Understanding the world around you : lessons in environmental science for elementary school teachers and their students : an honors thesis (HONRS 499)
The following pages contain information and experiments for teachers and students interested in learning about their environment. Questions such as "Why do I see my breath in the winter?" and "How does a hot air balloon rise?" are answered by performing simple experiments and applying their newfound knowledge to practical applications.This information is divided into three main areas; air, soil, and water. Each section is divided into two parts; the basic properties of air, soil, or water with experiments to apply this knowledge and ecological problems concerning these subjects followed by related experiments. The main focus is to have children learn and enjoy science in a hands-on manner by explaining difficult concepts with simple experiments. The emphasis is on allowing children to research and answer their own questions by teaching them how scientists use hypotheses. These lessons are a change from "spoon feeding" information from teacher to student into cooperative learning of student from teacher and teacher from student. Small group interaction and cooperation is greatly encouraged as well.The experiments were designed to allow teachers to use cost effective, household items. Pictures have been included to visually explain the experiments. A brief, yet thorough explanation of the science behind each experiment is also provided.