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Student Labs

The Student Labs are designed to be completed in one normal classroom period, but often benefit from teacher follow-up after the Science on the Move personnel have departed. Timing can be adjusted to fit within your school's schedule, but activities typically require at least a full 45 minutes per class (not accounting for transitions between classes) and 60 minutes is preferred.

Please find the current list of Science on the Move offerings below, with brief activity descriptions. Age appropriate guidelines are provided under the activity titles, but these are not hard and fast rules. The activities that appear below in gray are currently offline due to maintenance and upgrades, but activities in black are available upon request (please use the calendar to sign up).

If you are an elementary school teacher and your school is not departmentalized, please coordinate with your team. Typically one person from a grade level teaching team serves as the liason for scheduling purposes. If at all possible, please coordinate so that the Science on the Move instructor can set up in one room for the duration of the visit. Having the students rotate through a single room cuts back on set-up and break-down time, maximizing the amount of time spent with students. If there are more classes in your grade level than can be accomodated in a single day, it may be possible to coordinate a two-day visit.

If you are interested in a lesson that is no longer listed and feel confident leading the activity without the presence of Science on the Move personnel, you may put in a request to borrow equipment.

All grade levels

If you and/or your teaching team are having particular difficulty addressing a certain physical science learning goal or benchmark in the classroom, we would be happy to work with you to design an unlisted and unique activity. We can offer content knowledge help, equipment tutorials and loans, and the opportunity to cooperatively design and co-teach a lesson plan with a physics content expert. If you are interested, instead of using the calendar to sign up, please contact us directly to schedule a time to meet.

Grades 3-12

Students use light boxes to explore the effects lenses and mirrors have on the path of light. They are then presented with an optometric challenge, learning about the human eye and what it means to be near- or far-sighted.

NOTE: This activity requires the use of a classroom with outlet access throughout the room.

Grades 3-5

Simple machines are all around us! In this activity, students have the opportunity to explore the mechanical advantage offered by pulleys and levers. Broken into three exciting stations, students lift their own weight with the help of pulleys, experiment with balance on a lever (see-saw), and combine both concepts to determine the simplest way to lift 20 pounds using a crane.

NOTE: This activity requires the use of a large room with a high ceiling (at least 12 feet).

Grades 4-8

In this activity students gain valuable insight about buoyancy and relative density. The activity begins with several discrepant events that invite the student to explore the idea of density. A strong emphasis is placed on the understanding of mass and volume and how they relate to density. The students then experiment with Archimedes blocks and determine the densities at which they will float and sink.

NOTE: This activity requires basic skill with division and simple fractions.

Grades 3-8

This activity is derived from the GEMS Chemical Reactions kit and can be adapted for many grade levels. Students learn about the elements of experimental design while they use their senses to detect chemical change. Watch their eyes widen as they hold a bag that changes temperature, fills with gas, and changes color.

Grades 5-8

In this activity the students are asked to state a hypothesis about which of three variables (amplitude, mass, and length) affect the period of a simple pendulum. A pendulum is constructed so that bobs made of different materials can be oscillated at a set length as one of the partners measures the period with a stopwatch. After the period of the pendulum is determined for each material, the students explore the effect of different lengths of string on the period. Amplitude may be varied in a separate set of trials as well. This activity is excellent for introducing students to the concept of isolating an experimental variable while controlling other variables that may affect the experimental outcome.

Grades 4-8

This activity introduces students to the relationship between the position and velocity of an object over time as the object moves along a short distance. Spark timers and constant motion dune buggies provide an engaging way to create and interpret graphical representations of data.

NOTE: This activity requires the use of a classroom with outlet access throughout the room and requires basic familiarity with graphical representations of data.

3-2-1 BLAST-OFF!
Grades 5-12

A student favorite and beloved tradition in many schools! Students apply their knowledge of experimental design to draw conclusions about the effects launch angle and launch velocity have on the horizontal range of a rocket. The rockets used are powered by a simple bicycle pump and can attain a vertical launch altitude of 180 feet.

NOTE: This activity requires the use of a large open field with an access point for the truck.

Grades 6-12

New and improved! Non-inertial reference frames have never been this fun! Students gain first hand experience with circular motion, centripetal acceleration, and apparent force (like the Coriolis effect) on this dizzying thrill ride. Emphasis can be adapted to suit a wide range of ages.

NOTE: This activity requires a level open space with a diameter of about 15 feet and teacher or student assistance to unload from truck.

Grades 6-12

Get your students on their feet in the name of science! Students are challenged to match given position vs. time (and velocity vs. time) graphs by moving in front of a motion detector. In the process, they gain a deeper understanding of the concepts of position, velocity, and speed, as well as graphical representations of data.

NOTE: This activity requires the use of a classroom with outlet access throughout the room.