One of my newly-discovered tech tools is a site called Mystery Science. My cooperating teacher bought a free one month trial & we’ve both loved using it as a supplement to our Science curriculum.
Basically, Mystery Science provides videos with questions related to an intriguing question that relates to a scientific phenomenon. It’s structured similar to the lessons we read and created in our Science course this year. For instance, we just completed the unit, “Do plants eat dirt?” In this unit, I began with students debating each other on this question as half the class firmly believed that they do indeed need dirt to survive, while others believed that they can survive with just water.
As students progress through the unit, they watch videos that show different science experiments, listen to an expert explain various concepts, and are given questions to answer. I had students answer the questions in their Science journals–writing for about five minutes per question. You could also have students discuss their answers with partners or with their table group. It’s cool because the questions have them make predictions and hypotheses about various science experiments and phenomenons. For instance, there is a picture of a Venus Fly Trap and students are asked to predict how the plant can get the nutrients it needs when there are none in the soil of its habitat. The questions are well-worded and are a nice set-up for great discussion and debates in class.
It would be sad for me if students only did Mystery Science and missed out on trying the experiments themselves, but I like using it in addition to our own classroom experiments. One of the plant experiments in the video matched up to one we did in class (“Can Plants Grow Without Water?”), and students were so excited to already know what would happen. I definitely want to try to use this resource if I teach Science next year.