Science Shorts

Science saturdays

Founded in 1993, Let’s talk science is a Canadian charitable organization that strives to prepare learners to thrive and lead by increasing science literacy through their support of learning and skill development.  The Faculty of Education at uOttawa partners with Let’s talk science to offer workshops linked to curriculum expectations for preservice teachers (Science Saturdays). As I have been lucky enough to participate in this program, I wanted to share some of the highlights from the workshops to date (which have been awesome!).

Human Body

In this workshop, we ran through a few different activities that addressed Gr.5 Human Organ Systems, including the skeletal system, the digestive system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, the circulatory system, and the muscular system. These activities were hands-on and engaging, and would help students to understand the functioning of each system.

Life Systems

The focus of this workshop was on life systems (other than the human body). For example, students in younger grades (K-2) could work on sorting wildlife and getting a basic understanding of the tree of life, while older students (Gr.6) could work at an advanced kingdom sorting level. The bird’s nest activity (K-4) would be applicable for units on Strong and Stable Structures (Gr.3) as well as Habitats and Communities (Gr.4), as the students must choose materials and build nests like birds do.

Structures and Mechanisms

This workshop touched on the topics of Materials, Objects, and Everyday Structures (Gr.1)Strong and Stable Structures (Gr.3), Pulleys and Gears (Gr.4)Forces Acting on Structures and Mechanisms (Gr.5), and Flight (Gr.6). The four forces of flight (gravity, life, drag and thrust) were explored through various stations and, of course, a paper airplane contest. Simple machines such as a wheel and axle, inclined plane, and lever were examined through the creation of a playground. My personal favourite was the balloon car activity, as you could draw in concepts of energy as well as math problems for older grades. We also channeled our inner beavers to build a beaver dam that would keep a beaver safe and protected while withstanding external pressure (you could also tie in ecosystem/habitat/biodiversity themes for this activity).

Looking forward to future Science Saturdays!

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