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Teacher's Biology Lab Tips for Osmosis & Diffusion

Make your teaching easier with these biology lab tips for osmosis and diffusion!

Steps for Doing
A Science Fair Project

Free Ideas & Experiments

For Fun and Interest

  1. Use liquid laundry starch or soluble packing pellets in place of soluble starch.
  2. Have students tie knots in the dialysis bags instead of using string.
  3. Have each group do each solution in order to minimize class data error.
  4. Do not use Glucose test tape as it will always test positive in the presence of IKI. Use Benedicts solution or test sticks to test for glucose.
  5. Potato cores will be exactly the same length if you cut the potato first and then use the cork borer to make the cylinders. – Or the potato may be cut into strips of approximately the same size if a cork borer is not available.

It is hard to believe, but the year is almost over. That means the kids will be out of school for a couple of weeks and you will be dealing with rough winter weather and boredom. Luckily science is here to save you!

Science fair projects and experiments can be a great way to pass the time during your winter break. These projects can be done to get ideas for your official science fair project, they can be done as a part of your science fair project, or they can be done just to have fun. These projects can range from simple chemical reaction experiments to more advanced observational or engineering projects.

The best way to get your kids involved in science is to give them science themed gifts. These gifts include things like science books, science kits and robotics kits. These gifts will provide your kids with everything that they need to complete science projects. Popular kits that are on the market right now include kits for growing crystals, kits for making slime, kits for building motors, kits for building robots and kits for building remote control vehicles.

If you have a little extra money put aside for the holidays, go shopping with your kids for science kits and project materials. You can find these things in the toy department of department stores, science stores, education stores and online through science stores.

Have a great holiday season!

Last week we talked about developing your science fair project’s hypothesis. This week we will be discussing how to conduct the background research for your project. This is an activity that needs to be done both before you create your hypothesis and after you develop your hypothesis.

No matter if you are working on 24-hour science fair projects or a complex multi-month science fair project, you need to begin the scientific method by learning about your topic. Your initial background research will be a general survey of your topic.

For example, if you are working on a project about seed germination, then you will want to learn about germination and plant growth. The purpose of this research is to help you understand your project and to help you find a topic to base your hypothesis on.

After you have developed your hypothesis you will need to conduct the second part of your research. This research will focus on science fair projects that have already been done on your topic, as well as on new findings about your topic. Great resources for this phase of your project’s research will be the Internet, news headlines, your textbook and science fair kits. As part of your research you will also want to complete some basic science experiments to learn the basic concepts associated with your project.

After you have finished both parts of your research you will need to compose a short essay which summarizes what you have learned so far. A simple way to do this is to write a short paragraph on each resource or topic that you researched. Remember to create a bibliography for your project.

As we come to the end of the year it is only normal to ponder what was accomplished during the last year and what the new year will bring. This is also the time of year when many teachers think about how they can help their students reach their academic goals by the end of the year. After all the school year is nearly half over and summer vacation or graduation will be here before you realize it. Over the last few days of your winter break think about what science events have shaped our world and think about the science issues that will most like influence the coming year.

This year in science the hot topic was global warming. It is clear that our world is undergoing a major shift in climate and weather patterns. However, it is still not clear if this change is caused by the phenomenon of global warming, if it has been caused by natural patterns of climate change, or if it has been caused by a combination of manmade and natural factors. No matter why it is happening, it is happening, and this is the generation that has to learn how to deal with the problems that come along with these changes.

In the year 2008, global warming will most likely stay a hot science issue. However, because it is also an election year, other science issues dealing with genetic experimentation, stem cell research and alternative energy development will also receive a lot of attention. As you plan your lessons for the last four to five months of school, try working in these hot topics into your curriculum.

While ringing in the New Year think about easy science fair projects and school science fair projects that your students can complete before the end of the school year. Try to focus your science fair projects on issues that are important to modern life. Have a great New Year!

One of the ways that I have found to get kids interested in science is to relate it to something that they are interested in. For teenagers three of the most fascinating topics are sex, drugs and rock and roll. While you may have to be careful about approaching these topics, they can be used to inspire some very interesting science experiments.

The subject of sex can be integrated into a G or PG rated science project by examining human behavior. Science experiments can be set up to examine how boys flirt compared to how girls flirt, or how older adults flirt compared to how younger people flirt. Clothing choices and ornamentation can also be examined from various cultures to see what is considered attractive.

When using drugs as a topic for a science project it is important to monitor how the project is set up. Human testing is not generally allowed for kids in elementary or high school level science fairs, so you will want to examine the chemical components of drugs and use pre-existing data to link physical reactions to drug use. You may also want to set up scientific research projects that examine how cultural opinions about drugs influences the types of drugs used and how often the drugs are used. Safe drug experiments can look at the number one drug for teens, caffeine.

Rock and roll is probably the safest of the three topics to explore. Sound experiments, wave length experiments and the reaction that certain types of music has on heart rates can all be great ways to explore the world of rock and roll from a scientific perspective.

Teachers and parents need to find fun and exciting ways to get kids interested in science. Science experiments that utilize topics that kids are interested in are just one way to get them involved. When selecting topics for school science fair projects or state level science fair projects, try to utilize pop culture as a source of inspiration.