this Daily Classroom Special:
Science to Go provides easy yet meaningful
science activities for grades k-8. Science to Go was written
by Barbara Smith, Magnet Coordinator at Harvard Elementary, Houston
(TX) and former Teachers Network web mentor.
Do you and your
students have any activities planned? Here are a few you might want
Problem: Bring several items from your pantry. Have students
examine the packaging, and list the different layers (ex: shrink wrap,
cardboard box, plastic bag). Which items had the most packaging? How
could these be reduced? How many pieces of trash would be generated
for a day's worth of meals? Which items came wrapped in non-recyclables?
Look for boxes made of recycled paperboard (they are gray on the inside).
Challenge: As a focus for this activity, present children with a piece of fruit.
Ask them to design packaging for the fruit. What's good about it?
What's bad about it? Do fruits and vegetables NEED packaging? Have
they seen this in their stores?
Down the Drain: Have several students bring their toothbrushes
(preferably wrapped in something sanitary). Provide a glass of water
and a bucket or another glass for "spitting." Have students time how
long it takes to brush teeth. Find averages. Then take students to
a faucet or fountain somewhere in school and turn the stream up to
the amount they would use during toothbrushing. With a measuring cup
or two, measure how much water flows out in the amount of time they
determined is needed to brush teeth. Better yet, measure a 15-second
sample, and use that number to figure out the flow per minute! How
much water would their family use during toothbrushing per day? Per
week? How could this amount be reduced (turn off water while brushing).
Idea: Count the number of light bulbs in the school. Post
this number, along with reminders about turning off lights when you
leave a room.
Bills: Examine utility bills for the campus. Chart changes
from month to month. Devise and carry out a plan to reduce them. Do
the numbers change?
Ecology book-reading and discussing with younger classes
Analysis of classroom trash and means of reduction
Leak patrol - check school for leaky faucets and toilets
Survey of neighborhood and real or potential ecological problems
Aluminum drive to buy fans for classrooms (cuts down on cooling and
World Wildlife Fund