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Distance Learning

Hands-on activities virtually

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Abril Cabrera Abril Cabrera 320 Points

I am concerned about how as educators we will provide hands-on activities like " lab projects" while they are at home doing school virtually? Also how would the science fair work for distance learning?

Anika Perry Anika Perry 1290 Points


My name is Anika Perry, I am a 3rd year education major at Wartburg College. I agree hands-on activities at home can be challenging. This is a tough because not all children will have to supplies needed to do the "lab" and students may not have a parent or guardian there to help them. One way to possibly combat the issue would be to send home lab supplies and if possible create a youtube video walking the student through the lab. Another way could be zooming with small groups to help instruct students while doing the lab. As you are sending lab activities homes, just make sure the children will be able to figure it out or have a resources to help them through the process. It may be benificial to send an email or host and zoom where parents/gaurdians can ask questions. 

I hope this helps! 

Hey Abril,

I am an Elementary Education major working with a 3rd grade digital class. I would say that when it comes to "lab projects" it is going to vary from grade to grade based on the AKS that is being taught. We definitley have to think outside the box to give our students the hands on learning when it comes to science. This semester so far we have talked about heat and were able to have our students do an experiment with different color crayons and which one melted in the sun the fastest. We also had them take the same color crayon and put it on top of different materials under the sun like white paper, black paper, and tin foil to see if what the crayon was sitting on had an effect on how fast the crayon melted. Then with our focus students we gave them directions on how to build their own soalr oven. They then build it and tried to melt three different objects of their choosing. With each of the experiements the students used flip grid to document their progress and results. It seems everyday I am learning about a different digital resource that we can use to engage our students. Even virtual field trips.

I would think that science fair participation would be a county or school cluster decision on how the students would be able to participate. If the science fair is a PTA sponsored event I believe that any student in a given district can participate in their districts fair. They would probably need to reach out to that districts representatives to find out how to submit their entree.

Viviana Portilla Viviana Portilla 360 Points

Hello Abril! My name is Viviana Portilla, and I think your question is a great one. As educators, we know that hands-on activities are essential for children to learn better. For that reason, we have to create activities for students with materials they can use at home. Moreover, providing take-home kits will help engage children in science lab activities at home while doing school virtually. In addition, using lab simulations would be helpful. For your second question, I think that encouraging students to create a visual presentation for their science fair using digital tools, such as Google Slides, would be helpful. Then, they will publish their display on the school website or another page to participate in the fair.

Lauren Holinger Lauren Holinger 425 Points

Hi Abril!

I am an Elementary Education student at Penn State University. Over the past few summers, I have worked with kids who participated in online school and virtual/at home camps. Some examples of engaging hands on activities we did together included growing and monitoring seeds, and baking soda and vinegar chemical reactions. These activities are hands on and are super interesting, and only require materials that can be easily found in a kitchen already or requires only a quick trip to the dollar store or grocery market. Adult supervision is required, and assistance may be needed, but that will come with any experiment when working with elementary students. Constructing take home kits with the materials kids will need is a great way to engage them in tactile experiments while teaching virtually. Once experiments have been conducted, students can reconvene online and discuss their findings, and if you use any sort of online school platform, you can have them complete reflections on their experiments online as well. To answer your second question, an at home science fair could work by having students design or choose an experiment of their own and then doing a "gallery walk" one day during online school. Students, with the assistance of an adult, would be able to show the class what they completed in their experiment using photos, videos, or even a live demonstration. Hope this helps!

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