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Grant Outcome Series: Taking the Mystery Out of Science with Mystery Science

Many students love science experiments. Not only are they fun, but they provide valuable lessons through hands on activities that get students actively engaged in their learning. Unfortunately, planning an effective science activity that corresponds with a lesson can be a time consuming challenge for our educators. Enter Mystery Science.

Marian Martin, a second grade teacher at Hattie Dyer Elementary, was recently awarded a grant through the Krum ISD Education Foundation to purchase the software Mystery Science. This program creates science activities that correspond with various real life events and science curriculum taught in schools. The program provides all the templates needed for the activity, combined with narrated video lessons on the subject and video instructions to walk students through the activity. As if that wasn’t incredible enough, the program contains content that branches the subject matter into other areas of learning, such as math and language arts to create a well-rounded scientific lesson.

KEF recently visited Mrs. Martin’s class to see Mystery Science in action. On that day, students were learning about the power of wind. After watching videos narrated by “Mystery Doug”, students participated in a class discussion about strong winds they have personally experienced to help strengthen the lesson’s content.

When it was time to move on to the experiment, Mrs. Martin was equipped with copies of the templated activity and worksheets, along with the supplemental materials. Mystery Doug talked students through the steps, showing them exactly what to do through a video demonstration. This enables Mrs. Martin to walk through the class and interact with students who had questions or needed assistance.

This particular experiment was designed to show the effect of wind on a home; students were to construct a paper home from the template with stickers. They would then fan the home to see if the roof would blow away. Once that step was complete, students were given additional materials- another sticker, a toothpick, and a paper clip. With these materials, they had to better connect their home’s roof to its main structure. They repeated the process over and over again with these materials until their home stayed in one piece despite the wind!

Once complete, students answered questions on the worksheet provided with the activity to get them thinking about the lesson involved with this activity. Mrs. Martin led the class through a discussion on the worksheet to ensure that all students were well informed on the lesson and understood the concepts they had just explored.

Mrs. Martin says she loves Mystery Science because it takes the pressure off her as an educator to create fun, TEKS related science activities.

Students love that they get to make things with a variety of materials.

We love that students and teachers are having fun through learning!

See Mystery Science: Strong Winds in action in the video below!

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