OER STEM Science User Group

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All resources in OER STEM Science User Group

Earth System Science (Lab 1): Think Globally, Act Locally

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Students are introduced to four major components of the Earth system: the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and pedosphere. They start to apply this knowledge as they visit the local study site to identify elements of these four spheres and infer connections among them. The investigation concludes with students making predictions about ways that a change in the characteristics of one component of their study site might affect the characteristics of other components.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Data Set

Author: Letha Goger

Heredity Mix n Match

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Students randomly select jelly beans (or other candy) that represent genes for several human traits such as tongue-rolling ability and eye color. Then, working in pairs (preferably of mixed gender), students randomly choose new pairs of jelly beans from those corresponding to their own genotypes. The new pairs are placed on toothpicks to represent the chromosomes of the couple's offspring. Finally, students compare genotypes and phenotypes of parents and offspring for all the "couples" in the class. In particular, they look to see if there are cases where parents and offspring share the exact same genotype and/or phenotype, and consider how the results would differ if they repeated the simulation using more than four traits.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Author: Admin

Managing Critical Resources at Craters of the Moon National Monument: A Curriculum for High School Students

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provides lesson ideas for learning about the geology, history, and ecology of this national park near Arco, Idaho. A high school unit on Managing Critical Resources at Craters of the Moon focuses on degradation of geologic features, water and air quality, and the balance of life of lava. Craters of the Moon National Park offers one of the best examples of basaltic volcanism in the world.

Material Type: Reading

Author: Admin

1964 Alaska Earthquake

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This video adapted from the Valdez Museum & Historical Archive, explores what happened during the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964 through original footage, first-person accounts, and animations illustrating plate tectonics. ***Access to Teacher's Domain content now requires free login to PBS Learning Media.

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Admin

Meteorological Monsters

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Students will study the pattern of hurricanes using data from the 2005 huricane season. The U.S. Weather Service has been documenting tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean for over 150 years. The hurricane season of 2005 broke several records, making it the most extreme season since record keeping began: 2005 had the most hurricanes in one season (15), the most category 5 hurricanes (4), the most intense Atlantic hurricane ever recorded (Wilma), and the first recorded European landfall of an Atlantic cyclone (Vince).

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Diagram/Illustration, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Ramona Hymel

Debris Dilemmas

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View the video ̢ĺŰĺĎTrash on the Spin Cycle̢ĺŰĺ to discover what causes huge quantities of garbage to end up on the most remote islands in the world and how this garbage affects wildlife.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Letha Goger

The Botany of Desire

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In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan explores risks inherent in one of the most widespread practices in modern agriculture. It's called monoculture, and it refers to cultivation of single or very similar varieties of a food crop on large acreages. In many cases, the variety is one that dominates the marketplace, like the Russet Burbank potato, whose shape makes it a favorite for cutting French fries, or one of the few apple varieties commonly seen in supermarkets. Monoculture may offer economic advantages, but Pollan argues that it brings serious environmental risks.

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

Author: Pamela Auburn

Barbie Bungee

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In this lesson, students model a bungee jump for a Barbie doll. They collect data in a table (number of rubber bands and jump distance), then create a scatterplot of the data, find its line of best fit, and write an equation of that line. Students go on to analyze the equation, noting its slope in relation to the data collected, and the meaning of the y-intercept. Since the distance to which the doll will fall is directly proportional to the number of rubber bands, the lesson provides a scenario for examining linear functions.

Material Type: Interactive, Lesson Plan

Author: Letha Goger

Body Parts

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In this online game, learners test their knowledge of human anatomy. Learners are presented a mystery image of a body part and use their mouse to select the proper body part from a full size anatomical model (known as "Jerome"). Learners try to match all 10 body parts correctly. Use this activity to review human anatomy and/or introduce learners to the use of anatomical models.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Game

Author: Letha Goger

Inside the Brain: An Interactive Tour

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The human brain is in many ways a fantastic and enigmatic part of the body, and only within the past few decades have scientists begun to understand its many nooks and crannies. When the brain is beset with any number of neurological conditions, it changes in a myriad of ways. This website, provided by the Alzheimer's Association, provides an interactive tour of the brain of a person with Alzheimer's disease. The tour contains sixteen interactive slides, and each slide contains informative text that provides background material. The first seven slides contain a bit of background information about the brain, such as what the brain is composed of and how it functions.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Diagram/Illustration, Interactive, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Ramona Hymel

Photosynthesis

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A learning module on photosynthesis enhanced with colorful graphics, questions for review, and additional links.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment, Diagram/Illustration, Lecture, Lecture Notes, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Ramona Hymel