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Middle School Science Mania

Introduction

Middle school years are a crucial time when students begin to develop interests that may determine the course of their lives. I am delighted and honored to have this opportunity to share many of the science activities I conducted in the 30 years I have spent teaching middle school in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools.

The activities on these pages are generally one or two day lessons. All of them illustrate a particular scientific concept and all of them are great fun! Conducting hands-on activities leads to an increase in students’ conceptual understanding.

With all the curriculum challenges we face, we still teach students, not lessons. Along with teaching the curriculum, we must take time to encourage and motivate students to develop habits that lead to success. I have included several mini-posters that can be printed as is, or printed and copied into a lager poster format at the local copy center. Generally, mini-posters are geared toward either students or teachers. Inspirational in nature, the teacher-focused mini-posters are thoughts and ideas that helped me to face the challenges of teaching. The student-focused mini-posters are motivational and provide an opportunity to conduct class discussions.

I have also categorized some of the activities as “Challenge Activities.” Challenge Activities can be used for Science Olympiads or to teach a concept in the regular science class.

- Jeannie Tuschl