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Classroom Activities

  • Modeling the Coriolis Effect The Coriolis effect can be a tough concept to explain, but it's fairly easy to model. Try this simple and inexpensive balloon activity. View »
  • Periodic Table Mystery P is less dense than S. S is an alkali metal. E is a noble gas. In this activity, students generate a periodic table from clues and predict the missing properties of several elements based on the elements’ locations in the table. View »
  • Teaching with Ecosystem Aquariums By creating and maintaining an aquarium ecosystem in the classroom, students can understand the web of relationships that link organisms to one another, and they can develop a growing sensitivity to living things and what they need to survive. View »
  • More Paper Clip Chemistry Who knew the common paper clip could be such a versatile teaching assistant? This activity uses several paper clip styles to help students understand empirical formulas and relative masses. View »
  • Molecular Geometry with Balloons For some students, molecular geometry can be tricky to understand, but with this hands-on, engaging activity, it doesn’t have to be. View »
  • Teaching Chemistry with Manipulatives Manipulatives can help students (especially visual and tactile learners) understand abstract concepts by allowing them to “see” a chemical structure or process. We offer 2 ideas for creating manipulatives and how to use them. View »
  • A New Approach to Teaching Atomic Theory For chemistry teacher Siobhan Julian, teaching the history of atomic theory by lecture “was dry and tedious and boring for everyone involved.” Then she took a fresh approach—one that focuses on doing science to learn science history. View »
  • In a Fog? Cloud Formation Use this activity to explore the reasons for cloud formation. View »
  • Carolina Quick Tips®: Hunting for Prey In this activity, students investigate energy transfer among organisms by assembling a food chain energy pyramid and dissecting an owl pellet. Adapted from the Building Blocks of Science® unit Matter and Energy in Ecosystems. View »
  • A Visual Introduction to Ionic and Net Ionic Equations With this activity students explore the phenomenon of chemical precipitation and construct an atomic level model of precipitation using ionic and net ionic equations. View »
  • Owl Pellet Food Webs: A Model of Energy and Mass Transfer Explore the phenomenon of owl pellets and construct a model food web for barn owls with this activity. Guiding question: How do energy and mass flow through a food web? View »
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