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6.2 Thermal Energy
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Unit Summary
This unit on thermal energy transfer begins with students testing whether a new plastic cup sold by a store keeps a drink colder for longer compared to the regular plastic cup that comes free with the drink. Students find that the drink in the regular cup warms up more than the drink in the special cup. This prompts students to identify features of the cups that are different, such as the lid, walls, and hole for the straw, that might explain why one drink warms up more than the other. 
Students investigate the different cup features they conjecture are important to explaining the phenomenon, starting with the lid. They model how matter can enter or exit the cup via evaporation However, they find that in a completely closed system, the liquid inside the cup still changes temperature. This motivates the need to trace the transfer of energy into the drink as it warms up. Through a series of lab investigations and simulations, students find that there are two ways to transfer energy into the drink: (1) the absorption of light and (2) thermal energy from the warmer air around the drink. They are then challenged to design their own drink container that can perform as well as the store-bought container, following a set of design criteria and constraints.
This unit builds toward the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs) as described in the OpenSciEd Scope & Sequence: MS-PS1-4*, MS-PS3-3, MS-PS3-4, MS-PS3-5, MS-PS4-2*, MS-ETS1-4. 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.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Module
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
09/10/2019
6.3 Weather, Climate & Water Cycling
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The goals of OpenSciEd are to ensure any science teacher, anywhere, can access and download freely available, high quality, locally adaptable full-course materials. REMOTE LEARNING GUIDE FOR THIS UNIT NOW AVAILABLE!

This unit on weather, climate, and water cycling is broken into four separate lesson sets. In the first two lesson sets, students explain small-scale storms. In the third and fourth lesson sets, students explain mesoscale weather systems and climate-level patterns of precipitation. Each of these two parts of the unit is grounded in a different anchoring phenomenon.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Physical Science
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Module
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Unit of Study
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Author:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
08/18/2020
6.3 Weather, Climate & Water Cycling - Unit Overview
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This unit on weather, climate, and water cycling is broken into four separate lesson sets. In the first two lesson sets, students explain small-scale storms. In the third and fourth lesson sets, students explain mesoscale weather systems and climate-level patterns of precipitation. Each of these two parts of the unit is grounded in a different anchoring phenomenon.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
03/19/2020
7.1 Chemical Reactions & Matter Transformations
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To pique students’ curiosity and anchor the learning for the unit in the visible and concrete, students start with an experience of observing and analyzing a bath bomb as it fizzes and eventually disappears in the water. Their observations and questions about what is going on drive learning that digs into a series of related phenomena as students iterate and improve their models depicting what happens during chemical reactions. By the end of the unit, students have a firm grasp on how to model simple molecules, know what to look for to determine if chemical reactions have occurred, and apply their knowledge to chemical reactions to show how mass is conserved when atoms are rearranged.

Subject:
Life Science
Physical Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Module
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Unit of Study
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Author:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
09/16/2020
7.3 Metabolic Reactions
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Unit Summary
This unit on metabolic reactions in the human body starts out with students exploring a real case study of a middle-school girl named M’Kenna, who reported some alarming symptoms to her doctor. Her symptoms included an inability to concentrate, headaches, stomach issues when she eats, and a lack of energy for everyday activities and sports that she used to play regularly. She also reported noticeable weight loss over the past few months, in spite of consuming what appeared to be a healthy diet. Her case sparks questions and ideas for investigations around trying to figure out which pathways and processes in M’Kenna’s body might be functioning differently than a healthy system and why. 
Students investigate data specific to M’Kenna’s case in the form of doctor’s notes, endoscopy images and reports, growth charts, and micrographs. They also draw from their results from laboratory experiments on the chemical changes involving the processing of food and from digital interactives to explore how food is transported, transformed, stored, and used across different body systems in all people. Through this work of figuring out what is causing M’Kenna’s symptoms, the class discovers what happens to the food we eat after it enters our bodies and how M’Kenna’s different symptoms are connected.
This unit builds towards the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs) as described in the OpenSciEd Scope & Sequence: MS-LS1-3, MS-LS1-5, MS-LS1-7, MS-PS1-1, MS-PS1-2. 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.
Additional Unit InformationNext Generation Science Standards Addressed in this UnitPerformance ExpectationsThis unit builds toward the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs):

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Module
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
09/10/2019
7.4 Matter Cycling & Photosynthesis
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Students figure out that they can trace all food back to plants, including processed and synthetic food. They obtain and communicate information to explain how matter gets from living things that have died back into the system through processes done by decomposers. Students finally explain that the pieces of their food are constantly recycled between living and nonliving parts of a system.

Subject:
Life Science
Physical Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Module
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Unit of Study
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Author:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
09/16/2020
7.4 Matter Cycling & Photosynthesis - Unit Overview
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This unit on matter cycling and photosynthesis begins with students reflecting on what they ate for breakfast. Students are prompted to consider where their food comes from and consider which breakfast items might be from plants. Then students taste a common breakfast food, maple syrup, and see that according to the label, it is 100% from a tree.

Based on the preceding unit, students argue that they know what happens to the sugar in syrup when they consume it. It is absorbed into the circulatory system and transported to cells in their body to be used for fuel. Students explore what else is in food and discover that food from plants, like bananas, peanut butter, beans, avocado, and almonds, not only have sugars but proteins and fats as well. This discovery leads them to wonder how plants are getting these food molecules and where a plant’s food comes from.

Subject:
Biology
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
02/26/2020
8.1 Contact Forces
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Oh, no! I’ve dropped my phone! Most of us have experienced the panic of watching our phones slip out of our hands and fall to the floor. We’ve experienced the relief of picking up an undamaged phone and the frustration of the shattered screen. This common experience anchors learning in the Contact Forces unit as students explore a variety of phenomena to figure out, “Why do things sometimes get damaged when they hit each other?”

Student questions about the factors that result in a shattered cell phone screen lead them to investigate what is really happening to any object during a collision. They make their thinking visible with free-body diagrams, mathematical models, and system models to explain the effects of relative forces, mass, speed, and energy in collisions. Students then use what they have learned about collisions to engineer something that will protect a fragile object from damage in a collision. They investigate which materials to use, gather design input from stakeholders to refine the criteria and constraints, develop micro and macro models of how their solution is working, and optimize their solution based on data from investigations. Finally, students apply what they have learned from the investigation and design to a related design problem.

Subject:
Applied Science
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Module
Unit of Study
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
10/21/2020
8.2 Sound Waves
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Unit Summary
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.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Module
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
09/10/2019
8.3 Forces at a Distance - Unit Overview
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This unit launches with a slow-motion video of a speaker as it plays music. In the previous unit, students developed a model of sound. This unit allows students to investigate the cause of a speaker’s vibration in addition to the effect.

Students dissect speakers to explore the inner workings, and engineer homemade cup speakers to manipulate the parts of the speaker. They identify that most speakers have the same parts–a magnet, a coil of wire, and a membrane. Students investigate each of these parts to figure out how they work together in the speaker system. Along the way, students manipulate the components (e.g. changing the strength of the magnet, number of coils, direction of current) to see how this technology can be modified and applied to a variety of contexts, like MagLev trains, junkyard magnets, and electric motors.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
02/26/2020
COVID-19 & Health Equity, Grades 3-5
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The COVID-19 Pandemic is a clear example of how science and society are connected. This unit explores how different communities are differentially impacted by the virus through the lens of historical inequities in society. In the context of decisions their families make, students explore the basics of how the virus affects people, and design investigations to explore how it spreads from person to person, and what we can do to prevent that spread.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Health, Medicine and Nursing
Life Science
Social Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Module
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Unit of Study
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Author:
Learning in Places
NextGen Science Storylines
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
09/16/2020
COVID-19 & Health Equity, High School Science
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This unit is designed to support students in understanding the COVID-19 pandemic, transmission of the COVID-19 virus, and the impacts of the pandemic on communities, especially communities of color. Specific learning targets are listed at the beginning of each lesson and highlight a core idea for the lesson, the science and engineering practice students will engage in, and the crosscutting concept students will use in the lesson. i

Subject:
Environmental Science
Health, Medicine and Nursing
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Module
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Unit of Study
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Author:
BSCS Science Learning
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
09/16/2020
OpenSciEd Video Library
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The student-facing videos are intended to be shown to students as part of the unit while the teacher preparation videos provide information to teachers regarding the set up of laboratory investigations and other features of the instructional materials.

Subject:
Physical Science
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
03/19/2020
Remote Learning Adaptations - OpenSciEd Middle School Science
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In partnership with teachers, the Louisiana Department of Education arranged OpenSciEd (grade 6-8 science) content in a manner that stays true to the vision of the materials and provides clear guidance on how to use them in a fully remote environment. The modified materials assume that teachers will have synchronous virtual meetings with students in addition to home learning.
The site also provides a variety of resources with options for students who do not have internet access.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Life Science
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson
Module
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Unit of Study
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Author:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
08/14/2020
Remote Learning Resources - Setting Argreements
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In this document, we offer suggestions for developing and maintaining engagement agreements that promote safe student-driven learning experiences in remote learning environments. Remote learning environments might be synchronous experiences enhanced by technology that allows educators and learners to see and talk with each other, asynchronous communications that may or may not be aided by technology, or somewhere in between. When technology is used in remote learning, there will be variation in the skill and comfort level among teachers and students. Whatever approach you use for digital technology, be aware of your district and school policies in selecting tools to use.

Subject:
Applied Science
Engineering
Environmental Science
Environmental Studies
Life Science
Physical Science
Atmospheric Science
Geology
Material Type:
Primary Source
Provider:
OpenSciEd
Author:
OpenSciEd
Date Added:
08/17/2020