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

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

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

Middle School: mySci: How can we as engineers design a concert experience for others to enjoy?

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This module is centered on the driving question, “How can we as engineers design a concert experience for others to enjoy?” In order to answer this question, students will consider what a wave is, and how waves are modeled. They will explore sound and light waves, and how these waves interact with various media. The culminating performance task requires students to synthesize this information, and apply it to the design of a concert experience. The materials below are shared via a google drive folder and can be viewed and downloaded for use.

Material Type: Unit of Study

Remote Learning Plan: Sound Waves 8th Grade

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This Remote Learning Plan was created by Courtney Bakan, Cassaundra Griffith, and Laura Trautman in collaboration with Sara Cooper and Annette Weise as part of the 2020 ESU-NDE Remote Learning Plan Project. Educators worked with coaches to create Remote Learning Plans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.The attached Remote Learning Plan is designed for 8th Grade Science students. Students will figure out, "How can sound make something move?". This Remote Learning Plan addresses the following NDE Standards: SC.8.2.2.A and SC.8.2.2.B

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy, Unit of Study

Author: Sara Cooper

Next Gen Storyline: Why Do Some Things Get Colder (or Hotter) When They React?

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In this high school physical sciences unit, students investigate why some substances absorb heat when they react, while others release it. Students first solve the mystery of where the energy goes in endothermic reactions by examining salt dissolution and using magnets as models for bonds. They then expand their investigations to look into where the energy comes from in exothermic reactions. The model they continue to develop using magnets, helps them account for why breaking bonds absorbs energy from the surroundings and forming bonds releases energy back into the surroundings. The end of the unit naturally motivates a new question to pursue in future units, “Why are some types of particles more attracted to one another than others?" nextgenerationstoryline.org

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment, Case Study, Homework/Assignment, Lesson Plan, Module, Unit of Study

Author: Dorann Avey

What Is Biodiversity?

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Biodiversity is the spectacular variety of life on Earth and the essential interdependence among all living things. Students begin to learn about the term biodiversity at its most basic level. On their first field trip, students observe a natural space and report on what they see. They also begin to see the need for keeping written records and how to make scientific observations of their site. A series of optional mapping activities are presented that develop the skills required to create detailed and representational maps derived from observations and data.

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

The Human Genome Project - The Use of Genetic Screening Technology

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This unit includes one week of lessons which immediately follow the Genetics and DNA units. The previous knowledge gained from these units, as well as a previous project where students researched and shared with their classmates a specific genetic disorder, will provide the background for students to participate in a debate about the ethical issues of applying information available through the Human Genome Project (HGP).

Material Type: Reading, Unit of Study

Authors: Ethel Gaides, Emelia Fleck, Beverly Tedeschi

Investigating a Deep Sea Mystery

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Investigating a Deep Sea Mystery is based on Deep-sea mystery solved: astonishing larval transformation and extreme sexual dimorphism unite three fish families by Johnson, et al. (2009)* published in Biology Letters, Royal Society. The deep sea fishes at the heart of the investigation and this activity were historically classified into three families or clades based on the obvious morphological differences between the members of each group. Over time, as new data was accumulated, a new hypothesis was generated; the three fish clades were really one. Johnson, et al. found patterns in collection data that supported an alternative relationship; that they are the males, females, and larvae of a single family or clade, and that the morphological differences are the result of extreme ontogenetic (developmental) metamorphosis and sexual dimorphism. In this activity students follow the steps of the science team to unravel the mystery of the fishes' classification by analyzing some of the same morphological and phylogenetic data as the science team.

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

Author: Jennifer Collins