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  • Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
1D Uniformly Accelerated Motion
Rating

The representation depicts an object moving along a "track" marked in .5 meter intervals. As the object moves, displacement-time, velocity-time, and acceleration-time graphs record the motion in real time. The user may select various types of motion to be depicted, as well as edit a velocity-time graph and have the resulting motion depicted. As the object moves, color coded vectors display its displacement, velocity and acceleration.

Subject:
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Acacia Tree Ants
Rating

The phenomenon is the symbiotic relationship between the acacia ant and the swollen thorn acacia tree, shown in a 2:18 minute video. The ant provides protection for the tree against preying insects and other plants competing for sunlight, and the tree provides nourishment and shelter for the ant and the ants' larvae.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Animation of Himalayas Forming
Rating

The representation depicts two plates colliding, specifically the Indian Plate and the Eurasian Plate. The oceanic crust on the leading edge of the Indian Plate is shown to move beneath the continental crust of the Eurasian Plate, causing the ocean between the continental plate material on the two plates to gradually become narrower. As the Indian Plate pushes beneath the Eurasian Plate, the continental plate material on the edge of the Eurasian Plate buckles and folds. When all of the oceanic plate material on the edge of the Indian Plate has moved beneath the Eurasian Plate, the continental plate material of both plates collides, causing the edges of both plates to fold, resulting in the formation of the Himalayan Mountains. This representation utilizes two simulated views of the mountain formation and six satellite images of the Himalayas. Each satellite image zooms out a little further until finally it shows most of the country of India and the Tibetan Plateau with the Himalayan Mountains in between. The animation can be advanced one frame at a time or viewed in its entirety.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
Jennifer Loomis, TERC
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Astronomy Picture of the Day Looking Back at an Eclipsed Earth
Rating

The phenomenon is the shadow of the moon as seen in an image taken from the Mir Space Station on August 11, 1999 during a total solar eclipse across Europe. A text explanation of a solar eclipse with hyperlinks to other websites and images accompanies the image.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
Jerry Bonnell
Mir 27 Crew
Robert Nemiroff
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Astronomy Picture of the Day - Lunation
Rating

The phenomenon is a series of photos of the moon taken daily during one lunar cycle. The photos show the various phases of the moon as seen from Earth and show that the moon has a slight wobble during its elliptical orbit. The photos also show the slight change in appearance of the moon's size during its orbit and show that the same side of the moon is always seen from Earth.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
Antonio Cidadao
Jerry Bonnell
Robert Nemiroff
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Biology Graphs - Predator and Prey
Rating

The phenomenon is the numerical relationship between the population growth of predator (lynx) and prey (hare) over a 90 year period as shown in a graph. The graph shows that as the population of hares increases, the population of lynx increases. As the population of lynx continue to increase, the population of hares decreases. Questions probe student thinking on this relationship and other factors that may impact the population of the hare and the lynx.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
L Chapman
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Biomes
Rating

The representation depicts seven different biomes: Coniferous Forest, Desert, Grassland, Tundra, Temperate Deciduous Forest, Shrubland, and Rainforest. Information includes pictures of the biomes and descriptions of temperatures, precipitation, vegetation and sample locations.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
NASA
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Biomes
Rating

The phenomenon is the diversity of environments located around the world. The resource presents an activity in which students collect information about different biomes by watching videos and doing a Web activity. They share their information in a variety of ways.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Book Work
Rating

The phenomenon is a student pulling a sheet of paper from under a book, as shown in a brief video clip. The book doesn't move noticeably when the paper is removed, illustrating Newton's First Law. The text on the page provides directions for setting this up as a student demonstration.

Subject:
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Brain Pop Movies - Food Chains
Rating

This representation depicts a food chain and a food web and illustrates both with specific examples of organisms in an animated cartoon video. The video illustrates the food chain in a pyramid structure with plants at the bottom and explains the role of each layer in the food chain.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Buckling Up
Rating

The phenomenon is a toy car stopping its motion when hitting a pencil. The clay figure inside the car keeps moving unless the figure is strapped to the car.

Subject:
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Calculating Energy Efficiency
Rating

The representation depicts the transfer of energy from grass to a cow ("bullock"), and to the environment. Text and an illustration provide numerical data in an example of the total amount of energy transferred from grass to a cow to the environment.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Cancer Research UK - Cells Are Us
Rating

The representation depicts the repeated division of cells, starting with one cell and resulting in millions of cells. The representations are found on pages 5 through 10 of the resource.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
The Carbon Cycle
Rating

The representation is an illustration and description of the carbon cycle that follows the movement of carbon from the atmosphere to plants, animals, the ground, fossil fuels, and oceans.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Cell Differentiation
Rating

The phenomenon is cell differentiation. Narrated time lapse video documents the development of a chicken from post fertilization to hatching.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Cell Explorer
Rating

The representation is an interactive diagram of a skin cell. The user may click on five cell parts to read descriptions of their functions.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Chemical Change with Mixed Solutions
Rating

The phenomenon is a chemical reaction resulting from the mixing of copper nitrate and sodium hydroxide solutions. A blue, gel-like precipitate is formed.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Chemical and Physical Changes
Rating

The phenomenon is a chemical reaction between sugar and sulfuric acid. The demonstration (a discrepant event) compares the way sugar and water interact when combined (physical change) to the way sugar and sulfuric acid interact when combined (chemical change). In part II, students are given additional substances and changes to observe.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Condensation
Rating

The representation describes the process of condensation using an animation depicting evaporation and an accompanying text describing the process of condensation to form cloud droplets.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Conservation of Mass
Rating

The representation is a chemical reaction between zinc and sulfur atoms to form zinc sulfide. The reactants and products are compared on two sides of a pan balance to illustrate that the total mass remains the same.

Subject:
Education
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Conservation of Matter Lab
Rating

The phenomena are three examples that illustrate conservation of matter - dissolving salt in water, adding an effervescent tablet to water, and a change in state from ice to water. The resource describes a laboratory exercise that asks students to compare the mass before substances are combined or changed to the mass after substances are combined or changed.

Subject:
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Conservation of Matter and Balancing Chemical Equations
Rating

The phenomenon is the oxidation of steel wool in a closed system. The mass of steel wool remains unchanged as it oxidizes. In this demonstration, a piece of steel wool is placed in a flask, covered by a balloon and massed. Students observe the system 30-45 minutes later, and find the steel wool has changed color, the balloon has been sucked into the flask, and the mass has remained constant.

Subject:
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
The Cosmic Perspective: Phases of the Moon
Rating

The representation is an interactive animation that portrays the sun, the Earth, and a person standing upon the Earth. The interactive animation is found in resource section Lesson 2: Time of Day and Horizons. The animation and accompanying text pose a variety of scenarios addressing the causes of nighttime and daytime. Also included is a form of assessment in which the resource asks students to orient the Earth to portray situations such as noon or sunrise being experienced by the person shown.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Daily Change in the Moon's Position
Rating

The representation depicts the position and appearance of the Moon in the sky as viewed at the same time on nine consecutive nights.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
Charles Burrows
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Dropping Two Balls Near the Earth's Surface
Rating

The representation depicts two balls being dropped near the Earth's surface in an interactive simulation. The user can control the initial horizontal speed of one ball and observe the path and acceleration of both balls as they fall and hit the Earth's surface at the same time.

Subject:
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
David M. Harrison
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Earth Floor: Plate Tectonics: Convergent Boundaries
Rating

The representation depicts mountain building. A labeled diagram and accompanying text describing how mountains can be formed as a continental plate and an ocean-floor plate converge.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
The Earth-Moon Barycenter
Rating

The representation depicts the moon's orbit around the Earth by marking days along the orbital path. The resource also shows the gravitational center of the moon-Earth system and the gravitational center of the Earth-moon system, indicating the direction toward the sun.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Earth-Sun Geometry - Earth Revolution Animation
Rating

The representation is an animation of the Earth revolving around the sun. The Earth is shown as a solid green sphere with the equator and arctic circle marked with black lines and the dark side of the Earth shaded. The Earth's axis is shown with a red line. As the Earth revolves around the sun, the axis is shown to always be pointing in the same direction. The positions of Earth at the winter solstice, vernal equinox, summer solstice, and autumnal equinox are labeled.

Subject:
Education
Geometry
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
Dr. Michael Pidwirny
Scott Jones University of British Columbia Okanagan
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Earth-Sun Geometry: Summer Solstice Animation
Rating

The representation depicts the position of the Earth relative to the Sun during the northern hemisphere's summer solstice and includes line of latitude and the angle of the Sun's rays at the Tropic of Cancer.

Subject:
Education
Geometry
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
Dr. Michael Pidwirny
Scott Jones University of British Columbia Okanagan
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Earth-Sun Geometry: Winter Solstice Animation
Rating

The representation depicts the position of the Earth relative to the Sun during the southern hemisphere's winter solstice and includes line of latitude and the angle of the Sun's rays at the Tropic of Capricorn.

Subject:
Education
Geometry
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
Michael Pidwirny
Scott Jones University of British Columbia Okanagan
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Earth as a System
Rating

The representation shows earthquake and volcanic activity corresponds to plate boundaries. This video clip is part of a movie that describes the Earth as a system. The clip referenced in this review begins midway through the video, with the statement "Draining the ocean reveals that the Earth's solid surface..." and concludes with "Like earthquakes, most volcanoes are located near plate boundaries."

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Earthquakes and Plates
Rating

The representation depicts global distribution of earthquakes. A world map shows the location of large earthquakes that occurred from 1975-1995. A slider at the bottom left of the map allows the user to change the map to reveal the location of major plates or to select both views layered on top of one another.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Earth's Yearly Revolution Around Sun
Rating

The representation depicts the Earth revolving around the sun. The animation shows the tilt of earth's axis and shows that the tilt of the axis points in the same direction throughout the yearly revolution. The animation can be viewed from an oblique view and from a top view, includes optional labels of the months, can be started and stopped at any point in the revolution, and shows the amount of earth that receives light from the sun at all times during the revolution.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
Jennifer Loomis, TERC
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Eclipsed Moon and Stars
Rating

The phenomenon is a digitally enhanced photograph of an eclipse occurring on May 23, 2003, taken midway through the eclipse. Accompanying the photograph is text with words hyperlinked to other resources.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
Jay Ouellet
Jerry Bonnell
Robert Nemiroff
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Eclipses (select Lunar Eclipse in the bottom right corner)
Rating

The representation depicts the top view and side view of the Earth and moon, as well as the view of the moon as seen from Earth, during a lunar eclipse. The user can adjust the tilt of the Moon's orbital plane, increase or decrease the distance between the moon and Earth, and increase or decrease the apparent size of the moon.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Energy Flow
Rating

The representation is an illustration of the flow of energy between the sun, a cornfield, a cow and a human through a food chain. To view the illustration, select Continue, then select the Energy Flow button.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Exploration 2.2: Determine the Correct Graph
Rating

The representation is an applet showing a "strobe" animation of a moving ball. Accompanying text prompts the student to describe the motion shown in the animation and match that motion with an appropriate position-time graph from three supplied choices.

Subject:
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014
Explore a Model of Earth's Daily Rotation
Rating

The representation is an animation of the Earth spinning on its axis on one of the equinoxes. The photograph shows the day/night line. The rotational motion of the Earth is sped up to show a 24 hour rotation in only seconds. The animation can be stopped and forwarded or reversed just one small step at a time. There is also a lever so one can tilt the Earth to see a view from above the north pole or tilt it so the view is from above the south pole.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Date Added:
11/06/2014