Friday, January 22, 2016

Mystery Science Lessons: Getting Students to Think and Talk Like Scientists

As of today, teachers can get a free Mystery Science account. There are many many reasons to love this tool for teaching science in your elementary classroom. First off, all lessons are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, at the moment that is what our school district is aligning our science curriculum with. Then, of course, there is the fact that the lesson is all prepared for the classroom teacher. The only thing that the teacher needs to do is collect the supplies and guide students through the presentation created by the folks at Mystery Science. Lastly, THE STUDENTS LOVE THE LESSONS! The lessons are interactive and extremely engaging.

Video of four third grade classes participating in a Mystery.

Videos of a fifth grade classes participating in a Mystery.

Here is what Mystery Science explains as their mission...

Overview of Mystery Science

At Mystery Science, we think the overall purpose of science education is the same as all the other subjects: to prepare children to thrive as adults--to prepare them to achieve their values and be happy in the world. But science class has a unique contribution to this goal. It’s in science class that children acquire the proper habits of thinking and problem-solving. And they do this while learning lots of useful knowledge about the physical world around them.

Mystery Science is unique from other science curricula both in what is taught and in how it is taught. We promise that even you, the teachers, will be astounded by what you learn during the course of teaching a Mystery to their students.

Every scientific conclusion began as a mystery in the world—someone was surprised by something they experienced and they set out to discover the cause behind it. So every Mystery Science lesson begins by presenting students with a mystery. Students are guided to make observations and connections between what they’re observing to help them resolve the mystery. The scientific conclusion is the climax of this investigation—the solution to the mystery.

Mystery Science meets and exceeds the new Next Generation Science Standards. In addition, it incorporates the latest research about how to address and uproot students’ natural misconceptions about the world. And most important of all, every lesson meets our own MS Motivational Standards (MSMS).