Thursday, 1 May 2008

I can...get involved in science!

Getting involved in science helps us to learn about our world and to answer questions about why things are the way that they are. There are lots of resources to make science fun for all ages! Help your students who use augmentative communication to check out cool websites or to get their hands dirty with a “green” activity.

Here are some vocabulary suggestions for talking about science:
I want to see it!
Is it going to blow up?
How does that work?
Why did that happen?
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
That’s cool!
Can I have your pop tab?
I love science!
I’m scared!
Let’s save it!
I have a litterless lunch!
Let’s clean up our school!

Go Green!
Encourage your students to get involved in taking care of our environment.  Try one of these suggestions with your student(s): 

Save your Pop Tabs for a Wheelchair!
Did you know it takes 1,000 aluminum pop tabs to equal one pound? Aluminum can be sold for approximately 60¢ a pound. The money raised is donated to the March of Dimes Assistive Devices Program. They help buy wheelchairs for children who need them. Challenge your classroom or school to collect pop tabs throughout the year! Involve students who use a voice output communication aid in an end of the year assembly to tell the students how much money was raised and how that money will be used.

Create a Recycle Team!
Encourage your students to participate in the collection and sorting of recycling materials for a classroom or two. Try recording a message on a Step-by-Step™ communicator such as “I’m here for the recycling”, “Reduce, reuse, recycle!” Use this chart to help kids sort their recycling:

Create a Buy and Sell Board!
Many children who have disabilities have expensive equipment or toys that they may no longer need. Why not have a place where parents can post a picture or an add for equipment that they don’t have a need for? Be sure to indicate that parents should check with their child’s therapist to ensure that the equipment is appropriate and safe to use.

No-Tech Ideas
Create a specific communication display for use during a science project or experiment.

Light Tech Ideas
Use a Step-by-Step™ to allow a student ask questions during a science experiment. Try recording questions such as “What are we going to be doing?”, “Will it make a loud noise?”, “Why did that happen?”

High Tech Ideas
Sometimes students are limited because they only have access to a basic vocabulary. Review vocabulary pages available to your student and talk about other words that he or she might like to add. For example, when talking about the Solar System, it’s one thing to be able to name the planets, but your student may also want to talk about “asteroids”, “comets”, “meteoroids”, “interstellar space” and “nuclear fusion”. (The student can even explain these terms to a parent!).

Resources for teachers and educators: Check out the following websites for great ideas…