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Introduction to Scientific Tools

Introduction to Scientific Tools

TEKS Objective

The student will collect, record and compare information using tools, including computers, hand lenses, primary balances, cups, bowls, magnets, collecting nets, and notebooks and safety goggles; timing devices, including clocks and timers; non-standard measuring items such as paper clips and clothespins; weather instruments such as demonstration thermometers and wind socks; and materials to support observations of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.

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Essential Understanding

The student uses age-appropriate tools and models to investigate the natural world.

Science Background

Tools and Equipment of Science: BioEd Online (video) - Veteran science educator, Barbara Tharp, provides an introduction to important science tools, such as metric rulers, thermometers and magnifiers.

Tools and Equipment of Science
BioEd Online, www.bioedonline.org

Signature Lesson

Science in the Schoolyard, FOSS Air and Weather Module: FOSSWEB (PDF) - Observe and compare weather patterns, collect and record temperature and rainfall data, and observe the movement of wind with pinwheels and wind vanes.

Science in the Schoolyard, FOSS Air and Weather Module
FOSSWEB, www.fossweb.com

Supporting Lessons

Magnify It: Science NetLinks (website) - Students observe, collect, record and compare information using a hand lens to magnify an object.

Magnify It
Science NetLinks, www.sciencenetlinks.com

Fruits and Vegetables: Ohaus (PDF) - See page 5 for an activity that uses a pan balance to order objects by mass.

Fruits and Vegetables
Ohaus Corporation, ohaus.com

Science Tools: Teacher Tech Rice University (website) - Identify and use simple science tools.

Science Tools
Teacher Tech Rice University, teachertech.rice.edu

Elaboration Lessons and Extensions

Science in the Schoolyard, FOSS Air and Weather Module: FOSSWEB (video) - Observe the use of simple science tools, such as a thermometer and a science notebook, during an outside investigation. Click  “Grade 1 (Air and Weather)” to begin the video.

Science in the Schoolyard, FOSS Air and Weather Module
FOSSWEB, www.fossweb.com

A Magnet Project Makes a Great Science Fair Idea! Easy Science Fair Projects (website) - Students collect data and make observations while testing the magnetic attraction of various objects.

A Magnet Project Makes a Great Science Fair Idea!
Easy Science Fair Projects, www.easy-science-fair-projects.net

Assessment Ideas

Science Rubric: Exemplars (PDF) - Use this rubric to rate students’ proficiency with scientific tools on a scale that ranges from “novice” to “expert.”

Science Rubric
Exemplars, www.exemplars.com

Literature Connections

Computers. Petrie, Kristin. (ISBN 1604530863)

What is a Magnifying Glass? Blevins, Wiley. (ISBN 0516273280)

You Can Use a Balance. Bullock, Linda. (ISBN 05162789991)

Wind Toys That Spin, Sing, Twirl & Whirl. Burda, Cindy. (ISBN 0806939346)

Related Science TEKS

(1.2A) Ask Questions
The student is expected to ask questions about organisms, objects, and events observed in the natural world.

(1.2B) Plan and Conduct Descriptive Investigations
The student is expected to plan and conduct simple descriptive investigations such as ways objects move.

(1.2C) Collect Data
The student is expected to collect data and make observations using simple equipment such as hand lenses, primary balances, and non-standard measurement tools.

(1.2D) Record and Organize Data & Observations
The student is expected to record and organize data and observations using pictures, numbers, and words.

(1.2E) Communicate Observations
The student is expected to communicate observations with others about simple descriptive investigations.

(1.4A) Tools for Collecting Information
The student is expected to collect information using tools, including computers, hand lenses, primary balances, cups, bowls, magnets, collecting nets, and notebooks; timing devices, including clocks and timers; non-standard measuring items such as paper clips and clothespins; weather instruments such as demonstration thermometers and wind socks; and materials to support observations of habitats of organisms such as terrariums and aquariums.

Related Math TEKS

1.7F     The student is expected to compare and order two or more objects according to weight/mass (from heaviest to lightest).

1.9A    The student is expected to collect and sort data.

1.9B     The student is expected to use organized data to construct real object graphs, picture graphs, and bar-type graphs.

1.11C   The student is expected to select or develop an appropriate problem-solving plan or strategy including drawing a picture, looking for a pattern, systematic guessing and checking, or acting it out in order to solve a problem.

1.11D  The student is expected to use tools such as real objects, manipulatives, and technology to solve problems.

1.12A  The student is expected to explain and record observations using objects, words, pictures, numbers, and technology.

1.13A  The student is expected to justify his or her thinking using objects, words, pictures, numbers, and technology.

Additional Resources

The Effective Detective: PBS Kids (website) - An interactive game in which students use properties to describe characters from the “Arthur” storybook series.

The Effective Detective
PBS Kids, pbskids.org

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