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Newton's 2nd law inquiry lab
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In this physics lab, students investigate the motion of different skateboarders pulled ...

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.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
MNStep
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Author:
Scott Holland
Physics 250 Laboratory: Conservation of Energy
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This is a lab activity involving transformations between the gravitational potential energy, ...

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.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Penn State University
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Air Masses
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This is Activity 12 of a set of Level 1 activities designed ...

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.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
University of Northern Iowa
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Science Center for Teaching, Outreach, and Research on Meteorology (STORM)
All Things Being Equal
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This set of a teacher and student guides provides instruction on a ...

This set of a teacher and student guides provides instruction on a 2-3 day series of activities about Le Chatelier’s 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.

Subject:
Chemistry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Grand Valley State University, Target Inquiry
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Bottle Biology Terrarium
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Students will create a terrarium, make observations of the terrarium, then develop ...

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.

Subject:
Biology
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Indiana Department of Education
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Bug Hunt
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“Bug Hunt” uses NetLogo software and simulates an insect population that is ...

“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.

Subject:
Biology
Genetics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Northwestern University
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Author:
Wilensky, Uri
Catch Up on Tomato Technology
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This lesson is a tool to demonstrate how various technological advances have ...

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.

Subject:
Biology
Genetics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
National Park Service
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Clipbirds
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This variation on the classic bird beak activity demonstrates variation of beak ...

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 Grant’s research on finch populations in the Galapagos is identified for those teachers who want to connect the simulation to a real life example.

Subject:
Biology
Genetics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
UC Museum of Paleontology
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Author:
Al Janulaw, Judy Scotchmoor
Color Variation over Time in Rock Pocket Mouse Populations
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This activity provides an introduction to natural selection and the role of ...

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. 

Subject:
Health, Medicine and Nursing
Biology
Genetics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Author:
Mary Colvard
The Day the Mesozoic Died
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This three-act film tells the story of the detective work that solved ...

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.

Subject:
Health, Medicine and Nursing
Biology
Genetics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Author:
Mary Colvard
DNA to Protein
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This online interactive module of 10 pages or frames integrates textual information, ...

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. 

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
Concord Consortium
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Dueling Mandates
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Using dilemma cards describing some of the issues affecting Yellowstone National Park, ...

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.

Subject:
Biology
Genetics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Effect of Environment on Plant Growth
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This activity demonstrates the effect of changes in the environment on the ...

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

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
American Phytopathological Society
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Author:
Janice Stephens
Jan Leach
Electromagnetic Power!
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Students will investigate the characteristics of electromagnetism and then use what they ...

Students will investigate the characteristics of electromagnetism and then use what they learn to plan and conduct an experiment on electromagnets.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Martinson Center for Mathematics and Science, Regent University
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Electromagnetism Experiment
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This is a description of a student experiment that teachers can adapt ...

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.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Cyber Physics
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Evaporation of Alcohols
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In this lab activity, students use a digital temperature probe to compare ...

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 teacher’s guide and safety information, is available for purchase from Vernier Software and Technology using the link provided on the final page of the sample.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Vernier Software & Technology
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Exploring Reversible Changes of State and Exploring Irreversible Changes of State
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These two lessons work together to explore reversible and irreversible changes of ...

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.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
techniquest
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Exploring the “Systems” in Ecosystems
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This is a 4-5 day set of activities that uses a systems ...

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.

Subject:
Biology
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
WGBH
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Exploring the Water Cycle
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Students will observe/investigate the movement of water through the different stages of ...

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.

Subject:
Hydrology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
NASA
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA