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Many of my students are preparing for our school science fair right now. This got me thinking about using Dash to practice the scientific method.
During the Hour of Code week, we noticed the speed seem to change how dash moved through our tape maze. Dash seemed to move different distances. I decided the distance Dash travels at various speeds would be a perfect thing for my students to put to the test using the scientific method.
We discussed what the variables in the experiment could be (speed or distance) and decided to use speed.
How Fast and How Far handout
Next, we talked about writing a hypothesis for the experiment. For example: If Dash is set to very fast, then the distance traveled will stay the same. Then, each group spent some time collaborating and writing.
Each group was given a recording sheet, clipboard, pencil, flexible tape measure, pushpin, iPad, and Dash.
Each group selected a consistent number of steps for Dash to move. We aslo talked about running three tests for each speed.
I had the kids pin the tape measure to the floor for ease of measuring. We also talked about placing Dash in the exact same starting spot for each test. We already had tape on the floor for group areas that worked nicely.
The kids really go into doing the tests and recording their findings. Things generally went smoothly, until the kids tired the very slow speed. Dash went 4-5 times farther and often curved while driving at that speed. This made measuring very difficult!
We decided to move to the hallway and see if we could get an accurate measurement. We had fun running the trial several times as a group with a couple different robots. We never could get a straight enough trial to measure it!
Even though most of the predictions didn’t match the results, the kids learned so much about experiments and testing ideas.
I was thinking it would be really cool to collect data from several different schools and have the kids compare. If you would have any interest in doing this, please leave a comment on this blog or tweet me @fabprab!
Today's science fair themed Webmix Wednesday provided me with the perfect opportunity to bring together some great resources! The webmix contains sites for finding project ideas, learning about the scientific method, and exploring virtual science experiments.
I love the virtual experiments from Discovery Science! How Does Your Garden Grow Virtual Lab involves changing variables to find the perfect conditions for growing tomatoes. Critters! Virtual Lab involves using variables to find the perfect conditions for a fuzzy creature to live. Both labs engage students and do a great job of reinforcing the scientific method.
Hope this webmix helps you and your students get your SCIENCE on!
This morning, our guide helped us find a monitor lizard. I was able to watch the lizard hunt for and find a nest of eggs to eat. It was amazing to see the lizard in its natural habitat and have a safari expert to help me understand what I was viewing.
Can you spot the lizard?
There are also two watering hole cams which you can view any time during the day. These cameras are a unique opportunity for students to view African animal and plant life.
**The web page does contain a live Twitter feed. This can be used to ask questions, but also be aware you may want to hide that side of the page or view the video feed full screen to avoid students seeing unwanted posts. I was able to hide the feed by dragging the page in.
This cam will be live everyday until Jan. 31, 2015! A definite must see for adults and kids alike!!!
I hope everyone is having a great week! I can't believe how fast the school year is going. We will be seeing lots of weather changes around here soon. Here are some webmixes to help your students learn about different types of weather.
The webmix for today is full of dinosaur facts and fun! Whether your students are looking for photos of fossils or ready to become an online paleontologist, there is something for everyone in this mix.