Biodomes Engineering Design Project: Lessons 2-6 – Activity – www.TeachEngineering.org.
This is a fantastic resource for designing a bio-dome, excellent for studying ecosystems, specific environments and engineering (there’s also a nice little bit of recycling of plastic bottles involved). The webpage also details how to approach a number of lessons teaching with regards to the bio-dome that students can build. There is also a Bio-dome workbook in pdf that can be downloaded from the page, a full list of materials needed, an introduction with extra vocab section and a simple to use instruction on how to build a simple model bio-dome.
The lesson plans given by Teach Engineering break down different things to look at/study within the bio-dome (energy flow, plants, animals and then decomposers), these could easily be adapted to fit what a teacher specifically wanted or to fit different timescales, you wouldn’t need to add plants, animals and decomposers over 3 weeks unless it helps to establish each one first. Maybe that’s what a school technician is for, hehe!
I think it would be fascinating for a class (or STEM group) to do this over perhaps a few weeks with maybe one built bio-dome for everyone, to see the effects of the bio-dome. The website recommends roughly 5 hours of “lesson” time, but however much of it could be done outside of a lesson to speed learning up.
13 Vegetables That Magically Regrow Themselves.
I found this link on pinterest so long ago and I have been desperate to bring it to light and actually test each one! The 13 vegetables are divided into easily do-able (spring onions, garlic, romaine lettuce, carrots, basil), feasible (lemongrass, celery, onion and bok choy), feasible if you’re a plant magician (avocado, sweet potato, ginger roots and pineapple) – I think it’s these that I really want to try, including the 3 years for pineapple!
It’s Buzzfeed so each vegetable has it’s own link. The first two levels could be really good fun to do at home or with a STEM group, or a standard lesson, too. Perhaps the top level are only really for at home! Or school technicians over a summer holiday!
Circulatory System Lesson. / How to Make a Human Heart
I found this a while ago, but still haven’t got around to trying it out. The picture looks like it should be a really good heart model, and if it means that we don’t have to use any of our budget to buy a working heart model, well it must be good. Right?
The equipment is all stuff that you can easily find at home (recyclable material, too) so also easy that you could save enough to get a whole class or STEM group to do. And, of course, there’s the option of doing it at home just for fun or extra credit work.
This is one we need to try in the summer!
Fun Science Experiment! – Learning how plants absorb water! –.
I want to bring this blog to note because I think it would be far more cost effective when we usually demonstrate how plants absorb water. Normally, we buy a bunch of flowers and either put them all in one vase of artificially coloured water, or separate them between two colours. Normally only blue and red. We might also do the same with a packet of celery. Celery is good because you can cut the stem and see the colour going all the way through.
However, I was drawn to this particular blog and the idea from a photo of cabbage leaves in different coloured water. With celery, only blue and red ever tend to really work, visibly. Well, Paging Fun Mums has clearly got red, blue, green and yellow to work amazingly well with cabbage leaves. I also think that it would be far easier to ensure a whole class could set up their own set as a cabbage would go further than a bunch of flowers. They were apparently only left overnight, which is probably what we would do.
I just really want to try the cabbage!