Teaching outside the book

Some methods Michael Hansen has used to teach science to his students at the Linden STEAM Academy in Malden:



A student wears a swimsuit to class and submerges in a tank of water. Other students measure the water that’s displaced to figure out the density of a human body (just like the ancient Greek scholar Archimedes did).


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Students use real GPS data collected from around the world on the motion of Earth’s plates to figure out the direction and speed of its moving plates.


Students use software accessible through a government website to look at photos of arctic sea ice over the years to pro­ject how much ice will be lost in the future. Their results have been very similar to professional climate change scientists’ findings, according to Hansen.



Students use the MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network’s website to request specific photos of planets, which are taken and then e-mailed to them. They can add filters to get color photos.

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