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You may or may not have heard of the Science Spot as a middle school teacher.

So, what is the Science Spot (Grades 6-8 focused), and how could it benefit you and your students? Below we explore everything you need to know about Science Spot and highlight particular website features that may be useful.

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Who began the Science Spot?

The Science Spot was created by an integrated science teacher, Mrs. Tracy Trimpe. She first graduated from Illinois College before completing a Master’s Degree at Western Illinois University. The founder then began a flourishing teaching career in 1990, boasting many achievements such as being involved with the Standards-Aligned Classroom Program and the U of I Extension’s STEM Education camp and being a state finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching both in 2003 and 1998.

Why did Science Spot start?

The Science Spot was created as the founder, Trimpe, wanted to share her philosophy that children learn best by doing. The website encourages teachers to go beyond textbooks and offers tips, lesson plans, and activities that teachers can use to engage their students in the subject of science truly. Although the website is aimed at middle school teachers, the Science Spot information helps students build actual scientific skills they can utilize in their high school education and beyond.

How to navigate the website

The website is straightforward and has information organized by scientific area and resource type.

For example, teachers looking for a specific lesson plan or teaching idea can browse via scientific areas of study, including:

  • Astronomy
  • Biology
  • General Science
  • Earth science
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Forensics
  • Physics

Once a teacher has specified their area of interest, they can browse activities and lesson plans shared by other passionate teachers, offering a plethora of sources. Trimpe has even created a list of reliable online sources to further your lesson research.

Introduce science starters to your classroom

The science starters collection is one of the Science Spot website’s best features. What are science starters? They are a mini warm-up exercise perfect for opening lessons with or reenergizing your class mid-lesson. They typically take 5 minutes to complete and can be linked directly to whatever topic you currently cover in your class.

It’s great for students to use independently too

The website has a specific ‘Kids Zone’ which lists sources for students to use. This is ideal for helping students with research projects and other activities. Students often find learning from a textbook unengaging, whereas researching and finding information for themselves can be fun and educational.

Features such as this are undoubtedly why the Science Spot has earned an A+ rating from Education World. The Science Spot particularly won acclaim for its website organization and quality content.

Take learning beyond the classroom

Are you looking to organize your science, or STEAM (science, technology, engineering, and maths), club? The Science Spot can help you with this too. The website offers tools for helping to set up and execute your club, including:

  • Project ideas
  • Stations and modules
  • Valuable resources

If you want to get involved or share your science club resources, the website has a clear contact page where teachers are encouraged to share their ideas and resources.

Take education outdoors

Suppose you’d like to take a more practical approach to natural science. In that case, the website features a ‘Nature Center’ section that teaches teachers how to grow, maintain and create a natural area within a school, park, or outdoor area. This helps to create a natural classroom where multiple science lessons can be conducted. The website offers lesson plans to complete in the outdoor area, such as teaching children about photosynthesis.

Final verdict

For middle school teachers, the Science Spot is an invaluable tool that can be used by all science teachers, no matter their specialty. Whether you are searching for lesson ideas or have resources and ideas, you’d like to share them with your fellow teachers. The Science Spot is the place to do it! What do you think of the Science Spot? Share your thoughts and opinions below!