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After a day at the Pacific Science Center during the "Rural Girls in Science" camp, we decided to use scientific Gizmos for hands-on science activities. In this project we discovered it was very fun, but very difficult.
The Research Method:
Christa: My project was worm dissection. The kids cut the worm open and then they explored the parts of the worm.They didn't get a lecture on what to do, they decided what they were going to do and how they were going to do it.
Victoria: My project was designed to teach students about tension and buoyancy. Fourth-grade students made their own bubblemaker and stuck it into a solution. They then asked made bubbles. One of the kids taught us something. We were reminded that science is not always 100% accurate. One girl made a string bubblemaker with a lot of tension. Usually more tension means less bubbles, but she was able to make the most bubbles.
Jaclyn Lee: I used K'nex [toy building blocks] to help children use hand-eye coordination to build such things as motorcycles, cars, jeeps, windmills, and pedal bikes. This science project was an example of engineering.
Amanda: Building bridges gave the children a taste of a real job. The first thing I told them was to make it as sturdy as they could, as if cars were really going to drive across it. That made them feel like they were really responsible.
The elementary students that we taught using our science gizmos had a higher interest in science after our visit.
We found this to be true through a survey that they answered before and after our teaching lessons.
A year later, in 1997, we gave them another survey.
We found that most of them remembered us and that our visit made an impact on them and on them liking science.
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"Rural Girls in Science" is a program of the Northwest Center for Research on Women