Students are introduced to the physics concepts of air resistance and launch angle as they apply to catapults. This includes the basic concepts of position, velocity and acceleration and their relationships to one another. They use algebra to solve for one variable given two variables.
Students explore the basics of DC circuits, analyzing the light from light bulbs when connected in series and parallel circuits. Ohm's law and the equation for power dissipated by a circuit are the two primary equations used to explore circuits connected in series and parallel. Students measure and see the effect of power dissipation from the light bulbs. Kirchhoff's voltage law is used to show how two resistor elements add in series, while Kirchhoff's current law is used to explain how two resistor elements add when in parallel. Students also learn how electrical engineers apply this knowledge to solve problems. Power dissipation is particularly important with the introduction of LED bulbs and claims of energy efficiency, and understanding how power dissipation is calculated helps when evaluating these types of claims. This activity is designed to introduce students to the concepts needed to understand how circuits can be reduced algebraically.
Adult education classrooms are commonly comprised of learners who have widely disparate levels of mathematical problem-solving skills. This is true regardless of what level a student may be assessed at when entering an adult education program or what level class they are placed in. Providing students with differentiated instruction in the form of Push and Support cards is one way to level this imbalance, keeping all students engaged in one high-cognitive task that supports and encourages learners who are stuck, while at the same time, providing extensions for students who move through the initial phase of the task quickly. Thus, all
students are continually moving forward during the activity, and when the task ends, all students have made progress in their journey towards developing conceptual understanding of mathematical ideas along with a productive disposition, belief in one’s own ability to successfully engage with mathematics.
Construct and measure the energy efficiency and solar heat gain of a cardboard model house. Use a light bulb heater to imitate a real furnace and a temperature sensor to monitor and regulate the internal temperature of the house. Use a bright bulb in a gooseneck lamp to model sunlight at different times of the year, and test the effectiveness of windows for passive solar heating.
In this video from Cyberchase, the CyberSquad helps Ms. Fileshare realize that Hacker has been deceiving her as they take a look at the scale of a bar graph.
- Material Type:
- PBS LearningMedia
- Provider Set:
- PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
- Teachers' Domain
- U.S. Department of Education
- Date Added:
Students learn how to use and graph real-world stream gage data to create event and annual hydrographs and calculate flood frequency statistics. Using an Excel spreadsheet of real-world event, annual and peak streamflow data, they manipulate the data (converting units, sorting, ranking, plotting), solve problems using equations, and calculate return periods and probabilities. Prompted by worksheet questions, they analyze the runoff data as engineers would. Students learn how hydrographs help engineers make decisions and recommendations to community stakeholders concerning water resources and flooding.
Students use a watt meter to measure energy input into a hot plate or hot pot used to heat water. The theoretical amount of energy required to raise the water by the measure temperature change is calculated and compared to the electrical energy input to calculate efficiency.
To navigate, you must know roughly where you stand relative to your designation, so you can head in the right direction. In locations where landmarks are not available to help navigate (in deserts, on seas), objects in the sky are the only reference points. While celestial objects move fairly predictably, and rough longitude is not too difficult to find, it is not a simple matter to determine latitude and precise positions. In this activity, students investigate the uses and advantages of modern GPS for navigation.
Students create and analyze composite materials with the intent of using the materials to construct a structure with optimal strength and minimal density. The composite materials are made of puffed rice cereal, marshmallows and chocolate chips. Student teams vary the concentrations of the three components to create their composite materials. They determine the material density and test its compressive strength by placing weights on it and measuring how much the material compresses. Students graph stress vs. strain and determine Young's modulus to analyze the strength of their materials.
Students investigate circuits and their components by building a basic thermostat. They learn why key parts are necessary for the circuit to function, and alter the circuit to optimize the thermostat temperature range. They also gain an awareness of how electrical engineers design circuits for the countless electronic products in our world.
Students use conductivity meters to measure various salt and water solutions, as indicated by the number of LEDs (light emitting diodes) that illuminate on the meter. Students create calibration curves using known amounts of table salt dissolved in water and their corresponding conductivity readings. Using their calibration curves, students estimate the total equivalent amount of salt contained in Gatorade (or other sports drinks and/or unknown salt solutions). This activity reinforces electrical engineering concepts, such as the relationship between electrical potential, current and resistance, as well as the typical circuitry components that represent these phenomena. The concept of conductors is extended to ions that are dissolved in solution to illustrate why electrolytic solutions support the passage of currents.
Students explore energy efficiency, focusing on renewable energy, by designing and building flat-plate solar water heaters. They apply their understanding of the three forms of heat transfer (conduction, convection and radiation), as well as how they relate to energy efficiency. They calculate the efficiency of the solar water heaters during initial and final tests and compare the efficiencies to those of models currently sold on the market (requiring some additional investigation by students). After comparing efficiencies, students explain how they would further improve their devices. Students learn about the trade-offs between efficiency and cost by calculating the total cost of their devices and evaluating cost per percent efficiency and per degree change of the water.
Students learn how to identify the major features in a topographical map. They learn that maps come in a variety of forms: city maps, road maps, nautical maps, topographical maps, and many others. Map features reflect the intended use. For example, a state map shows cities, major roads, national parks, county lines, etc. A city map shows streets and major landmarks for that city, such as hospitals and parks. Topographical maps help navigate the wilderness by showing the elevation, mountains, peaks, rivers and trails.
This task is a modeling problem which ties in to financial decisions faced routinely by businesses, namely the balance between maintaining inventory and raising short-term capital for investment or re-investment in developing the busines
In this unit of study students learn that in the horizontal direction a projectile moves at a constant speed with nothing to cause acceleration. In the vertical direction a projectile accelerates due to the earth’s gravitational field. And combining these two type of motions together you can determine the parabolic arch of a projectile. This unit integrates nine STEM attributes and was developed as part of the South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership's Teacher Leadership Team. Any instructional materials are included within this unit of study.
In this lesson students are introduced to Architect, Jeremy Peang-Meth. Mr. Peang-Meth was asked to design a local, renewable energy source for building located in the heart of New York City. While the tall buildings surrounding the site caused some obvious problems, there were also some benefits to the site. Students are asked to consider the constraints posed by the location of the building and then, based on their analysis of those constraints, to find a roof location that will provide good energy capture from the wind. After they have made that choice, students are invited to view Mr. Peang-Meth’s solution as he presents it in the provided video.
Students learn the importance of heat transfer and heat conductance. Using hot plates, student groups measure the temperature change of a liquid over a set time period and use the gathered data to calculate the heat transfer that occurs. Then, as if they were engineers, students pool their results to discuss and determine the best fluid to use in a car radiator.
Students create model elevator carriages and calibrate them, similar to the work of design and quality control engineers. Students use measurements from rotary encoders to recreate the task of calibrating elevators for a high-rise building. They translate the rotations from an encoder to correspond to the heights of different floors in a hypothetical multi-story building. Students also determine the accuracy of their model elevators in getting passengers to their correct destinations.
The earliest explorers did not have computers or satellites to help them know their exact location. The most accurate tool developed was the sextant to determine latitude and longitude. In this activity, the sextant is introduced and discussed with the class. Students will learn how a sextant can be a reliable tool that is still being used by today's navigators and how computers can help assure accuracy when measuring angles. Also, this activity will show how computers can be used to understand equations even when knowing how to do the math is unknown.
Students observe capillary action in glass tubes of varying sizes. Then they use the capillary action to calculate the surface tension in each tube. They find the average surface tensions and calculate the statistical errors.