Category Archives: Free Resources

A Great Batch of TOK Questions

This year’s TOK Questions are a great crop (I think) for connecting the sciences as an area of knowledge with many current and historical knowledge issues. Here’s a wee poster I made on PiktoChart for the questions. Which do you lean towards and why?

 

PCR Song: Class Project & TED Ed Lesson

This song by BioRad is a funny discussion starter on the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and biotechnology. For a full lesson plan, with editable slides for students and a complete TED Ed lesson (with quiz), visit the full page.

Click to go to the TED-Ed lesson on PCR.

Click to go to the TED-Ed lesson on PCR.

Periodic Table for Biologists Poster

I forgot this existed…

Periodic Table for Biologists poster.

This is designed to address some of the assessment statements for the Chemistry of Life unit, and to provide a clear wall-chart that is free to use and free from advertising. I recently updated it with relative atomic masses and a couple of corrections. Download the full A0 poster here: http://is.gd/iBiologyPTable.

On a related and interesting note, here’s a little video by Periodic Videos on the Japanese discovery of element 113:

IB Science Weekly Magazine – Get involved!

IB Science Weekly Magazine - do you want to be a news spotter?

IB Science Weekly Magazine – do you want to be a news spotter?

I kept seeing these paper.li posts in Twitter, so after a quick exhange with Adrienne Amichetti (@amichetti) decided to give it a go. There are lots of paper.lis out there, especially it seems in the ed-tech world. It was quick and easy to set up, though a bit of a fiddle to work out how posts were categorised and filtered (still not sure how it works).

The aim of this project is to provide a weekly publication which pulls in the current science and education news, for use in MYP, DP and PYP classrooms. 

If you would like to get involved and be an IB Science or Science Education news spotter, please head on over to Twitter and let me know. If you see some worthy news, simply tweet it with a link and a description, along with the hashtag #IBSciWeekly. The paper.li elves will see it and it should appear in the finished product. I will be able to curate the posts as they are published each week. If you think that everything you (or someone you recommend) is gold, I can include their Twitter handle or blog url as a source.

The details:

  • Address: http://tinyurl.com/IBSciWeekly
  • Hashtags: #IBSciWeekly, #MYP, #IBDP, #IBBio, #IBChem, #IBPhysics
  • Published: Weekly, on a Tuesday (I think)
  • NewsSpotters: IB Teachers and Students

Of course, things are bound to go wrong at first! I would love to find a way to share the editing jobs.

And here is a lovely video of a murmuration of starlings:

 

QR Code Orienteering: Describing Displacement

Mr Robbo, PE Geek

I’ve been wanting to find an excuse to do this for ages, since reading about the idea on Jarrod Robinson’s PE Geek blog

Today in one of our last classes, some students in my Intro Physics & Environmental Science class have been using a GoogleMap view of the area around our school to plan an orienteering course. The aim is to use this as one of the very first lessons with next year’s class as an introduction to scalars and vectors, as well as methods of describing displacement. By scanning a QR code at each location, runners will be given a description in the form of components or direction and magnitude, which they then locate on their map and run to.

When they return to school, the plan is to use their map to calculate distance vs displacement between points, as well as add some directed line segments for vectors.

I’ve made up some orange and white flags, which will be laminated. The QR codes will be taped on, giving flexibility to make up new courses around the school and to extend the activity by allowing students to design courses.

…………o0O0o…………

Free apps used: 

Here are the planning sheets/ maps:

Biology4Good – Please pay it forwards!

Biology4Good!

Biology4Good!

So it’s D-Day for the Bi-ologists! 

There has been a run of new site records here this week,  with 6,941 views on 16 May, 11,709 on May 17 and 15,982 on May 18.  That’s cool and thanks for the support of the site. Now before you go (and many of you never visit the site again once the exams are done), please take a minute to flick through the presentation below and think about making a donation to one of my chosen charities.

The resources here are free, though take many many hours of work. If you feel they have been worth your time, please think about donating the cost of a revision guide. All the money goes to the charities – I do not collect any.

Best of luck, and try to get some sleep between papers 2 and 3!

MrT

Free and Cheap Science Class Apps for the iPhone [Presentation]

This year I got my first ‘smart’ phone and have been playing with free and/or really cheap apps that might be of use in Science class. Many of the students in my school have iPhones or other smart devices – at least enough to make pairs or small groups. This presentation is a selection of those I use the most or like and would like students to make use of, too.

If you have any favourite – free or cheap – apps that you make use of in Science class, let us know in the comments below.

Update: March 31 Featured on SlideShare homepage

Scale of the Universe: Zoom right in, whizz right out (online app)

Learn.Genetics Size

Learn.Genetics Size

This is what you get when you take the Learn.Genetics Cell Size visualiser and give it beans. Cary and Michael Huang at htwins.net have produced this great tool, which lets you zoom all the way into the smallest sizes and then out into the universe. You can click on each item to learn more.

It can be quite the time-suck as you whizz through inner and outer space.

Have a go!

Scale of the Universe App by Cary and Michael Huang (Click!)

Scale of the Universe App by Cary and Michael Huang (Click to play!)

Are you still here? Well then Morgan Freeman can give you a tour in this Powers of Ten clip from Cosmic Voyage.

Thanks to @AdamRutherford for tweeting the link to this.

 

 

Deeply Dipity About Interactive Timelines

Create interactive timelines online for free with Dipity. This would be a great tool for revision of historical topics and it can be shared and embedded.

Ed Yong has a neat example on his NotExactlyRocketScience blog, of the timeline of reprogrammed (induced pluripotent) stem cell research:

Reprogrammed stem cells on Dipity

Why use this?

  • It’s free, visual, quick and easy
  • Images, links and videos can be inserted
  • You can connect it with facebook for easy logins (like SlideShare)
  • Sharing is easy, embeds are possible (though not WordPress.com, again)

What could it be used for?

  • Book or topic reports, such as a timeline of Darwin’s life and work.
  • Mapping any time-related topic. History of the Universe, anyone?

Of course, if you’re studying History, Economics or current affairs, it would be an ideal tool.

Stephen Fry and the Great American Oil Spill

“This turtle gonna go to rehab, to make its flippers go, go, go…*”

In a recent BBC documentary, Stephen Fry and Mark Carwardine head to the USA to see the damage and recovery from the Deepwater Horizon oilspill:

“Stephen Fry loves Louisiana. Four months after the BP oil spill, dubbed the worst ecological disaster in the history of America, Fry returns to the Deep South together with zoologist Mark Carwardine, to see what the impact has been on the people, the vast wetlands and the species that live there. What they find both surprises and divides the travelling duo.”

From the BBC Website (you might get it in your area)

Two more BBC YouTube clips: Has the oil really gone? and Damage to the deep-sea ecosystem.

 

BBC Special Report: Oil Spill

The BBC has a good set of resources on the BP Oil Spill, as do the Geographical Association and PBS News Hour Extra. More resources can be found at NewsroomAmerica and Associated Content.

The Deepwater Horizon spill would make a great foundation for an interdisciplinary science unit or Group 4 project, looking at ocean chemistry, waves and dispersal, remote sensing technologies, geological resources, ecology, marine biology and food chains, economics, politics, ethics and much more.

*Amy Winehouse, if you didn’t get it.

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