If you are looking to get hands on with science learning along with your kids, below are listed lots of recommendations, reviews and suggestions of science resources for kits, curricula and books from our e-community. Don’t forget to also visit also our page Science for A Sense of Wonder where Science Book titles are listed: and our science museums listings page.
HowToTeachScience.com I am starting a free series of lessons on the elements of the periodic table. I believe in introducing it to children with a table on the wall. Then over time you can show them about the elements. It is what their world is made of. It teaches them not to fear science or to feel like Chemistry is a “harder” science. That way they don’t grow up to fear it. It will feel normal to them just like having a map on the wall. The lessons will be in the form of a newsletter that will come every other week, that way it’s casual. Each one will cover one element on the table with the history of its discovery, facts about it and information for the advanced learner. They are made to apply to ALL ages. Plus I include anecdotes and jokes that are common in the chemistry field or that pertain to that element. Each installment also has ideas for presenting it to your children some have fun activities, things to make or a lapbook and links for further reading and information about all sorts of topics, some about discoverers and some humorous. This is my passion and I want to share it with everyone…..Please enjoy and use them free and tell others about it. You can use this link: http://www.howtoteachscience.com/newslettersignup.html Teresa Bondora
Kitchen Science Books (all available from amazon.com)
which I thought was real neat but he said it was too easy and he’d done or understood all of the experiments.
would have wide appeal.
(actually, a lot of work was mine, but they learned some.) The kids enjoyed the “Mysteries of the Human Body” exhibit. Ds loves science
but his reading/writing/spelling/grammer needs so much work that it gets pushed to a lower priority by mean old mom (who also loves
science….) I started a window garden but the kids didn’t seem too interested in it yet.
through 6tth grade students. Each unit includes easy hands on projects, work sheets, puzzles, links, suggested reading and much more! The units are completely downloadable so you can begin instantly! Many different topics are available – such as the skeletal system, DNA, cells, plants, and the solar system. These complete unit studies are designed to take all the work out of science for the homeschool or classroom teacher – with none of the usual costs. Only 9.99 per unit and NO SHIPPING CHARGES! As and introductory offer, we are offering one unit FREE !! Please see http://www.fun-with-science.com/ to get the unit Fun with Skeleton Bones – FREE! Would you be interested in alerting your homeschool group about our curriculum and our free introductory offer?
That way the children aren’t exposed to anything that might show up along the edge of the screen.’
in San Francisco have one of the best SECULAR science-related
websites anywhere. It will take quite a while to sift through
the “explore” and “educate” pages with their many hands-on
activities. Don’t miss the resources in the upper right-hand
side menus of those pages.’ http://www.exploratorium.edu/index.html
alike. There are over 1500 resources to take advantage of at FREE, ranging from primary historical documents, lesson plans, science visualizations,
math simulations and online challenges, paintings, photos, mapping tools, and more. This easily accessible information is provided by federal
organizations and agencies such as the Library of Congress, National Archives, NEH, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian,
NSF, and NASA. Check it out today at http://www.free.ed.gov!
http://www.arn.org/realscience/realscience_morabout.html which has a
chemistry program. Previously loved Stratton House Home Science
Adventures. Other books we like: EarthChild 2000, Head to Toe Science, Pop Bottle Science
with my science loving 1st grader. The kits can be used by kids spanning from grades 1-6. It is
experiment based, all the supplies are provided, the experiments always work, and they have interested my
kids (my 4 year old has sat in on the lessons- but they can definitely be adapted to older kids. I think
it best fits grades 1-4. The experiments can take as short or as long as you wish, depending on interest.
My son usually wants to do 2-3 in a day. I am sad that we are almost done with all 6 units but we will
hopefully revisit them in more depth in a few years.
that goes with it…and it makes my job easier. However, we are not too strict that we tick off every box or everything that the manual suggests. Just their
reading list is great and that’s one of the reasons we went with Sonlight.
Steve Spangler is the science reporter for Channel 9 News (an NBC affiliate) in Colorado. This website offers a free collection of fun and interesting science experiments
that have been featured on his show. The experiments cover the gamut in science strands including physical science, earth science, life science, chemistry and more! Many of them can be conducted with materials you probably already have around the house ・but if not, you can purchase the materials at this website. You can also watch sample videos of some of Steve ‘s science shows at the site ・they are available for purchase as well. When you get to the site, you will see an introduction followed by a list of experiments. Just click on the activity that interests you – and a new page opens with information, a materials list, directions, photo or
illustration, and an explanation of the science behind the experiment. Experiment
titles like “Alka-Seltzer Rocket,” “Marshmallow Masher,” “Soda Can
Shake-up,””Eating Nails for Breakfast,” “Bleeding Paper,” and “Tornado in a
Bottle” are certain to inspire your kids to try a few. Bookmark the site as
you’ll want to return here often.
Brand new location opens in Aoyama, Tokyo Leading edge programs in both English and Japanese Curriculum based on MIT Media Lab’s “Learning by Making” Children learn creative problem-solving skills and cooperation skills Learn and grow in a bright and friendly environment A brand new location now open in Aoyama
LEGO Education Centers focus on ages three to six but there are programs for younger and older kids too! Affordable!
Sign up for a Free Trial Lesson. Phone: (03) 3568-6433
LEGO Education Center
Chez Irene Building 2F, 7-4-7 Akasaka
Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052
“My kids have done many of MITs programs in Cambridge, Massachusetts including two Lego programs. I have been present for both Lego programs and thought they were very good. BTW, the classes we attended were for ages 8 – 16 and involved making cars … Other reason I really like the MIT programs – they were very inexpensive or free which doesn’t sound like the case for the classes you found. Oh well, just my two cents to say that the MIT programs generally are very high quality.” The Aoyama site is listed on the same website
with the Kichijoji and the Jiju Ga Oka locations. The Aoyama doesn’t (at least according to the website) do the robotics. I do second the recomendation, though. The classes that aren’t programming are less expensive than the robotics and have a planned curriculum. The Aoyama site is listed on the same website with the Kichijoji and the Jiju Ga Oka locations. The cost of the cheapest class is 9,975 yen, called Funtime Lego, doesn’t have an age but the photos look like Duplos (those larger Lego type blocks for little ones, say 3 years old). No price listed for the Lego kit as there are with the other classes.
http://www.amonco.org Lots of lovely science-related lesson plans very suitable for the young and very young.
mentioned one called Discovery Chem-X 1000 Science Labs and can be purchased
from http://shopping.discovery.com. This one is for ages 9 and up. We may
go with this one when daughter is a little older. Two other websites were
mentioned: 1) http://naturesodyssey.com and 2) http://smithsonianstore.com
I picked up this magazine, Newton, Graphic Science Magazine, at the
local book shop, to have a look through. It has great pics and easy to
follow instructions for fun experiments-even with limited Japanese.
There is also a web site, http://www.newtonpress.co.jp/
<http://www.newtonpress.co.jp/> You can become a member for 12000yen
/year. They have lots of notices to science events happening around the
country, or I noticed a Science Camp for kids was advertised-even for
non-members. I am debating whether to join-up, or just get the magazines
on occasion. Does anyone have experience with this? I noticed they also
have a Korean, Chinese, and Italian Website. But didnt notice an English
one…..? The magazine is wonderful!
mixture of Japanese and English articles. Just from a glance, it appears to be an English language learning tool for Japanese speakers.
There was a link on the page to order a sample, so if you can get it working, perhaps that would be the place to start. The phone number
listed on the site for contacts is:http://junior.japantimes.co.jp/
Last weekend we stayed at the Himeji Municipal Accommodation and Facilities Center. We had a great time. There is a small group of facilities. A Nature Sanctuary,
Children’s Museum (play area), Science Museum (with planetarium) and Hoshino Yakata itself (main attraction being the Astronomical
Observatory). It is fairly new, clean and comfortable. Of course, in town there is also Himeji Castle, a zoo and aquarium. I don’t
know how it rates there on a national scale, but we enjoyed and plan to go again. The links are below.
Just as a side note – they are very accommodating toward food
allergies (must notify them in advance). Even the cafe at the
science centre put together something special.
By Hasnita A Majid, Channel NewsAsia | Oct 2005
GENOCET LIFESCIENCE CURRICULUM, SINGAPORE : Secondary school students may in the near future learn about diseases through a card game. Players say this game tests their wit and knowledge of diseases. Called Battle Cells Game Cards, it consists of two decks of cards – the pathogens or diseases, and the immune system. It is modelled after how the body battles with deadly infectious diseases. Players will have to reduce the health marks of the other players. The player with the most marks wins. Initially developed by life sciences educational services and kit provider Genecet Biotechnologies, the task of modifying the cards was given to four Secondary 3 students from Raffles Institution as part of a research project. “We wanted to create a card game that can cater to all types of learners. We want to get rid of outdated teaching methods such as textbooks which are no longer suited for children these days. We need more creative methods,” said Tan Ee Kuan, a student at Raffles Institution. Genecet says the card game is a suitable tool for students to learn about immunology and microbiology, and plans to market it. It is hoped that with the element of fun and play, students will be motivated to learn more about diseases. “It will work well as a supplementary tool in the classroom. We feel that it serves the slogan “teach less, learn more” and bring fun to the classroom,” said Jeffrey Lee at Genecet Biotechnologies. So far about 10 schools have shown interest in buying the product. Genecet says it plans to sell the cards at $20 each. There are two decks of cards for each game but discounts will be given to students. There are also plans to develop a teacher’s guide to facilitate teaching through the cards and expand these cards to include modules like ecology and even traditional Chinese medicine. – CNA /ls
I came across an interesting article about a Life Science curriculum in use in some classrooms in Okinawa by Genecet Biotechnologies which also conducts holiday life science camps for kids, and would like to post the links
http://www.genecet.com/research.html for those who would be interested in
taking a look at this for your classrooms (I don’t know if they will ship to
a homeschool though I don’t see why not) or email them for info at
email@example.com. Read the article below:
Genecet takes life sciences into Japanese classrooms. EXTRACTING DNA samples from cheek cells and diagnosing the HIV virus is probably all in a day’s work for a laboratory scientist. But for children as young as 15 years old, these experiments offer them an opening to the world of life sciences. A Singapore-based company–Genecet Biotechnologies–intends to take that high-tech world into classrooms in Okinawa, a resort island southwest of Japan. This overseas expansion comes after it developed some 70 life-science kits for 100 schools like Raffles Girls’ School (RGS) in Singapore over the past five years.
Said Dr Rosemary Tan, Genecet’s chief executive officer, who recently took a delegation from Okinawa to visit RGS. “They were amazed. Can you imagine seeing children who are only 15 to 16 years old doing experiments that university or post-graduate students do?” While the actual curriculum is still being worked on, the Japanese students could possibly take part in mock investigations where they extract DNA from a crime scene, diagnose it with a fingerprinting process, and then present their DNA findings to a mock judge.
Using real world samples to relate life sciences is important–not least in discovering potential scientists but they are not known because they hadn’t done the life sciences before. These may not be your top-tier students. They may be in the middle or the end of the class. We plan to train them in the life sciences so they can choose to become scientists later in life,” she said.— TAN HWEE HWEE.
Many of you were interested in Lego robotics workshops before. Here’s a Japanese link to CREFUS (Center for Robotics Education and Future Science) workshops with many locations around the country see map at
http://www.crefus.com/partner/index.html They are becoming well known for being the specialist educators on robotics in Japan for kids and go up to very advanced levels. At the beginner levels they teach about motors and the mission is to build soccer robots. The intermediate stage curriculum focus on sensor and other PC programming and the top end advanced levels encourage the building of free creations and innovations on top of the soccer robot competitions and matches. There are a KICKS academy classes for kindie K3 kids through Grade 2 as well. Since Japan is still the world leader in robotics education, and schools particularly in the Kansai area are well known for this area, if you have kids interested in this subject, this particularly integrated and comprehensive programme may interest you. You should send your kids only if they are proficient in Japanese though.
Curriculum at the webpage (in Japanese): http://www.crefus.com/crclm/index.html
Microscopes: For a quick online guide to buying microscopes, what
magnification, where to get it, see:
http://www.redshift.com/~bonajo/microscope.htm, for a detailed guide see
http://www.greatscopes.com/important.htm; Combine a microscope gift for your
child with Usborne’s Complete Book of the Microscope a fascinating volume that gives you the basics of how optical and electron microscopes work through stunning color photos of images captured by microscopes. Choose from a variety at reasonable prices from http://www.sonlight.com/. Or buy great models such as the portable MicroQuest one to head out for your nature trek with your kid, or other models where image capture is possible from http://www.greatscopes.com/ (discounts for homeschoolers). Other good microscope book titles are reviewed and available from http://www.greatscopes.com/bookstore.htm. These are the most popular hsler’s choices I believe.
Source: From the Educate At Home page:
In Japan, you can try the Study Room, a specialist store that specializes in really nifty kits, posters, books related to science study, and more. (Maybe not cheap though)
For details on all the locations, see this page:
Shimo-Kitazawa Store: 1F Hills Shimo-kitazawa 2-36-2 Kitazawa Setagaya-ku / Phone: 03-5478-8717
Ueno Station 3F Concorde Shop / Phone: 03-5246-6876
[Note: Lalaport Funabashi, Garden Place 2F Mitsukoshi Dept Store, Ebisu Shop / Tokyo Station, Yaesu exit Meitengai 1F Shop appear to have closed since they are no longer listed. The Tamagawa and Aichi shops have closed according to the shop’s website.]
I have also seen Science museums and prefectural nature parks or other nature centers carrying microscopes along with science materials and field guides.
I have also seen stores like Tokyo Hands and Toy S’Rus carry microscopes, but I don’t know about quality.
I use a few resources like Wikipedia, Discovery kids and zoo.org for animal related research. If the kids want to look some thing up I just “google” it and then find a few sites that are OK for them to look at and explore. My younger one (8) loves http://www.pbs.com/ The content is fine and there are a bunch of good informational items there, like Kratt’s Creatures (again animals). My older one (12) uses Wikipedia for most of his research
writings. We purchased the the Kingfisher Science encyclopedias. The Usbornes are “Internet linked” in that in certain places you can go on the internet to find out more about a certain subject. They maintain all their own links so the information is “guaranteed” to be there for so many years.
1001 Science and Chemistry Quizzes
Summer Solstice http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/astronomy/SummerSolstice.html
Land Forms Bingo Game – Great Geography Aid
Other neat science related websites:
Here’s a very good website to encourage our daughters in the area of science sponsored by Girl Scouts. http://www.girlsgotech.org/girls_go_tech.html
but on its intro it says homeschoolers are welcome!
* Lesson Units Introduction to Session One
* Hands-on Activity: The Age of the Universe
* Hands-on Activity: A Solar System Model
* Science Notes
o How to How to Design Your Solar System
o The Main Sequence of Stars
o Measuring Distances in Space
o Weight, Mass, and Density
o Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion
Kepler’s First Law
Kepler’s Second Law
Kepler’s Third Law
Kepler’s Third Law: Distance from Sun
Kepler’s Third Law: Year Length
o Star Information Tables
o The Kelvin Scale: Measuring Temperatures in Space
o The Periodic Table
o The Life Zone
o Find the Life Zone for Your Planet
o Gravity Can Cause Stresses that Generate Heat
o Menu for Pages about Moons
The Phases of the Moon
Statistics About Planets and Moons
Moons that Look Big
Comparing Apparent Moon Sizes
Calculating Orbits for Your Moons
Orbits: Roche’s Limit
Can You See Your Moon?
o Binary Stars and Twin Planets
Binary Star Systems
Orbits for Binary Star Systems
Planets in Binary Star Systems
o Help with Math
Circle Talk: Math for Your Solar System
Calculating Your Planet’s Gravity
Finding the Mass of Your Planet
o What Causes Seasons?
o The Electromagnetic Spectrum
It comes with a great scope and Study Questions page as well at
Ask a Scientist http://internal.vusd.solanocoe.k12.ca.us/Cooper/Intranet/science/askasci.htm
A marvellous site offering science toys you can make with your kids http://scitoys.com/ toys like a spectroscope or Make a solar hotdog cooker , a hydrogen fuel cell, A magnet in mid-air ; Pyrolytic graphite in mid-air ; The Gauss Rifle: A Magnetic Linear Accelerator ; A Curie-effect heat engine; A Magnetic Ring Launcher
deep straight infinitous hole on Earth? Your problems are solved! Surf on the map below, find where you will dig your hole and click
there. After this, click on “Dig here!” and you will see the place where, one day, you will (believe me) put your feet. http://map.pequenopolis.com/
1), American history (Grade 1), geography, nature study, art, picture study, and music. Our Kindergarten program has a
nationally tested music and movement curriculum from High Scope Foundation ( http://www.highscope.org ).
In order to introduce ourselves to those families seeking a Living Books education, we make this offer of an entire
curriculum at nearly wholesale … but the offer is good only until September 30th, 2004.
A few of the benefits of the Living Books Curriculum include:
–easy to use
–flexible, while providing a week-by-week schedule
–honors the child’s natural abilities
–teaches learning skills that last a lifetime
–based on Charlotte Mason’s core principles of education
–includes orality, narration, nature study, habit formation,
learning-by-doing, and classic literature
–provides a simple, gentle means of assessment for
Kindergarten and First Grade
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Write: Living Books Curriculum
5497 S. Gilmore Road Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858
NIGHT-TIME NATURE ADVENTURES by Deborah Taylor-Hough http://hometown.aol.com/dsimple/ AND
The Nocturnal Naturalist: Exploring the Outdoors at Night
by Cathy Johnson
Kids Garden In A Box http://www.kidsgardeninabox.com/gardens.htm
***Everything you need to have a pleasant experience with
children is right in the box What could be easier!
While at the site subscribe to the free newsletter and receive
recipes, fun learning projects and more delivered right to your
4 H Children’s Gardening http://4hgarden.msu.edu/tour/index.html
***Butterfly Garden ***The Science Discovery Garden ***Cloth and Color
Garden ***Pharmacy Garden
Science Museums in Odaiba
We went to check out two of the science museums in Odaiba, both of which are quite new so do not feature in English-language guidebooks like Japan for Kids or Kids’
Trips in Tokyo. Both of these museums are a good option for rainy Mondays when most other places are closed, though Odaiba is also good on sunny days as there is plenty of open space for picnics and outdoor play. My kids particularly like the ship-shaped play area next to the Maritime Museum, and, in high summer, the splash pools in the same area.
One museum we visited opened just last year: the Sony ExploraScience museum, on the 5th floor of the Mediage
building, part of the Aquacity Odaiba complex, in between Odaiba Kaihinkoen and Odaiba stations on the Yurikamome monorail line. My six year old loved this place. It is all hands-on, interactive stuff, divided into two sections, “Science Wonder” and “Digital Dream”. Science Wonder has things like optical illusions, voice changing machines, a bicycle wheel gyro, etc. There is also a planetarium which is really more like a theme-park ride, as it is themed as a journey through time and space to the big bang, birth of the sun etc, complete with sound effects, shaking seats and so on as the “space vehicle” gets too close to sun flares and so on. In the Digital Dream section, there are lots of hands-on computerised activities and games, eg make your own photo ID card which you then use to access computers with mini-robotic dog games, or a “Wanted” game, where you zoom in and out searching for your own face (as a wanted criminal) in a computerised version of Odaiba.
There is plenty to keep children occupied for at least a couple of hours, and there are lots of eating and shopping
places in the same building to use up the rest of a rainy day (or go and check out one of the other museums in
Open daily from 11am to 7pm. Entry is Y500 for adults (16+), and Y300 for children aged 3-15. All the exhibits have labels and instructions in English as well as Japanese. The information leaflet is in Japanese only, but there is an English-language website:
The other science museum we visited is Miraikan (National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation), which is in between Fune no Kagakukan (Maritime Museum) and Telecom Center stations on the Yurikamome. The bits my son particularly enjoyed: a physical model of how the internet works, where you can use black and white billiard balls (representing bits of information) to send messages from one station to another; a space training capsule from Masa, with a genuine space toilet, shower etc so you can see how astronauts live; a display of rescue robots designed to go into collapsed buildings.
Miraikan has some exhibits and activities to interest younger school age children, but not much for preschoolers,
and most of it is really aimed at older children/adults, eg detailed exhibits on the Genome Project.
Everything is well labeled in English, and there is an English-language information leaflet. Open 10am to 5pm,
closed Tuesdays. Entry Y500 for adults, Y200 for age 6 to 18. Website: http://www.miraikan.jst.go.jp/index_e.htm
“Miraikan” is about a seven minute walk from Fune-no-Kagakukan station on the Yurikamome Line
from Shimbashi station. Here’s their website: http://www.miraikan.jst.go.jp/
The Tama Rokuto Science Center or museum was reopened in January
of last year after a complete renovation. We found the building and the
various exhibits to be fun and interesting. They’re currently showing the
IMAX film 3D Encounter, and there is also a planetarium show. http://www.tamarokuto.or.jp/ (Japanese)
Access: It’s closest to Hanakoganei Station on the Seibu Shinjuku Line. There is also a bus from Tanashi on the same line.
From the Seibu Ikebukuro Line, there are buses from Hibarigaoka, Kiyose and Higashikurume. The Seibu bus from Kichijoji, bound for Hanakoganei station, leaves from the station’s north exit. You get off at “Kagakukan minami iriguchi” and it’s a ten minute walk from there.
Yokohama Science Center, near Yokodai station on the Negishi Line. You can watch IMAX science movies there too.
National Science Museum (Ueno Park) 国立科学博物館 （上野公園） 1,600 yen (adults); 600 yen (children) For enquiries phone: 03-3272-8600
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