All resources in Grant Wood AEA

Instruction for Diverse Groups of ELLs

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The population of English Language Learners is enormously diverse. Teachers face the complex challenge of providing them with opportunities that allow them to attain the Common Core State Standards despite their various needs and abilities. The authors offer and discuss five principles of instruction for ELLs, which can be enacted within classrooms in ways that are responsive to individual students.

Material Type: Lecture, Reading, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Aida Walqui, Margaret Heritage

Accelerometer: Centripetal Acceleration

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Students work as physicists to understand centripetal acceleration concepts. They also learn about a good robot design and the accelerometer sensor. They also learn about the relationship between centripetal acceleration and centripetal force governed by the radius between the motor and accelerometer and the amount of mass at the end of the robot's arm. Students graph and analyze data collected from an accelerometer, and learn to design robots with proper weight distribution across the robot for their robotic arms. Upon using a data logging program, they view their own data collected during the activity. By activity end , students understand how a change in radius or mass can affect the data obtained from the accelerometer through the plots generated from the data logging program. More specifically, students learn about the accuracy and precision of the accelerometer measurements from numerous trials.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Carlo Yuvienco, Jennifer S. Haghpanah

Above-Ground Storage Tank Design Project

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At this point in the unit, students have learned about Pascal's law, Archimedes' principle, Bernoulli's principle, and why above-ground storage tanks are of major concern in the Houston Ship Channel and other coastal areas. In this culminating activity, student groups act as engineering design teams to derive equations to determine the stability of specific above-ground storage tank scenarios with given tank specifications and liquid contents. With their floatation analyses completed and the stability determined, students analyze the tank stability in specific storm conditions. Then, teams are challenged to come up with improved storage tank designs to make them less vulnerable to uplift, displacement and buckling in storm conditions. Teams present their analyses and design ideas in short class presentations.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Emily Sappington, Mila Taylor

Acoustic Mirrors

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Students play and record the “Mary Had a Little Lamb” song using musical instruments and analyze the intensity of the sound using free audio editing and recording software. Then they use hollow Styrofoam half-spheres as acoustic mirrors (devices that reflect and focus sound), determine the radius of curvature of the mirror and calculate its focal length. Students place a microphone at the acoustic mirror focal point, re-record their songs, and compare the sound intensity on plot spectrums generated from their recordings both with and without the acoustic mirrors. A worksheet and KWL chart are provided.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Nick Breen, Steven C. Thedford

2 - Texting & Driving

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Students are confronted with a scenario of a student who is texting and driving in the school parking lot and they are tasked to determine the effect of various parameters to see if a student will collide with a pedestrian. Students must begin by breaking the scenario down into more manageable parts to determine what must be studied about the situation. Through a series of labs and activities, students learn how to model and predict situations with constant velocity and acceleration. Then, coding a spreadsheet, students model the complex situation of a texting driver, reacting, and braking during a potentially hazardous situation to create an evidence-based argument.

Material Type: Unit of Study

3 - Energy & Engineering

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In order to contextualize the Energy unit, students are tasked to engineer a bungee cord that will optimize the enjoyment of a doll’s bungee jump. To do this, students first develop the mathematical patterns through inquiry on gravitational energy, kinetic energy, and elastic energy. Once the patterns have been established, students further build on their spreadsheet coding skills, in order to use computational thinking to create a program that will help predict the length of bungee cord necessary for a variety of situations.

Material Type: Unit of Study

4 - Engineer a Shoe

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This unit is centered on designing a shoe for a customer. Students decide on a particular type of shoe that they want to design and utilize ideas of force, impulse, and friction to meet the needs of a particular customer. Force plates are used study the relationship between force, time, and impulse to allow students to get the mathematical models that allow them to make data informed decisions about their shoe design.

Material Type: Unit of Study

5 - Waves & Technology

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The phenomenon that launches this unit is a cell phone call to a student in the class, where the caller on speaker phone asks “How are you hearing me?”. Over the course of the unit, students discover the patterns with waves. Then use that understanding to explain ultrasound medical imagining technology and ultimately how cell phones work. Cell phone communication is operationalized by the engineering challenge of communicating a three letter signal by first coding a spreadsheet to digitize the signal in binary (ASCII), then transmit the digital signal using light and sound (AM and FM), then receive and decode the signal to complete the communication. This project models the sending and receiving of a text message.

Material Type: Textbook

6 - E&M + Power Production

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This unit is loaded with phenomena. The real world task of being a member of Oregon's Energy Commission that must create a 50-Year Energy Plan propels students through a learning arc that includes electricity, magnetism, power production, and climate science. After the Request for a 50-Year Energy Plan students jigsaw energy sources and power production. They need to understand the basic physics of how generators works leads us to build and explore motors (starting with speakers which also connect to the Waves & Technology unit) and inefficient generators (electric guitars). The need for large amounts of energy and efficient generators motivates us to engineer wind turbines and optimize solar cells for a local facilities use. Creating the rubric to evaluate large scale power production launches us into climate science. With all the learning of the unit students and many real world constraints student finally complete, compare, and evaluate their 50-Year Energy Plan.

Material Type: Unit of Study