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Elementary Activities

Two elementary students work together on a science activity in their classroom.

We're doing virtual!

Due to COVID-19, all in-person programs will not run during the 2021/22 school year. We look forward to visiting students and communities every year, but we know it is best to stay apart for now so we can come together again sooner.

Instead, we're completely online! SciXchange has produced several activity videos to engage youth in virtual learning. Each video has a corresponding lesson plan. They have been designed to be accessible for students using virtual classrooms however they may also be used in-class. Educators are welcome to use any of our resources, free of charge, at any time.

You may also request our volunteers to join your class virtually to help facilitate the activity. As a safety precaution SciXchange will not provide materials for each activity. This will be the responsibility of the school. If this provides a barrier to accessing our programs we can arrange alternatives.

In-class Educators will share the activity video with students and get them started. Our volunteers will help trouble-shoot issues that students have and provide a wrap-up for the activity. In the case of a virtual classroom, our volunteers will show the activity video and walk students through the steps of the activity.

Stay connected with us so you never miss an announcement!

Educator Newsletter, external link, opens in new window - Generally sent once per term, this email announces all of our available school programs for the term and how to register.

Volunteer Sign-up, external link, opens in new window - Our monthly volunteer newsletter allows volunteers to sign up for the events and shifts they're interested and available to help with. We'll provide training to get you started. See our volunteer page for more information.

SciXchange Newsletter, external link, opens in new window - Our general newsletter keeps the public and our community informed about upcoming public events and programs related to science outreach.

Lastly, follow us on Facebook, external linkTwitter, external link, and Instagram, external link to see what we're up to throughout the year!

Elementary Program

We have 19 activites specially designed for elementary students. Take a look at each themes section to see their lesson plans, worksheets, tutorial videos, and registrations for class visits.

Pixel Colouring Lab - Using Excel to explore colour theory

Description: In this introduction to computer languages, students explore HEX codes and colour theory by creating their own pixel art piece.

Equipment Needs: Each student needs a computer with access to either Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. We will provide a pre-coded spreadsheet to share with students.

Format: Virtual visit online

Max Class Size: 30

Length of Time: 1 hour

Support materials: PDF fileLesson plan, opens in new windowexcel fileworksheet, opens in new windowvideo, external link, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

Micro:Bits - Rock, Paper Scissors Game

Description: This activity uses scratch (block) coding to introduce students to the logic of computer coding. Students will code a simple game and use the Micro:Bit simulator to play against the computer.

Equipment Needs: Each student needs a computer with access to the internet. Students do not need a Micro:Bit to participate in this program.

Format: Virtual visit online

Max Class Size: 30

Length of Time: 1 hour

Support materials: PDF fileLesson plan, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

Machine Learning - Train a computer to do simple tasks

Description: Students train a model by playing a game in Scratch. The machine learning model will be trained based on how they play. They will use this to get Pac-Man to play by itself.

Equipment Needs: Each student needs a computer with access to the internet. 

Format: Online

Max Class Size: 30

Length of Time: 1 hour

Support materials: Visit Machine Learning for Kids, external link, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

Growing Plants

Description: Choose between 2 activities - propagating a plant from a clipping or creating your own terrarium. Both of these activities have students explore concepts in conservation, plant biology, ecosystems and biodiversity.

Subject: Plant Biology

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Virtual visit online or in-class

Length of Time: 1 hour

Support materials: PDF fileLesson plan, opens in new window, experiment video part 1, external link, opens in new window, experiment video part 2, external link, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

Ocean in a Jar

Description: The ocean can be divided into several layers with similar characteristics based on the amount of sunlight that penetrates each layer. Students will explore each layer while creating their own model ocean.

Subject: Environmental Science

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Virtual visit online or in-class

Length of Time: 40 minutes

Support materials: Experiment video, external link, opens in new windowPDF filelesson plan, opens in new windowPDF fileworksheet, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window


The Rock Cycle 

Description: Students will learn about sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks and the geologic processes of weathering, erosion, heat and pressure that create these rocks.

Subject: Geology

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Virtual visit online or in-class

Length of Time: 30 minutes

Support materials: Experiment video, external link, opens in new windowPDF filelesson plan, opens in new windowPDF fileworksheet, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

Cloud in a Jar

Description: Students will be introduced to rain and other types of precipitation. They will also be introduced to the water cycle and the details of its four phases

Subject: Environmental Science

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Online or in-class

Length of Time: 1 hour

Support materials: Experiment video, external link, opens in new windowPDF filelesson plan, opens in new windowPDF fileworksheet, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

Why Do Leaves Change Colour?

Description: Students will be introduced to what pigments are, some of the main pigments that are seen in fall leaves, the importance of the chlorophyll, and the process of photosynthesis. 

Subject: Environmental Science

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Online or in-class

Length of Time: 1 hour

Support materials: Experiment video, external link, opens in new windowPDF filelesson plan, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

Slime

Description: Non-Newtonian Fluid is always a fun activity! Students explore movement of molecules and different states of matter by making slime.

Subject: Chemistry

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Virtual visit online or in-class

Length of Time: 30 minutes

Support materials: PDF fileLesson plan, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

Ice Cream in a Bag

Description: Students will review the three states of matter and phase transitions, and will go in depth on how their molecules behave.

Subject: Chemistry

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: online or in-class

Length of Time: 30 minutes

Support materials: Experiment video, external link, opens in new windowPDF filelesson plan, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

  

Milk Casein (Making plastic from milk)

Description: Students will investigate the concepts of monomers and how they can combine to form polymers. Students will examine how change between monomeric and polymer forms requires a chemical reaction. Students will learn what constitutes a chemical reaction, and practice identifying when one has occurred.

Subject: Chemistry

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: online or in-class

Length of Time: 1 hr

Support materials: Experiment video, external link, opens in new windowPDF filelesson plan, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

Is Your Microwave a Faraday Cage?

Description: This demonstration explores the idea of waves in our environment. How do cell signals, wifi and microwaves work? Students can test their own microwaves at home.

Subject: Physics

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Online, at home

Length of Time: 40 minutes

Support materials: PDF fileLesson plan, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

  

Soap Powered Boat

Description: Students will investigate the concepts of forces and movement, as well as surface tension and use these concepts to make a simple boat move forward.

Subject: Forces

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Online or in-class

Length of Time: 50 minutes

Support materials: Experiment video, opens in new windowPDF filelesson plan, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

Balloon Hoverboard

Description: Students will be introduced to the scientist Isaac Newton, along with his contributions and impact on science. They will also learn about Newton’s 3 laws of motion. The concept of inertia will also be taught to allow for a better understanding of motion.

Subject: Laws of motion

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Online or in-class

Length of Time: 40 min - 1 hr

Support materials: Experiment video, external link, opens in new windowPDF filelesson plan, opens in new windowPDF fileworksheet, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

Phases of the Moon

Description: In this lesson students will learn about how the moon rotates around the Earth and the different phases the moon undergoes within a lunar month. They will also be introduced to the concept of gravity and tidal forces.

Subject: Space

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Online or in-class

Length of Time: 1 hour

Support materials: Experiment video, external link, opens in new windowPDF filelesson plan, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

  

Solar Telescope

Description: The Sun cannot be observed directly, and so scientists have developed interesting ways to study it. Projecting the light of the Sun onto a white screen and following the dark spots over a long period of time allowed scientists to discover sunspots.

Subject: Space

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Online or in-class

Length of Time: 50 minutes

Support materials: Experiment video, external link, opens in new windowPDF filelesson plan, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

Parachutes

Description: Students will explore the concepts of gravity and air resistance. Students will learn about the history of parachutes. They will also be able to apply what they have learned by making their own toy parachute.

Subject: Flight

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Online or in-class

Length of Time: 1 hour

Support materials: Experiment video, external link, opens in new windowPDF filelesson plan, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

Robot Hand

Description: Students will explore human anatomy, in particular the anatomy of our hands, including bones, muscles and tendons. Students will also be able to apply what they have learned by making their own robot hand.

Subject: Biology, Anatomy

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Online or in-class

Length of Time: 1 hour

Support materials: Experiment video, external link, opens in new windowPDF filelesson plan, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

The Heart Beats On

Description: The heart is a very important organ and this activity will get the students thinking about what blood really is, how the heart and the circulatory system works to move blood around our body, as well as the differences between veins and arteries.

Subject: Biology, Anatomy

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Online or in-class

Length of Time: 1 hour

Support materials: Experiment video, external link, opens in new windowPDF filelesson plan, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

Candy DNA

Description: What does our DNA look like? Students build their own DNA model while learning about the building blocks of our genetics.

Subject: Biology, Genetics

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Online or in-class

Length of Time: 40 minutes

Support materials: PDF fileLesson plan, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

Strawberry DNA Extraction

Description: Students will learn about DNA as the basic building block of life, and how it contains the instructions needed for organisms to develop, grow, survive, and reproduce.

Subject: Biology, Genetics

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Online or in-class

Length of Time: 45 minutes

Support materials: video, external link, opens in new window, lPDF fileesson plan, opens in new windowPDF fileworksheet, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

  

DIY Stethoscope

Description: Students will be introduced to how the heart works and it's importance, oxygenated and deoxygenated blood, and where each type will go in our bodies. Also, they will learn the basic idea of gas exchange and the fact that the heart beats in order to move blood. Students will make a stethoscope and will be able to listen to their heartbeats.

Subject: Biology, Anatomy

Max. Class Size: 30

Format: Online or in-class

Length of Time: 40 min - 1 hr

Support materials: video, external link, opens in new window

Register now, external link, opens in new window

Register

To register for our programs, sign up for our Educator Newsletter, external link. Registration for classroom activities will be sent out through the newsletter when it becomes available. Please note that registration for the 2019/2020 school year is currently closed as we have reached capacity.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact SciXchange via the email and phone number listed below.

E: scixchange[at]ryerson.ca

P: 416-979-5000 x3134

We enjoy posting photos of our school visits.  Please have your students submit PDF fileimage consent forms and let us know if any parents decline consent.