Deer mice live in many different habitats across North America. In each subpopulation, their fur coloring is a good match to their habitat. How did this come to be? Students run simulated experiments controlling habitat, predators, and displays of data. An optional datasheet can be used to structure quantitative work. The activity includes suggested questions for students to investigate, with particular attention to how the adaptation occurs solely at the population level, while natural selection operates on individuals.
Learn to distinguish between exponential and logistic growth of populations, identify carrying capacity, differentiate density-dependent and density-independent limiting factors, apply population models to data sets and determine carrying capacity from population data. Make predictions on graphs and interpret graphical data to analyze factors that influence population growth.
What effect does geography have on air quality? Use this model to explore the effect of point-source pollution, geography, and wind on regional air quality.
What causes an area to have poor air quality? Use this model to explore the connections between pollution sources, weather, geography, and air quality. Discover which weather condition causes the development of additional air pollutants. Compare the effects of two different pollution sources, pollution-control devices, and changing weather conditions on the air quality over a city.
Create multiple versions of helium atoms and make observations of how changing protons, electrons, and neutrons affect atoms.
Create multiple versions of various atoms and record the number of protons, electrons, and neutrons in a table.
In this activity, students will explore how the Law of Conservation of Energy (the First Law of Thermodynamics) applies to atoms, as well as the implications of heating or cooling a system. This activity focuses on potential energy and kinetic energy as well as energy conservation. The goal is to apply what is learned to both our human scale world and the world of atoms and molecules.
Attractive forces between particles play a role in the properties of the three states of matter. The strength of the attractive force between particles is one factor that determines if a particular substance will be a solid, liquid, or gas. Vary the strength of the attractive force between particles in this model. Note that for a real substance, the strength does not vary, but this model shows how the strength of the attractive force determines the state of matter if the temperature is fixed.
Modeling traffic data is important for urban planning, creating transportation systems, and even predicting how much foot traffic a retail store can expect in a given day. This genre of dynamic data science activities could be classified as “finding a needle in a haystack,” giving students a chance to mine big data to make insights about traffic use.
According to the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, about 400,000 people used the BART system daily in 2018. In BARTy, students investigate BART data from 2015 to learn about passenger use and explore traffic patterns. The Teacher Guide includes a game-like investigation to locate a “mystery meeting,” and suggests ways to help students figure out peak passenger use, popular stations, and the impact of events in San Francisco on BART usage.
Modeling traffic data is important for urban planning, creating transportation systems, and even predicting how much foot traffic a retail store can expect in a given day. This genre of dynamic data science activities could be classified as “finding a needle in a haystack,” giving students a chance to mine big data to make insights about traffic use. According to the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, about 400,000 people used the BART system daily in 2018. In BARTy, students investigate BART data from 2015 to learn about passenger use and explore traffic patterns.
In this experiment, two chemicals that can be found around the house will be mixed within a plastic baggie, and several chemical changes will be observed.
This model allows you to explore why polar and non-polar substances have very different boiling points. While all molecules are attracted to each other, some attractions are stronger than others. Non-polar molecules are attracted through a London dispersion attraction; polar molecules are attracted through both the London dispersion force and the stronger dipole-dipole attraction. The force of attractions between molecules has consequences for their interactions in physical, chemical and biological applications.
Explore the relationships between properties of molecules, temperature, and movement of particles.
Adjust the initial velocity of a third atom as it hits two bonded atoms and track the changes in energy during this interaction.
Bridges come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and lengths and are found all over the world. It is important that bridges are strong so they are safe to cross. Design and build a your own model bridge. Test your bridge for strength using a force sensor that measures how hard you pull on your bridge. By observing a graph of the force, determine the amount of force needed to make your bridge collapse.
A bungee jump involves jumping from a tall structure while connected to a large elastic cord. Design a bungee jump that is "safe" for a hard-boiled egg. Create a safety egg harness and connect it to a rubber band, which is your the "bungee cord." Finally, attach your bungee cord to a force sensor to measures the forces that push or pull your egg.
A zip line is a way to glide from one point to another while hanging from a cable. Design and create a zip line that is safe for a hard-boiled egg. After designing a safety egg harness, connect the harness to fishing line or wire connected between two chairs of different heights using a paper clip. Learn to improve your zip line based on data. Attach a motion sensor at the bottom of your zip line and display a graph to show how smooth a ride your egg had!
Earthquakes happen when forces in the Earth cause violent shaking of the ground. Earthquakes can be very destructive to buildings and other man-made structures. Design and build various types of buildings, then test your buildings for earthquake resistance using a shake table and a force sensor that measures how hard a force pushes or pulls your building.
Working with large datasets that support exploration of patterns is an essential first step in becoming fluent with data. In this dynamic data science activity, students can access part of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, containing demographic information about California residents (e.g., marital status, sex, place of birth, employment status, and health information). Students can try some of the suggested data science challenges, such as finding out the average income of Californians of different age groups in 2013, then engage in investigating their own questions.
Our agricultural system is made up of interconnected resources. The availability of these resources affects how much food we can produce. In this module, you will explore the resources that make up our agricultural system in order to answer the question: can we feed the growing population? Food production is faced with an ever-growing number of challenges. Growing enough food depends on the availability of resources such as arable land, sunlight, rain, and organic matter. Throughout this activity, you will explore land uses and soil quality through graphs of land use and crop production. You will run experiments with computational models to compare the effect of different management strategies on the land. You will not be able to answer the module's framing question at the end of the module, but you will be able to describe how humans can maintain and replenish important resources to be able to produce food long into the future.
There are two types of catalysis reactions: homogeneous and heterogeneous. In a homogeneous reaction, the catalyst is in the same phase as the reactants. In a heterogeneous reaction, the catalyst is in a different phase from the reactants. This activity addresses homogeneous catalysis.
Cellular respiration is the process by which our bodies convert glucose from food into energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Start by exploring the ATP molecule in 3D, then use molecular models to take a step-by-step tour of the chemical reactants and products in the complex biological processes of glycolysis, the Krebs cycle, the Electron Transport Chain, and ATP synthesis. Follow atoms as they rearrange and become parts of other molecules and witness the production of high-energy ATP molecules.
Explore what happens when a force is exerted on a ceramic material. There are many different types of materials. Each material has a particular molecular structure, which is responsible for the material's mechanical properties. The molecular structure of each material affects how it responds to an applied force at the macroscopic level.
Observe how a chemical reaction evolves over time and affects the balance of potential and kinetic energy in the system.
Explore the relationship between charge, electric fields, and forces on objects by manipulating charge.
Explore the role of charge in interatomic interactions. The forces attracting neutral atoms are called Van der Waals attractions, which can be weak or strong, depending on the atoms involved. Charged atoms (also known as ions) can repel or attract via Coulomb forces, and the forces involved are much stronger. Oppositely charged atoms attract to each other, while similarly charged atoms repel. The attractive forces between atoms have consequences for their interactions in physical, chemical and biological applications.
In this activity, students explore reactions in which chemical bonds are formed and broken. Students experiment with changing the temperature and the concentration of the atoms in order to see how these affect reaction rates. They also learn how to communicate what happens during a chemical reaction by writing the ratios of reactants and products, known as stoichiometry.
Explore the energy exchange between colliding objects and observe how energy transfer occurs under various circumstances.
CODAP (Common Online Data Analysis Platform) is an easy to use data analysis environment that can be used in a wide variety of educational settings. CODAP is designed for grades 5 through 14, and aimed at teachers and curriculum developers. CODAP can be used across the curriculum to help students summarize, visualize, and interpret data, Conadvancing their skills to use data as evidence to support a claim.
Investigate the difference in attractive force between polar and non-polar molecules by 'pulling' apart pairs of molecules. While all molecules are attracted to each other, some attractions are stronger than others. Non-polar molecules are attracted through a London dispersion attraction; polar molecules are attracted through both the London dispersion force and the stronger dipole-dipole attraction. The force of attractions between molecules has consequences for their interactions in physical, chemical and biological applications.
Investigate the difference in attractive force between polar and non-polar molecules by "pulling" apart pairs of molecules. While all molecules are attracted to each other, some attractions are stronger than others. Non-polar molecules are attracted through a London dispersion attraction; polar molecules are attracted through both the London dispersion force and the stronger dipole-dipole attraction. The force of attractions between molecules has consequences for their interactions in physical, chemical and biological applications.
Compare the change in potential energy when you separate molecules from each versus when you break molecules apart.
Explore a NetLogo model of populations of rabbits, grass, and weeds. First, adjust the model to start with a different rabbit population size. Then adjust model variables, such as how fast the plants or weeds grow, to get more grass than weeds. Change the amount of energy the grass or weeds provide to the rabbits and the food preference. Use line graphs to monitor the effects of changes you make to the model, and determine which settings affect the proportion of grass to weeds when rabbits eat both.
Before Ernest Rutherford's famous gold foil experiment in 1911, it was not known how the positive part of the atom was distributed. His experiment showed that if you shot positively charged particles at the atoms in a very thin sheet of gold foil, that very rarely, a particle would bounce back from the foil rather than going straight through it. Experiment with changing the distribution of positive charge and see how it affects the paths of positively charged particles moving near it.
This interactive, scaffolded activity allows students to build an atom within the framework of a newer orbital model. It opens with an explanation of why the Bohr model is incorrect and provides an analogy for understanding orbitals that is simple enough for grades 8-9. As the activity progresses, students build atoms and ions by adding or removing protons, electrons, and neutrons. As changes are made, the model displays the atomic number, net charge, and isotope symbol. Try the "Add an Electron" page to build electrons around a boron nucleus and see how electrons align from lower-to-higher energy. This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology. The Concord Consortium develops deeply digital learning innovations for science, mathematics, and engineering. The models are all freely accessible. Users may register for additional free access to capture data and store student work products.
This interactive activity helps learners visualize the role of electrons in the formation of ionic and covalent chemical bonds. Students explore different types of chemical bonds by first viewing a single hydrogen atom in an electric field model. Next, students use sliders to change the electronegativity between two atoms -- a model to help them understand why some atoms are attracted. Finally, students experiment in making their own models: non-polar covalent, polar covalent, and ionic bonds. This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology.
Interactive STEM activities, free for your classroom. Bring out the inner scientist in all your students with our scientifically accurate models and activities. Search below or head over to our NGSS Pathfinder! We’ve been expanding and deepening STEM inquiry with technology for over 20 years. Our free, cutting-edge tools and resources have brought STEM practices to life for over a million learners worldwide.
• Atomic Structure
• Boiling Point
• Ceramic Forces
• Charged and Neutral Atoms
• Comparing Dipole-Dipole to London Dispersion
• Concentrating Charge and Electric Fields
• Crookes Tube
• Diffusion Across a Semipermeable Membrane
• Diffusion and Molecular Mass
• Diffusion and Temperature
• Diffusion of a Drop
• Electrons in Atoms and Molecules
• Exploring Electron Properties
• Factors Affecting London Dispersion Attractions
• Gas Laws & Human Biology
• Gas Laws & Weather Balloons
• Hydrogen Bonds: A Special Type of Attraction
• Intermolecular Attractions and States of Matter
• Metal Forces
• Molecular View of a Gas
• Molecular View of a Liquid
• Molecular View of a Solid
• Oil and Water
• Phase Change
• Plastic Forces
• Polarity and Attractive Strength
• Seeing Intermolecular Attractions
• States of Matter
• The Temperature-Pressure Relationship
• The Temperature-Volume Relationship
• The Volume-Pressure Relationship
• Tire Forces
• What is Pressure?
This 90-minute activity features six interactive molecular models to explore the relationships among voltage, current, and resistance. Students start at the atomic level to explore how voltage and resistance affect the flow of electrons. Next, they use a model to investigate how temperature can affect conductivity and resistivity. Finally, they explore how electricity can be converted to other forms of energy. The activity was developed for introductory physics courses, but the first half could be appropriate for physical science and Physics First. The formula for Ohm's Law is introduced, but calculations are not required. This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology. The Concord Consortium develops deeply digital learning innovations for science, mathematics, and engineering.