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Posts Tagged ‘scientific method’

The Christopher Columbus Awards is a national, community-based STEM competition for middle school students and teachers looking to make a difference in their community. Working in teams, students identify a problem in the community and apply the scientific method to create an innovative solution.

Maximum award: $25,000 grant

Eligibility: schools (grades 6-8) and community groups

Deadline: February 4, 2013

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The placebo effect often complicates the objective evaluation of new drugs or medical procedures by introducing biases into the results. In this activity, your students will get the chance to observe how belief and expectation can impact an experiment. As you’ll discover, the activity will require both unsuspecting subjects and a bit of deceit.

This lesson plan, designed for students in grades 5-8, offers the following:

  • Insight into placebos.
  • An activity that involves belief and bias in experiments.
  • An arena to apply critical thinking to Therapeutic Touch.

This resources was created by the team at Scientific American Frontiers; their website for educators offers an incredible number of teaching guides and lesson ideas.

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