3D Printer Club: Science Notebook Guidelines

Special Content: Repraps for Education

This is part of a series of posts about starting and facilitating a project-based 3D printer club at a local elementary school, with the ultimate goal of replicating the program at schools everywhere. We'll be posting as many details as possible, including lesson plans and supporting materials. For more information about the entire project, including a listing of posts related to it, please visit the 3D Printer Club for Schools project page. 

These guidelines were handed out with blank Science Notebooks to both the primary and secondary leads of each team (except for the maker team). The kids got right to work on setting them up properly.

Here are some guidelines for setting up your science notebook. Take a lot of notes as you work through the project, both during and outside of meetings. You can add to it at any time with any ideas you have or things you learn about or discover — you don’t need to wait for meetings or group work. Science notebooks are important because they will help you track your work and serve as a future resource for you and others. Plus you will have a detailed record of your discoveries and the science behind them.

  • On top of the very first page, write “Table of Contents.” This will be a running list of the entire contents of your notebook, and will include the date, the title, and the page number of what’s included in it.
    • On the top of the left column (to the left of the leftmost line), write “Date.”
    • Write “Title” at the top of the middle column.
    • Write “Page” at the top of the right-hand column (to the right of the rightmost line).
  • You can fit about 15-20 entries on each page, so leave six pages blank (three sheets), and write the number “1” on the upper right-hand corner of the fourth sheet. This is the page number.
  • One the top of Page 1 (the right-hand side of the fourth sheet) write the date followed by a title, and your initials. Because we’re starting this with a meeting, you might write “16 Nov. 2012 – Team Meeting #2 (AF).” Underline the title to indicate that it should be found in the Table of Contents. Next, go back to the table of contents, and enter the date, title, and page number on the first line, like so:
  Date    Title                               Page
11/16/12  Team Meeting #2 (AF)                  1
  • Write on (and number) the front and the back of every page, and don’t skip any pages unless you’re making room for lists, and try not to skip a lot of lines. It’s okay to have more than one new topic (and Table of Contents entry) on a single page in the notebook.
  • You can write notes and add entries at any time.
  • If you make a mistake or correction, cross it out with a single line so that the original is still readable. Sometimes it’s very handy to see what someone wrote before it was corrected, especially if it’s a change in some data.
  • For our club, the Science Notebooks stay with the team leaders, even if those leaders change from time to time.

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