Mystery Science is a paid for resource but there are free year-long trials for any school which has not already tried it! It is a whole set of short science mysteries – based around short videos – and the resource sounds like good fun.
For a Mystery Science activity walkthrough click here.
Their mission is to help children develop curiosity about the world, to get them to ask questions and develop ways of finding their answers, their mission statement says:
“…Think back to your experience in science class. All the memorization! The parts of a cell: nucleus, cytoplasm, mitochondria. Or the layers of the Earth: crust, mantle, molten core. But this memorization is empty knowledge. How do we know there’s a molten core in the middle of the Earth? Did your teacher ever mention that people have only drilled seven miles into the Earth, which doesn’t even get through the crust? This is the place the conversation should start! Children are rarely, if ever, given the opportunity to explore the questions that led to the discovery of the facts they’re memorizing.
Every scientific conclusion began as a mystery. Someone wondered something about the world, and they set out to investigate it. When we present scientific facts without also helping children to ponder the initial questions, it’s like jumping to the last page of a mystery novel. You skip the setup and the investigation, leaving you with a conclusion that’s detached and meaningless. Children are deprived of the excitement of wonder, the suspense of investigation, and the thrill of discovery. And worse, children learn to believe things because they’re told; this is the very opposite of what it means to think scientifically.
At Mystery Science, we believe that if you take a child’s questions seriously and help them to investigate, their natural curiosity will develop into a scientific perspective on the world. This ability to think scientifically is fundamental to any career or subject a child chooses to pursue as an adult. It’s the ability to look at a question or problem, systematically investigate and collect evidence, and come to an independent conclusion. …”(Mystery Science)
There is a lovely range of resources readily available:
If school has already had a free year’s trial, they are not eligible for a second free year, but if everyone in school has used it and found it really beneficial then it may be worth investigating the cost to purchase future years.