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Science Friday partners with educators and scientists to create free STEM activities, lessons, and resources for all learners.

Educational Resource

Fossil Detectives

In this activity, students will learn about the two main types of fossils, body and trace fossils. Students will observe and examine a set of fossils to classify them as body fossils and trace fossils. Students also will act as paleontologists and try to identify each fossil.

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Delicious Smelling Chemistry

Use household materials to investigate and explore your ability to smell an odor, then compare and contrast results to determine if some individuals have a better sense of smell than others. Observe the Maillard reaction and how different odor molecules are released into the air.

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Educational Resource

Make a Speaker

In this activity, students will learn how an electromagnet works by making a simple one. Using this knowledge, students will design a diagram to make a working speaker using household materials. Then students will follow instructions on one method of making a speaker, and test their own designs to compare results.

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Glowing in the Dark

In this activity, students will learn about phosphorescence and how certain materials can absorb and store energy from a light source. Students will use critical thinking skills to hypothesize which type of light -- incandescent, ultraviolet, infrared or fluorescent -- will produce the brightest glow from a glow-in-the-dark star. Students will perform an experiment using cameras to observe the intensity of the resulting glow from each type of light source.

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Educational Resource

How to Cultivate Moss

In this activity, to learn about the biological needs of mosses, students will grow and maintain their own moss terrarium. Through daily maintenance and observation, students will identify those factors necessary for the successful cultivation of moss.

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Educational Resource

Building A Solar House

Buildings that are called “green” or “environmentally sustainable” are designed to use energy as efficiently as possible. In Missouri, Washington University’s Tyson Living Learning Center achieves sustainability by incorporating green technologies in different ways, including the use of solar panels. In this activity, students will explore how solar panels work by building a simple circuit, a series circuit and a parallel circuit, using a solar panel to light a bulb and comparing which method yields the brightest light. Then students will build a solar-powered house using a shoebox, and test some variables to determine the most efficient way to harness solar energy to power a model home.

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Explosive Science

In this activity, students will use household materials to investigate and explore how the release of carbon dioxide gas from a chemical reaction can cause a small-scale explosion. Students then will experiment with variables to determine which factors launch a film canister the highest.

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Grabbing a Bite to Eat

In this activity, students will perform an experiment that replicates the dilemma that birds face in acquiring food from a confined area. Students will be given a variety of objects to use as “tools,” and will explore various ways of extracting the food item from an enclosed shoebox without directly using their hands. Students will compare and contrast which tools worked best, and use problem-solving skills to design and develop unique methods for extracting the food item from the shoebox.

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Educational Resource

Stream Table

In this activity, students will use a stream table to investigate river formations in two different landscape scenarios. Students will compare and contrast how the formation of the river differs if the topography of the land is changed from a flat plain to a terrain with hills and valleys.

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