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.
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This set of a teacher and student guides provides instruction on a 2-3 day series of activities about Le Chateliers principle, which shows the effect of changes to conditions in an equilibrium reaction. Students work in pairs or groups to develop their concepts of equilibrium and the effects of changing the amount of reactants or products on an equilibrium system. The concepts are presented and analyzed using graphical representations, qualitative lab data, and modelling. The first part addresses the misconception that equal amounts are required for equilibrium through using a mini-activity that involves the transfer of water between beakers. The second part is a lab activity where students will see how an equilibrium system reacts to a change in concentration. The third part uses manipulatives to understand how an equilibrium operates using the mathematical equilibrium constant (Ksp) at the particulate view.
Students will create a terrarium, make observations of the terrarium, then develop a model to explain how matter transfers within the ecosystem. This resource describes the process of creating a terrarium (which will serve as the phenomena that the students observe), but does not include specific lesson details or instructional strategies.
Bug Hunt uses NetLogo software and simulates an insect population that is preyed on by birds. There are six speeds of bugs from slow to fast and the bird tries to catch as many insects as possible in a certain amount of time. Students are able to see the results graphed as the average insect speed over time, the current bug population and the number of insects caught. There are two variations to try for the predator, one where the predator pursues the prey and one where the predator stays still and captures insects that pass nearby. In the first case the bird catches the slow insects and the faster ones survive, reproduce and pass genes on. The average speed of bug should increase over time. In the second case the faster bugs come near to the bird more often than the slow ones. The slow ones survive more, reproduce and pass their genes on.
This lesson is a tool to demonstrate how various technological advances have changed the tomato and the tomato industry over the years. The technology includes both selective breeding and genetic engineering.
This variation on the classic bird beak activity demonstrates variation of beak size within a population and shows how the proportion of big-, medium-, and small-beaked birds changes in response to the available types of food. The birds with binder clip beaks live in Clipland where the large population becomes divided into two smaller populations by a mountain range. Popcorn, lima beans and marbles are the three types of food available in the two areas. Food is spread out for the birds to eat and then after 15 seconds it is counted to see whether birds have gathered enough food to survive. The big billed birds need to eat more than the medium and small billed birds to survive and each bird needs to eat more than the minimum amount of food for survival to be able to reproduce. Four years pass during the simulation and students are asked to describe what happened to the Clipbird populations and what they think caused the changes. A link to Rosemary and Peter Grants research on finch populations in the Galapagos is identified for those teachers who want to connect the simulation to a real life example.
This activity provides an introduction to natural selection and the role of genetic variation by asking students to analyze illustrations of rock pocket mouse populations (dark/light fur) on different color substrates in the Sonoran Desert (light/dark) over time. Based on this evidence, and what they learn about variation and natural selection in the accompanying short film, students use this evidence to explain the change in the rock pocket mouse populations on the lava flow (dark substrate) over time. This is one of several classroom activities, focusing on related topics and varying in complexity, built around the short film. This ten minute film shows adaptive changes in rock pocket mouse populations, demonstrating the process of natural selection and can be accessed at http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/making-fittest-natural-selection-and-adaptation. The film is also available as an interactive video with embedded questions, which test students understanding as they watch the film.
This online interactive module of 10 pages or frames integrates textual information, 3D molecular models, interactive molecular simulations, and embedded assessment items to guide students in understanding the copying of DNA base sequences from translation to transcription into proteins within each cell. The module divides the exercises in to Day 1 and Day 2 time frames. Teachers can view student assessment responses by assigning the module within a class created within the Molecular Workbench application. This Java-based module must be downloaded to each computer.
This three-act film tells the story of the detective work that solved the mystery of what caused the disappearance of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period. Shot on location in Italy, Spain, Texas, Colorado, and North Dakota, the film traces the uncovering of key clues that led to the discovery that an asteroid struck the Earth 66 million years ago, triggering a mass extinction of animals, plants, and microorganisms. Science practices in geology, physics, biology, chemistry and paleontology all contributed to the solution to this compelling mystery. Lesson plans are included that have students identify evidence and construct an explanation to tie it together. Summary questions are included at the end and a class discussion is recommended. (This activity will be the only one evaluated in this review.) Another resource is Finding the Crater where students visit different K-T boundary sites. There are also lessons where students analyze various characteristics of the asteroid such as its size and energy, chemical data about the asteroid, and the iridium fallout from an asteroid impact. A hands-on activity where students study the differences in foraminifera fossils below and above the K-T boundary is also included as well as an article that outlines more details about each of the discoveries covered in the film. You can view the film on the website or HHMI will send you a free DVD. Lesson plans including teacher notes and a student handout can be found at http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/following-trail-evidence.
Using dilemma cards describing some of the issues affecting Yellowstone National Park, students work in small groups to consider management issues that meet both of the conflicting mandates that the National Park Service must follow." There are 6 dilemmas that the class can be broken into groups to research. These dilemmas include wolf reintroduction, bison diseases, non-native trout, wildfires, resource sharing, and winter use of park lands. After researching each dilemma, students will make a pros/cons list, a final decision, and a brief presentation to the class. While the website recommends completing this lesson "after the expedition" to Yellowstone park, it can be done without visiting the park.
This activity demonstrates the effect of changes in the environment on the growth of plants. The plants are placed in environments such as high salinity, cold, heat, or drought and observe the different reactions (growth) of the plants to these conditions. Students discuss the desirability of breeding new types of plants that are better able to withstand these changes if they occur in the general environment. The objectives of this activity is to: 1. Plant, grow and maintain plants under different environmental treatment conditions. 2. Observe differences in plant growth between these treatments. 3. Compare the growth of treated plants with the growth of control plants
Students will investigate the characteristics of electromagnetism and then use what they learn to plan and conduct an experiment on electromagnets.
- Material Type:
- Lesson Plan
- Martinson Center for Mathematics and Science, Regent University
- National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
- Provider Set:
This is a description of a student experiment that teachers can adapt to allow students to prove that electric current produces a magnetic field. The sample includes a specific example of how to do the experiment which can be adapted to an inquiry investigation by having students complete the initial experiment and then write their investigation question and further investigate the phenomena. When completing this as a demonstration or student experiment batteries can be substituted for the variable power supply if power supplies are not available or convenient to use. The voltage provided to the circuit can be easily manipulated by changing the number of batteries connected.
In this lab activity, students use a digital temperature probe to compare the temperature changes when four different alcohols evaporate. The analysis questions provided guide students to connecting the energy changes associated with the change of state with the structure of molecules of substances. Before beginning the lab, students are asked to consider the structural formulas of the alcohols used in the lab: methanol, ethanol, 1-propanol, and 1-butanol. After collecting data for the first three alcohols, students predict the temperature change for 1-butanol and then collect data to test their prediction. The resource linked here is a sample. More complete information, including teachers guide and safety information, is available for purchase from Vernier Software and Technology using the link provided on the final page of the sample.
These two lessons work together to explore reversible and irreversible changes of state through guided investigations. The PDF is a set of activities focusing on materials followed by some optional post-activity lessons. Two of these post activity lessons deal with reversible and irreversible changes to materials. The first lesson involves teachers showing students phenomena and then asking the students to generate questions about their observations of the phenomena. The second lesson involves students engaging in investigating, explaining and asking questions about two irreversible changes and using observations to identify what about the changes make them irreversible.
This is a 4-5 day set of activities that uses a systems thinking approach to teach students about the various components of ecosystems as well as the different roles that organisms have within the ecosystem.
Students will observe/investigate the movement of water through the different stages of the water cycle and determine what drives this cycle. Students are asked to think about what precipitation is then watch a video about why the water cycle is important. They observe a simple version of the water cycle and take some notes. Students are asked what stages require solar radiation, which require water to give off heat, and which are driven by the force of gravity. The teacher does several different demonstrations while students fill in a sheet that has the students recording their observations of different processes in the water cycle and how energy is involved. Students build their understanding of the water cycle through the different models that are shown or experienced. The culminating activity has them create their own model of the water cycle from the viewpoint of a water molecule including the processes, the energy involved, and gravity.
Part 1 of the X-ray Spectroscopy Unit from NASAs Imagine the Universe! lesson plans includes a series of three lessons on the formation of elements in stars. During this three lesson series, students learn about the life cycle of stars and model the formation of elements in stars. The lessons are a demonstration of type so fusion reactions and modeling not just the changes to matter during the processes but also the energy involved in these reactions.
This activity provides students the opportunity to explore patterns in the periodic table. Students have options to display graphs of elements according to their atomic numbers and properties including: molar mass, atomic radius, ionic radius, melting point, boiling point, electronegativity, and ionization energies. Supplement Materials provided with the resource include a background essay and discussion questions. Discussion questions provided for the teacher encourage students to compare the properties of the elements and identify patterns in the properties within element families as well as across periods.
This interactive simulation of human homeostasis provides students the opportunity to explore how our body maintains a stable internal environment in spite of of the outside conditions, within certain limits. This simulation allows students to investigate a phenomenon that may in real life, be dangerous to humans. Students are asked to regulate the internal body temperature of an individual using clothing, exercise, and perspiration. A four- page exploration sheet guides students through the simulation, including a short prior knowledge piece providing information on how to use the simulation and introductory questions. Two separate activities are included: one that helps students understand the how each external factor affects initial body temperature and another that allows students to explore effects on body temperature after one hour. In the second portion of the interactive simulation students try to maintain a stable body temperature when the factors are changed. Students choose the factors of exercise level, sweat level, body position, clothing, and nutrients in terms of both water and food to maintain homeostasis. The simulation generates data tables and graphing during specific time intervals of outside temperature and body temperature. Students may also alter the outside temperature as part of the simulation. Students adjust the exercise level, amount of clothing, and sweating levels. Water level, sugar level, and fatigue level are influenced by the students choices and are illustrated by bar graphs and line graphs. This simulation can provide an introduction to a lesson or unit that explores how body systems interact. This simulation provides a good foundation for continued study of how the body systems interact and would be an excellent starting point for a lesson or unit on this concept. This interactive simulation provides students with a strong introduction to how body systems interact as the simulation illustrates how to maintain body temperature, sugar level and fatigue level and students are made aware of the consequences of not maintaining those levels. The importance of water and food are also emphasized. Students can rerun the simulation making different choices to determine the effects on homeostasis. Student exploration sheets provide guides for different runs with students setting their own parameters for the runs and drawing conclusions from the resulting changes. Teachers can view student assessment responses by assigning the simulation to a class created within the ExploreLearning site. Access to the teachers guide is provided with the free 30 day access and is helpful and complete. Vocabulary of dehydration, heat stroke, homeostasis, hypothermia, and involuntary, voluntary and thermoregulation are explained in detail in the accompanying teachers vocabulary guide.
Students use the engineering design process to design and build magnetic-field detectors, and use them to find hidden magnets. Parallels are drawn to real-world NASA missions and how NASA scientists use magnetic field data from planets and moons. The website has video clips, teaching suggestions, a student handout, and a link to the pdf of the Teachers Guide for Mission: Solar System. The Inspector Detector challenge is a series of activities that form a unit in the Mission: Solar System collection. * NOTE: The Teachers Guide does not contain the lesson plan. You will need to click on the Student Handout heading of the website to download the Inspector Detector Challenge Leaders Notes.
Students design and conduct simple experiments using elodea (aquatic plant sold in pet stores) and Bromthymol blue to determine whether plants consume or release carbon dioxide in the process of photosynthesis. Students will record their data which will be used to conclude whether carbon dioxide was consumed or released by the elodea. Through class discussion of student data, students will learn that carbon dioxide was consumed during photosynthesis.
Students work in pairs to compare five aspects of an organism that reproduces sexually, asexually, or both sexually and asexually. The activity comes with a chart for the students to fill out and with information sheets on twelve organisms. As a class, students share their comparisons and generate a list of general characteristics for each mode of reproduction and then discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both. Included in the discussion are reproductive mechanisms and genetic variation.
Students will investigate the magnetic pull of a bar magnet at varying distances with the use of paper clips. Students will hypothesize, conduct the experiment, collect the data, and draw conclusions. As a class, students will then compare each teams data and their interpretation of the results.
- Material Type:
- National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
- Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
- Provider Set:
- Daryl Monjeau
This is a lab procedure during which the student investigates the strength of a magnetic field within a coil of wire using a magnetic field probe. Students will investigate how the magnetic field strength depends on the current in the wire as well as the number of coils in the wire.
This Java-based NetLogo model allows students to investigate the chemical and energy inputs and outputs of photosynthesis through an interactive simulation. The simulation is a visual, conceptual model of photosynthesis and does not generate quantitative data. The central concept in the model is the role of chlorophyll in capturing light energy, and this concept is presented without delving into the biochemical details of the photosynthetic reactions. This allows students to focus on the core idea that photosynthesis transforms light energy into chemical energy. Along with exploring the basic process of photosynthesis, students can investigate the effects of light intensity, the day-night cycle (assuming the most common C3 photosynthetic pathway), CO2 concentration, and water availability on the rate of sugar production during photosynthesis. The model highlights the cycling within the chloroplasts between excited and unexcited states as energy is captured and released by chlorophyll. The lesson is written as an introductory learning experience, beginning with the question: What is needed for photosynthesis in a leaf, and what is produced? This resource is best suited as one in a series of learning experiences that either reinforce or extend the concepts addressed here. The model is embedded within an electronic form that provides instructions and guiding questions. Teachers and students should note that the electronic form does not save user data. An important limitation is that the model relies heavily on students visual perception, and this may pose a barrier for some students.
This is one activity that is part of a larger unit on the Hydrologic Cycle. Students place a bag around a living tree limb or bush, making sure it is sealed. The bag is left there for at least 2 hours. Water will have collected in a corner of the bag. Students explore transpiration by capturing water that plants release through their leaves.
This 4th grade unit is designed to address the concept that organisms sense the environment in order to live. It is a far-ranging and comprehensive unit that is designed to address multiple NGSS performance expectations (4-LS1-2, 4LS1-2, 4-PS3-2, 4-PS4-2) in seven explorative sections, with an additional summative assessment step. STEP 1 - the structure of the unit is introduced and students complete a KWL-type activity. STEP 2 - students make observations outdoors and explore the meaning of alive, eventually developing a model of an environment for seeds, creating it and monitoring the growth of plants over the course of the unit. STEP 3 - students learn about the types of energy organisms perceive through a Reader's Theater activity with material at three differentiated reading levels. STEP 4 - students read about and construct 3-D models of how humans perceive sense information from the environment and convert that energy into a different form that the brain can process to make sense of and respond to stimuli. STEP 5 - students use text and math skills to develop an understanding of the brain's structure and function. STEP 6 - students explore environmental change and the interactions between those changes and the organisms within the environment, and then investigate the effects of varying the environment of the seeds they've been monitoring since being planted in Step 2. STEP 7 - students synthesize their understandings of the unit. They create a model of an imagined environment in small groups, and then construct and write a viable argument as to how their senses could help them survive within this imagined environment. STEP 8 (summative assessment) - students synthesize many of the ideas and practices they have explored during the unit. It is estimated to take at least 11 hours of instruction, although individual steps could be adapted, extended, or done separately to address specific standards.
Using the engineering design process,students will be designing and building a lantern that they will hypothetically be taking with them as they explore a newly discovered cave. The criteria of the completed lantern will include: hands need to be free for climbing, the lantern must have an on/off switch, it must point ahead when they are walking so they can see in the dark, and the lantern must be able to stay lit for at least 15 minutes. The constraints of the activity will be limited materials with which to build. At the completion of the activity, the students will present their final lantern to the class explaining how they revised and adapted the lantern to meet the criteria of the project. Students will include in the presentation the sketch of the model they created prior to building showing the labeled circuit they designed. This activity was one of numerous engineering lessons from the Virginia Children's Engineering Council geared towards Grades 1-5. http://www.childrensengineering.org/technology/designbriefs.php
An interactive simulation in which students use a model of charged objects to explain how charges interact and construct an understanding of Coulomb's Law. It is concerned with comparing ions and neutral atoms. The model allows the user to investigate the relationships between sign of charge, magnitude of charge, and distance between ions. The model illustrates the operation of three types of electroscopes. Next it visually explores how a static charge can bend the path of a moving electron, and then graphically and numerically explores Coulomb's Law. Lastly a model that illustrates polarization of charge illustrates why a charged balloon is attracted to a neutral wall. The system allows students to enter their multiple choice and written answers throughout the activity and generate a report of their responses at the end even if they are not logged into the system.
This is the first instructional sequence in a teacher's guide built with the purpose of helping students build a deeper understanding of the Structures and Properties of Matter standard.Students have the opportunity to engage with interactive simulations, create poetry, drawing scientific diagrams, read complex text, develop evidence based explanations and design a model . The instructional sequence described in the lesson uses the 5 E learning model and includes a variety of online simulations, polls and model drawings.
- Material Type:
- National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
- Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District Lifetime Learning
- Provider Set:
This reference is a series of assessment items that require that the students think through momentum conceptually, analyze graphs related to impulse and momentum, and work through calculations using momentum and impulse. There are energy and momentum problems mixed together in this set. Due to the large number of assessment items, the instructor will want to select a portion of the questions rather than use the entire set as a single assessment. The webpage is formatted in a straight forward text so it is easy to copy and paste the items for use in classroom tests and quizzes.
Students watch video clips of animals and plants in their natural environments to determine what living things need to survive. They will then complete an illustration of their own real or imagined plant or animal fulfilling one or more of their needs for survival, within their natural environment. While this lesson does a good job explaining how animals meet their needs through their environments, additional lessons and experiences with plants would need to be provided in order to meet the full standard.
In this physics lab, students investigate the motion of different skateboarders pulled with various values of constant force. Using skateboarders of different masses and a variety of constant force values, students produce distance vs. time motion graphs for a number of skateboarding trials. Students may develop their own methods for setting up the lab and recording the necessary data. Following data collection, students analyze the data using Newton's second law and discuss differences between trials, the effects of friction, and possible sources of error in the experiment.
This interactive tool allows students to gather data using My NASA Data microsets to investigate how differential heating of Earth results in circulation patterns in the oceans and the atmosphere that globally distribute the heat. They examine the relationship between the rotation of Earth and the circular motions of ocean currents and air. Students also make predictions based on the data to concerns about global climate change. They begin by examining the temperature of oceans surface currents and ocean surface winds. These currents, driven by the wind, mark the movement of surface heating as monitored by satellites. Students explore the link between 1) ocean temperatures and currents, 2) uneven heating and rotation of Earth, 3) resulting climate and weather patterns, and 4) projected impacts of climate change (global warming). Using the Live Access Server, students can select data sets for various elements for different regions of the globe, at different times of the year, and for multiple years. The information is provided in maps or graphs which can be saved for future reference. Some of the data sets accessed for this lesson include Sea Surface Temperature, Cloud Coverage, and Sea Level Height for this lesson. The lesson provides directions for accessing the data as well as questions to guide discussion and learning. The estimated time for completing the activity is 50 minutes. Inclusion of the Extension activities could broaden the scope of the lesson to several days in length. Links to informative maps and text such as the deep ocean conveyor belt, upwelling, and coastal fog as needed to answer questions in the extension activities are included.
This web simulation allows students to explore adaptive radiation of a fictitious group of birds called Pollenpeepers over a period of 5 million years. A hurricane blows some birds to 3 very different island groups and students identify the changes that take place over time and their causes including different climates, food, competition and predators. Each of the three island groups are compared to the original habitat with respect to topography, temperature, growing season and type of vegetation. Students read about the competition that the birds face when they arrive five million years ago, look at the amount of seeds, insects and flowers present and whether the number of predators is high, medium or low. They can then go forward in time a million years at a time and see the changes that have taken place in the population of pollenpeepers in each of these time periods. Instructions to operate the simulation are included as well as a species gallery where students can explore adaptive radiation in lemurs, Galapagos finches, Hawaiian silverswords, tenrecs and Hawaiian fruit flies.
In this activity students analyze a familys pedigrees to make a claim based on evidence about mode of inheritance of a lactose intolerance trait, determine the most likely inheritance pattern of a trait, and analyze variations in DNA to make a claim about which variants are associated with specific traits. This activity serves as a supplement to the film Got Lactose? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture (http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/making-fittest-got-lactase-co-evolution-genes-and-culture). The film shows a scientist as he tracks down the genetic changes associated with the ability to digest lactose as adults. A detailed teachers guide that includes curriculum connections, teaching tips, time requirements, answer key and a student guide can be downloaded at http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/pedigrees-and-inheritance-lactose-intolerance. Six supporting resource and two click and learn activities are also found on the link.
This is a lab activity involving transformations between the gravitational potential energy, elastic potential energy, and kinetic energy of a system. An air track with a glider and a photo gate timer are needed to perform the lab. The lab is divided into three separate but related parts. The first part involves using a spring to launch the glider horizontally, measuring the velocity of the glider, and then relating elastic potential energy to kinetic energy. The second activity involves adjusting the air track so that when the glider is launched, it goes up an incline. This set up allows students to relate elastic potential energy to gravitational potential energy. The third and final activity ties elastic potential, gravitational, and kinetic energy together. Using the knowledge they acquired from the first two activities, the students need to use Conservation of Energy to predict the velocity of the glider as it is launched up the incline and then compare their prediction to the experimental value.
Population Explosion is a computer simulation which allows students to manipulate factors to see what happens over time to a population of sheep within an enclosed field. As the simulation runs, a graph shows the dynamic relationship between the sheep population size and their primary food resource, grass. Students can control factors such as initial number of sheep, grass regrowth rate, gain from food, and birthrate. Predation is represented by a reaper button which may also be controlled. The speed of the simulation can be set so that students can see more clearly what happens over time, or collect data more quickly, depending on how fast the simulation runs. Directions and a suggested simulation sequence are provided along with prompts so that students can pause and consider their results. A space within the simulation is provided for students to record observations and answers to the prompts. For each step in this suggested sequence, students take a snapshot of graphs they have created and store them in an album. At the end of the activity analysis questions help students connect the activity to wild populations. An optional extension exercise is also suggested.