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Ponds in Peril!  February 3rd, 2016

From our January Teachers’ Workshop:

We heard from Dan Preston, a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Integrative Biology. He presented a Ponds in Peril activity, and here are the materials we’d like to share with you:

Science Scope Article

This first video describes the set-up for the Ponds in Peril experiment, a great tool to use with your students.

This second video is a great overview of the entire project!

Ponds in Peril Full Worksheet Package

Powerpoints: Project OverviewFood Web ReviewAquatic MacroinvertebratesNutrient Pollution and Invaders, and The Process of Science

Understanding Batteries & Capacitors Activity: The Classroom Electric Circuit  February 3rd, 2016

From our January Teachers’ Workshop:

We heard from Dr. David Ji, an Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at OSU. Below are the materials that we shared with you:

Energy Storage in the 21st Century – This is Dr. Ji’s powerpoint presentation.

Understanding Batteries & Capacitors Lesson Plan – This is the lesson plan created by SMILE and shared with you at the workshop.




Battery Activity Introductory Powerpoint – This is a powerpoint presentation created by SMILE that can be used to introduce the topic of batteries and how they work as well as the above activity.








Battery Types – This is an excel spreadsheet that can be used for an extensional activity where students explore different types of batteries and their applications.

Forest Grove Family Math & Science Night!  February 1st, 2016

Forest Grove High School had their Family Math & Science Night last November. It was such a success that they wanted to share some photos with us. Check them out:


Colin at the turbine


Making Seismographs


Chain “magic” demo




Engineering straw rockets


Flaming bubbles




2016 Middle School Challenge Introduction  December 7th, 2015

Anyone thinking about the upcoming Middle School Challenge? We’re excited for it and our Mechanical Engineering team have a video to share to get students thinking about the challenges of modeling earthquakes.

Be sure to have students check out the video below before leaving for Winter Break!

This team has also provided us with gifs of their designs. Click the images below to see more!







As students begin preparing for the Challenge, consider what makes an earthquake model realistic? How could you make a shake table? Check out the videos below to see other middle school shake table activities:

Does this realistically model an earthquake? What are some problems with it? How could it be more accurate? Check out these videos below for industrial shake tables:



Monroe SMILE Club students show off their stream ecosystems!  November 24th, 2015

Monroe SMILE club students engineered stream ecosystems to meet the specific adaptations of the macroinvertebrates that they designed.  Once their streams were complete they added water to test their work!  Check out their creativity!


New Activity: Micro-Crossbow!  November 20th, 2015

We wanted to share a new activity with you: the Micro-Crossbow! The directions are very thorough, and it looks like an awful lot of fun! Check it out here.

Scribbler at Lincoln Elementary!  November 5th, 2015

Michelle at Lincoln Elementary School sent us photos to share of her recent Scribbler robot activity. The activity was a hit and looks like a lot of fun!

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2015 August Teacher’s Workshop  August 25th, 2015

During the August SMILE teachers workshop we spent an entire day learning about Oregon’s geology, hazards, and preparedness. All of the lesson materials shared were connected to NGSS with a specific focus on Cross Cutting Concepts. Check out some of the fun activities:

We also had special guests who shared resources related to geologic topics.  Here are links to their websites:


During an elementary session, teachers learned about riparian systems and their importance to birds and other organisms and we built model ecosystems. Here are the lesson plans that support these concepts: