Encourage students to keep a field journal.
Good science begins with learning how to observe your surroundings methodically, as to notice patterns, ask questions and form theories about what you are researching. Keeping a personal field journal can really empower each student to develop their thoughts and learn how to really think like a scientist.
Once students learn the scientific method, they should begin keeping a field journal immediately. This way they can apply the theoretical side of what they just learned to the practical in-field side, where their ability to interaction with the natural world is greatly enriched.
A field journal is a place where a field scientist can enter data in an organized manner, allowing them to look back over it later to notice patterns and correlations between various elements.
Conduct actual field research on your campus
As a teacher you can very easily set the criteria for conducting a real on-going research project, where you can monitor some area of campus, or something in the class room for a certain period of time every week. Students can enjoy the fresh air and excitement of going outdoors, even if just to an area of their school campus, and learn how to view their surroundings through the eyes of a scientist, how to collect data, and then how to look at it upon leaving the field.
Offer award celebrations, pizza parties, etc. for scientific class achievements.
Offer incentives for participation and excellence in the form of an award system. You can give awards for keeping the most detailed and well organized field journal, the most used and soiled field journal, the most well thought out hypothesis, etc. The sky is the limit for honoring the efforts and achievements of your science students.
Look for opportunities to enter your school or class into local, state-wide and national competitions.
Science fairs and competitions are a great way to boost the morale and engagement in your class, bringing out the natural and healthy competitiveness of children to advance them selves, building high self-esteem and altruistic character. These are the sort of experiences that create life long passion and interest in the incredible world of science.
Bring your students to an overnight outdoor education class trip.
A class trip, such as marine biology camp on Catalina Island, is an awesome opportunity to expose and immerse your students in a life changing educational experience. Students who participate at one of MSA’s youth camps are given the chance to develop a personal love, understanding and passion for marine science through hands on involvement. Each activity also gives them the opportunity to develop an aspect of themselves, work on a new skill, overcome a fear or aversion, and build character traits that make them feel great about themselves before heading back home at the end of the program.