Play-Doh Enhances Lab Work at Finley

Play-Doh Enhances Lab Work at Finley photo
Seventh-graders in Donald Ingegno’s class at Finley Middle School have been busy conducting labs as part of their classroom learning.  

Mr. Ingegno incorporated Play-Doh into class instruction to reinforce students’ coordination, focus and motor skills. The first of the two labs was during Unit Four: Atoms and Periodic Table. The students built their own atoms and labeled its parts: nucleus, protons, neutrons and electrons. The class also used M&M’s to show the elections in their electron configuration. 

The second lab kicked off Unit Six, where the students were introduced to potential and kinetic energy. The class used an animated roller coaster as their model to help them identify which parts of the roller coaster have potential and kinetic energies. They then drafted a drawing of their own roller coaster, labeling the parts that identified the potential and kinetic energies. Finally students had fun building their own roller coasters out of Play-Doh.

Each lab concludes with a write-up that connects to the scientific method and questions that prompt student engagement suggestions on how they would change the lab.