Theme of the month

Theme of the Month

Join us each month as we focus on a topic of interest to STEM Teacher Leaders with a webinar panel, open
discussion, resources and blog post. 

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Join the Discussion: Interactive STEM Teaching for Secondary Level Remote Learning

In this facilitated discussion, we will explore interactive science labs and demonstrations as a way to engage students and support learning in a remote setting. We invite your participation!


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Simulations have been a real life-saver for many teachers this year. However, hands-on activities are different...the data is not as "clean," and they allow for more flexibility in lab setup.

For me, I actually had the issue of figuring out a way to have students collect data NOT in the lab because I wanted to make my students' end-of-year physics field trip to an amusement park more meaningful. As a result, my husband helped create an accelerometer app for smartphones, which has now turned into Physics Toolbox, a smartphone app available for free on Android and iOS.

If teaching with smartphone sensors is an option for your students, here is one of my blogs that includes tips for teaching with smartphone sensors, including the following:

1. Consider Goals for Educational Technology and Technology Education

2. Consider Accessibility

3. Explore Relationships with Qualitative --> Manual Quantitative --> Exported Quantitative Data

4. Use Data to Solve Ambiguous or Open-Ended Problems

5. Consider Liability Concerns

6. Consider the Impacts


As a prior physics teacher, I'm a "data and principles" person, but I also really value qualitative and phenomenon-based learning. What kind of resources do you find to be particularly helpful in having students do hands-on activities? 

Tue, 04/13/2021 - 8:05 PM Permalink
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In reply to by Rebecca Vieyra


I LOVE the idea of using mobile sensors for at home data collection (and other fun qualitative explorations)! The possibilities seem endless. This provides a great way for students to collect real-time data to compare, synthesize and analyze.

Just as with using any new tool in the classroom, students will need some level of instruction (which varies, depending on the sensor). But, kids are SO good at tinkering with tech and being creative with it, in my opinion. They figure things out faster than we do!

I think providing them with graph ruled composition books (or simply graph paper) and/or teaching them to use a spreadsheet such as Excel or Desmos would be an excellent supplement, so they are able to graph their data. I'm not saying that it's "all about the math," because it's not. However, understanding mathematical relationships is such an important skill for our students. And, the easy access to our mobile device's sensors through the free apps, such as Physics Toolbox, is such an amazing resource.

What would we have done 10 years ago without the tech we have available to us today? I shutter to think.


Wed, 04/14/2021 - 9:59 AM Permalink
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Thanks for participating in the webinar. Wow! the school should have automatically embedded all Middle and High School students' private cartoons remotely. They still work on the webinars that design as well. The students are welcome securely to fulfill in the private panels at the ZOOMs and online resources. The consumers often went to the in-person stores for schools, returned the materials around all the levels. The businesses are adequately recovered well. While pandemic times, the reusable plastic and paper materials have been performable created about the physical-based physics. Some students took the technology courses during the time and summertime. They will enhance their knowledge of the technology and virtually hands-on contexts. Suppose they work the fundamental materials in the sciences and chemistry at the levels. If they transfer to take migrate grades for the grade policies across the United States of America. This year, they take the factual material in the physical lab for chemistry and science tools until reduced pandemic once helpfully.

Sun, 04/18/2021 - 4:35 PM Permalink
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This year has really been a challenge - to find higher level lab activities - for dual credit Biology/Advanced Biology.  I have used the Vernier data bases with labs as well as have had students do osmosis labs (with potatoes and salt) using small jewelers balances (cheap and go to 0.01 g).  I made colorimeters (3D print and some simple breadboarding about $5 total) that they can use their cell phones with to test the effects of substances on beet cell membranes (model for animal membranes).  I provide the materials for the students for these activities and worksheets can be turned in via Google Classroom. Our school has SWIVL (iPad) technology so I can have e-learners "Join" an in person group for lab activities too.  I would like to use the Arduino Science Journal app on phones with built in sensors but just haven't had the time.  

Mon, 04/19/2021 - 10:53 AM Permalink

Have you looked at the Pivot Interactives Biology Content? I am more in tune with the Physics education community, and they've been THRILLED about the use of Pivot this year. I can only imagine that the Biology materials would be equally phenomenal.

I know that it costs $5/student (some discounts for large numbers of students), but they do offer a 1 month free trial, if you want to just "check it out." 

Mon, 04/19/2021 - 11:04 AM Permalink
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