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General Science and Teaching

Facebook Page Project on Scientists

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Susanne Hokkanen Susanne Hokkanen 79520 Points

To learn more on the history of science specific to the scientists, a student created Facebook page for scientists - I read about this project/idea on one of the listserves over the summer, and it seems like it would be a great end of the year project. The students select a scientist to study and learn more about, and then create a presentation to share with the class. The presentation is in the form of a Facebook page - a Facebook Profile page for their scientists. The project is completed on posterboard, or it could be completed on regular tri-fold science board. Has anyone ever done something like this with their students? Ideas, suggestions...?

Ruth Hutson Ruth Hutson 63815 Points

Hi Sue,
The Social Studies teacher at my high school does this project. He uses Fakebook since Facebook will not allow you to create pages for historic figures. I've seen the students' work when my son was in his class. Their pages look just like Facebook.

Ginger Shirley Ginger Shirley 535 Points

I start the year with my 7th graders doing something close to what you describe. I found the idea online a few years ago. I have attached the pages I downloaded from the original site. I think the teacher's site I used is across the bottom of the handouts. She had several great ideas on her website.

Susanne Hokkanen Susanne Hokkanen 79520 Points

Ginger, Thanks for sharing! I am getting excited to pull the idea all together, and your resources are awesome! I am thinking about having the students posters compiled into one book per class period as a keepsake. Thoughts?

Sandy Gady Sandy Gady 43175 Points

What a wonderful topic. We are in the middle of state testing and this would be a perfect project to do during this two week time period. Our state assessment is untimed, so students can spend all day on the assessment if they need to. It makes it really hard to start new content. I could see using this type of project to enhance and extend learning. Thank you Ginger for sharing the resources. I would love to see samples of your student work if you have any to post.

Ginger Shirley Ginger Shirley 535 Points

I will see what I have left. Not sure if I saved any copies from Aug./Sept.A great spin on this project is to focus on famous scientist from your state, scientist from local community or a local university. I have taken students to our local IU campus (IUS)for a day of science activities in the 'big science labs'. Admissions also comes over to talk to my junior high. This gives kids a chance to meet the professors and interact with them. Students can then do a 'Wanted' poster on one of the professors. Just ideas to consider. If you haven't considered visiting your local university with kids, call them! Most are very willing to put together 3-4 science experiments for kids to come out and do! Fridays are great days as most university classes don't meet then.

Ginger Shirley Ginger Shirley 535 Points

Susanne- I love the idea of binding all the oysters into a book. Wouldn't it be a cool idea to let them create a scientist poster about themselves? Make some science equipment available for them to stage pictures of themselves... Then create posters of what type of scientist they want to become or that they want to explore. Oh!!! I think I really like this idea for next year. That would really have meaning behind it of bound into a book. At the start of the year I have usually had my junior high create their idea of what a scientist looks like (day one activity). I give very little info. I avoid pronouns so as to not bias their ideas. The picture is a snapshot into a day in the life of their scientist. They have a week to then do some research about what a scientist of their choosing really does, education needed, tools they might would use, and how they impact our everyday lives. It is a great way to get a piece of writing at the start of the year to see where they are grammatically. Yup! I think I might try this in the poster idea, only have them stage their own pictures as the scientist. Could be a lot of fun!! Let me know how you decide to proceed. Thanks for sharing your ideas!! It made me think of how I can change mine up!

Susanne Hokkanen Susanne Hokkanen 79520 Points

Ginger, That is one of the great things about these forums...like a global "share-a-thon". :-) I spoke with our language arts teacher today about this project, and she suggested a brochure. She is looking for her write up, but she uses a three fold brochure and each fold is a topic for them to research and report... just another idea. When she shares, I will repost it here... Sue

Patty McGinnis Patricia McGinnis 25635 Points

The Facebook page looks great! It does say that the archive is periodically cleared. Do you know if there is a way to save the page to another site if a teacher wants to grade it?

Bonnie Patterson Bonnie Patterson 1260 Points

I like all of these ideas. I have tried to do something like this every year, but I can't seem to get my students to fulfill all of the rubric. I would like to try the facebook idea to see if that might spark their interest. Any ideas on a rubric?

Susanne Hokkanen Susanne Hokkanen 79520 Points

I don't have a rubric for the Facebook page. However, I use http://rubistar.4teachers.org/ whenever I need to create a rubric for student projects. The rubric maker at rubistar is easy to use. I might try the "you as the scientists" posters to start off next year...that would be a nice keepsake to have also. The "wanted poster" project (posted by Ginger) has been a huge success. I especially like that the students are "impressed" with the accomplishments of the scientists they have researched.

Susanne Hokkanen Susanne Hokkanen 79520 Points

I completed the "Scientist Wanted" posters with my students, and I encouraged my students to select a scientist who they could connect with for whatever reason. My students enjoyed the research opportunity, and most completed the assignment in compliance with the rubric posted earlier in this thread. I found the project to be an overwhelming success...the students discovered interesting facts about lesser known scientists and inventors, and I discovered something about my students through their selections and reason for selections. A great end of the year project this year, that will most likely become a beginning of the year project for next year...

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67945 Points

These are great ideas for expanding on an activity I like to do as a starter activity. I like my students to picture themselves as a scientist of their choosing, and I get some very interesting ideas - they are swimming with dolphins, meteorologists chasing tornadoes, and foresters climbing trees. Maybe a little slanted because I spent many years as a field geologist, but they get the idea that scientists are not old guys in white lab coats with beakers and bunsen burners. We get lots of ideas, and I think the kids would have a great time expanding on that activity with the additional information about the education and the kinds of activities that they would do as that scientist. Thanks for the great ideas.

Chris Leverington Chris Leverington 4035 Points

I think edmodo would be another place to try it instead of facebook. Edmodo is set up to be like facebook, it even looks exactly like it when you make a page there and such. It is set up to be a place where students can create profiles and the teacher can manage their class for discussion boards and such.

Susanne Hokkanen Susanne Hokkanen 79520 Points

I will look into edmodo, but I am not sure how familiar I am with the program. Can you provide any additional information - how you use it? Is it free to all? How secure is it? I have decided to start the school year with a similar project as the one I did this year, but I will tweak it just a little. I allowed the students at least four days of in class research this time, and I am not sure I want to use all of that time in the beginning of the year. I also want to look into a more technology based presentation of the material. I like the poster idea - especially copying and presenting them to the students at the end of the year - that was a huge hit! - but in the beginning of the year, this idea will not hold the same meaning potentially. So maybe I will tweak it to have the students representing themselves as scientists - which scientist would they like to be? Which inventor would they like to be for the day? etc... Thoughts?

Chris Leverington Chris Leverington 4035 Points

I haven't actually used edmodo, we had to sit through an hour inservice where a teacher who used it pretty heavily, talked to us about it. I believe it is pretty secure. It is for education purposes...therefore its not really out there for people to spy on kids or anything. You have to create an account, the kids create an account and then they join your classroom group. They can make profiles and such, so I'm guessing they could make their profile into their scientists for a time being. If you make them "be a scientist" make them dress up like them!

Susanne Hokkanen Susanne Hokkanen 79520 Points

Chris, I just set up a free account with Edmodo, and it looks promising! I am looking forward to trying it this upcoming year with my students. Thanks for the suggestion! I also agree that dressing like their scientist/inventor is great idea, or at least dressing for their time period. I will keep you posted on my progress within Edmodo. It looks relatively easy to use. Thanks again for the suggestions. :-)

Amanda Lizano Amanda Lizano 2745 Points

From a college student's prospective, we did this in class with Kathy Sparrow. I have also seen this done in my field classes. There's a site called Fakebook (I'm not sure of the exact URL) but students can use this to create something on a site that looks EXACTLY like a Facebook page without actually going on it. Students can create the About Me, pictures, friends, and status based on the scientist's history. If you want students to do it on a poster board (which our class did), students can research their scientist and present it like a page with requirements. Dr. Sparrow provided us with a rubric that can be used in a 4th-7th grade classroom that it needed to contain so students could track their progress. I was surprised how much I learned about Stephen Hawking when I did this. It's one thing to research and compile a paper but it's another thing to make a Facebook, MySpace, or Blog like if you were the scientist yourself.

Timothy Selgas Timothy Selgas 480 Points

These are great ideas. I like using online resources. Fake book looks great for historical figures in science. I am trying to use more online resources as our budget singles. Less actual resources.

Kelly O'Connor Kelly O'Connor 2740 Points

What a great idea! My college methods prof actually had us make a fb page for a woman scientist. She made a google doc for us to fill the info out in, however, a few of us made official fb fan pages for our scientists. This was a great activity for us pre-service teachers, and it's activity for middle schoolers and above (for internet safety reasons). Give it a try! Good Luck!

Kelly Amendola Kelly Amendola 10320 Points

It's a great idea and project! One teacher used it last year and the students had a ball with it. I think she also added an extension where the students could leave comments on the scientists "page"

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 90713 Points

Kelly O: Your facebook scientist page was outstanding, won't you please share the URL with this discussion thread? :-) Carolyn

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