Ideas for a Classroom Science Display

Written by sidney johns
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Ideas for a Classroom Science Display
A microscope can be part of a science classroom display. (science image by guy from Fotolia.com)

Exposing students to appropriate science displays in the classroom allows for a daily science reminder. In a busy classroom environment, science teaching is sometimes limited. Displaying science activities and examples gives the subject constant exposure and offers the opportunity for self-exploration for the students.

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An Aquarium

A simple aquarium in your classroom can model an ecosystem for your students. An aquarium is essentially a contained ecosystem. Step away from traditional tropical or goldfish and select water dwelling creatures common to your area. Preparation of the tank is necessary. Consult with a local ecologist to assist you in using local pond or river water and growing the plants needed for the environment. Once your tank is prepared, introduce the native species. Always check carefully for their feeding needs. Students will observe the different species living together as they create their homes in the aquarium. Lessons on ecological effects can be given through the introduction of a non-native species. Add pollutants to the water for the students to further recognise the impact it has on an environment. Over populate the tank for a period of time and then remove the majority for underpopulation. The students will observe the creatures adapting to the environment through growth, eating habits and increased fighting amongst the animals. After your display has been in the room long enough for your students to observe impacts and changes, invite a local ecologist to discuss the findings with them.

Ideas for a Classroom Science Display
A classroom aquarium can be used to teach about ecosystems. (Aquarium image by crossgolfing from Fotolia.com)

Decay

The decay process occurs in all natural objects. Setting up a classroom science display for the process leads to better student understanding. Use a variety of items for your display. Obvious choices are types of food, both with preservatives and without. Select items your students are familiar with. A snack cake, crisps, bread, fruit and vegetables both cooked and raw. Avoid meats as bacteria can grow. Use small chips of wood, leaves and grasses. Cover the items with clear domes to limit the smell emitted from the decaying items. Through self-observation, the students discover the effects of preservatives and processing of food along with the natural cycle of items returning to soil. This display may last for the entire school year as some items decay slowly.

Ideas for a Classroom Science Display
Decaying fruit easily demonstrates the decay process. (Decayed Walnut image by Claudiu Badea from Fotolia.com)

The Human Body

An old science display that always works well is a human body system displays. Models are available showing all systems or specific systems including the circulatory, digestive and respiratory. Models of the heart invoke curiosity in young learners. A human skeleton, made of plaster, will lead to healthy curiosity and discovery even without classroom discussion. The model system should correlate with studies occurring in the classroom at the time.

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