Teaching Science

States of Matter Game

A simple card game designed to reinforce states of matter and phase transitions. Cards represent either states of matter or phase transitions.

Players race to be the first to empty their hand, laying down state and transition cards in the correct sequence.

This print-and-play game is formatted to be printed on prepunched business card stock, making it fast to print a class set of games.

Linked in the grade 9 chemistry unit.

The Rock Cycle Game

A simple card game designed to reinforce the sequence of the rock cycle. Cards represent either materials (such as sedimentary rock) or processes (such as melting). Material cards have illustrations and descriptions of common rocks, such as chert or granite.

Players must follow the sequence of the rock cycle as they race to be the first to empty their hand.

This print-and-play game is formatted to be printed on prepunched business card stock, making it fast to print a class set of games.

Linked on the Earth & Space Science page.

Hot Earth Dreams

What will the Earth look like if severe climate change happens, and humans survive?

It is not an easy question to contemplate, let alone answer. If severe climate change happens, the Earth will continue to warm for centuries after we've exhausted our fossil fuels. Civilization will shatter, the great artworks and monuments vanishing as cities fall into rubble and coasts disappear beneath rising seas. There will be a mass extinction, coral reefs and ice sheets will disappear, and the survivors will migrate to new homes and habitats for generations as the climate continually changes. Only after hundreds of thousands of years will the climate to return to what we currently consider as normal.

Right now, this is our most likely future. Scary as it sounds at first, it is a future that is very much worth exploring. It's crazy, then horrible, then tough, and then increasingly strange. This clear-eyed overview weaves together the latest scientific research on climate change, mass extinction, collapse, and evolution, to describe a deep future that is ever-changing but very knowable.

Want to explore it? This is your sourcebook.

It is very difficult to get a good picture of what the world will be like as the climate warms — not just the increasing temperatures and rising sea levels, but the knock-on effects of those. Massive ecological damage, including virtually all of our staple crops… massive supply chain disruptions as ports are flooded and weather becomes unpredictable… not good news for a globalized world.

Not a terribly cheerful book, given the subject matter, but eminently readable. Dr. Landis has kept the chapters short enough that each one could be a single lesson.

I used chapters from this book to help set the scene for students. The reading level is perfect for teenagers: scientifically accurate without being technical.

Frank Landis is a professional botanist and ecologist working in California.

He is interested in putting the life back into science fiction and fantasy, and he likes looking at how humans relate to the natural world, how sustainable societies work, and writing, and (primarily) writing fun stories for people to enjoy. He also writes non-fiction, primarily botanical essays such as the ones posted on his blog.

When not writing, he works on conservation and sustainability issues.


Linked on the grade 10 climate page.

Here Comes Science: Music DVD and CD

Here Comes Science is a DVD/CD set of songs about science. The video for “Meet the Elements” was featured on boingboing.net, while the legendary rock version of “Why Does the Sun Shine? (The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas)” finally gets a fully realized studio reading, and even it’s own answer song. Danny Weinkauf contributes “I Am A Paleontologist” which would be used in the soundtrack to a national television campaign.

TRACK LIST
Science Is Real
Meet The Elements
I Am A Paleontologist w/ Danny Weinkauf
The Bloodmobile
Electric Car w/ Robin Goldwasser
My Brother The Ape
What Is A Shooting Star?
How Many Planets?
Why Does The Sun Shine?
Why Does The Sun Really Shine?
Roy G. Biv
Put It To The Test
Photosynthesis
Cells
Speed And Velocity w/ Marty Beller
Computer Assisted Design
Solid Liquid Gas
Here Comes Science
The Ballad Of Davy Crockett (In Outer Space)

The songs may be silly children’s songs, but the science is real. I show some of the videos while I'm waiting for the class to arrive.

Linked in the grade 9 science, grade 10 science, and grade 11 kinematics pages.

Rare Earth: Chemical Element Card Game

From cute little Hydrogen to heroic Meitnerium to mysterious Ununoctium, chemical element cartoon characters are bonding together, mixing-it-up and raiding each other’s Labs to capture Protons in this exciting card game.

With the
Rare Earth Chemical Element Card Game, every child has fun learning the fundamentals of Chemistry, Great for Science classrooms and entertaining for kids and families, players win by combining chemical element cards.

This game is built around forming binary ionic compounds. Bonding a new compound gets you an energy card, which lets you mix an alloy. Forming a compound or allow also lets you steal a compound or allow from one of your opponents.

An expansion pack is available that adds cards to make a complete periodic table.

The rules include several variants, making it suitable for different grades. For the basic game you don't need to know any chemistry — it’s built into the rules. I would start with the simplest version (intended for children) and add complexity if the class likes the game.

Rare Earth is designed for 2-6 players, so the average classroom would need 5-6 sets. Fortunately, there’s a classroom price: six sets plus an expansion pack for the price of five, with free shipping.

LeapCloud is a Canadian company, which makes shipping a lot more reasonable than it is for many products (and free if you order two products at once).

Linked in the grade 9 chemistry unit and grade 10 chemistry unit.