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Free Resources: The Exploratorium's Bite-Sized 'Science Snacks'

Posted Dec 8, 2015
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The Exploratorium has launched a new website with more than 150 free, scientifically accurate, and teacher-tested activities that are perfect for exploring in and out of the classroom. For example: Do you know how to build a battery out of pennies? Can you make a magnetic field that's stronger the Earth's, or power a laser light show with your voice?

Complete with videos and beautiful photography, Science Snacks use simple and inexpensive materials that bring to life the same natural phenomena and science concepts visitors discover during a trip to the museum.

“The Exploratorium’s fundamental pedagogy is to give its audience an experience that helps them feel confident that they can figure things out,” says Julie Yu, Director of the Exploratorium’s Teacher Institute, which developed the materials. “Our idea has always been to help teachers do hands-on lessons for as little as possible, both because of limited budgets and because using familiar materials demystifies things for kids.”

Established in 1984, the Teacher Institute (TI) is a professional development center for middle and high school math and science teachers. Over the years, TI’s staff of PhD scientists and veteran educators has developed thousands of classroom activities. They created the first Exploratorium Science Snackbook in 1991.

The new online portal will be updated annually with fresh content that demonstrates unusual or unexpected phenomena, sparks curiosity, generates questions, and serves as the starting point for deeper explorations. The launch comes at a time when the Next Generation Science Standards are emphasizing real science and engineering practices, including asking questions, using mathematics and computational thinking, and making arguments from evidence.

The Exploratorium, located in San Francisco … and online! … is a playful learning laboratory of more than 600 interactive exhibits and experiences that ignite curiosity and transform the way people learn. Since 1969, the Exploratorium has influenced generations of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, teachers, students, children, museum professionals and everyday doers, reaching nearly 180 million people annually from around the globe.

Source: The Exploratorium, exploratorium.edu/


 
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