BEST ways to engage students in science classrooms!

1. Demonstrations

I think this is personally my favorite way to become engaged in a concept. I like to physically see an example happening so I can start forming some “why” questions in my head. The problem is, sometimes it’s hard to find cool demos that you can do without a huge budget, so below is a list of resources for demos that require few or less expensive materials.

2. Nature Cams

Live nature cams are more engaging than just watching a video about nature, I think it could be because of the fact that what you are watching is in real time. Each of the images below link to specific nature cams that I think are the coolest, but you could also browse the collection of cams that is on this website:

3. Virtual Field Trips

Virtual field trips can be a fun way to get your students interested in a topic. Here are just a few that I really enjoyed!

4. Simulations

If you click on each of the images above, they will take you to different simulations! The picture of a galaxy will take you to a planetarium simulation. The globe with the plate tectonics will take you to a simulation that allows you to zoom in on different plate boundaries across the world and learn about the type of plate boundary it is as well as other information about geologic activity that happens around that location. The final image will take you to a seismic wave simulation, where you can watch p-waves and s-waves as they travel through the earth.

5. Movies or movie clips

I think that watching a movie or tv show during class is a great thing to do when you have “down time,” like maybe right before winter break. It can be relaxing to both you and the students, while keeping them science-focused. Watching a whole science-related movie in class may not be possible, but you can definitely use clips from the movies pictured below and many others to engage your students!


  1. Hey Lydia,
    I loved your post. I specifically loved the films section of your post. How would you make an activity or collaborative project from these movie clips? Also, I loved your simulations! Do you have any activities in mind that students can utilize these simulations?

  2. Hi Lydia! I loved the graphics within your post. The graphics really enhanced the idea of the virtual field trips and the simulations. I also liked that you added links to the materials to save your readers time and make them more accessible. Do you think these supplies should be provided by the school?

    • Thanks Katie, I think that some materials should be provided by the school but it is likely that some won’t be – so you have to make adjustments to plan for that. For example, the stored energy demo has a drill as one of its listed materials, but you could use another sharp tool (maybe at home before coming to school) to poke precise holes in the cup. It’s all about being innovative 🙂

  3. Hi Lydia! This is a really informative post. The links you included were very useful, and I especially liked the simulations. I could see myself using the simulations or demonstrations in my future classroom! What strategies would you recommend for keeping students engaged during a virtual field trip?

    • Hey thanks Audrey, I think a good way to keep students engaged in a virtual field trip could be to have them do it in groups so that they can talk amongst themselves as they explore.

  4. Hi Lydia! I love the idea of incorporating live nature cams into my instruction in the future. It’s so cool and provides our students with an experience they may never get to have in person! Live nature cams such as the ones you included above would work great for the see-think-wonder thinking routine! What kind of lesson/topic would you use nature cams in?

    • Hi Hannah, I love the idea of watching some nature cams because you never know what you’re going to see! I think any time we talk about ecosystems or habitats would be a great time to watch some nature cams. And if you have a unit on climate change you could make a point to check out the polar bear nature cam linked in this post.

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