In this engaging, hands-on 7-week science mini course, elementary and middle school students learn about the special properties and behaviors of the simple, but important, water molecule.
Water is everywhere, but how well do we really understand this amazing, unique, and critical substance? Water covers 70% of our planet and is essential for all known forms of life. We will explore the amazing world of water with experiments, video, audio and text lessons, fun facts, frequent learning checks, games, and more. We will learn about water’s physical and chemical properties, the role of water on the earth and in the atmosphere and the importance of water in the bodies of living things.
A typical Science of Water week will begin with a live class at 2:00 p.m. ET Thursday. In this class, we review content from the previous week using review questions and games, and we go over anything for which students need additional support. Although it is always best if students attend the live classes, I will post the recording of the class so that students who can’t attend can watch later.
Friday through Wednesday focuses on new content. Students read the lesson, listen to audio, watch any videos, and do some experiments and activities or watch videos of the experiments and activities. I use many audio and video recordings to help students learn the correct pronunciation of new terms as well as to reinforce content.
Most lessons end with a learning check to see how well the student understood the content. Students should try to do as many of the experiments/activities as possible, since science is best learned by doing. Most students report spending about 30 minutes per day on the lessons.
Weeks 1, 2, and 3: Water’s Physical and Chemical Properties
- Solid, Liquid, and Gas
- Capillary Action
- Dissolving Action
- Surface tension
- Heat capacity
- Water as a solvent
- Boiling and Freezing Point
- Dissolved oxygen
Weeks 5 and 6: Water in and on the Earth
- Water Cycle
- Surface and underground water
Week 7: Water in Living Things
- How Humans Use Water
- How Our Bodies Use Water
- How Animals Use Water
- How Plants Use Water
Who should enroll?
This course is for all students in grades 4-8 who are curious and like active, hands-on learning, and want to know more about good ole’ H2O!
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
Evaluation and Feedback
I use “learning checks” at the end of most lessons to assure both the student and the teacher that students understand the concepts presented in the lessons. Many of the learning checks are automatically graded by the computer. For the essay questions and projects, I generally grade every day, sending feedback to the students to help them understand questions they may have missed.
I welcome any and all communication from students and parents. I want to partner with you in your student’s education, so if at any time you have questions or concerns, my virtual door is open.