Studying science in high school can sometimes feel both challenging and less than thrilling. Although there are many support services available to help students with working through these courses, sometimes it helps to find interesting and engaging activities that students will enjoy to help them learn key concepts. With this in mind, here are three activities that teachers / tutors can consider doing with their students that will help them understand key concepts, that are also fun:
- Physics – Carnival / Fair – whether you want to understand the conservation of energy while riding a roller coaster, the conservation of momentum while riding the bumper cars, or centripetal force while riding the tilt-a-whirl, there are lots of examples of applications of high school physics at any carnival or fair.
- Chemistry – Cooking / Baking / Food – cooking and baking are great examples of real world chemical reactions, and can be used to introduce concepts like reaction types, exothermic versus endothermic reactions, and balancing chemical equations. You can also introduce concepts related to specific heat capacities and energy transfer while discussing the caloric content of different foods.
- Biology – The Animal Game – this was one of my favourite games growing up. There are many variations of the game (that can be found by simply Googling “animal game”), but generally speaking the game involves going into a large forested area with a large group of people, and assigning each person a roll which represents part of an ecosystem (producers, consumers, water, wind, etc). During the game, each participant has different goals, whether it’s a primary consumer trying to find vegetation and water to feed on, or a secondary consumer trying to hunt other primary consumers. Ultimately, the goal each participant is to survive, and through the game, you learn about many of the different elements of an ecosystem, and how they interact.
These are just some examples of activities that can be used to teach students key high school science concepts, while introducing a bit of fun to the process. It’s important to use these types of activities when teaching students, as they help to keep students engaged, and also present practical and real world examples of the concepts that they are learning.