Teachers can use Science Journal by Google to help students design and conduct their own investigations. Use the Getting Started activities on the Making & Science website to familiarize students with the tool. Each one takes only about 15 minutes.
If it works with your content, have students follow the detailed instructions to design, build, and test their own wind spinners. Otherwise, once students have spent some time playing with the app, encourage them to plan and carry out their own experiments.Continue reading Show less
Measure sound, light, and more using the sensors in your phone. Google refers to the Science Journal app as a pocket science laboratory because it allows students to measure data in real time using a phone. Sensors record ambient light (lux), intensity of sound in decibels (dB), and acceleration of the phone moving in three planes (m/s2). Students can design their own experiments and use Science Journal to collect and annotate data.
Google provides Getting Started activities on their Making & Science website. These activities are printable and will help acclimate students to the different tools available in the Science Journal app. Once the students get started they can build a project and save multiple trials to compare.
Science Journal by Google takes advantage of smartphones, which some students already own, to use as lab sensors. This can be a huge cost savings since similar science sensors range in costs up to $5,000. A similar app, Lab4Physics, does the same thing but works on Apple devices. Science Journal may be challenging if not enough students in a class have phones. One way that Science Journal is a step up from Lab4Physics is that you can record audio observations and take pictures while simultaneously collecting data. This helps students capture their thoughts in the moment but not quite at the level of Playground Physics, which takes video and traces the motion right on top.
Science Journal lets students take the lead in their science class. At the time of this review their support website, Making & Science, had only one experiment (Wind Spinners), but it exemplifies the Science and Engineering Practices from the Next Generation of Science Standards. Students are challenged to design their own structure and measure how well it spins in the wind. Students are also supported by tips that show up while using the tool. For example, after completing the first trial, students are encouraged to perform multiple trials to look for consistency in data.
Key Standards Supported
Construct and interpret graphical displays of data to describe the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass of an object and to the speed of an object.
Develop a model to describe that when the arrangement of objects interacting at a distance changes, different amounts of potential energy are stored in the system.
Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.
Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motions of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative position of particles (objects).
Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration.
Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
Use mathematical representations to describe a simple model for waves that includes how the amplitude of a wave is related to the energy in a wave.
Use mathematical representations to support a claim regarding relationships among the frequency, wavelength, and speed of waves traveling in various media.