The semester before I student taught, my university had an intensive block that all education majors had to attend. One of the assignments that changed the way I thought about teaching came in the form of a tackle box. It was, in fact, a tackle box that had been transformed into a “Science On the Go” box. If you are searching for a way to bring science into your classroom without a lot of hassle, you may want to create your very own tackle-box-turned-science-kit too!
The transformed tackle box was a lesson designed, ironically, to teach us to think outside of the box. Science classes leading up to this Block Science class were steeped in theory and heavy science. Our instructor wanted science to come alive and showed us how to do it with everyday things. Our task? Recreate those science lessons and find our own while putting absolutely everything we needed in a small box. Science was no longer a spectator sport.
Find 50 science experiments relating to everything from Earth Science to Electricity that use common items. Finding those experiments, especially ones that were age appropriate and that used materials that were small enough to fit inside a tackle box, was challenging. Today, you can search the Internet and find thousands of experiments, but back then we had to actually look in books and copy the experiments onto index cards. While the accessibility of different science experiment ideas may be different, the idea of bringing science alive has not changed.
Stuffed with the science experiment cards were close to 100 items in that tackle box. Everything from rubber bands to a pumice stone to an empty can to marbles was tucked inside. Many of the items served double duty; the magnifying glass could be used to not only examine an onion skin so that students could sketch it, but it was also used for looking at the veins in a leaf. Since the storage space was limited, we were forced to be creative and find experiments and science lessons that would not only engage our students, but would encourage them to see the wonder of science in everyday things.
As class sizes grow and classroom storage shrinks, now is the perfect time to create a Science-on-the-Go kit for your students. If science time is limited, and it is for many teachers, find experiments that are quick and easy, yet effective and engaging. You might even carry your tackle box with you when you take the class out for recess and do a quick science experiment before you head back inside. Making science come alive for your students with everyday items is a lesson that they will never forget.
Resource Sites for Science Experiments:
Bill Nye the Science Guy