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  • science fair vs engineering design challenge

Coming soon ... Kid Tested Activities - Kids in Sixth Grade are invited to help locate and rate web activities that are interesting for real kids in grade 6. You can access the sites in our list and give them your rating, OR find and review sites on your own. here for more information

Science for 6th Graders - WE Collaborate project for Sixth Graders - Middle school (grade 6-8, ages 11-13), science and math activities, resources and learning networks, in the areas of Earth, Life, and Physical Science.

  • Reviews - locate, review, rate and promote existing resources
  • develop Science and Math activities, creating open learning resources and collaborative content development that extends beyond the needs of an individual teacher or school.

Earth, Life, and Physical Science

outline ... 6th Grade Science- Earth Science (Planet Earth), Life Science (Living Organisms), Chemical Science (Properties of Matter), Physical Science (Interactions of Matter and Energy)

Heat, Energy and Water

Shaping the Earth's Surface

Plate Tectonics and the Earth's Surface


  • Photosynthesis
  • Seasons

Resources, activities, lesson plans

  • Reading, Writing and Rings - strengthening elementary students basic skills of reading and writing by exploring the science. Under this there are so many materials to explore about science.
  • DNA From The Beginning - information about the DNA and how it works: Classical Genetics, Molecules of Genetics, and Genetic Organization And Control, and for each - Concept, Animation, Gallery, Audio/Video, Biography, Problem, and Links

Applying Math and Science

..based on categories in Science Gems, California curriculum

  • Mathematics - Reasoning, Numbers, Algebra, Geometry, Functions, Probability, Number Theory
  • Engineering - Measure, Aero, Chemical, Civil, Control, Materials, Power, Ceramics, Computer

Some WikiEducator projects

  • Martian math - beyond most 6th graders but some of the material - images, underlying ideas) can be adapted to grade-specific lessons

Citizen scientist

There are lots of web-based projects where the general public is invited to participate. These are great learning opportunities for young scientists. These projects also provide a great community service and engage students in "real" science.

  • eBirds - eBird is available throughout the Western Hemisphere and New Zealand for data entry. In addition to the core eBird site we have a host of regional portals, which provide local information and birding expertise.
  • SETI@home is a scientific experiment that uses Internet-connected computers in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). You can participate by running a free program that downloads and analyzes radio telescope data.

Directories, repositories and lists

Projects and resources of open learning objects related to Sixth Grade Science.

  • Casual Gameplay - most games are free, many are suitable for 6th Grade, lots are educational
  • Science Buddies - How-To Guides, Teacher Resources, Ask An Expert, and more.
  • What2Learn - free interactive, hundreds of learning games and drills based on California's Science content standards. Grades 6-8
  • Grade Six Science Content Standards - USGS Education - earth science topics ranging from plate tectonics and geologic hazards, to how energy flows through the earth's lithosphere and atmosphere, and how organisms sustain themselves through energy and nutrients as they interact with the physical environment.

  • Science Gems - Great links to Great Science Resources. For students, parents, teachers, scientists, engineers and mathematicians. More than 14,000 Science Resources sorted by Category, Subcategory, and Grade Level
  • Public Library of Science - open access journals on a broad range of sciences from the nonprofit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource
  • - good example of how activities can be defined and organized. Reading programs and activities for K-1. Doesn't support the WE and Wikipedia concepts of collaborative content writing and editing (but provides an excellent model for research-based, quality-ensured content). Nice template outline, rating indication
  • Open Dictionary - a collaboratively-created open dictionary written in simple, student-friendly language. Definitions are quality-monitored and in the future, a quality-ensured "frozen" version will be made available
  • Exploritorium
  • Girl Scouts
  • Pulse of the Planet
  • For the Love of Science - downloadable books in PDF format, subjects include Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science - General education / Higher ed (too many words even for secondary education)

Video, audio and simulations

  • MERLOT simulations
  • audio
  • video - YouTube, teachers, educational - Feynman
  • activities / projects

Blogs, RSS feeds, news and updates

  • Science Buddies Blog - current science news, in-class and science fair projects. Recent blog entries "Everyday Tasks, Simple Machines, and Engineering Projects"
  • Extreme Biology! - This site is maintained by Ms. Baker and her biology students who live in the Northeast U.S. and blog about anything biology-related.
  • Science Geek Girl - Dr. Stephanie Chasten posts interesting science tidbits or musings about science, science education, and science communication for K-12 science educators, hands-on activities and pedagogical tips, as well as posts about how people learn, drawn from science education research, science myths and bad science sections.

Teacher training, curriculum standards

  • Reflection - use the reflection process to increase the learners' understanding of feelings, past experiences and consequences of actions. They will understand what makes a good interview and story, and conduct an interview of a family member. Students will use reflection as a learning tool.

Looking for professional development in these topics

  • Innovation - assumes that innovation and creativity can be taught and/or developed
  • Scenario-based learning / Project-based learning - similar, different?
  • Technologies for teaching and learning

More resources

Guidelines, templates, quality assurance

To make the information presented more useful for adoption and remix, standards and guidelines ensure that there is a common understanding of the quality of the resources listed.

Reviewer note

needs work - smaller text, own unique graphic, no parentheses but gives the idea using tools available

(Comment.gif: DNA.. : Life Science : Gr 5-9 : Repository : Simulations, animations, articles, references : ?? license : vt 18nov09)

drop-in text - example...

<br />{{note| [ DNA..] : Life Science : Gr 5-9 : Repository : Simulations, animations, articles, references : ?? license : [[User:Vtaylor | vt]] 18nov09}}

Add to each entry in the annotated lists of links to OER directories, repositories and individual OERs

goes after line break at the end of an annotated link entry that includes [ http:... Title ] and a description of the learning object, directory or repository

  • one line, small text (compact)
  • graphic ? traffic light - green/yellow circle - really good / ok
  • link ? abbreviation of title in the link ? or just couple with "reviewed" graphic
  • syntax - use subset of values from Template:ContentInfobox
  • subject/topic - Life Science, Earth Science, Algebra
  • level / audience / complexity - Gr K-12, 10-12 years, Primary, Secondary, Advanced
  • OER type - Lesson, Directory, Repository, Activity, Article, Audio, Video, Tutorial
  • comment / elaboration / special features - animations, simulation, ...
  • license - WikiEducator default - CC-BY-SA
  • reviewer - [[User: ...]]
  • date reviewed

reviewer notice template - ...coming soon - one line reviewer notice - include a few basic bits of information from pull-down menus (so I don't have to remember / lookup the values every time), and perhaps some automatically provided values; date this added or changed; links from subjects, levels, types to categories or index

Science Fair Judging

Science Fair Judging - fall 2016 - to be eligible for the county science fair, kids must submit entries in conventional display board format with all the required elements in prescribed format

  • other judging rubrics - LEGO League rubrics

Some notes about alternative Judge scoring sheets. I needed more guidance than the one for this year. Some of the previous ones had more specifics about the project display but didn't get at what the kids actual knew about the project or learned from the experience.

I would like a form with something like this, so judges go down the list, circle the score and have a space to make a note for each.

a separate line for each - criteria, circle 0 1 2, notes / comments

  • 0 - missing, not demonstrated. 1 - provided, adequate, could be better. 2 - good work, good understanding.

Project board

  • appearance - attractive, pride in work
  • title - legible, interesting, represents project
  • photos - clear, labeled
  • graphs - units, legend
  • data table - measurements, units
  • presentation effectiveness - conveys overall project idea, process

Project information

  • hypothesis - problem, expected outcome
  • materials list - complete
  • procedure - clear steps
  • repetition - samples, time
  • references, research
  • results - details, quantified
  • conclusions - logical
  • completeness - no gaps, missing relevant information
  • project complexity - challenging to do work
  • science - follow procedure, measurement, accuracy
  • overall - what project is about, what does it show

Presentation, interview

  • understanding of science of project - beyond doing the specific experiment
  • project knowledge - discuss without reading
  • breadth - answer questions beyond notes on board
  • detail - discuss specifics of information presented
  • actual work - kid, with parent help
  • units - what, why are these appropriate
  • poise, self-confidence
  • project idea / source - originality, depth
  • interest in topic - curiosity
  • failures, improvements - considered, thoughtful
  • next time... - reflection, assessment

.. including a URL in {{note}} doesn't work if there is a "?" in the link