Is Science Fun? Kinda, Sorta, Sometimes

by Bonnie Bracey Sutton

Before NCLB, I was introduced to hands on science through AAAS. I rolled with the activities of kids finding out things through discovery. I did the steps of the scientific method sometimes when needed. But I had boxes of AAAS magic and then my own ideas to contribute. But NCLB came along and killed that kind of science in many places. Now the cat is out of the box and science is relevant again. Some teachers have never met Bassam Shakasheri. You may not know him, but he made chemistry fun. But the fun in science is being able to use it , understand it, and acknowledge areas of interest. Here is his web site.Science is Fun! Go there and find interesting things to do. There are all kinds of examples of interest. I first saw Dr. Shakasheri at an NSF meeting. I envy the students who  attended his classes.

Science was fun! Most people won’t get a chance to have him as a teacher except maybe online or from the website. Here are lots of little videos for you to peruse.

Maybe chemistry is not your thing. Enjoy anyway.

Physics? Math? Astronomy? Math and more..go here.
Founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations. PhET sims are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery.



To get the attention of students sometimes we have to amaze. To get the attention of teachers we have to show how interesting and amazing the students might find this work.

Here is a great site. Science On a Sphere® (SOS) is a room sized, global display system that uses computers and video projectors to display planetary data onto a six foot diameter sphere, analogous to a giant animated globe. Researchers at NOAA developed Science On a Sphere® as an educational tool to help illustrate Earth System science to people of all ages. Animated images of atmospheric storms, climate change, and ocean temperature can be shown on the sphere, which is used to explain what are sometimes complex environmental processes, in a way that is simultaneously intuitive and captivating.You could get a grant to have your own Science on a Sphere.iu

There are so many new ways we can use to teach. You don’t have to have a lot of monkey, but you do need to know content.This photograph shows Science on a Sphere. You can actually do a laptop version of this science. It is an amazing site. The laptop site is excellent too. it is not hard to navigate.

Notice that we are doing science in many ways at this site. It’s free. It’s interesting

ESRI has resources for schools. Look here.

Your students should know some GIS too. You use it on your cell phone or computer to find things, to go places, and to map a journey. GIS 1

Schools can get free software to learn GIS here. Teachers can get free online tutoring and lessons.



If you talk about engineering most people would say, they never had it in school. But there are resources and ideas to get one started in engineering and architecture… and in building ideas. In my classes we started with clay, straw, pins and string. We went on to build /plan a school playground. That was an awesome feat of engineering.


Science is life. Science is about every day things, your health, your climate. your food.Increasingly with the help of technology we can understand how science impacts our lives. The science.. the accidental science of cooking is one of my favorite ways to share the magic of science.

You eat every day. Why not investigate “The Accidental Science of Cooking!!
Discover how a pinch of curiosity can improve your cooking! Explore recipes, activities, and Webcasts that will enhance your understanding of the science behind food and cooking.

In some cultures science is seen as a hard slog. Well, maybe if you don’t learn to love problem solving. Ot maybe if you don’t like accumulating knowledge about something. Or maybe if you never were allowed the magic of discovery science.

The Concord Consortium is a great place to find problem based learning. All the STEM resources you will need are gathered here.

Some teachers have never experienced the power of science as it draws the attention of kids. I had to learn about dinosaurs and legos from students.

This is what I wish I had now. I would write a grant to get this dinosaur.


Jurassic Park, games, books, Amber, ..I was the one who was learning a lot about dinosaurs and one of the parents worked at the Smithsonian. We got to go see him work .

I worked the kids with Chickscope, Bugscope, and a classroom garden. You have the 4-H to help you get those projects together. Chickscope is a project that is about hatching chickens.  Bugscope was not my choice. Students wanted to learn more about bugs.But since students wanted to know.. we did it. Bugscope is getting newer equipment so check back from time to time to see when they are ready for you.


You thought I forgot NASA. Not in a million years. So much to share so many ways to learn. They have an incredible set of resources all free. But NASA deserves its own blog.

Is all of this old news to you????. Then go to learn about CIRCL.. Cyberlearning.

Space Nut???





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