/r/ScienceTeachers

Photograph via snooOG

/r/ScienceTeachers is a place for science educators to collaborate on and contribute tips, ideas, labs, and curricula.

We seek to encourage the sharing of interesting studies, experiments, videos and articles that will interest students of all ages and promote science and critical thinking in their lives.

GOAL OF R/SCIENCETEACHERS

/r/ScienceTeachers is a place for science educators to collaborate on and contribute tips, ideas, labs, and curricula.

We seek to encourage the sharing of interesting studies, experiments, videos and articles that will interest students of all ages and promote science and critical thinking in their lives.


Resource Wiki

We have a collection of resources to help other science teachers be the best they can be. CLICK HERE to view the wiki page, and please Send a modmail if you would like to contribute or share any resources for this wiki.


RULES

1. Treat others with respect

A post or comment is deemed disrespectful if it includes discrimination, bigotry, prejudice, or harassment towards an individual or group of people.

2. Posts are appropriate

Posts must be: on topic and relevant; have clear and concise titles; contain accurate information from valid and reliable sources. No homework help requests.

3. No Spam

Spam includes any link or reference to an external source that seeks to promote for self gain. This can include blogs and sale of products or services. Video posts must include a description in the comments to explain why the video is appropriate for this subreddit.

4. Research/Surveys

Research requests and surveys are permitted for non-profit or academic purposes only with prior moderator approval.

EDUCATION SUBREDDITS

General Subreddits

/r/Education: Learn about and discuss the news and politics of education.

/r/Teachers: Learn about and discuss the practice of teaching, receive support from fellow teachers, and gain insight into the teaching profession.

/r/TeachingResources: Share and discover teaching resources, such as demos, blogs, simulations, and visual aids.

/r/EdTech

Content Area Subreddits

/r/AdultEducation

/r/ArtEd

/r/CSEducation computer science

/r/ECEProfessionals early childhood education

/r/ELATeachers English / language arts

/r/HigherEducation

/r/MathEducation

/r/MusicEd

/r/ScienceTeachers

/r/SpecialEd

/r/slp speech-language pathology

/r/SpecialEd

Related and Supporting Subreddits

/r/AskScience

/r/Science

/r/Awwducational

/r/ScienceTeachers

40,832 Subscribers

1

Help! No idea what I'm doing!

Hi. I teach 6th-grade science and am really struggling to come up with an activity for the standard below.

6-ESS2-6: Develop/use a model to describe unequal heating & Earth’s rotation cause regional climate patterns via atmosphere/ocean circulation

I am a first-year teacher and my teaching team is not helpful. They claim they have never covered this topic in past years and basically left me out to dry. (???) I will be getting observed by admin the day I am covering this and they are super strict with meeting the NGSS requirements. I am hoping to do something active and engaging with my kids but can't find many resources or ideas online. Any ideas would be SO helpful!!!

(Please lmk if this post isn't allowed. Im a Reddit newbie)

0 Comments
2024/03/28
23:03 UTC

7

NOTHING is working! What can I try?

This is my 5th year teaching biology. By this point in my career, I feel like I have established a pretty good routine and collection of activities that work. My school is block, so I have to finish chapters in 1-2 weeks to fufill all the standards. It's very rushed. Students have to have learned everything in about 3 2/3 months to take a standardized test.

For a typical chapter, they do: an EdPuzzle the day before we start a new chapter, about 2-4 days of lecture with guided notes for about 30 minutes each day, a couple worksheets (coloring, review, labeling diagrams, etc), 2-4 MC practice quizzes, sometimes a reading on CK-12, POGIL, 1 lab, and a study guide they usually complete 5 questions per night. I also post a lot of study resources like Quizizz, Kahoot, etc. Nothing is working for my current group, and this has never happened before. They're scoring lower than all my other groups, and they hate everything we do! It's too boring, they can't learn from fill in the blank notes (though many do say the notes & study guide are the most helpful things we do), the work is too hard (especially POGILs), or they just simply can't engage in the activities and just try to copy off other people or let group members take the lead.

I need some new ideas to try with them. The biggest issues are I don't have enough time and many of them have negative or disinterested attitudes towards ANYTHING we do.

7 Comments
2024/03/28
15:45 UTC

8

Demo lesson idea for 10th grade.

Hello, I have to do a demo lesson in 2 days on Moles and molar mass.

Introduce the concept of moles/then move onto molar mass.

Molar mass bingo??? should students work in groups or individual????

Please any feedback would be great :)

6 Comments
2024/03/27
13:26 UTC

10

Reasons for offering honors Chemistry?

Hello all,

I want to present a strong argument to my school district why we need to offer honors chemistry. What are some good points for offering honors classes? My district seems to be wanting to possibly offer Chemistry to literally everyone. Probably something about equity or tracking is bad.

My goal with an honors class would be to push my top students harder, cover more content, and prepare them to take Physics or AP science classes in the future. As it currently stands, I don't think I am preparing them enough to be successful in harder classes, or as much as I could if I offered an honors class.

So what are some good points I am not thinking of I can keep in mind when I talk with district personnel that have no idea what goes on in the classrooms?

20 Comments
2024/03/27
04:58 UTC

35

Criticized for “dumbing down” the science lesson this year compared to what we did last year.

I’m specifically talking about an experiment that supports this standard. “4.7A: Examine properties of soils, including color and texture, capacity to retain water, and ability to support the growth of plants.”

I teach fourth grade. In the last couple of years, we have been doing this experiment where students are testing mustard seeds, sunflower seeds, and radish seeds in loam, top soil, and sand. It is a mess every year. Kids, being kids, forget which seed is which, can’t tell the difference between topsoil and loam, don’t water them correctly, and more. As a result of that, the kids lose out on the learning. We have also been talking extensively about how to design an experiment and that you only are changing one variable. Since I am “in charge” of science this year, I decided that this experiment had too many moving parts and too many variables for kids to keep up with. I decided to break it down a little more this year to specifically test just the type of soil. I researched different types of seeds that would be easy to grow and fast growing- I learned about wheat berries. Anyway, we started it last week and it has been great so far. I explained to my principal what I was doing and why. I explained that it still supports the standard because all we are supposed to do per the standard is examine the soil’s ability to support the growth of plants. I expected her to acknowledge the positive change and move on. Instead, she then went off on a rant about how I dumbed it down too much, and I took what was once a cognitively complex task and made it not cognitively complex. She ranted about how kids could have compared the growth of seeds per pot and compared to each other and she is a science expert and that is what she taught (20 years ago) and she knows what she is talking about and whatever.

Sure, fine, I get it.

It is just disheartening. I put a lot of effort into changing up the plans provided by the district because they’re crap (they haven’t changed in years, and they’re not realistic to implement in the classroom) and to be talked down to by someone because it was “dumbed down” sucks. I’m trying to make the learning accessible for all the kids, and I’m doing it in a way that is easy to manage and easy to keep up with. Of course, that is not seen- only that it is “nOt CoGnItIvElY cOmPlEx.”

This is the same administrator that told me a few years ago that all of my lessons need to start at the “analyze” level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Right, when I introduce brand new concepts to my kids in fourth grade- things like decimals, measuring angles with protractors, and circuits, I’ll just completely blow past remember and start them with analyzing.

Anyway, this ends my rant. I stand by my change to the experiment, and I needed to let it out somewhere.

30 Comments
2024/03/26
21:10 UTC

3

Cultivating mushrooms

Hi folks!

So I purchased a mushroom block from amazon and I am attempting to get some fruiting bodies as part of a unit on growth and development. I think i know the basics of how to get the block to start fruiting, but wondering if anyone has done this before or has any tips!

Wondering specifically if I can cut the block into smaller chunks to distribute to student groups.

Cheers!

0 Comments
2024/03/26
06:09 UTC

5

Experiment help

Hello!

Can I use regular vinegar instead of white vinegar for the bouncy egg experiment?

I asked for white vinegar but the materials order lady has bought me regular vinegar. Not sure if I should go and buy white vinegar before the experiment tomorrow or if it’ll work fine?

Thanks in advance

6 Comments
2024/03/25
23:03 UTC

0

Scientific society ideas.

So, my college has decided to arrange a scientific society and as I'm the president of scientific society, I've to do the whole work bla bla I want this sub to give me ideas on what topics to go with for different inter departmental competitions. That are unique where every one can participate. And are interesting as well. We'll probably have skits, models, presentations, speeches etc. Mind you, the resources are limited in my college. I'll be really thankful. Images will work as well.

2 Comments
2024/03/25
17:02 UTC

9

Can I save my petri dish experiment?

I didn’t realize the school shut the heat off on the weekends, so 2 of my student’s nutrient gelatin petri dishes were not incubated properly. There’s no bacteria growing. Can I possibly save them with a homemade incubator, or do we need to swab again with new plates? The science fair is on Wednesday. This is already their second try at growing bacteria. Not sure what to do.

4 Comments
2024/03/24
18:03 UTC

14

Week before Spring Break.

Hey all. I'm a first year MS science teacher.

I'm looking for ideas to fill 3 or 4 days before the break.

We just finished a unit on Evolution. Things can be either related or totally different. I don't want to launch a whole new topic and expect them to remember it for like.. 12 days.

First, I want to offer an extra credit assignment. I usually don't, but the kids weren't happy with their grades (at least a bunch of them) and I thought it would be nice to offer the option.

Second, any space or eclipse related ideas that are fun and hands-on? This would make some sense, as we are in the path of totality.

Can be single or multi-day options. Most of the ideas I have are kind of elementary and I'm going to save them for the final day.

Thank you!

28 Comments
2024/03/24
12:11 UTC

1

Observation Monday

I’m getting observed this Monday for my formal. It will be 8th grade science and I was thinking of doing light introduction/EM spectrum. I have PPT notes ready but would like either to do a teacher demo or hands on.

I saw this cool demo where this teacher has this surge protector with 3 bulbs set up (RGB). He demonstrated color mixing by removing/adding the bulbs. Would this be something interesting as introduction? Then he talked about light mixing is not the same as pigments.

Any other light intro lesson ideas would be good? Thank you!

14 Comments
2024/03/23
21:46 UTC

3

PSA to prospective Texas Teachers: get your COMPOSITE certification

I just came from my District’s job fair where I was helping my chair interview candidates. We had to turn away most of our candidates because they were certified in a single area (life science, biology, chemistry, etc.) getting certified in a specific field really narrows down the classes you can teach, and may disqualify you for a lot of openings. Getting composite certified allows you to teach ANY HS science class, making you a much more valuable hire.

15 Comments
2024/03/23
17:40 UTC

102

Is science for everyone? Not at this Denver charter school

Sixth grade science teacher Savannah Perkins described a surprise meeting with her school principal in early January. He told her that she would no longer be teaching science because too many students were reading below grade level, she said. Her job would “pivot” to reading intervention for second semester.

https://www.chalkbeat.org/colorado/2024/03/22/denver-rocky-mountain-prep-charter-schools-cancel-science/#Echobox=1711144973

50 Comments
2024/03/23
16:14 UTC

5

Blood clotting cascade question

I teach anatomy and physiology. In prepping for the next unit (cardiovascular), I came across something I can't quite figure out, so I thought I'd ask my fellow science teachers before getting to this with students.

In the blood clotting cascade, factor V helps with activation of factor X. But, in the textbook we use, it also shows factor V seemingly help to activate factor VII. I'm not able to find any other reference so far saying factor V helps with factor VII activation, and I'm starting to think it may be a mistake in the textbook.

Has anyone else heard/read of factor V interacting with factor VII? Or do you also think it may be a typo? For reference, here is the diagram used in the book: https://imgur.com/a/hSyKfWF

2 Comments
2024/03/23
15:36 UTC

33

Amazing science facts?

I’m trying to compile a list for teaching purposes of the most mind-blowing awesome facts in science that are almost too incredible to be true. What are some fast facts I could include in my lesson?

59 Comments
2024/03/23
06:20 UTC

2

Strawberry DNA or other DNA under a microscope

Hello, I am considering doing the strawberry DNA lab with a group of students they really like using microscopes and started to think I can have them create a wet mount and put it under the microscope.

I have a few questions, has anyone ever done this?

Would I need to dye the strawberry DNA? If so which dye could work?

Thanks

17 Comments
2024/03/22
23:46 UTC

31

Is it just me or is PowerSchool/Schoology integration inexcusably bad?

I used to be an IT, and I even was a TM1 consultant for a little while. Since starting to use our district’s software as a teacher (started teaching last year with almost no training) it has been nothing but frustration and hassle. I find myself doing look up, after look up after look up, signing out of power teacher to get into PowerSchool and then back, because you can’t be in both things at once, and other stuff I should be able to drill into. The automatic import of Schoology assignments into PowerSchool is so broken I want to punch it in the metaphorical face.

Is it just me, perhaps not knowing how to use the software (and it seems I can’t find answers among the people I would think would know) or is it just this bad?

It seems like all of these things labeled as “PowerSchool“ were all different platforms that got duct taped together in a bunch of tech buyouts. Do they have some sort of political influence to keep selling this crapware to school districts?

Does anyone out there have software that nicely integrates presentations, grading and assignments with Google Docs/Slides/etc? What is it called?

19 Comments
2024/03/22
16:57 UTC

2

Bacteria growing experiments

I am working in a new school that is just running for 4 years and many things are "first time" for us. My HOD and I are unfamiliar about the procedure of disposing bacterial cultures, whether liquid or agar plates, after thr experiment is over. Therefore we avoided doing any bacterial related practicals in the first few years. But now that we have an IB cohort that wants to grow bacteria for their Internal Assessment, we need to re-evaluate this.

I wanted to know how other science teacher handle disposal of used agar plates full of bacteria. I want to do it in a way that I won't get in trouble ( with the school or with the law). My HOD is convinced that it is too difficult to dispose of it.

We do not have an autoclave nor do we have the budget for it. We have different reagents like methanol propanol for sterilisation. We have an incubator

11 Comments
2024/03/22
02:50 UTC

3

Question about Praxis Chem (5246) Exam

So I've been prepping for the 5246 Praxis, and have seen mixed messages about this... Do they provide you with a calculator/can you bring one in?

All of the practice problems I've been doing have involved some pretty precise algebraic equations and I can't tell if I'm just stupid, or if it's absurd that they don't let you use a calculator. For example, if I'm given a temp of 545 K and a pressure of 343 atm, 10.5 moles of gas, then I have to find the volume... Using PV=nRT, I genuinely can't do this without using a calculator. Like multiplying by the gas constant and then dividing that product by P to find V...

Am I just really out of practice for math and I need to brush up on calculator-free algebra? Or am I fine because they provide you with a calculator?

Any insights would be greatly appreciated!

2 Comments
2024/03/21
21:21 UTC

4

How much resin do you use for 3d printing

My school is looking into getting a resin 3d printer but we don’t know how much resin would be used every year. On average how much resin do you use for your classes?

8 Comments
2024/03/21
15:49 UTC

9

Outdoor labs

I was able to get the district to approve several field study trips for my environmental classes. What are some of your favorite outdoor labs/activities? One location has a stream/pond ecosystem with some fascinating native species of minnows/killies. The other is a river system with old-growth oak forests. Also, what are some ideal hip-waders for classroom use i.e. durable and less costly?

5 Comments
2024/03/21
13:46 UTC

2

Differences Between AP and IB Bio SL.

LSS, took AP Bio in 9th Grade. Failed it. Taking SL Bio this year, and am retaking the AP BIO Exam. (Self-studying). What specific things are not taught in AP Bio that are taught in IB Bio?

3 Comments
2024/03/21
01:47 UTC

2

Starting up AP Physics 2 - any good resources?

My Highschool is offering AP Physics 2 for the first time. Beyond using AP Collegeboard materials, anyone have some good resources?

Things I'm interested in are the usual.

  • Equipment lists **main goal so supplies are ready (or found) for next year.

  • Unit outlines or lesson sequences.

  • Lab & Demos

  • Problem sets

  • Video playlists and channels


Any advice is welcome. Even shared experience on tricky units or concepts to spend time on, or what subjects I should avoid getting bogged down in details.

6 Comments
2024/03/20
22:49 UTC

4

Anyone here a PA biology teacher and know anything about next years keystone?

As we are planning for next year, the biggest hurdler we are facing is how should we teach our classes. Are we supposed to use our current standards or the STEELS? We originally thought that next years keystone would not count but according to the following quote directly from PDE, “The Spring 2025 Biology Keystone Exams will include embedded field test items that are aligned to the STEELS standards. The field test items will not count toward students’ Biology scores in 2025. Like the PSSA, those items will be used as the basis for STEELS-aligned assessments in 2025-2026.” So why isn’t next years keystone just completely ignored so we can field test the new standards? I doubt anyone has any other information from PDE but I’m getting really frustrated.

20 Comments
2024/03/20
19:47 UTC

5

How have you taught the Stefan-Boltzmann Law?

Hi all - I’m a math teacher and want to teach the greenhouse gas effect via the energy balance model. The part that’s bothering me is how everything I read glosses over the Stefan-Boltzmann law. Is there an intuitive way of explaining the law or a quick(ish) experiment that can help students understand? This is in relation to teaching math so I want to keep it somewhat simple. Thanks!!

12 Comments
2024/03/20
17:48 UTC

10

Inverse square relationship struggles

I teach physics. My “honors” physics class (10th grade, US) has been working through the gravity equation, F = Gmm’/r^2.

My students struggle, hard, with conceptual questions asking them to change the distance (r) and give the subsequent change in force. This is the classic inverse-square relationship: double the distance, get 1/4 the force; halve the distance, get 2x the force, etc.

I’ve tried having them calculate out long a force in one scenario; then doubling just the distance and finding the force; then comparing results. I’ve had them create tables for different multiples of r and the force (with simplified values for Gmm’), and again comparing. We’ve had virtual labs where they collect data and create a graph of the relationships. Nothing is working well. The intuition isn’t coming.

Suggestions? Activities you’ve used?

An aside: These students were in 7-8th grades during covid and I think their math skills have suffered as a consequence, relative to where they should be.

8 Comments
2024/03/20
17:13 UTC

21

Anyone here use OpenSci Ed?

How do you like/dislike it? Just found out that’s what we’re moving to next Fall.

23 Comments
2024/03/20
17:04 UTC

4

Amplify Content Question

I know we all know Amplify sucks as a curriculum, but I have a question about specific content Amplify is trying to teach in 6th grade.

The unit Ocean, Atmosphere and Climate opens with a lab where the students are led to the conclusion that air does not directly absorb energy from the Sun and requires a surface (land or ocean) to absorb it first, then transfer it into the air. I understand that a surface will make the air above it warmer, however the concept that ‘air’ does not absorb any energy directly from the Sun is not correct. In fact, in 8th grade they specifically teach that some molecules in our air do absorb energy directly. Additionally, we know the Thermosphere is warmer than the Mesosphere despite being further away from the surface.

Am I wrong in thinking that Amplify is outright teaching something incorrectly? Can someone justify this content to me?

8 Comments
2024/03/20
15:00 UTC

1

Curious if any one has heard about or used the GLOBE project. Why do you use/not use it in your classes? Your thoughts and opinions needed!

More information can be found here: https://www.globe.gov/about/learn/program-overview

Just curious what everyone thinks. Let me know!

0 Comments
2024/03/20
02:41 UTC

1

Frizzle x Neil dG Tyson outfit?

Before I ruin one of my old Kohls suit jackets, what do you all think of taking NASA / Hubble / JWST images, printing them on vinyl/iron on material and then pressing onto a black suit jacket? This would be for me mainly but if it works out it will be a gift for my mentor teacher who is mucho into astronymo. It’s frizzly because it’s loud, but Tysony because it’s accurate photos not cartoon drawings.

1 Comment
2024/03/20
00:38 UTC

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