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  • Next Generation Science Standards
  • Grades 6-8
20/20 Vision
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In this activity, students determine their own eyesight and calculate what a good average eyesight value for the class would be. Students learn about technologies to enhance eyesight and how engineers play an important role in the development of these technologies.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Denali Lander
Janet Yowell
Joe Freidrichsen
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/26/2008
3RC (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Compost)
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In this lesson, students expand their understanding of solid waste management to include the idea of 3RC (reduce, reuse, recycle and compost). They will look at the effects of packaging decisions (reducing) and learn about engineering advancements in packaging materials and solid waste management. Also, they will observe biodegradation in a model landfill (composting).

Subject:
Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Amy Kolenbrander
Janet Yowell
Jessica Todd
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
53 Miles per Burrito
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In this engineering, math, and sustainability project students answer the question, “Can I ride 53 miles on a bike from the energy of a single burrito?” They must define their variables, collect and analyze their data, and present their results. By the end of this project, developed by Allen Distinguished Educator Mike Wierusz, students should have all the information they need to design a burrito that would provide them with the exact caloric content necessary to ride 53 miles.

Subject:
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Allen Distinguished Educators
Date Added:
07/27/2016
6.2 Thermal Energy
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Unit Summary
This unit on thermal energy transfer begins with students testing whether a new plastic cup sold by a store keeps a drink colder for longer compared to the regular plastic cup that comes free with the drink. Students find that the drink in the regular cup warms up more than the drink in the special cup. This prompts students to identify features of the cups that are different, such as the lid, walls, and hole for the straw, that might explain why one drink warms up more than the other. 
Students investigate the different cup features they conjecture are important to explaining the phenomenon, starting with the lid. They model how matter can enter or exit the cup via evaporation However, they find that in a completely closed system, the liquid inside the cup still changes temperature. This motivates the need to trace the transfer of energy into the drink as it warms up. Through a series of lab investigations and simulations, students find that there are two ways to transfer energy into the drink: (1) the absorption of light and (2) thermal energy from the warmer air around the drink. They are then challenged to design their own drink container that can perform as well as the store-bought container, following a set of design criteria and constraints.
This unit builds toward the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs) as described in the OpenSciEd Scope & Sequence: MS-PS1-4*, MS-PS3-3, MS-PS3-4, MS-PS3-5, MS-PS4-2*, MS-ETS1-4. The OpenSciEd units are designed for hands-on learning and therefore materials are necessary to teach the unit. These materials can be purchased as science kits or assembled using the kit material list.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Module
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
09/10/2019
7.3 Metabolic Reactions
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Unit Summary
This unit on metabolic reactions in the human body starts out with students exploring a real case study of a middle-school girl named M’Kenna, who reported some alarming symptoms to her doctor. Her symptoms included an inability to concentrate, headaches, stomach issues when she eats, and a lack of energy for everyday activities and sports that she used to play regularly. She also reported noticeable weight loss over the past few months, in spite of consuming what appeared to be a healthy diet. Her case sparks questions and ideas for investigations around trying to figure out which pathways and processes in M’Kenna’s body might be functioning differently than a healthy system and why. 
Students investigate data specific to M’Kenna’s case in the form of doctor’s notes, endoscopy images and reports, growth charts, and micrographs. They also draw from their results from laboratory experiments on the chemical changes involving the processing of food and from digital interactives to explore how food is transported, transformed, stored, and used across different body systems in all people. Through this work of figuring out what is causing M’Kenna’s symptoms, the class discovers what happens to the food we eat after it enters our bodies and how M’Kenna’s different symptoms are connected.
This unit builds towards the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs) as described in the OpenSciEd Scope & Sequence: MS-LS1-3, MS-LS1-5, MS-LS1-7, MS-PS1-1, MS-PS1-2. The OpenSciEd units are designed for hands-on learning, and therefore materials are necessary to teach the unit. These materials can be purchased as science kits or assembled using the kit material list.
Additional Unit InformationNext Generation Science Standards Addressed in this UnitPerformance ExpectationsThis unit builds toward the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs):

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Module
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
09/10/2019
8.2 Sound Waves
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Unit Summary
In this unit, students develop ideas related to how sounds are produced, how they travel through media, and how they affect objects at a distance. Their investigations are motivated by trying to account for a perplexing anchoring phenomenon — a truck is playing loud music in a parking lot and the windows of a building across the parking lot visibly shake in response to the music.
They make observations of sound sources to revisit the K–5 idea that objects vibrate when they make sounds. They figure out that patterns of differences in those vibrations are tied to differences in characteristics of the sounds being made. They gather data on how objects vibrate when making different sounds to characterize how a vibrating object’s motion is tied to the loudness and pitch of the sounds they make. Students also conduct experiments to support the idea that sound needs matter to travel through, and they will use models and simulations to explain how sound travels through matter at the particle level.
This unit builds toward the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs) as described in the OpenSciEd Scope & Sequence: MS-PS4-1, MS-PS4-2. The OpenSciEd units are designed for hands-on learning and therefore materials are necessary to teach the unit. These materials can be purchased as science kits or assembled using the kit material list.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Module
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
09/10/2019
AM I on the Radio?
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Student groups create working radios by soldering circuit components supplied from AM radio kits. By carrying out this activity in conjunction with its associated lesson concerning circuits and how AM radios work, students are able to identify each circuit component they are soldering, as well as how their placement causes the radio to work. Besides reinforcing lesson concepts, students also learn how to solder, which is an activity that many engineers perform regularly giving students a chance to be able to engage in a real-life engineering activity.

Subject:
Engineering
Electronic Technology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Brandon Jones
Emily Spataro
Lara Oliver
Lisa Burton
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Accelerometer: Centripetal Acceleration
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Students work as physicists to understand centripetal acceleration concepts. They also learn about a good robot design and the accelerometer sensor. They also learn about the relationship between centripetal acceleration and centripetal force governed by the radius between the motor and accelerometer and the amount of mass at the end of the robot's arm. Students graph and analyze data collected from an accelerometer, and learn to design robots with proper weight distribution across the robot for their robotic arms. Upon using a data logging program, they view their own data collected during the activity. By activity end , students understand how a change in radius or mass can affect the data obtained from the accelerometer through the plots generated from the data logging program. More specifically, students learn about the accuracy and precision of the accelerometer measurements from numerous trials.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Carlo Yuvienco
Jennifer S. Haghpanah
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Acid Rain Effects
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Students conduct a simple experiment to model and explore the harmful effects of acid rain (vinegar) on living (green leaf and eggshell) and non-living (paper clip) objects.

Subject:
Engineering
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Amy Kolenbrander
Denise Carlson
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Natalie Mach
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Acid (and Base) Rainbows
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Students are introduced to the differences between acids and bases and how to use indicators, such as pH paper and red cabbage juice, to distinguish between them.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Amy Kolenbrander
Denise Carlson
Gwendolyn Frank
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Natalie Mach
Sharon Perez
Date Added:
09/26/2008
Acids and Bases LCPS
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This activity must be conducted under the direct supervision of an adult familar with laboratory safety practices. Personal protection equipment, inlcuding goggles and apron must be utilized.In this exploration students will:recognize some acids and bases as common and familiar household chemicals.realize that acids and bases are not necessarily strong or dangerous.determine the pH of different chemical compounds and categorize them as acids or bases.investigate how the difference between acids and bases correlates to the difference in hydrogen ion concentration of solutions of the two classes of compounds.Link to lesson

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Author:
Jennifer Chang
Date Added:
06/01/2017
Across the MOAT (Mountains, Obstacles, Aerial, Terrain)
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How can you use the Engineering Design Process to access a geographically inaccessible location to deliver supplies?

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Student Guide
Author:
Joshua Beals
David Fordoski
Douglas Kase
Megan Altebrando
Carol Heath
Date Added:
02/28/2019
Action-Reaction! Rocket
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Students construct rockets from balloons propelled along a guide string. They use this model to learn about Newton's three laws of motion, examining the effect of different forces on the motion of the rocket.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Ben Heavner
Denise W. Carlson
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Sabre Duren
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Adaptations Through Natural Selection
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Students will plan and design an imaginary organism that lives in the Temperate Deciduous Forest, Tropical Rainforest, or Desert. Students will then identify three adaptations of this animal, and determine how the adaptations of that animal may respond to a change in the ecosystem.

Subject:
Life Science
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership
Author:
Dan Leighton
Date Added:
07/01/2015
Air - Is It Really There?
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By watching and performing several simple experiments, students develop an understanding of the properties of air: it has mass, it takes up space, it can move, it exerts pressure, it can do work.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Amy Kolenbrander
Daria Kotys-Schwartz
Denise Carlson
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Natalie Mach
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Air Masses
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This is Activity 12 of a set of Level 1 activities designed by the Science Center for Teaching, Outreach, and Research on Meteorology (STORM) Project. The authors suggest that previous activities in the unit be completed before Activity 12: Air Masses, including those that address pressure systems and dew point temperature. In Activity 12, the students learn about the four main types of air masses that affect weather in the United States, their characteristic temperatures, and humidity levels as it relates to dew point temperatures. The lesson plan follows the 5E format. Initially, students discuss local weather and then examine surface temperature and dew point data on maps to determine patterns and possible locations of air masses. They learn about the source regions of air masses and compare their maps to a forecast weather map with fronts and pressure systems drawn in. During the Extension phase, students access current maps with surface and dew point temperatures at http://www.uni.edu/storm/activities/level1 and try to identify locations of air masses. They sketch in fronts and compare their results to the fronts map. Evaluation consists of collection of student papers.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
University of Northern Iowa
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Science Center for Teaching, Outreach, and Research on Meteorology (STORM)
Date Added:
10/12/2015
Air Pollution
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Students are introduced to the concept of air quality by investigating the composition, properties, atmospheric layers and everyday importance of air. They explore the sources and effects of visible and invisible air pollution. By learning some fundamental meteorology concepts (air pressure, barometers, prediction, convection currents, temperature inversions), students learn the impact of weather on air pollution control and prevention. Looking at models and maps, they explore the consequences of pollutant transport via weather and water cycles. Students are introduced to acids, bases and pH, and the environmental problem of acid rain, including how engineers address this type of pollution. Using simple models, they study the greenhouse effect, the impact of increased greenhouse gases on the planet's protective ozone layer and the global warming theory. Students explore the causes and effects of the Earth's ozone holes through an interactive simulation. Students identify the types and sources of indoor air pollutants in their school and home, evaluating actions that can be taken to reduce and prevent poor indoor air quality. By building and observing a few simple models of pollutant recovery methods, students explore the modern industrial technologies designed by engineers to clean up and prevent air pollution.

Subject:
Engineering
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Air Pollution in the Pacific Northwest
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Students are introduced to measuring and identifying sources of air pollution, as well as how environmental engineers try to control and limit the amount of air pollution. In Part 1, students are introduced to nitrogen dioxide as an air pollutant and how it is quantified. Major sources are identified, using EPA bar graphs. Students identify major cities and determine their latitudes and longitudes. They estimate NO2 values from color maps showing monthly NO2 averages from two sources: a NASA satellite and the WSU forecast model AIRPACT. In Part 2, students continue to estimate NO2 values from color maps and use Excel to calculate differences and ratios to determine the model's performance. They gain experience working with very large numbers written in scientific notation, as well as spreadsheet application capabilities.

Subject:
Engineering
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Farren Herron-Thorpe
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Air Pressure
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Air pressure is pushing on us all the time although we do not usually notice it. In this activity, students learn about the units of pressure and get a sense of just how much air pressure is pushing on them.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Alex Conner
Geoffrey Hill
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Tom Rutkowski
Date Added:
10/14/2015