What student – or teacher – can resist the chance to experiment with Velocity Radar Guns, Running Parachutes, Super Solar Racer Cars and more? The 30 experiments in Using Physical Science Gadgets and Gizmos, Grades 3–5, let your primary school students explore a variety of phenomena involved with speed, friction and air resistance, gravity, air pressure, electricity, electric circuits, magnetism and energy.
The phenomenon-based learning (PBL) approach used by the authors – two Finnish teachers and a US professor – is as educational as the experiments are attention-grabbing. Instead of putting the theory before the application, PBL encourages students to first experience how the gadgets work and then grow curious enough to find out why. Working in groups, students engage in the activities now as a task to be completed but as exploration and discovery using curiosity-piquing devices and doohickeys.
The idea is to motivate young scientists to go beyond simply memorising science facts. Using Physical Science Gadgets and Gizmos can help them learn broader concepts, useful thinking skills, and science and engineering practices (as defined by the Next Generation Science Standards). And – thanks to those radar guns and racing cars – both your students and you will have some serious fun.