In this unit, students develop ideas related to how sounds are produced, how they travel through media, and how they affect objects at a distance. Their investigations are motivated by trying to account for a perplexing anchoring phenomenon — a truck is playing loud music in a parking lot and the windows of a building across the parking lot visibly shake in response to the music.
They make observations of sound sources to revisit the K–5 idea that objects vibrate when they make sounds. They figure out that patterns of differences in those vibrations are tied to differences in characteristics of the sounds being made. They gather data on how objects vibrate when making different sounds to characterize how a vibrating object’s motion is tied to the loudness and pitch of the sounds they make. Students also conduct experiments to support the idea that sound needs matter to travel through, and they will use models and simulations to explain how sound travels through matter at the particle level.
This unit builds toward the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs) as described in the OpenSciEd Scope & Sequence: MS-PS4-1, MS-PS4-2. The OpenSciEd units are designed for hands-on learning and therefore materials are necessary to teach the unit. These materials can be purchased as science kits or assembled using the kit material list.
Students will use a perceived weak material to construct something that is surprisingly strong.
Students can experiment with different shapes and configurations to see what holds the most weight.
The cube size is defined, what each student places within each 4x4 square, is up to them.
Student groups create working radios by soldering circuit components supplied from AM radio kits. By carrying out this activity in conjunction with its associated lesson concerning circuits and how AM radios work, students are able to identify each circuit component they are soldering, as well as how their placement causes the radio to work. Besides reinforcing lesson concepts, students also learn how to solder, which is an activity that many engineers perform regularly giving students a chance to be able to engage in a real-life engineering activity.
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 activity is a lab investigation where students design a balloon car to collect data about speed and velocity.
Students follow the steps of the engineering design process as they design and construct balloons for aerial surveillance. After their first attempts to create balloons, they are given the associated Estimating Buoyancy lesson to learn about volume, buoyancy and density to help them iterate more successful balloon designs.Applying their newfound knowledge, the young engineers build and test balloons that fly carrying small flip cameras that capture aerial images of their school. Students use the aerial footage to draw maps and estimate areas.
In this activity, learners observe what happens when they give a light source like a neon glow lamp a "Bronx Cheer." The lights appear to wiggle back and forth and flicker when learners blow air through their lips. However, learners will discover that the only thing vibrating is themselves. Use this activity to explore different forms of light as well as visual perception.
Students construct bird nests and birdhouses. They research birds of their choosing and then design houses that meet the birds' specific needs. It works well to conduct this activity in conjunction with a grades 9-12 woodshop class by partnering the older students with the younger students (but it is not required to do this in order to conduct the activity).
Everyday we are surrounded by circuits that use "in parallel" and "in series" circuitry. Complicated circuits designed by engineers are composed of many simpler parallel and series circuits. During this activity, students build a simple series circuit and discover the properties associated with series circuits.
This interactive brainteaser from the NOVA Web site challenges you to explain the behavior of a helium-filled balloon in a moving car.
People around the world are fascinated about the preparation of food for eating. There are countless cooking books, TV shows, celebrity chefs and kitchen gadgets that make cooking an enjoyable activity for everyone. The chemistry of cooking course seeks to understand the science behind our most popular meals by studying the behavior of atoms and molecules present in food. This book is intended to give students a basic understanding of the chemistry involved in cooking such as caramelization, Maillard reaction, acid-base reactions, catalysis, and fermentation. Students will be able to use chemistry language to describe the process of cooking, apply chemistry knowledge to solve questions related to food, and ultimately create their own recipes.
This activity was designed for blind learners, but all types of learners can use it to create a paper airplane and modify it to increase flight time and distance.
Students apply engineering and design principles to build a hermit crab habitat. This project, developed by Allen Distinguished Educator, Ashley Greenway, integrates life science, business/marketing, and engineering concepts and meets learning standards in speaking and listening, writing, math, and next generation science.
Using their knowledge of the phases of matter, the scientific method, and polymers, student teams work as if they are chemical engineers to optimize the formula for slime. Hired by the fictional company, Slime Productions, students are challenged to modify the chemical composition of the basic formula for slime to maximize its "bounce factor."
In this project students will research and then build a basic solar cooker shell made out of cardboard. Then they will run a variety of materials through experiments. Data from the experiments will be used to determine which materials should be added to the solar cooker shell to improve its ability to heat up food.
This project was created as a collaboration between a science and an engineering/woodshop class. The engineering class researched and build the basic solar cooker cardboard shells. The science class tested additional materials to add to the shells to improve the solar cookers. Then the engineering class, following the directions from reports created by the science class, added the materials to the solar cooker shells to create the final products.
In this hands-on activity, students construct a simple switch and determine what objects and what types of materials can be used to close a switch in a circuit and light a light bulb.