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Now that your lab is prepped and ready for your students, we’re sharing a set of scavenger hunt downloadable pages to help you kick-start your new year in a way that keeps the excitement flowing for your grade-level students and makes the most of their curiosity. These templates, designed in-house by Liz Pearson, are a creative challenge for future scientists to learn about the tools and skills needed to embark on fun, safe science in the classroom.
In groups or individually, ask students to scour your classroom for the following sets of items based on what you have in your room. Whether you place the items in specific places beforehand or simply allow your students to find what you know is already in the room, make sure to give students a specific amount of time after which their results can be discussed as a class. Note: Make sure students understand not to collect the items as they search—that way, you don’t need to worry about replacing each item each student picks up!
Try alternative approaches to the scavenger hunt, such as suggesting a bingo-style game in which students work quickly to find all items that make up a row—or, for greater difficulty, an X. Which of the four templates below would work best for your classroom and students? Click each image to be linked to a downloadable version!
Your students will need several basic supplies at hand for day-to-day tasks. Which of these can they find in your classroom?
Using this template, students will search the classroom (and their own bodies!) for all types of general science tools. Make sure to note to students that some tools may not look exactly as they’re depicted on the template—ask them to describe the differences they note in the margins!
Lab safety is the most important aspect of successful experimenting. During post-hunt discussion, ask students to describe why each item is necessary for maintaining a safe environment. If students are unable to locate one of these items, point out where it can be found to make sure everyone is aware of where to find it—and how to use it!
Want to make sure your students know where to find basic labware? Have them use this template to see what pieces they’ll encounter during the rest of the school year. As a follow-up activity, ask students to research and design a basic experiment that would make use of one of the pieces of labware.