The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Geeky Science

Today I formally introduced science to our curriculum. I started with donning my white lab coat that I acquired from my friend Rachel several years ago. This was an immediate signal to my students that we would be doing something related to science. I introduced this signal a couple of weeks ago, so everyone knew what we would be doing.

We started off with a question: what is science? Several suggestions were made, and I wrote down a handful on the board as we discussed them. The key to our discussion was that science is, at its root, a method of inquiry. I pointed out that science is found in most of what we do in our lives and that any time we undertake an organised approach to answering a question, we are doing science.

I asked the class to give me a question. The first question was, “Do you have a dog?” I asked them to give me a list of ways we could answer the question. Some of the solutions were: go to the person’s house; observe the house; ask a specific person if they have a dog; and look for signs of dog ownership. I pointed out that all of these methods would lead us to a definitive answer that we could monitor and answer. That, I told my class, was what science is all about.

Another question asked of me was if I was wearing the lab coat because I wanted to look like a super geeky nerdy person. I responded that I am already a super geeky nerdy person, and I am proud of it! I also pointed out that all of us have our own geeky side, like my student who is a Pokemon geek, or my students who are book geeks. So why do I wear the lab coat when we do science? Simply because I have one and it is fun.

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4 responses

  1. John Minor

    Love the science geek part wearing lab coat reason…..”because I have one”! Made my day. Keep up the great work exposing them to science.

    September 8, 2011 at 11:01 pm

  2. If you want to blow anything up, let me know.

    September 10, 2011 at 11:29 am

  3. You could do it under the auspices of “Which gasses are flammable?”

    September 10, 2011 at 11:29 am

  4. John – Glad you enjoyed it! I wish that the state would allow more time for science, but I am going to try to get as much in as I can.

    Tom – The fourth grade science curriculum focuses on plant and animal biology and geology, but we also have a section on lab safety. I think I could find a way to bring you in and demonstrate why safety is so important!

    By the way, congrats on getting white coated! I showed the class a picture of your group to illustrate the idea that scientists work together! They were all quite impressed.

    September 10, 2011 at 11:37 am

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