Hi everyone,

What strategies have worked for you in your classroom to help students
make personal connections with topics that you cover in Science?  How
did it motivate your students?

I am a secondary science teacher in training soon to be an intern by January 2011.  I will be teaching General Sciences to either Middle school and High school students.

I am interested in learning some techniques that I could use in my classroom to help a student personally connect with topics in Science.

I would be really interested in listening to your stories on how you got students personally connected with Science.

My apologies for being so broad a topic.  Since I do not yet have a set content and classroom, I may teach anything from General Science, Physics, Chemistry or Biology so any science topic motivation strategies would be helpful.

Thank you very much for your input.

Hafa Adai from GUAM!!

Paul C.

Tags: biology, chemistry, introductory, math, motivation, physics, science, secondary, strategies, teaching, More…training

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Even though it is THE science classroom where food is not allowed, use food to teach science.  Popping popcorn to teach gas pressure, or even putting Peeps in a bell jar / vacuum pump thing to show how they expand when put under a vacuum.  As much as possible I have students touching objects, even objects they have never seen before can get them engaged and wondering why the objects behave the way they do.  Oh, for physical science or if you are teaching heat capacity, burn nuts and measure the change in heat for water sitting in a can above the nut.  (I'm sure there is a more elaborate write-up of this online somewhere.  There are probably even you-tube videos you can show if kids can't actually play with nuts and matches themselves.)  If you do the flaming nut lab, be sure to do a flaming Cheetos or two. They are very impressive.


You can also have them do projects where they have to use every day objects to meet a science requirement.  A friend of mine, Tanya Philips, came up with lots of things that get kids engaged.  She has students create a presentation of objects where each object represents one element in a group.  (main group elements).  I had kids do thematic ones like objects from the bathroom or kitchen.  They could do sports equipment, etc.  


I used the Living by Chemistry curriculum for a few years as a tester for their smells and alchemy units.  I did not get to try their other units b/c they were not written yet. Anyway, if you can get a hold of the Living by Chemistry curriculum, I highly recommend checking it out.  The kids were incredibly engaged with the smells unit; I loved teaching it.


I hope my reply is not too late to be useful to you or others.


Best wishes,




Check for lesson ideas on Teacher TV: http://www.teachers.tv/subjects/secondary/science

I love cooking, and culinary science applies to almost every area of general science.  I teach biology, chemistry, and physics to 7th and 8th graders.  I use demonstrations and hands on lessons incorporating science and cooking as often as I can.  They like making bread and ice cream.

Here  in this case i associate them with real life problems and incidents i give them all soughts of assingment to make them able to asses their neighbourhood ..try some of these.

Speaking from the physical sciences standpoint and having taught physics or chemistry for 30 years I would suggest using as much mathematics to back up your analysis.  Hands on in the chemistry and physics lab is paramount;  however none of it makes much logical sense if the numbers don't add up to prove your results.  The simple practice of dimensional analysis and cancellation of units is invaluable when supporting facts and phenomena in the physical sciences.



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