With my 17 year old working for the summer, I decided to switch things up a bit for summer school this year! What IF… we learn about things the kids want to learn about? Crazy, right?
So I sat down with each of them, old fashioned pen and paper in hand, and we made lists.
To no one’s surprise, my son’s list is all science, science, and more science. With only a few suggestions from me, my son whipped up a mainly science-minded list in about five minutes flat. It was easy-peasy. Now, I just have to find materials and resources he can use to learn about these things, right? 😉
The Interest-Led Science List
As you can see, it’s quite the list! He’s been asking to learn about some of these for quite some time now!
I’ve been trying to find some good resources for him to use. Preferably free, of course. Free is always better. =)
I’ve actually been finding quite a bit, so today let’s just focus on the physics/chemistry area. Simple and compound machines, work, etc.. I think these things also technically fall under the category of “physics.” But I’ve pulled that one out separately, because it seems like a good approach to me, to start there, then dig a little further into additional physics topics. After covering physics, we’ll move on to chemistry.
That said, there is way too much source material here for us to use! But since I want my son to help choose how long we spend on a topic, I want to have plenty for him to pick and choose from.
Middle School Physics and Chemistry Topics to Learn About:
*Note: I link to three items on Amazon below, and when I do, I’ve used my affiliate links.
Simple (And Compound) Machines
- Watch this Introductory Video on Simple Machines from PBS.org.
- Watch more videos about simple and compound machines at WatchKnowLearn.org.
- Play this “Simple Machines” game on BriainPop to introduce simple machines, along with corresponding video and lessons. (You can turn the sound off!)
- Use this 6th-8th Grade Level Unit on Simple Machines from Teach Engineering.com. It contains nine days of lessons and approximately 345 minutes of material (lessons and activities combined.)
- Browse these resources on Simple Machines & Work, at www.Science-class.net: worksheets, activities, slideshows, online quizzes, etc.
- Check out this lesson on Compound Machines at ck12.org.
- Play this Rube Goldberg game on Zoom/PBSkids.org. A Rube Goldberg machine is a compound machine!
- For hands on fun, I’m looking at this Ignition Series, “Simple Machines” kit on Amazon for $13.63.
- Wonderville.org – Create a free parent or student account, go to resources, look for “Forces & Energy”
- Watch this presentation on Prezi.com that explains the physics behind a Rube Goldberg machine.
- Watch this really amazing Rube Goldberg machine that uses marbles and magnets to demonstrate physics.
- Use this “Exploring Energy” Unit for 5th-6th Grades from TeachEngineering.com. Six one-hour lessons with activities.
- Play this “Fly to Mars” Game on BrainPop, along with the corresponding lesson plans.
- Play this “Go, Vector, Go” Game on BrainPop, along with the corresponding video and lesson plans.
- Use this “What are Newton’s Laws?” Unit for 5th-7th Grades from TeachEngineering.com. Four 60-minute sessions.
- Use this “Energy of Motion” Unit for 6th-8th Grades from TeachEngineering.com. Ten lessons with activities, 715 minutes of material.
- Use this “Force of Friction” Unit for 6th-9th Grades from TeachEngineering.com. 300 minute sof materials.
- Watch more videos on physics at ScienceKids.co.nz.
- For hands-on learning, I’m looking at this Thames and Kosmos 300pc Physics Workshop Kit on Amazon for $37.21.
- Wonderville.org – Create a free parent or student account, go to resources, look for “Matter & Chemistry”
- Use this 5th-7th Grade Unit on Mixtures and Solutions from Teach Engineering.com. It contains 5 days of lessons and approximately 240 minutes of material.
- Check out this complete Chemistry study on MiddleSchoolChemistry.com! Lesson plans with videos, activities, downloads, and experiments.
- Hands on experiments and activities at ACS.org.
- Middle school chemistry activities at Education.com.
- Kitchen Chemistry Science Experiments at FizzicsEducation.com.au.
- Watch more videos about chemistry at ScienceKids.co.nz.
- To expand our chemistry supplies, I’m looking at this Chemistry Lab set on Amazon for $29.24.
Phew! That’s a lot of science!
I feel like we could spend all summer keeping ourselves busy with just these topics–and who knows, we might. But I also know that my son really wants to start learning about coding and computers, so we shall see. =)
For now, that’s a good start! Next I’ll start researching coding, programming, computers, (and Minecraft.) Stay tuned…
Image Credits: Public Domain, Tubes, Tools, Einstein, People
What a fantastic list of resources! I love the interest led approach to physics and chemistry. It takes the fear out of those subjects and adds some wonder and excitement. Pinning and sharing!
Thank you, Marci! My son is just so interested in these things!
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