The Exploratorium seeks to inspire learners by showing them how science is interesting, relevant and fun. Participants begin by experiencing the real phenomena of science. Encountering science phenomena naturally leads to questions created by each individual. When people ask their own questions, they truly want to know the answer. We then provide resources where they can do the work necessary to understand the science phenomena. In this presentation we will provide participants with simple materials, then give them sparse instructions, and turn them loose to explore. In this way we will model our way of doing active science learning. Turning the participants loose to explore and report on what they see means that a class will not progress according to a rigid plan. As a teacher you have to know how to deal with the resulting flow of ideas, it is like being a jazz performer in education, you have to be a superb musician/educator and go with the flow, all the while keeping track of where you want to take your audience. In the end, we’ll connect our explorations to the Next Generation Science Standards which emphasize the practices of doing science, as well as the cross-cutting themes, and content standards.
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