Metropolitan Detroit Science Teachers Association

Serving Southeast Michigan Science Teachers Since 1941

Middle School Science Minute Podcast -- David Bydlowski

Journaling Outdoors  (4 Minutes and 10 Seconds)

“Journals provide a non-threatening place to explore learning, emotions, daily events, and language through writing.”  This statement is provided by Eva Varga, in her blog “Integrating Writing with Middle School Students.  

Journals can take many forms.  Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources provide a nature journal lesson for grades 6-8 on its “Natural and Historical Education Resources for Home” website,  which can be found at:

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/MS_HS_Journaling_Outdoors_684892_7.pdf

An example of a journal starter:

Compare two natural objects.  How are they different besides size? How are they alike? What do they resemble?

From STEM to STEAM  (2 Minutes and 50 Seconds)

I was recently reading the March, 2020 issue of "Science Scope," a magazine written for middle school science teachers, published by the National Science Teaching Association.  

In this issue, I read the “From the Editor’s Desk” section and the title of the article, within the section was “From STEM to STEAM” written by Patty McGinnis.  

The article describes how her school’s annual career day has morphed from STEM to STEAM.

Best STEM Books (3 Minutes and 30 Seconds)

I was recently reading the March, 2020 issue of “Science Teacher,” a magazine published by the National Science Teaching Association.  

In this issue, I read the article “Best STEM Books.”  The books that appear in the list were chosen by a review panel made up of educators and otehr subject-area experts, all appointed by the National Science Teaching Association, and the Children’s Book Council.

They selected three books that are appropriate for grade 6-8 students.  The list includes:

  • “How to Become an Accidental Genius” by Elizabeth MacLeod and Frieda Wishinsky
  • “Save the Crash-test Dummies” by Jennifer Swanson
  • “Saving the Tasmanian Devil, How Science is Helping the World’s Largest Marsupial Carnivore Survive” by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent

Organizing for Student Success  (4 Minutes and 20 Seconds)

I was recently reading the March, 2020 issue of “NSTA Reports,” a publication published by the National Science Teaching Association.  

In this issue, I read the article “Organizing for Student Success.”  Science educators responded to a recent informal NSTA Reports poll and they were nearly unanimous (94.3%) in reporting they incorporate organizational strategies in their science or STEM teaching.

Also in the article were survey reports on “late work,” as well as educators sharing their favorite strategies for helping students organize and prioritize their work.

When Making Do Is Not Good Enough  (3 Minutes and 20 Seconds)

I was recently reading the February, 2020 issue of "Science Scope," a magazine written for middle school science teachers, published by the National Science Teaching Association.  

In this issue, I read the “From the Editor’s Desk” section and the title of the article, within the section was “When Making Do Is Not Good Enough,” written by Patty McGinnis.  

The article describes how our real focus in science education should be to convince our communities to wholeheartedly support science education.

Outstanding Science Trade Books for 2020  (3 Minutes and 20 Seconds)

I was recently reading the February, 2020 issue of “Science Scope” a magazine written for middle school science teachers, published by the National Science Teaching Association.  

In this issue, they listed the Outstanding Trade Books for Students in K-12, as determined by the Children’s Book Council and the National Science Teaching Association.

In this podcast, the top 5 middle school (6-8) books are highlighted.  They include:

  • The Electric War:  Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse and the Race to Light the World
  • Beyond Words: What Elephants and Whales Think and Feel
  • Undaunted: The Wild Life of Birute Mary Galdikas and Her Fearless Quest to Save Orangutans
  • Dreaming in Code, Ada Byron Lovelace, Computer Pioneer
  • The Poison Eaters: Fighting Danger and Fraud in Our Food and Drugs

Why Can I See My Breath on Cold Days? (4 Minutes)

I was recently reading the January, 2020 issue of "Science & Children,” a magazine written for elementary school science teachers, published by the National Science Teaching Association.  

In this issue, I read the “Science 101” section. The title of the article, within the section was “Why Can I See My Breath on Cold Days?,” written by Matt Bobrowsky.  

Although this magazine is written for teachers of elementary students, the concept of condensation is really not introduced to students until 5th or 6th grade.  So this topic is of interest to teachers of students at the beginning of middle school.  When a gas changes to a liquid, that is called condensation.

Sourdough Citizen Science -- (5 Minutes)

I was recently reading the January, 2020 issue of "Science Scope," a magazine written for middle school science teachers, published by the National Science Teaching Association.  

In this issue, I read the “Citizen Science” section. The title of the article, within the section was “Sourdough Citizen Science,” written by Jill Nugent.  

Sourdough Citizen Science provides the opportunity to learn more about microbial influences on bread, including rise and flavor.  For more information, please visit:

http://studentsdiscover.org/lesson/sourdough-for-science

Scientific Literacy in the Post-Truth Era (3 minutes, 14 seconds)

I was recently reading the January, 2020 issue of "Science Scope," a magazine written for middle school science teachers, published by the National Science Teaching Association.  

In this issue, I read the “From the Editor’s Desk” section, written by Patti McGinnis, the editor of Science Scope.  The title of the article was “Scientific Literacy in the Post-Truth Era.”  In this article, we learn about the need for our students to be able to gather, read, and synthesize information from multiple appropriate sources and assess the credibility, accuarcy and possible bias of each publication and methods used, and describe how they are supported or not supported by evidence. 

Phases of the Moon (3 minutes, 26 seconds)

I was recently reading the November/December, 2019 issue of "Science Scope," a magazine written for middle school science teachers, published by the National Science Teachers Association.  

In this issue, I read the “Disequilibrium” section. The title of the article, within the section was “The Phases of the Moon,” written by Cole Entress.  

Middle-level students most commonly suggest that the phases of the moon are caused by the Earth’s shadow.  In fact, the Moon is illuminated by the Sun in much the same way as the Earth—that is, one side of it is continuously in the path of the Sun’s rays. 


Using "Black Panther" to Understand the Periodic Table -- Sibrina Collins and LaVetta Appleby

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