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  • PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
1D Uniformly Accelerated Motion
Rating

The representation depicts an object moving along a "track" marked in .5 meter intervals. As the object moves, displacement-time, velocity-time, and acceleration-time graphs record the motion in real time. The user may select various types of motion to be depicted, as well as edit a velocity-time graph and have the resulting motion depicted. As the object moves, color coded vectors display its displacement, velocity and acceleration.

Subject:
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Acacia Tree Ants
Rating

The phenomenon is the symbiotic relationship between the acacia ant and the swollen thorn acacia tree, shown in a 2:18 minute video. The ant provides protection for the tree against preying insects and other plants competing for sunlight, and the tree provides nourishment and shelter for the ant and the ants' larvae.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Animation of Himalayas Forming
Rating

The representation depicts two plates colliding, specifically the Indian Plate and the Eurasian Plate. The oceanic crust on the leading edge of the Indian Plate is shown to move beneath the continental crust of the Eurasian Plate, causing the ocean between the continental plate material on the two plates to gradually become narrower. As the Indian Plate pushes beneath the Eurasian Plate, the continental plate material on the edge of the Eurasian Plate buckles and folds. When all of the oceanic plate material on the edge of the Indian Plate has moved beneath the Eurasian Plate, the continental plate material of both plates collides, causing the edges of both plates to fold, resulting in the formation of the Himalayan Mountains. This representation utilizes two simulated views of the mountain formation and six satellite images of the Himalayas. Each satellite image zooms out a little further until finally it shows most of the country of India and the Tibetan Plateau with the Himalayan Mountains in between. The animation can be advanced one frame at a time or viewed in its entirety.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
Jennifer Loomis, TERC
Astronomy Picture of the Day Looking Back at an Eclipsed Earth
Rating

The phenomenon is the shadow of the moon as seen in an image taken from the Mir Space Station on August 11, 1999 during a total solar eclipse across Europe. A text explanation of a solar eclipse with hyperlinks to other websites and images accompanies the image.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
Jerry Bonnell
Mir 27 Crew
Robert Nemiroff
Astronomy Picture of the Day - Lunation
Rating

The phenomenon is a series of photos of the moon taken daily during one lunar cycle. The photos show the various phases of the moon as seen from Earth and show that the moon has a slight wobble during its elliptical orbit. The photos also show the slight change in appearance of the moon's size during its orbit and show that the same side of the moon is always seen from Earth.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
Antonio Cidadao
Jerry Bonnell
Robert Nemiroff
Biology Graphs - Predator and Prey
Rating

The phenomenon is the numerical relationship between the population growth of predator (lynx) and prey (hare) over a 90 year period as shown in a graph. The graph shows that as the population of hares increases, the population of lynx increases. As the population of lynx continue to increase, the population of hares decreases. Questions probe student thinking on this relationship and other factors that may impact the population of the hare and the lynx.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
L Chapman
Biomes
Rating

The representation depicts seven different biomes: Coniferous Forest, Desert, Grassland, Tundra, Temperate Deciduous Forest, Shrubland, and Rainforest. Information includes pictures of the biomes and descriptions of temperatures, precipitation, vegetation and sample locations.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Author:
NASA
Biomes
Rating

The phenomenon is the diversity of environments located around the world. The resource presents an activity in which students collect information about different biomes by watching videos and doing a Web activity. They share their information in a variety of ways.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Book Work
Rating

The phenomenon is a student pulling a sheet of paper from under a book, as shown in a brief video clip. The book doesn't move noticeably when the paper is removed, illustrating Newton's First Law. The text on the page provides directions for setting this up as a student demonstration.

Subject:
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Brain Pop Movies - Food Chains
Rating

This representation depicts a food chain and a food web and illustrates both with specific examples of organisms in an animated cartoon video. The video illustrates the food chain in a pyramid structure with plants at the bottom and explains the role of each layer in the food chain.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Buckling Up
Rating

The phenomenon is a toy car stopping its motion when hitting a pencil. The clay figure inside the car keeps moving unless the figure is strapped to the car.

Subject:
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Calculating Energy Efficiency
Rating

The representation depicts the transfer of energy from grass to a cow ("bullock"), and to the environment. Text and an illustration provide numerical data in an example of the total amount of energy transferred from grass to a cow to the environment.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Cancer Research UK - Cells Are Us
Rating

The representation depicts the repeated division of cells, starting with one cell and resulting in millions of cells. The representations are found on pages 5 through 10 of the resource.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
The Carbon Cycle
Rating

The representation is an illustration and description of the carbon cycle that follows the movement of carbon from the atmosphere to plants, animals, the ground, fossil fuels, and oceans.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Cell Differentiation
Rating

The phenomenon is cell differentiation. Narrated time lapse video documents the development of a chicken from post fertilization to hatching.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Chemical Change with Mixed Solutions
Rating

The phenomenon is a chemical reaction resulting from the mixing of copper nitrate and sodium hydroxide solutions. A blue, gel-like precipitate is formed.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Chemical and Physical Changes
Rating

The phenomenon is a chemical reaction between sugar and sulfuric acid. The demonstration (a discrepant event) compares the way sugar and water interact when combined (physical change) to the way sugar and sulfuric acid interact when combined (chemical change). In part II, students are given additional substances and changes to observe.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Classifying Matter
Rating

The representation is a picture of the arrangement of particles in the 3 states of matter. The picture does not show movement. There is accompanying text that describes movement and arrangement of the particles.

Subject:
Education
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School
Condensation
Rating

The representation describes the process of condensation using an animation depicting evaporation and an accompanying text describing the process of condensation to form cloud droplets.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle Schools (PRISMS)
Provider Set:
PRISMS: Phenomena and Representations for the Instruction of Science in Middle School