Are We Part of your Approved Vendor List?

Happy Summer, teacher friends! I have a couple of questions for you.   I know, I know...there's a rule about no tests during summer.  But, this test only requires a raise of an arm. No groaning, this will be fun. Ready? Here we go! Show of hands: Who loves shopping with Steve Spangler Science? Yay! We love to know so many of you out there are [...]

A Test Is Just A Piece of Paper

Many students tend to get stressed when it's quiz or test time.  It's almost as though they fear the questions will burn when they're touched. I want to tell students - all students - not to worry so much, so I think I will do just that: Dear Students: It’s just a piece of paper. It's not THE STANDARDIZED TEST, but learning to relax when [...]

No Lesson Plan – Just Insta-Snow

Meet Alan Marshall, who came with his dad to a meeting in our building today.  What a great kid!  Alan brought his iPad to pass the time, but when I saw him passing my office, I thought I'd see how he liked some Insta-Snow, as well. I think this picture sums up the experience.  Alan was excited about telling his dad what [...]

My Spot Dot Red Thumb – Six Years Old and Still Glowing Strong

I've carried my Spangler Science Spot Dot Red Thumb in my purse or briefcase for six years. I like to keep it with me because I use it. A lot. I use it when I lecture because my students can't keep their eyes off it and it keeps them awake. I love the looks on their faces; they're not sure if they're really [...]

Oh, Those Middle School Students!

Let me ask you something: what do you remember about middle school?  I’ve been asking a lot of people this question, and I was frankly pretty surprised that most of these people either remembered very little about it or remembered it as a traumatizing experience.  Most of them, however, remember one or two teachers at that level who are beloved even [...]

Avengers, X-Men, Loki, the Culinary Arts and Polymers

As I dug through my briefcase last Friday morning, I discovered some test tubes full of polymers. What. Doesn't everybody carry test tubes of polymers in his/her briefcase? Well, apparently I do. I didn't want to waste an opportunity. Just down the hall from the college office, there is a Culinary Arts department full of high school students earning dual credits for both [...]

How a Device Used to Kill Humans Saved Penguins

Humans Saved Penguins By Trying to Kill Other Humans Be honest: do you like penguins? The answer is yes. You love penguins just like everyone else. You've watched Happy Feet more times than your 11-year-old niece has sang "Let It Go" in the last 5 months. (Don't worry, we won't talk about how much you cried during March of the Penguins.) Well, what would you [...]

Education for Every Child Based on Their Individual Interests and Learning Needs

Let's stop arguing and let teachers teach.  As our public education system slips and slides down the international scale of standards and knowledge, our students and teachers are paying the price in a system run by fear and teaching to the test. What has happened to education in America? A simple answer is politics. Instead of working together to improve a once solid system, [...]

Reading, Observation, & Funky Times

  When we read, we are doing far more than interpreting symbols on a page.  We are privileged.  We are invited guests.  We are peeking through windows, listening through keyholes, using context clues to figure out what’s going on in both familiar and unfamiliar environments.  Our ability to put things in order, in our minds, as we read and observe a writer’s [...]