Introduction to Scientific Tools
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.
The student uses age-appropriate tools and models to investigate the natural world.
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.
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.
- Supporting Lessons
- Assessment Ideas
- Literature Connections
- Additional Resources
Magnify It: Science NetLinks (website) - Students observe, collect, record and compare information using a hand lens to magnify an object.
Fruits and Vegetables: Ohaus (PDF) - See page 5 for an activity that uses a pan balance to order objects by mass.
Science Tools: Teacher Tech Rice University (website) - Identify and use simple science tools.
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.
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.
Science Rubric: Exemplars (PDF) - Use this rubric to rate students’ proficiency with scientific tools on a scale that ranges from “novice” to “expert.”
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)
The Effective Detective: PBS Kids (website) - An interactive game in which students use properties to describe characters from the “Arthur” storybook series.