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Science Magic on the Playground

iSchool for the Future: Where imagination comes to play! This is so much more than a slogan to us, but rather an integral part of our practices, vision, and values.   Play is about engaging the whole mind and body in something fun yet meaningful, all the while making learning effortless and lasting.  We incorporate […]

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iSchool’s Mini Maker Fair with a Science Flare offers hands-on fun, brings community together

Children and adults of all ages were awed and amazed as they zipped balloons across the room, created spider art, and let test tube foam explosions drip down their arms.  These hands-on experiences were part of a free Mini Maker Fair with a Science Flare held on Saturday, May 31, 2014 from 1-4 pm at […]

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Learning from Failure – through games and rockets

iSchool has identified a list of Social and Emotional Life Skills that are essential to success in the 21st Century.  One of those skills is the ability to accept, embrace, and learn from failure.  As adults we know that failure is important to growth and change.  But in schools and as parents we want children […]

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Hands-on happiness at iSchool programs

One of our operating principles is to make each of our learning opportunities as hands-on as possible.  Research backing the benefits of hands-on learning are voluminous and well-supported. (For a sampling, check out this Top 5 benefits list, a discussion of hands-on methods in math, and this scholarly summary.)  What I would add is that […]

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Easy, at-home science: Balloon blow-up

Science isn’t just for science class! Science is simply a way of thinking about life rationally, exploring questions about our world, and being amazed! Make science part of your family’s daily life with these easy at-home activities.     Balloon Blow-Up You will be a star when you do this activity for your kids. It’s […]

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The Results Are In! Monthly Trash Cleanups Win Eco-Project Vote

With over one quarter of students at Forestville Elementary School voting, the results are clear: Students don’t want trash on their school grounds – and they are willing to get outside to do something about it.   iSchool for the Future was pleased with the interest and turnout in the Eco-Project vote.  188 students from […]

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Embracing multiple activities in class; Data analysis results

This week’s Science Magic class was an interesting one for me, because I initiated three different activities to take place simultaneously.  This was one of my efforts towards bringing one of iSchool’s core philosophies to life: individualized approaches to bring out the best in individual students.  By now, several weeks into the session and towards […]

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Empathy and science – Changing the world

In Innovation Lab last week we explored renewable energy, playing around with solar, hydro, and chemical power.  As always, it was a fun and dirty day!   We went outside to explore solar energy and hydro power.  We used a small windmill (which also helped students think about wind power) with a solar panel to […]

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When the Teacher doesn’t know the answer… Oxygen and More

This past week I went into my two classes with more questions than answers for my students. See my last posting to read about Innovation Lab. This one is about Science Magic. I entered class with questions and no answers, which is quite unlike me – I like to test everything beforehand.  But this is […]

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When the Teacher doesn’t know the answer… Buildings and More

As it happened, this week was an interesting one for me because I went into each iSchool class at Forestville with a question – and no correct answer.  In both classes, I relied on the interest, creativity, and imaginations of the students to drive the class.  And in both cases – it worked!  In this […]

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Ants and jellybeans: Appreciating small things

In Science Magic this week we looked for magic in little things.  Ants were the starting point for our lesson that mixed scientific investigation, biodiversity, teamwork, communication, appreciation, sleuthing, and jellybeans! There were new students in class, so we started the class with animal-based introductions. Each student told the others about their favorite large and […]

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Earth Week, our impact, and a bit of fun on the side

In Innovation Lab last week we celebrated Earth Day, Earth Week, and Arbor Day by thinking about our impact on the world and then thinking about innovative to reduce negative impacts on the world.   We started with a brief discussion of climate change, reminding students that living things get used to climate, and then […]

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Forests, water, and our world

Happy Earth Day!   In honor of Earth Day, Arbor Day, and Earth Week, iSchool students learned about the importance of forests.  The activity is a fun, dirty, outdoor, hands-on exploration of forests using a model of a hill.  It’s also great for family science time. Be careful – you will get dirty!   Materials: […]

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iSchool at the 2014 Annual School Environmental Action Showcase

iSchool for the Future demonstrated its unique STEAM SELTM approach to science education during Thursday’s 2014 Annual School Environmental Action Showcase, generating interest from students and politicians alike.   The iSchool Team   The 2014 Annual School Environmental Action Showcase is sponsored by NoVA Outside and George Mason University and brings together schools, students, and […]

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A Science Magic Moment from the Great Falls Library

Enjoy this short show about our Great Falls Library Science Magic Class. Free picture slideshow personalized with Smilebox

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Wrapping up our Great Falls Library course with Environmental Action

This past week was our last Science Magic class with home-schooled students at the Great Falls Library in Great Falls, VA.  The 10-week session seemed to fly by!     To complete the session, students each gave a short presentation on their favorite topics, and participated in a service project.  These two steps illustrate the […]

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Getting ready for the Environmental Action Showcase at George Mason University

Getting ready for the Environmental Action Showcase at George Mason University, last week our students were movie stars!   Forestville Innovation Lab Update:   After spending the previous weeks reviewing their activities and findings and brainstorming ideas for solving waste and consumption ideas at the school, the students began making a video to share their […]

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Putting It All Together

Forestville Elementary Innovation Lab update:   In Innovation Lab last week we took a look at all the work we have done so far in the Eco-Schools USA process and realized it’s been a lot! We have surveyed recycling, trash, and energy waste, examined composting viability, and tried out novel ways to reuse materials and […]

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Do you know how seeds and tree buds are similar?

  We all know what seeds are – but have you ever noticed tree buds? Tree buds are those small, pointy “cones” on branches.  Depending on the tree species, tree buds may be along the branch or only at the end, sometimes alone or in multiples. Tree buds contain baby leaves and/or flowers.  Some are […]

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