4 Simple Demo Tools Perfect for Science Teachers

Some students say science classes are “boring.” But, I don’t believe that. Based on my experience, learning science is just so awesome. However, there is one reason behind that. An exciting science class all comes down to one person – the teacher.

 

The Key to a Fun Science Class

The answer is pretty simple: activities. Teaching science can lead to information overload among students. It is such a technical subject. So, it must be taught with patience. When we say “activities,” it can refer to group works and field trips. Most importantly, part of these activities is teachers making demos to spice up science lessons. Demonstrations can fully explain what is being discussed.

Fun Demo Tools

Educational Innovations, Inc. is so popular when it comes to products for modern teaching methods. A lot of their demo products for science classes are bestsellers. Here are some of their bestselling science demo products:

Polymers: Large Gro-Beast Alligator

From the length of 3 inches, this product grows up to 1 ft. long after placing it in water. Water-absorbing polymers make this possible. In 24 hours, you can already notice the alligator growing. For a week, the difference is huge compared to the first time you bought the product.

Educational Innovations, Inc.

 

The Science Behind It

Gro-Beast Alligator can explain the properties and differences of hydrophilic and hydrophobic materials. While this product is hydrophilic, Magic Sand is an example of a substance that is hydrophobic. It never gets wet because it resists water.

Lesson Suggestions

You can give the students blank worksheets to work on while monitoring the alligator’s growth everyday. The worksheet must have a table with columns for Day, Date, Length and Mass. The students can observe the growth for 12 days. They should measure how long and heavy the alligator is every single day.

Interestingly, Gro-Beast Alligator shrinks after getting it from the water. The students can monitor the alligator again during shrinkage. They can use the same format for the table. It would be interesting to compare the growth and shrinkage rate of the alligator.

These are other ideas to make the experiment a lot more interesting:

  • Change in water source: distilled water, bottled water, salt water, pond water, etc.
  • Use of different beverages: soda, juice, etc.
  • Effect of substances in growth: salt, sugar, baking soda, etc.
  • Placing in different temperatures: direct sunlight, refrigerator, etc.

Energy: Nitinol Memory Wire by the Foot

When you bend this crystalline metal and suddenly expose it to a different temperature, it goes back to its original, straight form. You can use hot water and candles for this demo.

Educational Innovations, Inc.

 

The Science Behind It

Pure substances like this Nickel Titanium wire undergoes changes whether or not exposed to thermal energy. This happens because of changes in the motions of particles. The essence of a material’s functionality goes back to the structure of molecules.

Lesson Suggestions

Before exposure, always bend the wire properly to clearly witness the changes. Here are different elements to test the Nitinol wire with: hair dryer, hot water, candle, and flame from the Bunsen burner.

Physics: Small Balancing Bird Demo

It is amazing how this Balancing Bird figure can stand on your finger, a pencil point or any teeny tiny surface. The structure is so unique and carefully designed. The center of mass is located beneath the beak’s tip.

Educational Innovations, Inc.

 

The Science Behind It

Simply put, the center of mass refers to any point in an object where the mass is concentrated. If you support the object’s center of mass, no matter how tiny it is, you can already balance it completely. That’s why balancing the tip of the beak is very achievable, despite how impossible it seems. The wings’ tips are the heaviest parts of the balancing bird. With them located before the beak, the mass is focused properly at the center.

Lesson Suggestions

Students can try many simple ways to disturb the state of balance. Even the lightest weight matters. Start by putting one paperclip to any part of the bird. It would be a fun activity. Who knows? Maybe a cotton ball could even disrupt the state of equilibrium.

Newton’s Law: Reaction Rocket

This Reaction Rocket demo is a good way to introduce students to Newton’s Laws. This product comprises two parts: the rocket and the launcher. To start the experiment, insert the rocket into the launcher. The launcher has a rubber ball at the bottom. Meanwhile, the rocket has a base that rests just above the ball. Hold the top of the launcher to keep the whole device from falling. As soon as you let go of the launcher, it directly falls to the ground. The rocket, on the other hand, shoots straight up after the ball bounces off the surface.

Educational Innovations, Inc.

 

The Science Behind It

Newton’s Third Law states: “For every action force, there is an equal and opposite reaction force.” Potential energy eventually converts into kinetic energy with the Reaction Rocket experiment. First, the device is in place while you’re still pressing the top of the launcher. That’s potential energy. Kinetic energy starts when you release the launcher. It passes on from the rubber ball to the rocket’s base after impact on a surface. No wonder the rocket shoots upwards.

Lesson Suggestions

Here’s a step-by-step guide to one awesome activity for the students:

  1. Attach a measuring tape on a wall.
  2. One person is assigned to hold the launcher. The other one is making sure that the ball is aligned to a chosen height. Six inches is a good height for the first test.
  3. Measure how high the rocket flies. Be very observant in this step.
  4. Repeat steps with higher heights. Record everything.
  5. Analyze if there’s an increase in the rocket’s flight when the drop height is changed.

Final Thoughts

As you’ve observed, these demo tools are too simple. But, the simple results they give can actually help the students understand scientific principles even more. The best part? The whole class will have fun. Everybody will be amazed by these fun and innovative demo tools. With this teaching method, students are going to be excited attending every science class.

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