Science Teaching Series

Internet Resources

I. Developing Scientific Literacy

II. Developing Scientific Reasoning

III. Developing Scientific Understanding

IV. Developing Scientific Problem Solving

V. Developing Scientific Research Skills

VI. Resources for Teaching Science

Demonstration Lesson

Sources for ideas for presentations

Presentation: The purpose of your presentation is to give other educators creative ideas as to how to present a particular scientific concept. You should limit your presentation to 20 minutes (15 minutes in large classes), during which time you will develop a single concept important to a particular scientific field. You should start your presentation with a discrepant event or a demonstration that will create "a need to know". Having established this "need to know", you should then proceed to develop the concept as fully as possible in the time allowed. While your presentation might be dramatic, you must avoid making it simply a "magic show" by making certain that real understanding has taken place.

Handout / Web page: Prepare a handout which discusses your lesson and your demonstration, explaining the background understanding that an educator would need to have before making the presentation himself. Explain carefully the techniques and principles used in the demonstration so that anyone could repeat it. You should cite any references which might be useful to someone who would wish to research the concept more, and cite the reference from which you o btained the idea for your demonstration if it was not original. Use the following outline for your handout. Separate each section with a paragraph break. Title each section with bold type (Heading 2 in the Wiki) as shown.

Title: The title should be descriptive so others will know what it is about.

Principle(s) Investigated: List all principles that apply to this activity.

Standards : Past in the appropriate California content standards.

Materials: Include a list of materials and sources from which they may be obtained.

Procedure: Give a detailed explanation of the procedure and include diagrams if possible.

Student prior knowledge: What prior concepts do students need to understand this activity?

Explanation: Give a thorough explanation of the experiment or demonstration. Your explanation should be written to give your fellow teachers a solid understanding and include greater detail than what you might provide for your secondary students. Make certain to include equations whenever pertinent.

Questions & Answers: Give three thought-provoking questions and provide detailed answers.

Applications to Everyday Life: Explain (don't just list) three instances where this principle can be used to explain other phenomenon.

Photographs: Include a photograph of you or students performing the experiment/demonstration, and a close-up, easy to interpret photograph of the activity --these can be included later.

Videos: Include links to videos posted on the web that relate to your activity. These can be videos you have made or ones others have made.


Evaluation: You will be evaluated on the following points

  1. Content/Concept:   Was the content significant (important)?  Was it explained correctly?
  2. "Need to know": Did you generate student interest and spark a "need to know?"
  3. Visibility: Were all students able to see what was being demonstrated?
  1. Relevancy/Significance: Did you relate the concept discussed to other important phenomena?
  2. Engagement of Learners: Did you engage students in the learning process, or were they merely casual observers.
  3. Clarity: Was speech and delivery clear? Was your presentation easy to follow and concise?
  4. Use of Diagrams/Visuals:  Did you use diagrams and data tables where necessary?  Did you write down key information.
  5. Understanding: Was the principle communicated  or did you just perform a magic trick? Did you test for student understanding?
  6. Applications to Everyday Life: give examples of at least two other phenomena which can be explained knowing this principle.
  7. Time Management :  Do you use your time well and stay within the allotted time?
  8. Assessment/Closure: Did you effectively summarize the major points.