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Activities to introduce a science course

Many teachers begin a new course with a series of carefully planned introductory activities. These activities serve three purposes: they engage the students, set the scene for the course, and allow the teacher to identify students’ strengths, needs, and interests.

These activities can be planned during the first stages of designing a science programme, but will normally need to be refined when the course begins.

Here are some suggestions for introductory activities.

  • Organise a field trip early in the year. Video clips from this field trip can be used throughout the year. The field trip could be an outing to a local scientific venture or enterprise.
  • Organise a virtual field trip that students experience online. LEARNZ offers a comprehensive year-round programme of virtual field trips throughout Aotearoa New Zealand and Antarctica.
  • Pose a provocative hypothesis and either set up an interesting classroom experiment that will enable students to test it or give students a period in which to conduct online research and report back with an interim finding.
  • Invite a speaker from the science community to address the class, in person or by video conference.
  • Introduce a new skill – for example, microscopy or “ slowmation” modelling.

Last updated August 16, 2019