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Introducing Elementary Students to Science Equipment

By Kathy Foust

This lesson plan introduces elementary science equipment to your students. Use it to introduce the concept of accurate measurements in science.

Measurements in Science

Various branches of science tend to use various types of equipment. A great deal of the tools that science uses are used for making measurements. Discuss this with your students and ask them why measurements are so important in science. Then, introduce some of the elementary science equipment you will be using in your science class. Some examples are below. As you introduce each piece, tell the students what the equipment is used for and how it works.

  • Measuring cup
  • Magnifying glass
  • Ruler
  • Scale
  • Binoculars

Talk with your students about how measurements can be important in science. Then move on to the next section of this lesson plan.

Advanced Equipment

Once you introduce the elementary science equipment to your students, talk about advanced forms of the equipment they will be using. Children are used to concept of bigger is better. In science, the smaller the measurement you can use, the better off you are. The ideas become more and more focused as the science becomes more in-depth. Explain this concept to your students by comparing it to their video games. When video games came out they were not near as graphic as they are today. In fact, advances in science and technology have made the details of the game more visible. Ask students to take a look at the list of equipment again. Instruct students to tell you what similar equipment could be used that would give more accurate measurements. You may have to help the students as they may not be aware of some of the names of the more advanced science equipment.

  • Measuring cup - Graduate
  • Magnifying glass - Microscope
  • Ruler - Calipers
  • Scale - Balance
  • Binoculars - Telescope

Ask the students the following question; Why do scientists need more accurate measurements? Scientists like to take things apart and observe how they work. The more they can learn about the way things work, the more they can learn how to fix them and create new things. Use the following examples to demonstrate why detailed observation and measurements are important.

  • Consider medication. Pills are very small and a lot of times the active ingredient in the medication is only a small part of what is included in the medication. How would we make this medication if we only had measuring cups?
  • A virus cannot be seen with a magnifying glass. It can be seen with a microscope. How would we find cures for a virus if we could not study it?

Ask students for some more examples of why measuring equipment is important. Discuss the various reasons with them. Ask students how they think their elementary science equipment will be used in the coming school year.