Crowdsourcing a middle-school science lab


6 Responses to “Crowdsourcing a middle-school science lab”

  1. Eric Smith says:

    Ms. Koerth-Baker:

    Wondering if you might be interested in doing a review of my book?

  2. Bookburn says:

    As a middle school teacher, I’m not convinced that good equipment makes a good classroom.  The master teachers I’ve seen do amazing work with scratch paper and masking tape.  My two-bits – put the money toward teacher training.  At very least, all teachers of science (K-college) should read  “Teaching High School Science Through Inquiry” by Douglas Llewllyn and understand the new “Framework for K-12 Education” which can be downloaded free here:

  3. MauiJerry says:

    Looks like an interesting project.  I like your (Maggie’s) comment “spend some of that money on art materials “.   I am a strong proponent for renaming the rather drab STEM (Science Tech Engr Math) push to STEAM (add ART) …

    I passed the link along to some local folks looking to do science lab stuff for middle schoolers.

  4. Bookburn says:

    That’s…that’s it?  Two science teachers and someone asking for book review? I’ve been carefully watching this post all afternoon.  Surely some more science teachers must weigh in via BoingBoing.  For $5,500, what does a middle-school science classroom need to have?

  5. Slurpy says:

    I would bet there’s no discussion here because most of us (well, I teach college chem labs, so maybe I don’t count) are going to the Reddit thread to post, since that’s where the actual discussion is taking place.  Centralization and all that. . .

    Though I will address the STEAM comment:  speaking as a STEM instructor, I don’t see marshmallow molecules and cell dioramas as “art,” it’s just science without buying 60 $100 model kits.  There’s been a big push the last five years to do labs with home products, both for the sense of connection a student gets, and to drastically reduce the cost of labs.  Plus, anything we work out at the college level usually migrates to the secondary education level within a few years, reducing cost and hopefully increasing interest there.

  6. Hans says:

    I made an attempt to synthesize a single list, with some additions of my own.  Obviously it is a list of suggestions and some of them are quite clearly *bad* suggestions.  I also took the liberty of skipping the obviously unrealistic suggestions (NMR machine, electron microscope, etc.) and those made as jokes.  I was skimming the posts, so I probably missed some people’s ideas as well.

    Sadly, were I in his position, I’d spend a good chunk of money on tables.  Because apparently tables are sophisticated science equipment that we need to write a grant to buy, in today’s American public schools.

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