Be the FUN Science Teacher! – Exemplary Teaching Guide

How can I be Exemplary?

Thinking back to your high school science experience, which lessons or teachers did you remember the most? I am sure you have forgotten the various lectures or worksheets, and maybe the content itself. How can your class be different? How can an educator become EXEMPLARY?

  • Start your school year off with a fun introduction activity. (Introduce yourself and your students). 

-Create a jeopardy or family feud-style activity to engage the students on the first day instead of reading the syllabus. 

  • Build lessons based on what the students WANT to explore. 

-Allow students to research topics that interest them within the constraints of your lesson plan. This will create memorable information instead of having students memorize it. 

  • Allow students to ask questions that encourage scientific discussion. 

-Have students watch a TED talk or scientific video to prompt an in-class discussion and further research. 

  • Build lesson plans into fun games such as orbital battleship (Explained below). 

-Having students engage in an activity instead of a worksheet helps them remember the content and enjoy the class time. 

  • Encourage students to explore REAL science and listen to professionals. 

-Bring in guest speakers who are researchers, doctors, or even professors to inform students about the endless possibilities in the world of science! This will get them interested in how science can be incorporated into their FUTURE! 

  • Incorporate STEM into a few science activities and have students identify how the activity relates to each letter of STEM. 

-Make sure some lesson activities involve Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and have students discuss how the activity tied into each. 

  • Be open to learning from your students as much as they learn from YOU!

-Allow yourself to make mistakes in lessons and go into the margins while discussing topics/questions. Not every lesson will go according to plan and a lot of natural discoveries can appear. 

Below are two lesson activities that could be great subsitutes to boring lectures. REMEMBER: Make science FUN for the students!!

Electron Configuration Battle Ship:

  • Made for chemistry teachers 9th-12th grade. 
  • Helps students develop the skills of identifying elements on the periodic table and their corresponding electron configurations. 
  • First, use laminated periodic table sheets to be the battleship board. Each pair of students should receive a board and a whiteboard marker. 
  • Students should have a folder to divide the desk to prevent each other from seeing each other’s boards. 
  • Have the students mark the location of five ships, each increasing in how many elements they include (1 element is one ship, 2 elements together in a line is one ship, 3 elements together in a line is one ship, etc.) 
  • The ship setup is just like using a normal battle shipboard! Just place them on the elements!
  • Have the students call out their guesses of each other’s ship location by using the element’s electron configuration. (example: Carbon would be [He]2s^2 2p^2)
  • Students can read carbon as [He]2s^2 2p^2 or 1s^2 2s^2 2p^2

Example of in-class STEM Activity: Egg Drop

  • Have your students use simple materials such as spoons, straws, cardboard, tape, toilet paper, and any other classroom materials available. 
  • Put a TWIST on this activity by not allowing students to make a parachute but a contraption such as the body of a car. 
  • Give students a period of time to plan out a design that could protect a raw egg from a 12-foot drop. They are designed for impact not to slow it using a parachute
  • After each student or group of students finishes building their design, place the egg in the planned position. 
  • Use a ladder to drop each group’s design with the raw egg inside. Students should then be given a paper to summarize how each step of the design process is equivalent to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. 

-Science: Students consider gravity, acceleration, and impact absorption when planning their design. 

-Technology: Students should consider the materials provided as the tools to achieve their design goals. 

-Engineering: Students use the concept of engineering to create solutions for the egg drop test. Engineering incorporates the design process and construction. 

-Mathematics: Students conceptualize the use of angles, lines, and geometry. 


  • Make science teaching FUN! Step outside your comfort zone and allow your students to be active in their own learning.
  • Switch out boring worksheets with STEM activities or engaging lessons.
  • Start the school year off right by using fun activities like family feuds to keep engagement.
  • Your classroom is not a monarchy, it should be a DEMOCRACY!
  • Be there for your students and the engagement will follow. Nobody will ever remember a boring unit worksheet, but they would remember building models of cells or bringing their ideas to life.
  • Step outside the norms in the classroom to allow for natural scientific discussion and discovery. Not every lesson goes to plan, and that is OKAY!


  1. Hi Ms. Lord! This is a great post, it is super engaging and very informative. I loved the battleship idea! I also liked how your explained the egg drop and included how the activity relates to STEM. Is there a way to encourage students to explore real science beyond bringing in guest speakers? Great post!

  2. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I remember the battle ship game in chemistry like it was tomorrow. That high school chemistry class inspired me to become a science teacher and to LOVE SCIENCE! Hopefully, these ideas can be useful in your future classroom!

  3. Hi Katie! I think the two activities you included and explained in your post seem like so much fun and very intriguing! I’ve never played a game like the battleship activity but I think it is a great way to cover the periodic table! Students learn well when they are receiving information in multiple forms. Games and activities like these help solidify a students understanding of course content while it also helps build social skills and foster classroom community!

  4. I LOVE YOUR BATTLESHIP IDEA. I would have loved this activity in high school. I struggled in chemistry and making the periodic table into a game would have helped me so much. I wonder if this concept could be used for any other topics as well.

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