With a little intentionality and planning, social-emotional learning skills can be implemented into any content area.

5 science lessons that foster students’ social-emotional growth


With a little intentionality and planning, SEL skills can be implemented into any content area

Mystery Powders: In the Mystery Powders investigation, students run chemical tests on multiple powders to identify their characteristics and use their observations to identify the mystery powder and catch a criminal. Throughout this investigation students have decisions to make: Do I carefully follow procedures? Or cut corners? These decisions can impact the outcome and quality of the data they collect as well as their conclusions’ credibility. Help students reflect on the impact of their decisions by using this Cause and Effect evaluation rubric

What’s in Your Water? In this project-based learning unit, students learn all about water. They build watershed models, collect local water samples, and run tests to determine water quality. Because social awareness is at the heart of project-based learning, student use their knowledge of water to make the difference in the world. Students explore water issues that exist in the world, connect with industry experts and share with an authentic audience by raising money for a water charity of their choice.

A-MAZE-zing Spheros: The Sphero Maze investigation is a great introduction to programming and robotics. Students use computational thinking and block coding as they navigate their sphero through a maze and attempt to decrease their runtime. Students that are self-aware are not only able to recognize their strengths and weaknesses but can also see their potential. The Power of Yet can help students shift their fixed mindset to a growth mindset. This rubric serves as a reminder for students that they are capable of completing each challenge, they just might not be able to YET.

By helping our students grow into emotionally healthy individuals, we can give them the knowledge and resources they need to overcome any obstacle. The greatest accomplishments in human history have always required a bit of teamwork. With proper knowledge of SEL, who knows what our students will achieve together?

If you found these strategies helpful, be sure to check out this free resource from Van Andel Institute for Education: 5 Ways to Use Science to Teach Social-Emotional Learning.

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