Science experiments are one of the best ways to keep young students engaged and learning, but you may be wondering how to do them during these challenging times. Good news! Whether you are teaching in a socially distanced classroom or doing virtual distance learning you can still incorporate fun science experiments into your plans! It just takes a little modification. Here are some ideas. Choose what works best for your situation.
1. Perform the Experiments Using Your Document Camera & Let Children Observe
Since you have to be distanced and students can not get close to watch a demonstration or experiment, use your document camera to project the experiment on your smartboard or during your online meetings. This enables the students to observe the experiment safely.
Engage students and build excitement by asking them to make predictions before you begin and asking guiding questions throughout the experiment. Be enthusiastic and involve them in the process as much as possible.
Zoom in on different parts to resemble using a magnifying glass. Students can draw the results from the enlarged picture which sharpens their observation skills.
2. Use Common, Inexpensive Items & Have Each Child Do Their Own Experiment
If you have enough materials available, students can complete the experiment at their desks or in a socially distanced space without sharing supplies with others or at home and then discuss the results as a class. This is a popular choice for STEM challenges.
If you need ideas for experiments that use common, inexpensive household items click here to see ideas for the entire school year.
Students can take photos of their results and then share them with the class on the smartboard or during online meetings Discuss the different results as a class.
3. Send Experiments Home as Part of Choice Activities
If you are virtual teaching or on a hybrid schedule, you can send home step by step directions to parents along with a simple materials list as options for choice activities. My science resources have step by step directions with photos already prepared or you can make your own. Many of them also use materials that parents already have available at home or you can check this blog post for ideas.
Options for Students to Record Observations & Conclusions:
- Students can draw and write their observations. This is a good option when using the document camera or photos that students can look at up close.
- Students can draw and write their observations & conclusions in Seesaw and use the Mic/Record tool to explain what they learned.
- Students can take photos of their completed experiments and send them via Seesaw or Google Classroom. This is a good option for students who complete experiments at home.