Students gain an understanding of the factors that affect wind turbine operation. Following the steps of the engineering design process, engineering teams use simple materials (cardboard and wooden dowels) to build and test their own turbine blade prototypes with the objective of maximizing electrical power output for a hypothetical situation—helping scientists power their electrical devices while doing research on a remote island. Teams explore how blade size, shape, weight and rotation interact to achieve maximal performance, and relate the power generated to energy consumed on a scale that is relevant to them in daily life. A PowerPoint® presentation, worksheet and post-activity test are provided.
Bianca visits a bike shop and learns how bicycle gears work in this Cyberchase video segment.
- Material Type:
- PBS LearningMedia
- Provider Set:
- PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
- U.S. Department of Education
- Date Added:
In this activity, learners use their hands as tools for indirect measurement. Learners explore how to use ratios to calculate the approximate height of something that can't be measured directly by first measuring something that can be directly measured. This activity can also be used to explain how scientists use indirect measurement to determine distances between things in the universe that are too far away, too large or too small to measure directly (i.e. diameter of the moon or number of bacteria in a volume of liquid).
Students often think additively rather than multiplicatively. For example, if you present the scenario, "One puppy grew from 5 pounds to 10 pound. Another puppy grew from 100 pounds to 108 pounds." and ask, "Which puppy grew more?" someone who is thinking additively will say that the one who now weighs 108 grew more because he gained 8 pounds while the other gained 5 pounds. Someone who is thinking multiplicatively will say that the one that now weighs 10 pounds grew more because he doubled his weight while the other only added a few pounds. While both are correct answers, multiplicative thinking is needed for proportional reasoning. If your students are thinking additively, you can nudge them toward multiplicative thinking with this activity.
Open middle problems require a higher depth of knowledge than most problems that assess procedural and conceptual understanding. They support the Common Core State Standards and provide students with opportunities for discussing their thinking.
The Finding Equivalent Ratios problem asks students to use the digits 1-9 to create 3 equivalent ratios made up of single and double digit numbers.
Planning for the future is a difficult task for most. This lesson ask the learner to participate in role-play and to assume the role of someone who has just graduated and accepted a job and to develop a budget where the goal is to save for a vacation to be taken in a year’s time. The role that the learner is asked to assume is Madison. The name was chosen specifically because it is a unisex name. The character, Madison, has just graduated, but the story intentionally does not reveal the credential that was achieved. The learner is asked to develop a budget with the salary and withheld taxes already established. For learners living in a rural area, the salary may seem high for a recent graduate, but for a learner from an urban area, the salary may seem low. Along with assuming this identity comes the tasks of making decisions for him/her. The actual math problems have definitive answers which are provided for the instructor, but the decisions enable the learner to develop a unique budget. Unit rate is used to help the learner visualize the decisions that are made on a daily basis that may impact savings. Problems included ask the learner to make decisions about housing, transportation, health, and spending. The variety of problems enable the learner to compute unit rates and understand how quantities can be measured in different units. The instructor is a facilitator only, examples of calculations are included in the materials for guidance.
Students will analyze ratios and use proportions to solve problems using a cooperative, kinesthetic activity in which they will create “human ratios.” Students will use ratios to compare two quantities, then solve problems cooperatively by demonstrating how proportions are written to show equivalent ratios.
This lesson unit is intended to help sixth grade teachers assess how well students are able to: Analyze a realistic situation mathematically; construct sight lines to decide which areas of a room are visible or hidden from a camera; find and compare areas of triangles and quadrilaterals; and calculate and compare percentages and/or fractions of areas.
In this lesson designed to enhance literacy skills, students examine how to use fractions to measure and help conserve freshwater resources.
This problem, the third in a series of tasks set in the context of a class election, is more than just a problem of computing the number of votes each person receives. In fact, that isnŐt enough information to solve the problem. One must know how many votes it takes to make one half of the total number of votes. Although the numbers are easy to work with, there are enough steps and enough things to keep track of to lift the problem above routine.
Students learn about the definition of heat as a form of energy and how it exists in everyday life. They learn about the three types of heat transfer conduction, convection and radiation as well as the connection between heat and insulation. Their learning is aided by teacher-led class demonstrations on thermal energy and conduction. A PowerPoint® presentation and quiz are provided. This prepares students for the associated activity in which they experiment with and measure what they learned in the lesson by designing and testing insulated bottles.
A gear is a simple machine that is very useful to increase the speed or torque of a wheel. In this activity, students learn about the trade-off between speed and torque when designing gear ratios. The activity setup includes a LEGO(TM) MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT pulley system with two independent gear sets and motors that spin two pulleys. Each pulley has weights attached by string. In a teacher demonstration, the effect of adding increasing amounts of weight to the pulley systems with different gear ratios is observed as the system's ability to lift the weights is tested. Then student teams are challenged to design a gear set that will lift a given load as quickly as possible. They test and refine their designs to find the ideal gear ratio, one that provides enough torque to lift the weight while still achieving the fastest speed possible.
Students are presented with a guide to rain garden construction in an activity that culminates the unit and pulls together what they have learned and prepared in materials during the three previous associated activities. They learn about the four vertical zones that make up a typical rain garden with the purpose to cultivate natural infiltration of stormwater. Student groups create personal rain gardens planted with native species that can be installed on the school campus, within the surrounding community, or at students' homes to provide a green infrastructure and low-impact development technology solution for areas with poor drainage that often flood during storm events.
Students work with a set of cards showing different ways of expressing ratios, including both part-part statements and part-whole statements. They group the cards that show the same ratio of boys to girls, but without the explicit use of the term equivalent.Key ConceptsRatios can be represented in a:b form, as fractions, as decimals, as factors, and in words; they can be expressed in part-part statements or in part-whole statements.Goals and Learning ObjectivesGroup cards showing ratios that are equivalent but expressed in different forms.
Students focus on interpreting, creating, and using ratio tables to solve problems. They also relate ratio tables to graphs as two ways of representing a relationship between quantities.Key ConceptsRatio tables and graphs are two ways of representing relationships between variable quantities. The values shown in a ratio table give possible pairs of values for the quantities represented and define ordered pairs of coordinates of points on the graph representing the relationship. The additive and multiplicative structure of each representation can be connected, as shown: Goals and Learning ObjectivesComplete ratio tables.Use ratio tables to compare ratios and solve problems.Plot values from a ratio table on a graph.Understand the connection between the structure of ratio tables and graphs.
Students use informal methods of their own choosing to find percents of randomly generated monetary values.Key ConceptsMany approaches work for solving percent problems. This lesson focuses on experimenting with a range of approaches and understanding why and how multiple approaches yield correct results.Goals and Learning ObjectivesFind a percent of a given quantity.Find a quantity given a part and the percent that part is of the whole.Use percents in money calculations.
Students use double number lines to model relationships and to solve ratio problems.Key ConceptsDouble number line diagrams are useful for visualizing ratio relationships between two quantities. They are best used when the quantities have different units. (The unit rate appears paired with 1.) Double number line diagrams help students more easily “see” that there are many equivalent forms of the same ratio.Goals and Learning ObjectivesUnderstand double number line diagrams as a way to visually compare two quantities.Use double number line diagrams to solve ratio problems.
Proportional relationships are everywhere. They are used to compare professional athletes and to help shoppers get the “best bang for their buck” at the grocery store. They help us build models and designs and are used in many business applications. This lesson plan introduces proportional relationships, ratios and unit rates at the grade 6/7 (C) level and requires adult learners to identify and compare ratios using the Padlet application.
Students watch a video in which a double number line is used to solve a problem about getting the right amount of protein mix. Using the double number line is an example of modeling with mathematics, which is Mathematical Practice 4.Key ConceptsA double number line shows corresponding values for two variable quantities with a constant ratio between them. Each pair of tick marks that go together shows a ratio equivalent to all of the other ratios between corresponding tick marks.Goals and Learning ObjectivesWatch an example of students using mathematics to model a relationship between quantities (MP4).Use a double number line to solve a problem.Use a double number line to deepen understanding of equivalence in the context of a relationship between quantities with a constant ratio.SWD: Some students with disabilities will benefit from a preview of the goals in each lesson. Students can highlight the critical features and/or concepts and will help them to pay close attention to salient information.