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Hands-On Science Experiments

Many resources in this special collection contain hands-on science activities. Here are some websites that concentrate on such experiments. You’ll learn about science while you use math skills to make measurements, collect data, and analyze the results of these experiments.

The Exploratorium was one of the first science museums to develop a website. The Exploratorium now has over 15,000 webpages exploring hundreds of topics. Use one of their main webpages to find great science activities:

Exploratorium Hands-On Activities
Try the “Science of Candy” experiments from The Accidental Scientist with its built-in conversion calculator. Make your own “lava lite”, try “Film Canister Farming”, and check out five activities in sports science. [add to index]

Exploratorium Online Activities
Use Internet tools with these online activities. You’ll find activities about the mind, living things, machines, food, sports science, and planet Earth. Calculate your age on other planets in the solar system. Investigate the break-up of Pangaea. Learn about language by listening to “Ladle Rat Rotten Hut."

Screen shot from siteThe Exploratorium Science Snacks
Science Snacks are miniature science demonstrations using common, inexpensive, and easily available materials. Each “Snack” has instructions, advice, and helpful hints. The Science Snacks are for anyone interested in learning about science or helping others learn about science.

Screen shot from siteNewton’s Apple Science Try Its
These activities ask us to “Try This at Home,”“Science Try Its" use everyday materials. They are good starters for writing, discussion, and practice in following directions.

Screen shot from siteNova Online
This website contains online “Hot Science” activities and classroom activities based on the NOVA PBS science programs. Hot Science sites have great interactive problems. Solve a medical mystery with Disease Detective. Collect data and find the reason campers are getting sick in a popular national park. Search the list of all Hot Science online activities here.

NOVA provides online teachers’ guides and hands-on experiments to accompany many topics, programs, and videos. Each guide contains a classroom activity, for which a video link is not necessary. Teacher’s Guides by Subject.

Good examples of these activities include “Slip Sliding Away” from “Avalanche” and “Overflowing the Banks” from “Flood.”

Polar Science Station
Escape from Antarctica or dress a scientist for work outdoors with these web-based activities relating to science in the polar regions of Antarctica and the Arctic. Try the hands-on activities which come from Polar Connections, a National Science Foundation project.

Rocketry Activities (NASA Teacher’s Resource Center Rocket Activities)
These activities are designed to illustrate and test Isaac Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. Make balloon rockets, make a pop can Hero engine, and have an antacid tablet race. The teacher’s guide has background information for these physical science activities. Read construction diagrams, use math to explore time and distance problems, and practice following directions. Relatively large physical spaces, such as building hallways, are necessary for some of these activities.

Screen shot from site"Whelmers--Science activities that will catch the
eye and mind of even the most indifferent student"
These demonstration activities are designed to "whelm" students--to spark their curiosity about science. Each of the twenty science activities, aligned with the National Science Education Standards, is designed to demonstrate thinking skills used by scientists: prediction, observation, and analysis. These activities are sponsored by the website for the Mid-continent Regional Education Laboratory. Each demonstration includes sections on materials, instructions, presentation, content, and assessment. Try Whelmer #7: Iron in Cereal.


To submit ideas and resources for this section, please contact Paul Heavenridge.