Most school have gardens (or al least some outdoor space that with a little work can be turn into gardens). Small, big, tidy, messy, whatever kind garden your school has it is a great science education tool.
Teachers have been using school gardens for years as tools to teach about environment, nutrition, social interaction, and interpersonal skills but their ofter overlook its great potencial for science education.
Several studies (you can see, for example, this study conducted by the US. National Gardening Association, or this study conducted by the Department of Horticulture from Luisiana State University, U.S.) show an increase on the science achievement in students that engage in school gardening activities as a part of their science curriculum.
A survey conducted by a group of researchers from Virginia Tech shows that most teachers are interested in the use of gardening or horticulture as class tools, but a lot of them feel the need for supplementary training in order to integrate the garden in their curriculum effectively.
I believe that school gardens are the one of best tools available for science teachers.
With very little money, a little imagination, and a lot of dedication you can create a living laboratory with almost endless resources.
To explore this theme further, over the next few week I'm writing a series of blog posts about school garden tips and science activities based on the school's garden.
(Visit my website @ lowcostscience.org where I share my thoughts on science and environmental education)