacher debriefing tools, safety notes, and additional internet resources. Whether used in conjunction with O’Brien’s previous book, Brain-Powered Science, or as an independent text, More Brain-Powered Science offers hours of interactive learning for teachers and students alike.
“I like the way this book has simple, inexpensive activities that lead the reader into understanding the bigger picture. This presentation is so unique that I do not think there is another book available that provides the same information in a better way. The resources he offers are a gold mine.”
—Janice Crowley, science department chair, Wichita (Kansas) Collegiate Upper School, and 2009 Siemens National AP Teacher of the Year
“The topics addressed in this volume take on some of the most pressing issues we face in science education and do so in a very approachable way. I see the author’s first volume as a great entrance to the discussion and use of this approach and this volume as a huge step into advanced applications.”
—Michael Jabot, professor of science education, State University of New York at Fredonia College of Education
(mouse over for full classification)
Acid base reactions
Kinetic molecular theory
Scientific habits of mind
Using scientific equipment
|Intended User Role:||Elementary-Level Educator, High-School Educator, Middle-Level Educator, Teacher
About the Author
Science Education Topics
Classroom Safety Practices
Section 1: Welcome Back to Interactive Teaching and Experiential, Participatory Learning
Activity 1 Comeback Cans: Potentially Energize “You CAN Do” Science Attitudes
Activity 2 The Unnatural Nature and Uncommon Sense of Science: The Top 10
Crazy Ideas of Science and Challenges of Learning Science
Section 2: Science as a Unique Way of Knowing: Nature of Science and Scientific Inquiry
Activity 3 Dual-Density Discrepancies: Ice Is Nice and Sugar Is Sweet
Activity 4 Inferences, Inquiry, and Insight: Meaningful “Miss-takes”
Activity 5 Pseudoscience in the News: Preposterous Propositions and Media Mayhem Matters
Activity 6 Scientific Reasoning: Inside, Outside, On, and Beyond the Box
Activity 7 Magic Bus of School Science: “Seeing” What Can’t Be Seen
Activity 8 Reading Between the Lines of the Daily Newspaper: Molecular Magic
Activity 9 Pondering Puzzling Patterns and a Parable Poem
Section 3: Science for All Americans Curriculum Standards
Activity 10 Follow That Star: National Science Education Standards and True North
Activity 11 “Horsing Around”: Curriculum-Instruction-Assessment Problems
Activity 12 Magical Signs of Science: “Basic Indicators” for Student Inquiry
Activity 13 Verifying Vexing Volumes: “Can Be as Easy as Pi” Mathematics
Activity 14 Archimedes, the Syracuse (Sicily) Scientist: Science Rules Balance and Bathtub Basics
Activity 15 Measurements and Molecules Matter: Less Is More and Curriculum “Survival of the Fittest”
Activity 16 Bottle Band Basics: A Pitch for Sound Science
Activity 17 Metric Measurements, Magnitudes, and Mathematics: Connections Matter in Science
Section 4: Science-Technology-Society (STS) and Real-World Science Instruction
Activity 18 Medical Metaphor Mixer: Modeling Infectious Diseases
Activity 19 Cookie Mining: A Food-for-Thought Simulation
Activity 20 Making Sense by Spending Dollars: An Enlightening STS Exploration of CFLs, or How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change the World?
Section 5: Assessment to Inform Learning and Transform Teaching
Activity 21 A Terrible Test That Teaches: Curriculum-Embedded Assessment
Activity 22 Diagnostic Assessment: Discrepant Event or Essential Educational Experiment?
Alternative, Naive, Preinstructional, Pre-scientific, or Prior Conceptions Matter: Misconceptions, or a Rose by Any Other Name Is Still as Sweet (and/or as Thorny)
The S2EE2R Demonstration Analysis Form
Science Content and Process Skills
This Title Also Available as Part of a Set:
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National Standards Correlation
This resource has 65 correlations with the National Standards.
- Physical Science
- Properties of objects and materials
- Objects have many observable properties, including size, weight, shape, color, and temperature. (K-4)
- The observable properties of objects can be measured using tools, such as rulers, balances, and thermometers. (K-4)
- Objects can be described by the properties of the materials from which they are made. (K-4)
- Materials can exist in different states--solid, liquid, and gas. (K-4)
- Some common materials, such as water, can be changed from one state to another by heating or cooling. (K-4)
- Properties and changes of properties in matter
- A substance has characteristic properties, such as density, a boiling point, and solubility. (5-8)
- A mixture of substances often can be separated into the original substances using one or more of the characteristic properties. (5-8)
- Substances react chemically in characteristic ways with other substances to form new substances (compounds) with different characteristic properties. (5-8)
- In chemical reactions, the total mass is conserved. (5-8)
- Structure and properties of matter
- A compound is formed when two or more kinds of atoms bind together chemically. (9-12)
- The physical properties of compounds reflect the nature of the interactions among its molecules. (9-12)
- The interactions among molecules are determined by the structure of the molecule, including the constituent atoms and the distances and angles between them. (9-12)
- Solids, liquids, and gases differ in the distances and angles between molecules or atoms and therefore the energy that binds them together. (9-12)
- In solids the structure is nearly rigid; in liquids molecules or atoms move around each other but do not move apart; and in gases molecules or atoms move almost independently of each other and are mostly far apart. (9-12)
- Chemical Reactions
- Radical reactions control many processes such as the presence of ozone and greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, burning and processing of fossil fuels, the formation of polymers, and explosions. (9-12)
- Reaction rates depend on how often the reacting atoms and molecules encounter one another, on the temperature, and on the properties--including shape--of the reacting species. (9-12)
- Transfer of Energy
- Energy is a property of many substances and is associated with heat, light, electricity, mechanical motion, sound, nuclei, and the nature of a chemical. (5-8)
- Energy is transferred in many ways. (5-8)
- Motion and Forces
- Unbalanced forces will cause changes in the speed or direction of an object's motion. (Acceleration) (5-8)
- An object that is not being subjected to a force will continue to move at a constant speed and in a straight line. (inertia) (5-8)
- Conservation of energy and increase in disorder
- All energy can be considered to be either kinetic energy, which is the energy of motion; potential energy, which depends on relative position; or energy contained by a field, such as electromagnetic waves. (9-12)
- Life Science
- Diversity and adaptations of organisms
- Millions of species of animals, plants, and microorganisms are alive today. (5-8)
- Earth Science
- Energy in the earth system
- The greenhouse effect is the warming effect on the air caused by heat rising from the surface of the Earth and being trapped by gases in the troposphere. (9-12)
- Origin and evolution of the earth system
- Geologic time can be estimated by observing rock sequences and using fossils to correlate the sequences at various locations. (9-12)
- Current methods of measuring geologic time include using the known decay rates of radioactive isotopes present in rocks to measure the time since the rock was formed. (9-12)
- Science as Inquiry
- Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
- Ask a question about objects, organisms, and events in the environment. (K-4)
- Plan and conduct a simple investigation. (K-4)
- Employ simple equipment and tools to gather data and extend the senses. (K-4)
- Communicate investigations and explanations.
- Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence.
- Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations.
- Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions.
- Use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.
- Formulate and revise scientific explanations and models using logic and evidence. (9-12)
- Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and models. (9-12)
- Understandings about scientific inquiry
- Scientists develop explanations using observations (evidence) and what they already know about the world (scientific knowledge). Good explanations are based on evidence from investigations. (K-4)
- Mathematics is important in all aspects of scientific inquiry. (5-8)
- Scientific explanations emphasize evidence, have logically consistent arguments, and use scientific principles, models, and theories. (5-8)
- The scientific community accepts and uses such explanations until displaced by better scientific ones. When such displacement occurs, science advances.
- Historical and current scientific knowledge influence the design and interpretation of investigations and the evaluation of proposed explanations made by other scientists. (9-12)
- Mathematics is essential in scientific inquiry. (9-12)
- Science and Technology
- Understanding about science and technology
- Scientific inquiry and technological design have similarities and differences. (5-8)
- Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
- Personal health
- Understandings include how communicable diseases, such as colds, are transmitted and some of the body's defense mechanisms that prevent or overcome illness.
- Sex is also a prominent means of transmitting diseases. The diseases can be prevented through a variety of precautions. (5-8)
- Natural hazards
- Human activities can induce hazards through resource acquisition. Such activities accelerate many natural changes. (5-8)
- Human activities also can induce hazards through urban growth. Such activities accelerate many natural changes. (5-8)
- Landfill wastes can produce toxic chemicals which seep through the landfill presenting a hazard to the environment.
- Natural hazards can present personal and societal challenges because misidentifying the change or incorrectly estimating the rate and scale of change may result in either too little attention and significant human costs or too much cost for unneeded preventive measures. (5-8)
- Natural resources
- Natural systems have the capacity to reuse waste, but that capacity is limited. (9-12)
- Environmental quality
- A basic process that affects humans is the maintenance of the quality of the atmosphere. (9-12)
- Natural and human-induced hazards
- Acquisition of resources, urban growth, and waste disposal can accelerate rates of natural change. (9-12)
- The scale of events and the accuracy with which scientists and engineers can (and cannot) predict events are important considerations. (9-12)
- History and Nature of Science
- Nature of science
- Scientists formulate and test their explanations of nature using observation, experiments, and theoretical and mathematical models. Those ideas are not likely to change greatly in the future. (5-8)
- Although all scientific ideas are tentative and subject to change and improvement in principle, for most major ideas in science, there is much experimental and observational confirmation. (5-8)
- Scientists do and have changed their ideas about nature when they encounter new experimental evidence that does not match their existing explanations.
- In areas where active research is being pursued and in which there is not a great deal of experimental or observational evidence and understanding, it is normal for scientists to differ with one another about the interpretation of the evidence or theory being considered. (5-8)
- It is part of scientific inquiry to evaluate the results of scientific investigations, experiments, observations, theoretical models, and the explanations proposed by other scientists. As scientific knowledge evolves, major disagreements are eventually resolved through such interactions between scientists. (5-8)
- Evaluation includes reviewing the experimental procedures, examining the evidence, identifying faulty reasoning, pointing out statements that go beyond the evidence, and suggesting alternative explanations for the same observations. (5-8)
- Although scientists may disagree about explanations of phenomena, about interpretations of data, or about the value of rival theories, they do agree that questioning, response to criticism, and open communication are integral to the process of science. (5-8)
- Nature of scientific knowledge
- Science distinguishes itself from other ways of knowing and from other bodies of knowledge through the use of empirical standards, logical arguments, and skepticism, as scientists strive for the best possible explanations about the natural world. (9-12)
- Scientific explanations must meet certain criteria. (9-12)
- First and foremost, scientific explanations must be consistent with experimental and observational evidence about nature, and must make accurate predictions, when appropriate, about systems being studied. (9-12)
- Scientific explanations should be logical, respect the rules of evidence, be open to criticism, report methods and procedures, and make knowledge public. (9-12)
- Explanations on how the natural world changes based on myths, personal beliefs, religious values, mystical inspiration, superstition, or authority may be personally useful and socially relevant, but they are not scientific. (9-12)
- Because all scientific ideas depend on experimental and observational confirmation, all scientific knowledge is, in principle, subject to change as new evidence becomes available. (9-12)
“[The book’s] 22 learning activities—and some 80 related ‘extension’ activities—will help grade 5–12 science teachers stimulate and motivate their students while also expanding their own scientific understanding. The activities are grouped into five sections closely paralleling the NSTA Standards for Science Teacher Preparation: interactive teaching and experiential, participatory learning; the nature of science and scientific inquiry; science for all Americans curriculum standards; science-technology-society and real-world science instruction; and assessment to inform learning and transform teaching.”
©2011 Book News Inc. Portland, OR
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