Distance Learning Science Labs (Baby Steps…)

I wrote last about my desire to bring more hands-on learning to my 100% distance learning curriculum in chemistry and biology. I am going to begin this process SLOWLY leveraging materials students have at home, and as distance learning continues in our county, begin creating kits for students.

I found this to be a fabulous resource for lab activities students can do at home (disclaimer: I realize I’m really behind on this and most STEM teachers are already doing fabulous stuff with students in the distance learning setting). 

Below is a summary of how I implemented my first SIMPLE activity. For pedagogical/content insight, students in this class just finished a unit on bonding and Lewis Structures. This week is a purely conceptual unit full of Intermolecular Forces activities (hence this lab).

Once complete, we will circle back to Molecular Geometry and then build up an algorithmic understanding of polarity and IMFs. I am hoping the ability to circle back to this week as a reference point will provide a nice conceptual anchor. Anyways, below is the first guided inquiry activity. Click here for week’s lesson document that students are working from. 

Step 1: Play this video and ask students to guess how many drops will fit on penny in the Zoom chat. See screenshot. 

Step 2: Challenge students to repeat experiment and post video of work here.

Step 3: Students viewed and commented on one another’s work. 

Step 4: Students viewed this water and hypothesized, in Zoom breakouts, why you can fit more water on the penny than any other substance. Students were challenged to relate their hypothesis, in some way, back to the covalent Lewis structure for each substance (not: the goal of this portion was to create a clear sense cognitive tension and information gap awareness between what they know, Lewis Structures, and what they don’t know, interaction BETWEEN lewis structure). Basically, I WANT them to mess this step up so that subsequent instruction has a cognitive anchor. 

Step 5: Students viewed this video to SLIGHTLY close the information gap in preparation for concrete instruction  (see comments above) in the coming weeks. Essentially, the next few weeks are one larger Hero’s Journey/5E Cycle

Distance Learning Science Labs (Baby Steps…) published first on https://youreduio.tumblr.com/

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