Science activities can be very effective learning tools if they are properly designed. A properly design science activity will engage students, it will entertain them and it will introduce a science concept in an interesting way. Science activities that are not properly designed will be boring and basically a waste of class time. Below are four tips that will help you to design an effective and fun science activity for your middle school students.
Tip #1 Make the Activity Active
The best way to make a science activity more interesting and fun for students is to make it active. Active science activities are going to get students moving and interacting with science tools and concepts. A good example of an active science activity is having the students go outside and to collect data on plant and animal species on the school ground. On the flipside, an inactive science activity is having the student complete a worksheet. As you can see the first activity is going to be more fun for the student because it gives them something novel to do.
Tip #2 Make the Activity Interesting
One problem that science teachers have is making science interesting to their middle school students. This age group has all ready developed a set of interests and anything outside that set of interests is basically ignored or thought to be boring or uninteresting. In order for teachers to develop an interesting science activity they will need to find a way to connect the science concept with something that the students are interested in. For example, if the activity is about electronics concepts then the teacher can incorporate remote control vehicles or robots in their activity.
Tip #3 Make the Activity Relevant
Another way to get kids engaged in a science activity is to design is so that it is relevant to them. This is a good idea as it helps to show kids that what they are learning about does impact them and their lives. Teachers can link science concepts to what is happening in the world today by using news stories and products in their introduction of the science activity.
Tip #4 Make the Activity Quick
Middle school students still have a relatively short attention span, particularly when they are faced with a science activity. Teachers need to make sure that the science activities that they plan do not exhaust students or last longer than the activity can keep their attention. The timing of a science activity generally will be 50 to 75 percent of a single class period for middle school students. Longer activities will need to be a lot of fun or very interesting.