Sunday, June 1, 2014

Science Research Museum

Looking for a fun way to enrich your students in science, while also studying for the upcoming state test?

Why not try creating a Science Research Museum?

A few months ago I submitted a proposal for materials through the website Donors Choose and it was fully funded.  Eeeekkkk...I LOVE Donors Choose!  We received $694.75 worth of materials such as a magnetic easel, construction paper, crinkle-cut craft scissors, glue-dots, t-shirts, fabric makers, and iron-on transfer paper.  I also had a class set of tri-fold poster boards left over from a previous school year.

Upon receiving these materials, students selected a science topic, of their interest, to further research (based on science concepts learned this year) and began collecting resources and gathering facts.  

I collaborated with special area teachers throughout the last month to work on this project.  Our librarian assisted students during library time to find books and articles to learn more about their topic.  In the computer lab students used child-friendly search engines (such as Kid Rex, Fact Monster, and Kids Click) to further their research.  Our art teacher assisted with creating t-shirt designs.

Students decorated t-shirts to wear at their museum presentation.  They created an illustration with fabric markers on the front of their t-shirt.  They traced their design on to the shirt using a make-shift light table.  I purchased Sterilite Organizing Trays and placed Christmas lights underneath them.  The t-shirts fit perfectly over top of the "light table."  These photos really don't do them justice.  They worked out very well.  

Students used the website to create a word cloud with key vocabulary based on their science topic.  This design was printed and ironed on to the back of their t-shirt. 

Students organized interesting facts, typed paragraphs, and collected pictures and photographs.  These were used to create a tri-fold poster.  Posters were set up on display in the Large Group Instruction Room for other 4th grade students to view throughout the day.  Classes signed up for a time slot to view the museum.  Upon entering, students grabbed a pencil, clipboard, and packet.  The packet was used to record interesting facts learned from each poster.  This served as a great review for the upcoming NYS Science Test.

Parents also came to view our Science Research Museum.  Students presented to them while cookies and juice were served.

All in all, our Science Research was not only a fun way to review for our New York State Science Test,  but was also an engaging vehicle to motivate students to research science topics of their interest further.

How do you review for state tests?

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