The Best Part First
The best part about teaching the scientific method is this glow stick lab. The combination of glow sticks and turning off the lights on the first day of school ALWAYS leaves them in awe and thirsty for more.
Every year, my students embark on this glow stick lab during the first day of school, and they talk about it all year long.
I use this lab to review the scientific method. It involves a simple question: How does water temperature affect the brightness of glow sticks?
For this lab, we jump right to the experiment because research will give away the answer. Students form their hypotheses and explain their plans.
The Scientific Method
As summer’s warmth begins to fade and the scent of freshly sharpened pencils fills the air, it’s evident that the back-to-school season is upon us once again and science teachers will be reviewing the scientific method.
Back to School: A Journey of Discovery
The return to the classroom signifies a journey of discovery for both students and teachers. By embracing the principles of the scientific method, educators can create an environment that encourages curiosity, exploration, and critical thinking. This methodical approach to learning not only enhances students’ understanding of subjects but also equips them with valuable problem-solving skills for life.
Steps of the Scientific Method: A Blueprint for Success
The scientific method is a systematic approach used by scientists to investigate natural phenomena. It comprises several key steps that can be seamlessly integrated into the classroom:
- Observation: Encourage students to observe and question their surroundings, fostering a sense of wonder and curiosity.
- Question Formulation: Guide students to ask meaningful questions that spark inquiry and exploration. These questions lay the foundation for their learning journey.
- Research: Learn more about the question you are asking and become an expert on the topic.
- Hypothesis Creation: Teach students how to formulate educated guesses or hypotheses based on their observations and existing knowledge. This step fosters critical thinking and encourages students to make connections between concepts.
- Experimentation: Engage students in hands-on activities that allow them to test their hypotheses. This practical approach promotes active learning and helps students understand the importance of evidence-based conclusions.
- Analyze Results: Teach students how to collect and analyze data from their experiments. This step reinforces math and analytical skills while highlighting the significance of drawing conclusions from the evidence.
- Conclusion Drawing: Guide students in drawing conclusions based on their data analysis. Emphasize the importance of revisiting their hypotheses and discussing whether their findings support or refute them.
Solidify with Active Learning
Once you have reviewed the steps of the scientific method, the best way to solidify your students’ understanding is by taking an active role in the learning process. They need to try the steps on their own.
The Glow Stick Lab
This lab is simple and low-prep, and your students are going to LOVE it. All you need is a few packs of glow sticks, cups, and water (solid and liquid).
Students design their own experiments, carry out the seven steps of the scientific method, and enjoy every moment of it.
Try this on the first day of school and watch them “light up” with excitement.
Watch the video below to see all of the steps to the glow stick experiment!
Check out the full lesson plan available in my shop.
The Back to School Science Bundle is available at my TPT store!