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COYEC Classes and Activities for Schools

Classes are generally offered at no cost. Some are a single activity, ranging from 1-2 hours. Others are offered through multiple sessions or on a weekly basis. Most hands-on classes are appropriate for a single class. Some demonstration activities are available for larger groups. Each activity includes a vocabulary sheet and multiple worksheets for assessment, grade level appropriate. All classes are conducted at your school, except for field trips.

If you are a teacher and would like to have COYEC visit your class, just send us an e-mail [1] with the class(es) you are interested in, grade level(s) of your students, and potential dates and times. A printable flyer is available here.

Math

Flexagons

  • Grades 3-8. Flexagons are interested topological contraptions that fold in unexpected ways. Some flexagons have practical applications, such as the door hinge that swings in and out, and some fancy greeting cards are also based on flexagons. There are tetraflexagons that fold vertically, horizontally, or both, and hexaflexagons, that fold in three directions. This hands-on activity involves cutting and folding - some manual dexterity is required. 60 minutes to 120 minutes is required, depending on the number of activities.

Math Bowl

  • Grades 6-12. Similarly to the AP Calculus Calc Bowl run annually by COYEC, we can develop math competitions for any level of K-12 math, for a single class, multiple classes, or even a school district. Just call us with your idea!

Physics - Mechanics

  • Grades 4-8. Vibration and sound - Sound pitch as a frequency of vibration, demonstrated by resonance in musical instruments and resonating bowls, vibration from earthquakes and its effect on structures. A combination of demonstration and hands-on experiments. Students will make humming horns and xylophones.
  • Grades 3-8. CO2 dragster – Learn about the physics principal of action and reaction. Make and race a CO2 cartridge-powered dragster as a demonstration of reaction. These are pretty easy to make, even for younger students. Can be done with a larger group or with learning buddies provided that there is work area available. Requires about 60 minutes to make the cars and another 60 minutes or so to race them, depending on the group size.
  • Grades 4-8. Springs and pendulums – Experiment with springs and pendulums, masses and weight. What factors control the frequency of oscillations of bobbing and swing masses? Work sheets. Calculation required. Two sessions of 90 minutes.
  • Grades 3-8. Gravity and air friction – Important forces of nature. The egg drop challenge! Students will make parachutes to try to protect a falling chicken egg by balancing gravity with air friction. What size and shape of parachute works the best? Two sessions of 90 minutes.
  • Grades 4-6. Cat-a-pult - Levers, catapults and trebuchets - midieval physics applied to the problem of throwing heavy objects. Did you know that trebuchets have been built that can throw a full size car? Students will build catapults and complete in the cat-a-pult contest. Three sessions of 60-90 minutes each.

Physics - Electricity and Magnetism

Magnetism

  • Grades K-8. Magnetism – how magnets and electromagnets work. Make a magnet out of iron filings and see how the magnetism is lost when the filings are shaken. Make a current meter with a coil of wire and a compass. Older students make several electromagnets and measure their strength as a function of the number of turns of wire. Make a magnetic levitator with several ring magnets. Students make and keep their completed devices. One (lower grades) or two (higher grades) sessions of 90 minutes.

Electricity

  • Grades K-8. Electricity I – demonstrations and experiments with static electricity and high voltage. Students will conduct experiments to determine what combination of insulating materials works the best as static electricity generators. Measure static electricity with an electroscope. Van de Graaff and Tesla-coil electric spark demonstrations. One or two sessions of [60-120 minutes].
  • Grades 5-8. Electricity II – experiments with electric circuits; the difference between series and parallel circuits; the energy storage properties of capacitors and inductors; how transistors amplify electric currents. Single session of 90 minutes.

Batteries

  • Grades 3-8. Batteries I – make batteries (wet cells) from lemons and metal plates of different metals. Measure the strength of the electricity (voltage and current) produced with the various combinations of electrodes. Make light with a lemon battery. Single session of 90 minutes.
  • Grades 3-8. Batteries II – make a pair of real dry cells (D size) and use them in a flashlight. Single session of 90 minutes. Students keep their batteries and flashlights.

Electronics

  • Grades 3-8. Electronics I (Electronics Take Apart) – take apart electronic equipment to learn about the basic electronic components – resistors, capacitors, transistors, inductors, transformers, and integrated circuits. Make an electronic component collection display. Single session of 90-120 minutes. Students will keep their electronic component collections.
  • Grades 6-8. Electronics II – make a working electronic circuit (light flasher) – involves learning about basic electronic components and soldering of components to printed circuit boards. Single session of 120 minutes. Students keep their completed projects.

Physics - Light and Optics

  • Grades 4-8. Lasers, Mirrors, Prisms and Lenses – activities with light and optical elements (lasers, lenses, prisms, gratings, mirrors) to learn about the properties of light and the reflection, refraction and diffraction of light. Concentrate the sun’s rays using concave mirrors and convex lenses. Laser tag game. One or two 90 minute sessions.

Chemistry

Kitchen Chemistry

  • Grades 2-5. Kitchen Chemistry. Hands-on activities for kids exhibiting color, temperature and state changes through chemical reactions with materials found in everyone's kitchen. A single session of 90 minutes.

Chemistry Variety Show

  • Grades 4-8. Chemistry Variety Show – heat, cold, endothermic and exothermic reactions. Combination of demonstrations and activities - can do this for a larger audience or for two classes if desired. Demonstration is a single 1 hr session. Optional student activities add another 90 minutes.

Glow in the Dark

  • Grades 4-8. Glow in the dark – fluorescence, luminescence and chemiluminescence. Demonstrations - can be done for a larger audience. Requires a darkened room. A single session of 1 hr.

Plastics and Polymers

  • Grades 5-8. Plastics and polymers – students will make and study several different kinds of polymers while learning how they are made. A single session of 90 mins.

Geology

Colorado Minerals

  • Grades 5-12. Geology and mineralogy – Students will learn about minerals of Colorado and make their own rock collection. We provide all the rock and fossil specimens for your students. Any size class. 90 minutes for a single session up to several sessions.

Oil and Gas

  • Grades 5-12. Where Do Oil and Gas Come From? – study crude oil and oil shale samples plus micro-fossils to better understand where our fossil fuel resources originate and how we get them out of the ground. A single 90 minute session.

Geology Club

  • Grades 3-8. Geology club - Students will learn about minerals of Colorado and make their own rock collection, get hands-on experience with rock cutting and polishing tools, and go on collecting field trips. Typically, this program is offered before or after school one day per week.

Biology and Environmental Science

  • COYEC volunteers offer a variety of classroom activities in the biological and environmental science. Send us an e-mail with a request for the topic you need and we'll do our best to accommodate your needs.

Space Science and Astronomy

  • COYEC volunteers offer a variety of classroom activities in the space sciences and astronomy. Send us an e-mail with a request for the topic you need and we'll do our best to accommodate your needs.

Computers and Technology

Computer Club

  • Grades 5-8. Before or after-school computer club. Students learn to program games and create websites.