Discovery Education SCIENCE and the 5E Model: Whitney Mihoulides #SSDOD2011

A DEN Account Manager for Discovery Education, Whitney Mihoulides focuses her presentation on digital media in the Science classroom. Students are engaging with technology and digital media outside the classroom, so why not bring it inside the classroom. Digital media lets students see at the micro and sub-micro levels something you could not otherwise see. While digital media will not replace hands-on lab work, Discovery Science is designed to enhance your classroom inquiry.

Today we are approaching the 5 E’s in a linear progression.

Engagement is about getting students involved, generating interest. As an educator, you need to know your scope and sequence, students’ prior knowledge, and common misconceptions. Done in Flash, 5 Minute Preps are a part of the lesson design in Discovery Science, both at the middle and high school level. 5 Minute Preps give the key ideas in a digital format. To use Discovery Science, your school district needs to add it as part of their subscription service.

Depending on your platform, Science Elementary and Science Middle, your platform will look different, but each has the 5 Minute Preps. Examples of things Discovery Science has to Engage include: images/clip art, animations, simulations, scientific demonstrations, DE “fundamentals” and interactive videos, short video segments, sound effects and songs. Videos are a powerful engagement tool because students can change their schema by dispelling myths about a concept.

Exploration is an interactive introductory tool about a concept. It allows students to drag and drop and learn different processes and how the results occur. It constructs and connects patterns for determining an outcome or result. In this stage, students extend their understanding and move toward major conceptual pieces you are beginning to explore.

The beauty of Discovery Science is that everything you need for robust lesson plans are embedded in the program. What a science teacher can love about Discovery Science is the virtual exploration. You do not release a thousand fruit flies in your classroom or torture geckos hands on, but rather explore digitally the advance learning experience.

Explain activities are created to meet all levels of learning modalities and enable students to learn in multi-media formats. In this phase, students begin to demonstrate their level of understanding with and without formative and summative assessments.

A teacher’s role is defined in relation to the student’s ability to proceed with a level of conceptual understanding. Science has an Assessment Manager that lets the teacher customize standards and benchmarks based on your state’s standards that drive state assessments.

Elaborate is the next step and involves the student as a creator of content s/he has consumed. It gives students an opportunity to take what they have learned and extend beyond the classroom walls and create content that extends beyond the classroom walls. An example might be to create an Animoto to explain why a particular job might become a career pathway. Or a VoiceThread to explore the scientific method is another possibility.

Evaluate is the final E and gives students the opportunity to expand and solidify their understanding of the concept and/or apply it to a real world situation. Students can take a self-assessment on their own, and the tools are embedded within Discovery Science. You can assign a self-assessment that you may or may not see, as well as assessment that you do view.

A very special thank you to Whitney for sharing a great Discovery resource. If you have any questions, please contact Whitney Mihoulides at

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