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Semester Outline:

Week 1: Intro Lesson: Tinfoil boats with penny loading

Introduce students to designing and making things in a scientific context.  Class used a set amount of tin foil and tape to build a boat that floated and held as many pennies as possible.  Activity went well, students were all engaged, had a class-wide discussion about what worked well and what did not; including role of volume, shape of boat.  Did not discuss forces, kept it more open, just tried to get science ideas flowing.

Week 2: Intro to Earthquakes: Open-ended science discussion


Week 7: Introduction to Electricity--Squishy Circuits

Opened class with a discussion about electricity, conductors and insulators.  Talked about circuits, what a "closed-circuit" means and looks like.  Did a demo of a circuit with play-doh and an LED.  Also demo-ed a circuit with water vs distilled water-what is the difference? What makes certain materials conductive? Students then had ~30 minutes to experiment freely with Squishy Circuits-lighting lights, powering motors.