Here on the Tech Tools for Teachers Podcast, we love FREE resources. And one free resource for teachers that is in every state is PBS - the Public Broadcasting System! What is also great is that PBS offers different resources from each state so you can find all kinds of information for your students. And... here's a little tip... you can access other state's PBS content even if you don't live there—or even if you don't live in the US! 🤫.
This week we are chatting about a great science resource called Meet the Lab from PBS Wisconsin.
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Shanna Martin 0:19
Thanks for listening to the Tech Tools for Teachers Podcast, where each week we talk about a free piece or two of technology that you can use in your classroom. I'm your host, Shanna Martin. I'm a middle school teacher Technology and Instructional Coach from district.
Fuzz Martin 0:33
And I'm her producer and husband, Fuzz Martin. And I'm the one that's running this here, a little experiment each and every week.
Shanna Martin 0:40
Oh, that was cute. Ah, how are you today? Good. Good. We're in the midst of January. Cool. 2023. It was cold and it was scan Sunny. And were you a little Wisconsin to all of you today? Yeah, this year's this year, this year's podcast. So I am sure that every state has their own version of PBS because it's public broadcasting. That's right. And in Wisconsin, we have a fabulous collection of teacher resources on our PBS. We do on through our PBS. Yes. So I decided that I would share a really cool little nugget of information from the PBS Wisconsin education site. That what's cool is, a lot of Wisconsin Teachers know about it. But if you are not from Wisconsin, my dear listeners that are all over the world. You can still use this website and all of these school resources, even if you don't live here, yeah. Well, thank you for your time like you do. Or you can pretend like you don't, because then you notice that there are fabulous winters, you're in January. So today's site is PBS Wisconsin education.org. Yes, just the genuine slash, meet the lab meet the lab flash. And if you just get the PBS Wisconsin education, and then click on classroom media, you'll find it cool. What also is cool. I've talked about PBS Wisconsin a little bit before in previous episodes, that they have this classroom media section that talks about all kinds of cool things. It's not just one topic, we are going to focus on one topic today. But we've talked about like they have a whole day on Wisconsin's First Nations, they have different things on Learning Media and different things about Wisconsin, and just a lot of cool resources for teachers. But today we're gonna focus on meets the lab. So meet the lab is a super cool, like section of the PBS Wisconsin education sites that is for are focused on science related activities, and specifically to middle school, but can definitely be adapted for younger older students. And it's a collection of educational resources for science classrooms, they talk about real world issues, they talk about how you can connect these things to your real life, how to apply these scientific practices. And then they give you some hands on things. And what's also cool to talk about science related careers. Okay, which I feel like there was a big push for career things a few years ago, and then it was kind of like COVID happened. And it was like swimming and like, you know, keeping your head above water. And now like we're back on field trips, and things like that to expose our kids to different careers that are out there. So this is a really cool way to bring science careers into your classroom as well. So they have different labs that you can pick from. So there's like bio builders, there's visual communicators, there's virus investigators, and a few others, cancer detectives, things like that. And what's cool is you can pick and choose what you're interested in. So if like we click on virus investigators, it pulls up a whole lesson. All they can, how can we control viruses that make us sick, and then they talk about me the scientists, which is really cool. You click on a scientist and you pick click their picture, their little view their superpower. And it's almost like a digital baseball card about that scientist. So like, what they're like superpower is like what they do. We're just things that I love what I like to study. It's just like kind of cool. And it gives you like a little background like these are real people. They're not just like another random thing to click on on a website. So it gives you a little bit of background, which is really neat. And you can create your own card. So students scientists, they have the little template in Google slides that you can make your own cool scientist card, which I appreciate like you can see real scientists and then like kids or scientists when they're in the classroom, so like you're a scientist to in your classroom, and you can be just like the scientists, which I don't know. I think that's brilliant.
Fuzz Martin 4:50
I like that on those cards. Yeah. And it has that that middle school story that tells them like how they became you know what, how they thought of science back when they were in middle school. Also What's the weirdest thing that I love? Some of them are weird. And then one is mystery novels. And I'm like, that's not really weird guy.
Shanna Martin 5:08
Someone had snooker on there, which I think is amazing. Yes. But yeah,
Fuzz Martin 5:12
so like, you know, and peanut butter sandwiches, with,
Shanna Martin 5:15
like how kids can then relate to these, like real people, like their scientists are changing the world and also like their real people. Yeah. So then there's a video that like, walks you through some information, some background, and it's transcripted transcripted, transcribed transcribed into both English and Spanish, which is always important for me. And then questions to consider. So this one based on viruses, like what do you think or feel about viruses that you've learned about? Like, what are new ways? Did it cause you to behave like things like that? So it's questions to make them think, which is awesome. And then you could ask questions. So being a scientist be asking new questions, because that's always my thing and questions and questioning skills, like you can ask questions all the time. And you can pick your different scientists, and it gives you videos about different questions that you can pose to them, and then do the science. So after all of that background information, and like connecting to the scientists, then you click to do the actual activity. And then there's a video that walks you through the lab. And it's like, how do microscopes help viruses, and that's gonna be a microscope lab, it tells you how long it is, it walks you through like the data sheets, it's gonna walk you through different things, like if you aren't using a mouse, like a touchscreen, like this symbol, because then it adjusts for you. And then it walks you through the different parts of the lab. So you can learn how to be a scientist and learn about cells and viruses. And, and there's 14 different steps, the lab that you complete as you walk through, and students can then complete their task, or you can do it as a class together. So there's just a lot of cool pieces of information, even if you don't go all the way through the labs. But even the background on the scientist, or just the videos that go with it, or you can use this as a supplement to your science classrooms. There's a lot of just cool things to learn that students can either do this individually, or you can leave it as a class, like a full learning CES, like a full learning lesson for your class. They have something on nervous system, engineers, stem cells, they go through, again, different scientists, why Research Matters, they talk about all those different steps and the questioning skills and then start the activity walks you through. So meet the lab is a really cool way that PBS Wisconsin education has set up some really neat science lessons that are obviously free, easy to navigate through, and a lot of ways to introduce kids to different jobs and scientists that that they wouldn't normally see necessarily on a regular basis. And it's all neatly organized and like bundled up for you. So it's easy to walk yourself. Right? Yeah, that's great. Yeah, so that's pretty cool. And then to across the top, like I said before, so that's meet the lab, it's all science based standard, standard line, all that kind of stuff. They have their classroom media. So if you click on that across the top of the page, it'll take you to other PBS Learning Media, the ways which I use all the time with my Native American lessons. The first nations Wisconsin biography is all of that information is there. And they also have professional developments, or teachers and educators across the states. However, you can also access this from anywhere, yes, they have a whole kindness curriculum, and how they can help kids understand each other better and implementing the curriculum in your classroom. And those are for different age levels, too. So that's like pre K, K. So there's different things labeled for different grade levels, depending on what your needs are. So if you have not explored PBS Wisconsin education.org, you should definitely do so because there's tons of really well done resources for teachers. Specifically, if you're a science teacher, and you're looking for something cool to build in, especially in these longer months of the year. Meet the lab is a really cool resource to share with students and have them do some science research and learn about other other scientific jobs.
Fuzz Martin 9:11
Yeah, I dig it.
Shanna Martin 9:13
Meet the lab,
Fuzz Martin 9:14
Meet the Lab,
Shanna Martin 9:15
PBS Wisconsin education, check it out. Indeed. Well, thanks for tuning in. This has been the Tech Tools for Teachers podcast if you ever have any questions you can find me on Twitter @smartinwi and if you want to get more information in the links to the technology discuss this episode, you can visit smartinwi.com. If you'd like to support the show, please consider buying me a coffee to visit buymeacoffee.com/smartinwi or visit smartinwi.com and click on that cute little purple coffee cup. Your donations help keep the show going. New episodes each week. Thanks for listening, go educate and innovate.
Fuzz Martin 9:52
The ideas and opinions expressed in this podcast and the smartwi.com website are those in the author's Shanna Martin and that of her employer prior to using any of the technologies discussed on this podcast please consult with your employer regulations. This podcast offers no guarantee that these tools will work for you as described, but we hope they do. And we'll talk to you next time right here on the Tech Tools for Teachers Podcast.