With DISTANCE LEARNING I wasn’t able to do the hands-on electrical circuits lab with my wonderful 8th graders so I had to come up with another way for them to learn the basics. A web search brought me to this really cool VIRTUAL circuit builder that does NOT use Flash – which is awesome because Flash is no longer supported by Chrome.
Here’s a brief video of how this Phet interactive works.
easy to learn how to use
can build series and parallel circuits
there are a few different components to experiment with such as the light bulb, resistor and switch
can experiment with how adding and subtracting components affects resistance.
multiples of all of the components can be added, such as adding two batteries to increase voltage
the anmeter is fun to play with!
you can view the parts of the circuits in symbols to practice with engineering pictograms
There are no particular directions so if you want to be sure your students really learn what you want you’ll need to come up directions for them.
Don’t have time to design an activity? No sweat – use mine!
My worksheet guides students in constructing series and parallel circuits using the Phet interactive. No prep required – just have students watch the video above so they know how to attach/detach components.
I wanted my 7th graders to make cell models this school year, but I didn’t want everyone just making the same thing so I searched the internet for a variety of labeled pictures so that the students could make a variety of cell types.
Send me an email at email@example.com if you’d like more information about how I did this activity, including a rubric.
If you don’t have any supplies for studying minerals, my experience suggests that the following mineral specimens and supplies provides you with the least amount of materials you need for hands-on activities.
I chose these three because you get a variety of mineral properties for low cost. Talc is a cheap replacement for graphite and fluorite can work in place of hematite for a middle level hardness, although its luster and streak are the same as quartz.
white streak plates (Unglazed porcelain tiles) – sets are about 10 bucks
steel butter knives (if allowed)
With these supplies your students can make observations and practice testing minerals for streak and hardness.
Studying aquatic microorganisms is engaging and very educational.
Here I share how I teach a 7th grade lab on finding protists and microscopic animals in pond water. This may seem daunting if you are not familiar with the organisms or haven’t had the time to organize the activity. I hope that I’ll give you all the information you need for a successful lab.
Why take the time for this lab? Well, no one is going to be excited about algae by looking at a picture of it. Algae in the macroscopic world is called POND SCUM, but under the microscope it’s BEAUTIFUL.
Also,many standards can be addressed in a pond dip lab:
modeling ecosystems and ecosystem interactions
food chains, food webs and trophic levels
nonliving and living factors within an ecosystem
taxonomy and evolutionary relationships among species:
algae – single-celled organisms with plant-like characteristics
protozoans – single-celled organisms with animal-like characteristics
microscopic animals – all multicellular
crustaceans, aquatic worms and rotifers
single-celled organisms are microscopic, but have all of the characteristics of living things
microscopic multi-celled organisms such as microscopic crustaceans and worms
Using dichotomous keys and technical language – meet Common Core standards for using “key terms” and “domain-specific words and phrases” used in a “scientific and technical context”.
The supplies are simple and usually found in the typical middle school or high school biology classroom. The only things you will need to gather otherwise is the microorganism-rich water and organism keys; I provide you with information on both.