Nebraska Science K -12

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All resources in Nebraska Science K -12

Seasons Around the World

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Description: Build a model of the Earth, with its spin-axis, and a lamp as the Sun to demonstrate the concept of seasons. Goals --Understanding why we have seasons and the cause of seasonal variation in temperature. --Learning about how the Earth rotates on a tilted axis compared to its orbit around the Sun. Learning Objectives --Students learn about seasons by building a model of the Earth and the Sun, and investigating how sunlight hits the Northern and Southern Hemispheres during different seasons. --Students explain that the same amount of light hitting the ground heats up a small area more than a large area --Students show that the angle at which the sunlight hits the Earth influences how much the sunlight heats up the Earth. Students demonstrate that the angle at which the sunlight hits the Earth is related to the tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis compared to the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Leiden Observatory

How Does Light Help Me See and Communicate

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This first-grade unit on light starts with students exploring how many shapes they can see on different pieces of paper at various locations around their classroom when the lights are turned off. They are surprised to find that some of the shapes are not visible in these conditions. This leads students to start wondering about other phenomena related to seeing in the dark, which in turn leads to new questions and design problems related to how they can make their room completely dark.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: NGSS

Changes in the Environment

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This activity places the control of the environment under the student's control. A field starts off with a uniform light level, and thus capable of growing plants with medium-sized leaves. Students can alter the environment by "growing" a chain of mountains through the field. Students are challenged to grow the mountains to their maximum height (corresponding to the maximum change in light level on either side of the chain) while maintaining a viable population of plants on each side.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Data Set, Lesson Plan

Authors: The Concord Consortium, The National Science Foundation

Sound Waves

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In this unit of study students learn about sound waves. This unit integrates nine STEM attributes and was developed as part of the South Metro-Salem STEM Partnership's Teacher Leadership Team. Any instructional materials are included within this unit of study.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Teaching/Learning Strategy, Unit of Study

Author: Lisa Garrett

3rd Grade Physical Science Unit

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In this Unit, students embark on a mission to create a campaign which promotes seat belt use for a teenage audience. In the context of this project, students explore NGSS PE’s 3-PS2-2, 3-PS2-1, 3-5-ETS1-1, 3-PS2-3, and 3-PS2-4 while investigating the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces acting on an object. Through a series of collect evidence to write a claim based on evidence for why seatbelts are important. Download: ForcesAndInteractions.3rdgrade_krEFi7M.pdfDelete Google Drive with Teacher Resources Portions of this storyline can be successfully implemented without access to FOSS instructional or lab materials. Specifically, the unit entry event, driving question, supplemental lessons and online resources, etc., can still be used to engage students in learning the addressed NGSS bundle. For most recent version of this unit, please visit www.stemmaterials.org

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Pranjali Upadhyay

Concord Consortium: Solar Oven

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Elementary grade students investigate heat transfer in this activity to design and build a solar oven, then test its effectiveness using a temperature sensor. It blends the hands-on activity with digital graphing tools that allow kids to easily plot and share their data. Included in the package are illustrated procedures and extension activities. Note Requirements: This lesson requires a "VernierGo" temperature sensing device, available for ~ $40. This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology. The Consortium develops digital learning innovations for science, mathematics, and engineering.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Diagram/Illustration, Lecture Notes

Author: The Concord Consortium

Dream It, Build It, Launch It!

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This Super Lesson utilizes Project Based Learning to assist learners with designing, building, and testing flying contraptions as an introduction to Engineering. The goal of this project is to engage students in collaborative team work and to introduce students to the Science and Engineering Practices: Asking Questions and Defining Problems, Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, and Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions. We have offered this Super Lesson as an 8-week elective course, developing and strengthening student interest in applied Math and Science topics. It could also be offered within upper elementary or middle school Science and Math courses. In addition, each week’s topic could be used as a stand alone mini-lesson if time is limited. We have worked to include multiple options within this unit to make it accessible to both general education and special education programs, including recommendations for modifications and extensions.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Interactive, Lesson Plan, Unit of Study

Cells

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In this unit, students look at the components of cells and their functions and discover the controversy behind stem cell research. The first lesson focuses on the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. In the second lesson, students learn about the basics of cellular respiration. They also learn about the application of cellular respiration to engineering and bioremediation. The third lesson continues students' education on cells in the human body and how (and why) engineers are involved in the research of stem cell behavior.

Material Type: Full Course

How Can Science Help Build a Better Ice Pack? An Integrated 3D Storyline Unit for Middle School Science using Instant Ice Packs

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In this unit designed for an integrated middle school science classroom, students investigate why athletes ice injuries. This leads students to wonder why actual bags of ice are used instead of the instant ice packs found in first aid kits. Students then investigate the chemical reaction occurring within an instant ice pack and work to develop a better design. Anchoring Phenomenon: First aid care for musculoskeletal injuries using bags of ice instead of instant ice packs containing an endothermic chemical reaction. NGSS PEs Addressed: MS-PS1-1; MS-PS1-2; MS-PS1-5; MS-PS1-6; MS-PS3-3; MS-LS1-8; MS-ETS1-1 Cover Image Source: https://www.stack.com/a/cryotherapy

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment, Homework/Assignment, Lesson Plan, Reading, Student Guide, Teaching/Learning Strategy, Unit of Study

Authors: Arlene Friend, Kathryn Fleegal, NextGenerationTeachers, Stephanie Bank

Remix

Storylines for NE - How do sensory systems play a role in behavior of plants and animals?

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In this middle school life sciences unit, students investigate how sensory systems play a role in behavior of plants and animals. Students first solve the mystery of why kudos are dying unexpectedly in the Limpopo Savana. They then expand their investigations to look into how plants communicate or adapt to meet there survival needs. The model they continue to develop helps students understand the function of many structures in plants and how those structures helps the plants survive and reproduce. The end of the unit naturally motivates a new question to pursue in future units, “How do sensory systems play a role in the behavior of animals?"

Material Type: Unit of Study

Author: Kirsten Smith

Photosynthesis: Life's Primary Energy Source

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This lesson covers the process of photosynthesis and the related plant cell functions of transpiration and cellular respiration. Students will learn how engineers can use the natural process of photosynthesis as an exemplary model of a complex yet efficient process for converting solar energy to chemical energy or distributing water throughout a system.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Authors: Christopher Valenti, Janet Yowell, Karen King

Gumdrop Atoms

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Students use gumdrops and toothpicks to make lithium atom models. Using these models, they investigate the makeup of atoms, including their relative size. Students are then asked to form molecules out of atoms, much in the same way they constructed atoms out of the particles that atoms are made of. Students also practice adding and subtracting electrons from an atom and determining the overall charges on atoms.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Brian Kay, Daria Kotys-Schwartz, Janet Yowell, Malinda Schaefer Zarske

Rock Cycle

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Through five lessons, students are introduced to all facets of the rock cycle. Topics include rock and mineral types, material stresses and weathering, geologic time and fossil formation, the Earth's crust and tectonic plates, and soil formation and composition. Lessons are presented in the context of the related impact on humans in the form of roadway and tunnel design and construction, natural disasters, environmental site assessment for building structures, and measurement instrumentation and tools. Hands-on activities include experiencing tensional, compressional and shear material stress by using only hand force to break bars of soap; preparing Jeopardy-type trivia questions/answers for a class game that reinforces students' understanding of rocks and the rock cycle; creating "fossils" using melted chocolate; working within design constraints to design and build a model tunnel through a clay mountain; and soil sampling by creating tools, obtaining soil cores, documenting a soil profile log, and analyzing the findings to make engineering predictions.

Material Type: Full Course

Those Old Kentucky Blues: An Interrupted Case Study

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This interrupted case study begins with the construction of a pedigree following an initial encounter with a clan of "blue people." After constructing a pedigree, students decide whether the condition (methemoglobinemia) is a heritable trait. Students are then exposed to a different perspective of this condition and have to re-evaluate the inheritance pattern. This case study was written for a first year honors course in general biology. It could be modified for most general science majors' biology, genetics, biochemistry, and cell biology courses.

Material Type: Case Study

Authors: Celeste A. Leander, Robert J. Huskey

How Can We Sense So Many Different Sounds from a Distance?

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In this unit, students start by observing a perplexing phenomenon. When a sewing needle taped to a cone is dragged over the surface of a plastic disc that is spun underneath it, it produces voices and musical notes. This leads students to start wondering about other sound-related phenomena, which in turn leads to wealth of new questions about 1) What causes different sounds? 2) What is traveling from a sound source to our ears? 3) How do we hear and why do we hear things differently in different places? and 4) How do electronic devices (digital sound sources) produce and detect sounds?

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: NGSS

Middle School: Understanding White Sharks Unit

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Rating: Example of High Quality NGSS Design Awarded the NGSS Design Badge Science Discipline: Life Science, Earth and Space Science, Physical Science Length: Unit Numerous reports suggest an increase in white shark encounters in the United States in recent years and the public is worried. In this integrated middle school unit, students engage in three-dimensional learning that enables them to explain the phenomenon. White sharks in the coastal waters of Southern California serve as a case study for students to ask questions and build understanding. Students initially question if white shark encounters are in fact increasing and investigate reports of sightings. They wonder if we know whether or not the population is on the rise, leading students to next explore past evidence from fossils and data from historic fishers logs. Students then question how scientists today are monitoring white sharks, setting the stage to explore the use of modern tracking devices (digging deep into waves and signals) and what researchers know about white sharks because of the application of this technology. This opens up the opportunity for students to question and consider what the science community has learned about white shark life history, how humans have impacted the white shark population off Southern California, and to devise a way to address public concerns.

Material Type: Unit of Study