Science and Children

Founded in September 1963, Science and Children is a peer-reviewed journal for elementary school teachers published by the Nationial Science Teachers Association of Arlington, Va. Its subjects include education and science (general).

Articles from Vol. 47, No. 6, February

Action Figures
With upper-elementary students, we find using the skeletal system to be a productive first step in learning about the various systems in the human body. Of all the systems, the skeletal system seems to be the most familiar to students. Students can...
Boulder Creek Study: Fifth Graders Tackle a Local Environmental Problem through an Inquiry-Based Project
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Boulder Creek runs literally in the backyard of Donnelly Elementary School, and we dreamed of developing a project related to it. We learned that this section of Boulder Creek is on the EPA list of impaired water bodies because...
Caveman Cereal
Early humans survived on a diet of meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and the occasional tuber. Up until now, most scientists thought cereals came later, approximately 20,000 years ago. But a new study published in Science hints that wild cereals were...
Community Fertilizer
Companies and communities trying to restore vegetation on damaged northern landscapes should think twice about using fertilizer to stimulate growth, according to new research published in Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research. Not all plants benefit...
From Mystery Seed to Mangrove Island: Find a Box, Hide a Local Natural Resource Inside, and Let Your Students Solve Scientific Mysteries!
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Have you ever walked into a classroom with a critter container or mystery box before? What is the first thing children ask? Whether they are kindergarteners or fifth graders, they almost always inquire, "What do you have in...
Helper Hats
We often use helpers in early childhood education, as students learn about their community, beginning with home and family and expanding to the broader community--nation, continent, and world. Scientists use special equipment to do their work, including...
How It's Made
In colonial times, children knew a lot about the products they used in their daily lives. There were no factories for making things, so their families and communities made furniture, wove cloth, and sewed clothes. Children made toys from natural objects...
Living off the Land: Fourth Graders Visit a Nature Preserve and Former Site of a Local Algonquian Tribe in Their Community
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Some teachers tell students the information that they need to know. Others may create elaborate models or find relevant resources to illustrate a concept. Sometimes, however, a complex concept can be taught by bringing students...
Local Gravestones
A visit to your local graveyard can provide not only a history lesson, but a science lesson as well. The new global citizen science program called EarthTrek, which is administered by The Geological Society of America, is in partnership with organizations...
Outdoor Classrooms
Every science lesson can't feature a field trip, and every school does not have space for a wooded nature trail. Are you yearning for ways to get your students outdoors? Even with limited resources, you can create an outdoor learning environment. Whether...
Q: Can We Protect Our Communities from Natural Disasters?
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] A There are two ways one might protect communities from natural disasters. One is to minimize the damage from disasters, and the other is to prevent the disasters in the first place. Humans have, with some success, prevented...
Reaching Out
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. --Margaret Mead I had one resource at my disposal for science instruction during my first year of teaching fifth...
Science and Journalism
Computer scientists aren't the only ones who need an education in computer science in this innovation-driven economy. Skills learned in computer science, like complex problem solving and analytical reasoning skills, are important for building a...
Shake It Up: Fifth Graders Learn How Building Codes Protect Communities from the Destructive Power of Earthquakes
One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake. It is important for students to understand that scientists cannot predict earthquakes, but they do track earthquake activity. If scientists know where earthquakes...
The Built Environment: Second Graders Look to the New York City Skyline and Their Community for a Lesson on Construction
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] My students live in apartments in brownstones, prewar buildings, and high-rise buildings. They experience water towers, subway stations, masonry buildings, and glass and steel constructions regularly. For a science teacher...
The Farmer in the Lab: Agriculture Connects Students with Their Community and Offers Opportunities for Scientific Investigation
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The farming days of our past may be gone, but that is no excuse for children to not know where their food comes from. In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (2007) Barbara Kingsolver laments, "North American children...
Treasure Map ... Adapted from Lentil Science #71
1. Create a lentil landscape. Add stand-up props that you design, and other natural objects. 2. Bury a penny treasure somewhere in the box. 3. Draw an accurate map so a friend can easily locate your buried penny! [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] ...
Turtle Girls: A Visit to a Sea Turtle Hospital Inspires Civic Involvement
[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The day the Turtle Girls received Montel's adoption papers, piercing screams ricocheted across the school grounds instantaneously and simultaneously--in that moment, each student felt the joy of civic stewardship. The spark...
Using Learning Progressions to Monitor Progress across Grades: A Science-Inquiry Learning Profile for preK-4 Students
Learning progressions (LPs)--descriptive continuums of how students develop and demonstrate more sophisticated understanding over time--have become an increasingly important tool in today's science classrooms. There is a growing body of knowledge surrounding...