Discovery Education’s Young Scientist Challenge has officially launched and this year’s theme is “The Science of Space.” In addition to being to being the premier national science competition for students in grades 5 through 8, this year’s challenge is also open to Discovery Educators. Any Discovery Educator can enter the contest and compete to win an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, DC for the competition finals where one DEN member will be chosen as “DEN’s Science Teacher of the Year.”
In a nutshell, you have until June 18, 2008 to make a short video about one of the following scientific pain points.
1. Newton’s Laws of Motion: Just the term sounds a bit formidable to non-physics majors. Using common language, modest equipment and a creative methodology, produce a short, non-threatening video introducing one of Newton’s Laws of motion. Your choice!
2. Acceleration: What in the world is that? Is that something I can do? Create a video demonstrating the concept of acceleration.
3. The first A in NASA: Aeronautics: Many earth/space and physical science curricula incorporate student construction of a model or paper airplane, rocket, or other flying contraption to learn about the forces involved in flight. It is rare to find one that works reliably. Demonstrate your best example: a student made “flying” device that is inexpensive, safe, reliable, and satisfying.
4. Centrifugal and Centripetal Force: What are they and what’s the difference? They sound a bit alike. Are they the same thing? Create a video demonstrating or explaining either…. or both.
5. Scope and Scale: When working in an earth/space science curriculum, large numbers are often encountered. Demonstrate a novel or engaging classroom method for scaling large numbers, great distances, or massive quantities.
These topics are tough to teach, but extremely important for our students to understand. Do you have an interesting method for introducing these concepts in the classroom? We’re looking for the top teachers in the country to show us how they demonstrate these scientific topics. The best videos will be shared with teachers across the country and you might just be crowned “DEN’s Science Teacher of the Year.”
For all the details, visit the official Discovery Education’s Young Scientist Challenge website. Good luck!