Classroom Science Units

Let us help you teach those more difficult Science topics with our Hands-On Expertise

Would you like some of the difficult-to-teach Science topics taught for you and designed by teachers to meet state objectives?

Would you like hands-on Science classroom curriculum topics taught in your classroom or on site in these difficult areas?

Curious Kids’ Museum presents: Curious classroom curriculum units for you and your students

  1. All units are designed to meet Michigan state benchmarks and standards
  2. All units are adapted for each elementary grade level at the Museum or off-site.
  3. All units were selected by teachers in southwest Michigan and northern Indiana in teacher surveys.
  4. All units utilize activities and experiments not found in the classroom or easily accessible by teachers.

Objectives Of Curious Classroom Curriculum Units

        • to increase hands-on Science Education in schools and community families by utilizing Museum exhibits: linking school, museum and home while furthering life-long learning, enjoyment and understanding of the world around us.
        • to develop partnerships with schools in order to increase Curious Kids’ Museum’s service to direct instructional needs through visits using curriculum topics designed by educators and maximize staff resources and materials for Science and Cultural sessions.
        • to become the “Educators’ Museum” by:
          • providing innovative educational programming, resources and exhibits that expand the Museum’s impact;
          • assisting teachers with Michigan educational curriculum standards;
          • becoming a resource in Science and Cultural Instruction in southwest Michigan

How to Register and Costs

Curious Classroom Curriculum Classes differ from the Museum’s Outreach Program and from a Museum Field trip in the following ways:

        • Curriculum topics are taught in direct, instructional classroom oriented teaching, based on the teacher’s objectives.
        • Students learn these Science subjects by direct instruction, demonstration and by exploring hands-on stations (five tables or more) in each subject.
        • Curious Classroom Curriculum units are offered at your school site or at Curious Kids’ Museum or Water curriculum topics are offered at the new Curious Kids’ Discovery Zone in the new Silver Beach attraction below the bluff.
        • Classroom Curriculum Units are available throughout the school year.
        • Classroom Curriculum units are taught at The Museum on Monday and Tuesday only, when the Museum is closed to the public to maximize students’ use of exhibits.

Off-site & On-site cost: $150 first hour. $45 each additional hour.

Curious Classroom Topics

sound... and light... and electricity... and simple machines... AND earth science

Sound

page_classroomunitsThis 1 to 2 hour program will introduce your students to the scientific principles of sound based on the current state standards. Following an engaging instructional session, your students will explore our sound stations loaded with hands-on sound tools. Your Students Will Learn:

        • What is sound energy
        • Describe the properties of sound
        • How is sound produced
        • How does sound travel through different media
        • Why do we sometimes hear echoes & how they are used
        • What makes the different sounds we hear
        • How do we hear sound
        • How does vibration affect sound
        • Why do different instruments sound different
        • What is the Doppler effect
        • How the ear really works

The sound exploration stations include the pepper dance, thunder tube, slinky echo, whisper tube, vibrations, pitch, the always popular instrument petting zoo, and dozens more.

Light

Your students will be “enlightened” by this unit and introduced to the basic scientific concepts of Light in a fun and educational way. Following an instructional presentation your students will explore a variety of exciting and engaging light stations. Your Students Will Learn:

        • What is energy
        • Why light is a form of energy
        • What are the properties of light
        • Where does light come from
        • How light travels
        • What causes shadows
        • What happens when light travels from one substance to another
        • Why we need light to see things around us
        • Why do we see colors
        • What happens when we mix colors
        • Is there a difference between color in lights and color in objects
        • What is the difference between conductive and reflective material
        • Why some materials are heated more by light energy

The light discovery stations include solar spectrum, shadows, light mixers, CD spinners, holograms, miracle mirror, refraction, reflections, water prisms, look into infinity, and much, much more.

How Electricity is Made, Electrical Safety Program

This exciting unit features Hands-On Instruction, Activities, and Exhibits which take students through the process of making electricity. Students will also engage in hands-on activities about electrical safety. Your students will learn:

        • Electricity is a form of Energy
        • How Electrical Energy is transferred and changed through the use of a simple circuit
        • How electricity can be changed to another form of energy
        • How to complete and stop a circuit
        • What happens when stored electricity becomes electrical energy
        • To identify objects that are good and poor conductors of electricity through trial and error and the difference in each
        • What a magnetic field is by using a variety of magnets and where/what the poles are
        • What a magnet is, types of metals that are magnets and the strength of magnets
        • How an electric current can produce a magnetic field
        • To create electromagnets and how to increase the strength and how it is a temporary magnet
        • How magnetic objects are affected by the strength and distance of a magnet
        • The importance of Electrical Safety via a presentation of our Portable Electrical Safety Unit.
        • The Portable Electrical Safety Unit begins with the basic creation of electricity through protons, electrons and neutrons and then visits the hazards that the power of electricity can create. This is done through an interactive model so that the students will see different types of electrical safety scenarios.
        • On-site, experience the new “Kid Power - How Electricity is Made” using Nuclear Energy giant hands-on exhibit. (Electricity exhibits on site and the portable classroom electricity and electrical safety exhibits are made possible by Indiana Michigan Power and AEP-Heart of Cook.)

Outer Space—Earth in Space & Time

Study the night sky and space either at your site or at Curious Kids’ Museum with the huge portable planetarium, StarLab. Whether for 1st and 2nd graders or for 4th thru-6th graders, StarLab recreates inside this 12 foot planetarium, a close up look at the stars and planets accompanying Earth around the Sun. Surrounding StarLab are 5-7 tables of Space and Astronomy hands-on activities. Students will remember lessons in:

        • Characteristics of objects in the sky
        • Patterns of objects in the sky
        • Relationship and distances between Sun, Moon, Earth; path of the Sun, Moon and Earth
        • Orbits of planets, planetary positions
        • Sky constellations—Find the North Star, identify important stars
        • Cultural differences and similarities among space folklore and mythology of the Greeks, Africa, Chinese and Native American civilizations. Compare/contrast expectations.

 

Earth Sciences, Water and Outer Space

These Earth Science Curriculum units address State Science Elementary School Benchmarks and some MEAP objectives. The Concepts were chosen, as were the other Curious Classroom Curriculum Science units, in response to teacher requests for assistance with these topics. Units were designed and developed in consultation with a certified Earth and Space Science Elementary and Junior High School Teacher, Matt Severin, as well as trained Curious Kids’ science Instructors. [Units can be taught at your site, or at Curious Kids’ Discovery Zone-for the Water units particularly, or at Curious Kids’ Museum.]

Water, Earth’s Most Vital Resource

Each Water objective will be taught to the grade level it occurs in your school. Water classes for all grade levels are most effective when taught at the new Curious Kids’ Discovery Zone (Mondays and Tuesdays) with its 6 new Hands-on Water Exhibits (as well as other fun exhibits for students). When possible or desired, units will involve the environment nearby, St. Joseph River and Lake Michigan. Water units are adapted to your different grade level and will address any of the following objectives you choose:

        • Describe how water exists on Earth in three states
        • Trace the path that rainwater follows after it falls
        • Identify sources of water
        • Describe the origins of pollution in the hydrosphere
        • Explain how water exists below the Earth’s surface and how it is replenished
        • How humans use water
        • Our St. Joseph River Watershed size, shape, location, habitats, animals, pollution prevention
        • Additional water topics: Water Conservation/Clean Drinking Water, Forces of Water,
        • How Waves are formed; Simple Machines using Water.
        • How Groundwater moves through soil, sand, rock
        • Hands-on Exhibits and Activities, grade-level oriented: Wriggling Water Droplets, Groundwater Race,
        • Groundwater Model and Plume demo, Density-Tinfoil Boat Displacements, Locks & Dams, Fantastic Cloud Maker and more. Students will use the Large, Hands-on new Water Exhibits to demonstrate the concepts above:
        • Lake Michigan Water Table: Water currents, Wind Generators, Locks/dams to lower and raise Lake Michigan Water levels, 20 offshore Shipwrecks and their histories, Water Mushrooms, Build a Boat & more. (Physical and Earth Science, History, Engineering)
        • Water Power Tower: 15 hands on activities showing water power use by humans.
        • Hand pumping water to tower (like African children), measuring tower water fill, Archimedes Screw, Water Turbines, Build a Pipe engineering, Water Wheels, Heroes Engine, Tippy Buckets, Vortex, Torricelli Pressure Pipe, Squirt gun forces and more. (Physical & Earth Sciences, Force & Motion, Energy)
        • Wave Table: Students learn how waves are made by wind and how waves sculpt land (Earth Science, Force and Motion)
        • Bio-Sand Filter-Simple biological algae and sand layers provide clean drinking water for millions of children in poverty around the world. (Earth Science, Life Science, Health)
        • Groundwater Climbing Wall—where our water is stored underground and how it works (Water)
        • Groundwater Model and underground movement of water through particles of soil, sand (Water)
        • How drinking water underground gets polluted and spreads the pollution (Water Conservation)
        • Watersheds: St. Joseph River Watershed model w. habitats, animals,pollution (Watersheds)

Simple/complex machines unit:

In this 1-2 hour class, your students will receive an introduction to simple/complex machines, demonstrations on simple machines that save work for humans, and learn extensive simple/complex machines used in: kitchens, art rooms, tool garages, autos, musical instruments and playgrounds. Students will learn:

        • Force and movement at work, pushing, pulling objects over distances
        • Measuring the amounts of force needed to move objects
        • Types of Simple/Complex Machines by hands-on manipulations
        • Ways Simple/Complex machines save humans work in a variety of arenas
        • What Friction means thru activities involving overcoming or creating friction
        • Searching/finding machines at work with the Simple/Complex machines Treasure Hunt

Simple/Complex Machine Unit Stations Include:

Lever, Inclined Plane, Wheel and Axle, Screw, Pulley, Wedge, Friction, Complex Machines, and an active Machines Treasure Hunt using Museum Exhibits.