SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search

The SMILE (Science and Math Informal Learning Educators) Pathway is for informal educators looking for high-quality STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities across multiple disciplines and contributing institutions. All materials are designed and chosen especially for those who teach school-aged kids in non-classroom settings. SMILE is also a meeting place for educators excited about what they do and ready to talk about how they do it. Additionally, SMILE creates a national partnership among science and technology centers, museums, community-based organizations, and out-of-school educators.

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  • SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
100 or Bust
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In this Cyberchase activity, learners play a game where zero can help ...

In this Cyberchase activity, learners play a game where zero can help them win--or make them lose! Learners roll the die and place a zero in the tens or ones place. The winner is the first player to reach 100 without going over.

Subject:
Education
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Ernst & Young LLP
National Science Foundation
Northrop Grumman Corporation
PBS
The Volckhausen Family
WNET
2-Liter Landfill
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In this activity, learners gain a better understanding of how household/school waste ...

In this activity, learners gain a better understanding of how household/school waste breaks down in a landfill. Learners collect trash and then create miniature landfills in 2-liter bottles. Learners record observations about their landfills at least once a week for a month. This activity is part of a larger curriculum related to amphibians and conservation.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
3-2-1 POP!
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In this physics activity, learners build their own rockets out of film ...

In this physics activity, learners build their own rockets out of film canisters and construction paper. Learners discover how a chemical reaction (from a mix of water and Alka-Seltzer) creates gas pressure to propel the craft. The activity explores the three states of matter and Newtonäóťs Laws of Motion.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
History, Law, Politics
Chemistry
Physics
Geoscience
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
COSI
3...2...1 Puff!
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In this activity, learners build small indoor paper rockets, determine their flight ...

In this activity, learners build small indoor paper rockets, determine their flight stability, and launch them by blowing air through a drinking straw. This lesson plan includes procedures for the two part activity, background information, diagrams for making Ares 1 paper rockets, discussion questions, extensions, and black-line masters for learners.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Mathematics
History, Law, Politics
Geometry
Chemistry
Physics
Geoscience
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Deborah A. Shearer
Gregory L. Vogt, Ed.D.
NASA
3D-tection: Trying to Fit In
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In this activity, learners explore how molecules must fit together, like a ...

In this activity, learners explore how molecules must fit together, like a lock and key, in order to identify each other and initiate a new function as a combined unit. By fitting their hands into uniquely-shaped Play-dough models, learners simulate how receptors recognize each other and stick together based on their distinctive three-dimensional forms. This activity includes an optional extension, in which learners match objects to impressions of the objects in play-dough. Use this activity to introduce concepts related to nanotechnology, self-assembly, antigens, and antibodies.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Life Science
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Arizona Science Center
Science Education Partnership Award, National Institutes of Health
A-Mazing Robot
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This activity lets you program your 'robot' (a willing friend) to pick ...

This activity lets you program your 'robot' (a willing friend) to pick up and dispose of some 'toxic waste' using as few commands as possible. Learners create command cards (Turn Left, Right, Forward 1, etc.), mark out a simulation area on the floor, and try to get the "robot" to dispose of something that serves as "toxic waste" into something that serves as a "containment vessel" - in as few steps as possible. Strategy, predication and cooperation are all part of this activity.

Subject:
Engineering
Computing and Information
Technology
Education
History, Law, Politics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Dakota Science Center
New York Hall of Science
AM in the PM
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In this activity, learners will listen to as many radio stations as ...

In this activity, learners will listen to as many radio stations as possible to discover that AM radio signals can travel many hundreds of miles at night. Learners log the call signs, locations, and quality of the transmissions on a data table. This resource includes information about how AM radio transmissions differ at day and night, the ionosphere, the history of call letters, and NOAA Weather Radio. Note: this activity must be completed during the evening or early in the morning before sunrise and learners must have access to an AM radio.

Subject:
Engineering
Computing and Information
Technology
Education
Mathematics
History, Law, Politics
Chemistry
Physics
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
NOAA
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
National Weather Service
NOAA
APSnet-K-12 Teacher's Guide to Lessons and Laboratories: Water Molds
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This website presents a great Water Molds activity-based lesson plan which is ...

This website presents a great Water Molds activity-based lesson plan which is part of the American Phytopathological Society's K-12 Plant Path-Ways to Science website previously reported on in the September 6, 2002 issue of the NSDL Scout Report for the Life Sciences. This Water Molds lesson was developed by educators Gail L. Schumann and Claudia A. Jasalavich as "an introduction to an important group of soil and water organisms (the Oomycetes) and an opportunity to conduct some simple biodiversity exercises. This exercise can be used for all K-12 age groups and learning levels, but may be most useful for grades 7-12 in classrooms where dissecting and compound microscopes are available." The site is well laid-out with clear instructions, great photos, and sections on Purpose and Background Information, Materials and Methods, Diagrams For Class Use, and more.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Lesson Plan
Simulation
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
APSnet
Claudia A. Jasalavich
Gail L. Schumann
Jasalavich, Claudia A.
Schumann, Gail L.
The Ability of Permeability
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In this activity (page 11 of the PDF), learners investigate how quickly ...

In this activity (page 11 of the PDF), learners investigate how quickly water moves through various materials. They measure and compare the permeability of gravel, sand, and soil. Although this was created as a post-visit activity for a workshop about earth processes, it also makes an excellent stand alone activity.

Subject:
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
COSI
Above Water: Buoyancy & Displacement
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In an investigation called "Shape It!" learners craft tiny boats out of ...

In an investigation called "Shape It!" learners craft tiny boats out of clay, set them afloat on water and then add weight loads to them, in order to explore: how objects stay afloat in water; what the relationship is among surface tension, buoyancy, density and displacement; and how shape, size, and type of material affect an object's ability to remain buoyant. The introductory text discusses how heavy steel ships can float on bodies of water like rivers, bays and oceans.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Geoscience
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
State of New Jersey
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Liberty Science Center
New Jersey
New Jersey Department of Education
New Jersey School Age Care Coalition
No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
Absorb & Repel
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In this activity, learners investigate how different materials repel or absorb water. ...

In this activity, learners investigate how different materials repel or absorb water. Learners use spray bottles to explore how everyday items like sponges, cardboard, feathers, etc. respond to water differently. This activity also introduces learners to the scientific method as learners make predictions about which materials will absorb or repel water.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Life Science
Chemistry
Physics
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Kohl Children's Museum
Achi: A Strange Game of Tic Tac Toe
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In this game, learners strategize to be the first player to make ...

In this game, learners strategize to be the first player to make three in a row. This game is similar to the classic Tic-Tac-Toe game, but learners slide game pieces along lines, instead of filling in boxes with X's or O's. Learners will practice mathematical thinking skills like strategizing, predicting and problem solving. This activity guide contains sample questions to ask, literary connections, extensions, and alignment to local and national standards.

Subject:
Education
Mathematics
Algebra
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Children's Museum of Houston
Children's Museum Of Houston
ExxonMobil
Acorns
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In this outdoor game, learners play the roles of gray or red ...

In this outdoor game, learners play the roles of gray or red squirrels gathering and storing a supply of food in "fall" and recovering enough of them to survive the "winter." Learners carry bags representing their cheek pouches for carrying food. Learners investigate the advantages and disadvantages of how these two kinds of squirrels store food differently.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Simulation
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Lawrence Hall of Science
Acting Out
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This activity (on pages 21-32 of PDF) has learners act out several ...

This activity (on pages 21-32 of PDF) has learners act out several classic brain teasers. Instead of moving checkers or pennies around on a table, learners play the role of the different pieces of the puzzle, and have to move themselves around. The lesson plan includes printable pictures of different characters than can be worn by the learners. Answers to the puzzles are provided so the facilitator can guide learners towards the solution.

Subject:
Education
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
OMSI
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Action Figure
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In this project, students explore how levers work, by making a puppet ...

In this project, students explore how levers work, by making a puppet with moving limbs. After showing students how to make the arms, students are challenged to construct the rest of the puppet on their own. This activity engages learners in a way that is educational, fun, and encourages creativity.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Chuck E. Cheese's
National Science Foundation
Public television viewers
WGBH
Active Graphs
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In this activity, learners track their movements with jumping and leaping graphs. ...

In this activity, learners track their movements with jumping and leaping graphs. In part A, learners jump as high as they can and press their inked fingers or hands against a large true-to-life chart with vertical distance marked along the vertical edge. Learners compare the results. In part B, learners jump as far as they can and use masking tape to mark their spot on a true-to-life bar graph. Again, learners compare the results.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Chicago Children's Museum
Adaptive Device Design
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In this activity, learners explore the concept of how engineering has made ...

In this activity, learners explore the concept of how engineering has made possible the development of--and ongoing improvements to--adaptive devices that serve to help individuals with a wide range of physical challenges adapt to the world and participate fully in society. Learners investigate the engineering process to solve problems, and work in teams to improve the design of a current or proposed adaptive device. Learners start with eyeglasses, disassembling, examining component design and shape, and reassembling. Then, learners re-engineer the product seeking improvements to the current product.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Life Science
History, Law, Politics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
IEEE
Adherence to HIV Treatment
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In this activity, learners simulate taking HIV antiretroviral drugs by using Tic ...

In this activity, learners simulate taking HIV antiretroviral drugs by using Tic Tac mints and Kool-Aid packets. Learners will experience firsthand how easy or difficult it is to fully adhere to a treatment program. Participation in this activity does not require eating or drinking anything and can accommodate learners with allergies.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Simulation
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Aerial Imagery
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This activity (on page 2 of the PDF) is a full inquiry ...

This activity (on page 2 of the PDF) is a full inquiry investigation into aerial imagery. Learners will use the internet to gather free aerial imagery of nearby points of interest (or use laminated images prepped by educator). Then, they will imagine they are traveling in a spaceship to visit Earth for the first time and explore how their view changes as they approach Earthäóťs surface. Relates to linked video, DragonflyTV GPS: Earthquakes.

Subject:
Computing and Information
Engineering
Technology
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Physics
Geoscience
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Simulation
Provider:
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
National Science Foundation
Twin Cities Public Television
Twin Cities Public Television, Inc.
Aerogel
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Remix and Share
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This activity/demo introduces learners to aerogel, a glass nanofoam. Learners discover how ...

This activity/demo introduces learners to aerogel, a glass nanofoam. Learners discover how aerogel is made and how well it insulates as well as learn about aerogel's other unique properties. Learners see real aerogel and feel how well it insulates.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Mathematics
History, Law, Politics
Chemistry
Physics
Geoscience
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Lecture
Lesson Plan
Simulation
Provider:
Nanoscience Informal Science Education
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
NISE Network
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network
National Science Foundation
NISE Network
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry