Filed under Science Lessons

Planning a Garden, Creatively

Planning a Garden, Creatively

Finally, finally, it is gardening time in Michigan. After the long cold winter, I love seeing things become green again. On one side of our back yard, too tree-covered for anything but shade-loving plants, perennial hostas and ferns appear like springtime magic. Behind the house is a small woodlot, created by the city as a … Continue reading

Get Outside for Creative Science

Get Outside for Creative Science

Recently, I’ve been spending time with a four-year-old scientist. Her imagination and curiosity, combined with her mom’s dedication to presenting her with accurate information, has resulted in all manner of interesting conversations about insect body parts, endo- and exoskeletons, how my petunias might be feeling about being planted, and which fish could enjoy playing together. … Continue reading

Seeing the Germs and More

Seeing the Germs and More

If you haven’t yet seen Mark Rober’s wildly viral How to See Germs Spread video, you should. In fact, stop reading and go watch it right now. The clear demonstration of how germs spread from surface to surface is disconcerting, to say the least, but also clear and easy for young people to understand. Wonder … Continue reading

Let’s Be Scientists! Or Maybe We Should Do Science. . . .

Let’s Be Scientists! Or Maybe We Should Do Science. . . .

One of the most important things we can do to help students prepare to be creative scientists is to help them understand how science works.  We need to share science that looks like science—unpredictable and full of questions—rather than simple exercises in direction-following. We need students to understand the struggles and dilemmas of scientists along … Continue reading

Sometimes You Have to Say “Oops.”

Sometimes You Have to Say “Oops.”

One of my favorite books about creativity is titled Beautiful Oops. It makes sense because creativity, by definition, means thinking in new ways—sometimes incremental changes, but sometimes a complete change of course, a different perspective. Sometimes that means recognizing that ways we’ve thought before don’t work any more. Sometimes we have to say “Oops, I … Continue reading

Happy 150th, Periodic Table!

Happy 150th, Periodic Table!

The Periodic Table is having a birthday! In March, it will be 150 years since the Russian scientist, Dmitri Mendeleev, took all of the 63 known elements and arranged them into a table. Today the Periodic Table contains over 100 elements and is found in chemistry classes and labs around the world. One of my … Continue reading