Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Happy Summer!


The school year is coming to a close! You are probably focused on your upcoming day of relaxation, or perhaps transitioning into your summer job. With the pressure of the daily grind off your shoulders — while a short, and let's be honest, precious time — summer is a great time to just relax and decompress from the school year.

Without thinking about lesson plans or student portfolios, take in the world around you this summer. As you lay by a swimming pool (I hope!) take a moment to notice the water. What do you see? How does it move? As you daydream in the sunshine while watching a completely still swimming pool, do you see almost a skin covering the surface of the water? 

Do you notice shadows when you're taking nice long walks on a wooded path? What about walking through the city? You will probably notice that the shadows are shorter now that it's summer time. Take note of this so you can compare how the shadows in the natural world will change come fall and winter. 

Going anywhere fun? Will you be seeing any interesting buildings? What about bridges or other structures? Take some pictures with your cell phone and keep them to reference when you introduce building structures with your students in the fall. 

How cruel is it that I suggest thinking about science while you just want to get away from it all! But when the pressures are lifted and you actually have some time to just observe, this can be a useful way to experince the physical world. It's a simple way to prepare for the upcoming school year. Plus, it's good motivation to stop and smell the roses anyway, right? Or, em, watch the rain drops?

Happy Summer!

P.S. We would love to hear from you! Let us know what you notice this summer that you can incorporate into science learning in your classroom. Contact us!