Exploring Physical Science Concepts With Elementary Teachers

By on April 18, 2010 in Teacher Training Workshops

It’s nice to have the luxury of conducting teacher training workshops with a small group of teachers. From my observations I’ve noticed that with a small group size, teachers are more likely to ask questions that they may be reluctant to in a larger group setting. As the facilitator of the teacher training workshop I’m able to identify any misconceptions and content weaknesses individual teacher participants may have. Thus, I can clarify misconceptions, and modify the training explorations accordingly. The following photos are from a six hour workshop I conducted with a group of third grade elementary teachers. Physical science content was taught by having the teachers conduct inquiry-based hands-on science investigations to explore a wide array of physical science concepts. The teachers left the workshop with an increased understanding of physical science concepts, and the necessary skills and materials to implement the investigations within their own classrooms, and that’s what it’s all about!  Teachers conducted the following investigations within the day-long workshop.

  • Built and tested simple solar collectors
  • Conducted experiments with UV beads
  • Made a simple sun-dial
  • Conducted investigations to explore how color affects heating by absorption of light.
  • Explored reflection and refraction of light waves
  • Built a spectroscope out of a mailer tube and diffraction grating material to view the visible spectrum and
  • Built a thermometer to indicate temperature change.

 

Model of solar collector made by teachers during teacher training workshop.

Solar Collector

Teacher building parabolic solar collector during teacher training workshop.

Teacher builds parabolic design solar collector.

Teacher tests effectiveness of solar collecteor during teacher training workshop.

Teacher tests effectiveness of solar collector during teacher training workshop.

Solar collector being tested during teacher training workshop.

Testing effectiveness of solar collector during teacher training workshop.

Testing solar collector during teacher training workshop.

Testing solar collector during teacher training workshop.

Teachers observe UV beads when taken outside during workshop.

Teachers observe UV beads.

Sun-dial

Teachers made a simple sun-dial, and marked the shadow line throughout the day.

Testing how color affects heating by absorption of light.

Teachers designed an experiment to test how color affects heating by absorption of light.

Teachers built simple thermometer to detect temperature change.

Teachers built a simple thermometer to detect temperature change.

Teacher observes the visible spectrum with a spectroscope.

Teacher observes the visible spectrum with a spectroscope built during workshop.