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The Teaching Tank® and Teaching Tank Discovery Books© – Making Hands-On Science a Reality
By Captivation, Inc.

Available at and

By Linda Foster

Teaching science is generally approached in a manner that creates confusion for students and quells their desire to explore the subject. The confusion and boredom resulting from this common approach are major barriers to teaching science. The Teaching Tank® and Teaching Tank Discovery Books© are designed to remove these barriers and stimulate student interest and involvement in the science curriculum.

The Teaching Tank® and The Discover Books© are geared for use by grade levels K through 12, and were specifically designed to stress the science skills of observing, measuring, calculating, interpreting data, formulating hypotheses, controlling variables, and experimenting. Using these instructional materials, students and/or teachers can easily demonstrate scientific principles including seed germination and growth, simple diffusion, evaporation and wind, water turbine, solar heating, and much more, in an exciting and visual way.

As the name suggests, The Teaching Tank® is just that — a tank. However, unlike the small test tubes or beakers commonly used in science experiments, The Teaching Tank® has a large 9” x 11” viewing area that is clearly visible from two sides, allowing several children to view experiments at the same time. The tank is easy to assemble; taking only minutes to set up, and is designed for use with 150 fully developed “ready-to-go” lessons found in the three Discovery Books. The lessons are well written and clearly defined and cover Life Sciences, Earth Science, Chemistry, and Physical Sciences.

The Kits are reasonably priced, beginning at $24.95 for The Budding Scientist Kit and includes a Teaching Tank Jr. and our 8 lesson Discovery Book “sampler”. Each of the three Discovery Books contains 50 different lessons/experiments which provide clearly-written, meaningful objectives, and emphasized skills. Materials lists and procedural steps are also provided. Of particular interest in each lesson are the sections entitled “Application to the Real World” and “Thinking Questions”. “Application to the Real World” discusses the relevance of the lesson to its use in everyday life situations. “Thinking Questions” offers some initial questions to stimulate creative thinking among the students and, hopefully, inspire them to delve further into the principles learned.

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Critical thinking has taken a backseat to rote memorization in recent years and any opportunity to stimulate student thinking should be welcome. The Teaching Tank® not only offers critical thinking questions, but also encourages their use in each and every lesson. The final section in each lesson is “Teaching Notes” which provides interesting and valuable information for further understanding of the completed lesson and explaining the “why” behind the experiments.

The Teaching Tank® is a hands-on, inquiry based learning experience that encourages cooperative learning, captivates interest and makes science fun. It is a perfect teaching tool, adaptable for use in the home, classroom and laboratory. Its cost and versatility make it especially appealing for homeschool settings, as approximately 95% of materials used for the experiments are common household products. Another appealing aspect for homeschoolers is the potential to adapt each lesson to multiple skill levels. For example, the lesson on Diffusion, using food color and poly-crystals can be a “Predict and Observe” lesson for the younger child at home and can simultaneously be a lesson on the true meaning of diffusion for an older child. The Teaching Tank® and Discovery Books© provide an opportunity for students of all ages to cultivate a love of science.  Involvement in the hands-on experiments offered by these innovative and exciting products allows students to acquire the knowledge and understanding of key scientific concepts and the relevance of these to their everyday lives. For additional information or to order these products, please visit  L.F.

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