• What can a chocolate chip cookie tell us about the Earth’s resources and the importance of environmental conservation?
• How can a clear, colorless spray solution unveil a hidden message on a blank sign?
Author Thomas O’Brien uses these and 20 other inquiry-oriented discrepant events—hands-on explorations or demonstrations in which the outcomes are not what students expect—to challenge students’ preconceived ideas and urge them to critically examine the empirical evidence, draw logical inferences, and skeptically review their initial explanations with their peers. More Brain-Powered Science
is the perfect dual-purpose activity book for grade 5–12 science teachers who aim to stimulate and motivate their students while expanding their own scientific understanding. Each activity will help bridge the gap between practice and theory for both students and teachers by relating conclusions to science concepts and pedagogical principles. Speaking directly to teachers, O’Brien writes:
"This book is based on the assumption that just as our students learn science by experiencing, thinking, writing, discussing, and doing phenomena-based science with peers, we need similar experiences to grow as teachers of science. ... Careerlong learning with and from our students and colleagues as we engage with them in interactive, participatory, experiential learning is the hallmark of highly qualified teachers who expect and obtain the MOST from themselves (minds-on science teaching) and their students."
The inquiry-based lessons and more than 80 related extension activities can serve as the framework for professional development collaborations or as a supplement to conventional preservice science teaching methods courses. Each chapter includes an introduction, an explanation of the science and science education concepts addressed, a materials list, teacher debriefing tools, safety notes, and additional internet resources. Whether used in conjunction with O’Brien’s previous book, Brain-Powered Science
, or as an independent text, More Brain-Powered Science
offers hours of interactive learning for teachers and students alike.
“I like the way this book has simple, inexpensive activities that lead the reader into understanding the bigger picture. This presentation is so unique that I do not think there is another book available that provides the same information in a better way. The resources he offers are a gold mine.”
—Janice Crowley, science department chair, Wichita (Kansas) Collegiate Upper School, and 2009 Siemens National AP Teacher of the Year
“The topics addressed in this volume take on some of the most pressing issues we face in science education and do so in a very approachable way. I see the author’s first volume as a great entrance to the discussion and use of this approach and this volume as a huge step into advanced applications.”
—Michael Jabot, professor of science education, State University of New York at Fredonia College of Education
Table of Contents
About the Author
Science Education Topics
Classroom Safety Practices
Section 1: Welcome Back to Interactive Teaching and Experiential, Participatory Learning
Activity 1 Comeback Cans: Potentially Energize “You CAN Do” Science Attitudes
Activity 2 The Unnatural Nature and Uncommon Sense of Science: The Top 10
Crazy Ideas of Science and Challenges of Learning Science
Section 2: Science as a Unique Way of Knowing: Nature of Science and Scientific Inquiry
Activity 3 Dual-Density Discrepancies: Ice Is Nice and Sugar Is Sweet
Activity 4 Inferences, Inquiry, and Insight: Meaningful “Miss-takes”
Activity 5 Pseudoscience in the News: Preposterous Propositions and Media Mayhem Matters
Activity 6 Scientific Reasoning: Inside, Outside, On, and Beyond the Box
Activity 7 Magic Bus of School Science: “Seeing” What Can’t Be Seen
Activity 8 Reading Between the Lines of the Daily Newspaper: Molecular Magic
Activity 9 Pondering Puzzling Patterns and a Parable Poem
Section 3: Science for All Americans Curriculum Standards
Activity 10 Follow That Star: National Science Education Standards and True North
Activity 11 “Horsing Around”: Curriculum-Instruction-Assessment Problems
Activity 12 Magical Signs of Science: “Basic Indicators” for Student Inquiry
Activity 13 Verifying Vexing Volumes: “Can Be as Easy as Pi” Mathematics
Activity 14 Archimedes, the Syracuse (Sicily) Scientist: Science Rules Balance and Bathtub Basics
Activity 15 Measurements and Molecules Matter: Less Is More and Curriculum “Survival of the Fittest”
Activity 16 Bottle Band Basics: A Pitch for Sound Science
Activity 17 Metric Measurements, Magnitudes, and Mathematics: Connections Matter in Science
Section 4: Science-Technology-Society (STS) and Real-World Science Instruction
Activity 18 Medical Metaphor Mixer: Modeling Infectious Diseases
Activity 19 Cookie Mining: A Food-for-Thought Simulation
Activity 20 Making Sense by Spending Dollars: An Enlightening STS Exploration of CFLs, or How Many Lightbulbs Does It Take to Change the World?
Section 5: Assessment to Inform Learning and Transform Teaching
Activity 21 A Terrible Test That Teaches: Curriculum-Embedded Assessment
Activity 22 Diagnostic Assessment: Discrepant Event or Essential Educational Experiment?
Alternative, Naive, Preinstructional, Pre-scientific, or Prior Conceptions Matter: Misconceptions, or a Rose by Any Other Name Is Still as Sweet (and/or as Thorny)
The S2EE2R Demonstration Analysis Form
Science Content and Process Skills