Resources for Inquiry Science
If you are new to helping students design their own scientific investigations, there is a program called “Smarter Science” which may be helpful to you. It is designed to be used with students of all ages and it includes templates for helping students plan and conduct their experiments.
Youth Science Canada has been promoting this program for many years. Follow the link below for more information and templates to use when introducing experiment design to students.
Hands On Science Investigations for K-4 students
Consider your science curriculum as a source of hands-on science investigations
Look for topics where students can use simple materials and questions which can be investigated in different ways.
Here are a few Ideas:
Topic: Weather - How accurate are newspaper weather forecasts in predicting actual weather conditions?
Method: Organize students to take temperature readings on a daily basis and record observations about precipitation, wind and cloud cover. Compare this to what is printed in the daily newspaper.
Topic: Flight - What paper airplane design consistently results in a long and straight flight?
Method: Have students construct various styles of paper airplanes from models and use their observations to design their own versions. Film the construction and flight of the planes.
Topic: Motion - Design a vehicle powered by a rubber band.
Method: Compare speeds and distance covered by different designs.
Topic: Plants - What are the best conditions to grow plants from seeds in a classroom in February.
Method: Have students consider what a plant needs to germinate and grow indoors. Have students decide where their plants should be located in the room. Consider moisture, light, type of soil, size of container. Allow a variety of answers to the question and start growing.
The following videos were developed by Grade 9 students working at home during the early days of the pandemic. They illustrate different ways to record their experiments without showing student images. Special thanks to Linda Cheng and some Grade 9 students at University of Toronto Schools. Although two of these sample videos are 2 minutes long, your video must be no more than 1 minute long.
Sugar's effect on pH (1 min)
Effect of Greenhouse Gas (2 min)
For further examples, check out the Science Showcase k-6 videos for TSF 2022