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Problem Solving Activities - Science

Discussion in 'Science' started by emmagibby, May 3, 2010.

  1. Hi folks,
    I'm wondering if there is anyone out there who can help me to find what I am looking for.
    I'm wanting to find some short snappy problem solving activities for pupils in year 8 to carry out in small groups. Ideally I'm hoping to create a circus of activities for the pupils to visit. At each station they will be provided with a set of materials/equipment and be required to either "do" something with them to solve a problem or come up with an explanation as to why something is happening. It doesn't need to relate to any particular topic, it is purely an exercise to develop skills. I have a couple of ideas already, but could do with some more.
    Looking forward to hearing your suggestions! [​IMG]
  2. A little more detail might help readers to know what kind of thing you're looking for. Perhaps you could describe the theme?
    I did a sequence I called survival science. The students were 'stranded on a desert island' and had to:
    • distill water for drinking
    • reflect light for signalling passing ships
    • generate electricity for radio
    • figure out a food chain to choose which fish would be best to live on
    • use rock samples and a map to predict where best to shelter from wind and volcanic ash
    • make their own compass
    • choose five of ten available crates of food to get a balanced diet
    Is this the kind of thing you're after?

  3. taitie

    taitie New commenter

    Wow! sorry to jump in here but that sounds brilliant!! Any chance of a bit more info??
  4. Don't have anything to hand here, but should be fairly easy for most of us to put together some of these - you could always do three per lesson, build it up slowly! I found it a useful way to review a few different KS3 topics, always aiming for something that would take 15-20 minutes. Some of them grew out of individual lesson plenaries - in fact, that might be where I got the idea from in the first place. Let's see if I can remember the info for one of them:
    Finding our way
    • Bullet points of archaic methods of navigation, before GPS and road signs!
    • Making a magnet - intro paragraph and picture of needle suspended on cork floating in water
    • Offer equipment, including a few red herrings (brass or copper needles, for example), and a magnet that is too heavy to use as a compass needle
    • Can they correctly identify which corner of the room is closest to magnetic north?
    It was something like that for each activity. You could award points for each one if you wanted, make it a competition - maybe provide bounty bars for the winners?

    I'll see if I have an electronic copy at home somewhere...

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