Washington Science

This group, curated by OSPI, contains resources created by and for educators - including instructional materials, review rubrics, and other useful links. (Icon: Science by Sergey Demushkin from the Noun Project)
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All resources in Washington Science

OSPI 3-5 Science Home Learning Resources During COVID-19

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This document provides some learning resources associated with each of the 3-5 Science Content Learning Standards. They are intended to serve during this “stay at home” time, which includes all Washington schools. They are not intended to replace or be equivalent to face-to-face learning. Please feel free to use the resources or to make adaptations.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson, Module, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Authors: Barbara Soots, Ellen Ebert

Supporting Students’ Science Learning During School Closures

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As schools close their doors as part of public health measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, educators are faced with how to support the diverse needs of all learners when students are not in school. This guide recognizes that solutions will not be – nor should be – “school as usual,” simply delivered in a virtual environment. Instead, this resource was developed by members of the Council of State Science Supervisors to provide guidance around how to support student science learning during these unique circumstances. Image by April Bryant from Pixabay 

Material Type: Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Barbara Soots

Are seatbelts important for safe driving? (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

How can we use sustainable energies to improve quality of life around the world?

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This Unit for the 4th Grade Kit, Waves and Energy, weaves together the various FOSS investigations in the context of an authentic and engaging storyline. Through an imaginary correspondence with a 4th grader who lives in the village of Ghaghara, India, students use a series of investigations to build their skills and content knowledge in order to solve larger problems being faced by their friend, Parvathi. Students engage in project-based learning while using science and engineering practices to help solve everyday problems in the context of Parvathi’s life. Students also use online research and evidence from investigations to construct claims based on evidence which inform and drive their practice of engineering.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment

Author: Pranjali Upadhyay

How can we help save the Pika who live in the Columbia River Gorge? (4th grade Life Science Unit)

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This integrated OER unit focuses on the 4th grade NGSS bundle addressing Structure, Function, and Information Processing (Performance expectations 4-PS4-2, 4-LS1-1, and 4-LS1-2). Students are engaged in a storyline which presents them with the problem of preserving the pika population who live in the Columbia River Gorge, a species which has recently been threatened in this region due to climate change. Through a series of activities, labs, and field STEM experiences, students engage in scientific modeling and investigation, while building their understanding of how an organism’s internal and external structures enable survival, growth and reproduction. The unit culminates with the development of a product that can be shared with a public audience to instigate positive change in the community and help protect the pika.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Pranjali Upadhyay

Ecosystem Invasion! (3rd Grade Life Science Unit)

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This integrated 3rd grade unit addresses the NGSS Life Science bundles for Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems (3-LS2-1, 3-LS4-3, and 3-LS4-4) and Inheritance and Variation of Traits: Life Cycles and Traits (3-LS1-1, 3-LS3-1, 3-LS3-2, and 3-LS4-2). Students embark on a mission to protect their native plants and animals by devising a plan to regulate and prevent the spread of invasive species in the area. Through a series of FOSS investigations and other OER (open educational resource) lessons and activities, students learn about how an organism’s traits aid in survival, how parents pass on traits to their offspring, and how the environment influences plant and animal traits and behaviors.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Pranjali Upadhyay

What's for Dinner? 5th Grade STEM Project

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Meaningful STEM learning can happen at home as we problem-solve around the house and make sense of intriguing phenomena around us! Join us as we embark on a mission to create a healthy and nutritious meal for our family! This STEM mini-project can be launched by the teacher and can provide families with a fun project to do in the kitchen.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Pranjali Upadhyay

Matter and Its Interactions Phenomenon Unit - Tanker Collapse

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This resource is a phenomenon-based adaption to the Smithsonian's STCMS Matter and Its Interactions kit. The anchoring phenomenon event features a railroad tanker that collapses due to the phase changes of water that was used to clean it. Students will investigate what causes phase changes, energy transfer, thermal energy, the law of conservation of mass, and atoms and molecules throughout the three week unit.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Author: Carissa Haug

7.3 Metabolic Reactions

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Unit Summary This unit on metabolic reactions in the human body starts out with students exploring a real case study of a middle-school girl named M’Kenna, who reported some alarming symptoms to her doctor. Her symptoms included an inability to concentrate, headaches, stomach issues when she eats, and a lack of energy for everyday activities and sports that she used to play regularly. She also reported noticeable weight loss over the past few months, in spite of consuming what appeared to be a healthy diet. Her case sparks questions and ideas for investigations around trying to figure out which pathways and processes in M’Kenna’s body might be functioning differently than a healthy system and why.  Students investigate data specific to M’Kenna’s case in the form of doctor’s notes, endoscopy images and reports, growth charts, and micrographs. They also draw from their results from laboratory experiments on the chemical changes involving the processing of food and from digital interactives to explore how food is transported, transformed, stored, and used across different body systems in all people. Through this work of figuring out what is causing M’Kenna’s symptoms, the class discovers what happens to the food we eat after it enters our bodies and how M’Kenna’s different symptoms are connected. This unit builds towards the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs) as described in the OpenSciEd Scope & Sequence: MS-LS1-3, MS-LS1-5, MS-LS1-7, MS-PS1-1, MS-PS1-2. The OpenSciEd units are designed for hands-on learning, and therefore materials are necessary to teach the unit. These materials can be purchased as science kits or assembled using the kit material list. Additional Unit InformationNext Generation Science Standards Addressed in this UnitPerformance ExpectationsThis unit builds toward the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs):

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson, Module

8.2 Sound Waves

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Unit Summary In this unit, students develop ideas related to how sounds are produced, how they travel through media, and how they affect objects at a distance. Their investigations are motivated by trying to account for a perplexing anchoring phenomenon — a truck is playing loud music in a parking lot and the windows of a building across the parking lot visibly shake in response to the music. They make observations of sound sources to revisit the K–5 idea that objects vibrate when they make sounds. They figure out that patterns of differences in those vibrations are tied to differences in characteristics of the sounds being made. They gather data on how objects vibrate when making different sounds to characterize how a vibrating object’s motion is tied to the loudness and pitch of the sounds they make. Students also conduct experiments to support the idea that sound needs matter to travel through, and they will use models and simulations to explain how sound travels through matter at the particle level. This unit builds toward the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs) as described in the OpenSciEd Scope & Sequence: MS-PS4-1, MS-PS4-2. The OpenSciEd units are designed for hands-on learning and therefore materials are necessary to teach the unit. These materials can be purchased as science kits or assembled using the kit material list.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson, Module

6.2 Thermal Energy

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Unit Summary This unit on thermal energy transfer begins with students testing whether a new plastic cup sold by a store keeps a drink colder for longer compared to the regular plastic cup that comes free with the drink. Students find that the drink in the regular cup warms up more than the drink in the special cup. This prompts students to identify features of the cups that are different, such as the lid, walls, and hole for the straw, that might explain why one drink warms up more than the other.  Students investigate the different cup features they conjecture are important to explaining the phenomenon, starting with the lid. They model how matter can enter or exit the cup via evaporation However, they find that in a completely closed system, the liquid inside the cup still changes temperature. This motivates the need to trace the transfer of energy into the drink as it warms up. Through a series of lab investigations and simulations, students find that there are two ways to transfer energy into the drink: (1) the absorption of light and (2) thermal energy from the warmer air around the drink. They are then challenged to design their own drink container that can perform as well as the store-bought container, following a set of design criteria and constraints. This unit builds toward the following NGSS Performance Expectations (PEs) as described in the OpenSciEd Scope & Sequence: MS-PS1-4*, MS-PS3-3, MS-PS3-4, MS-PS3-5, MS-PS4-2*, MS-ETS1-4. The OpenSciEd units are designed for hands-on learning and therefore materials are necessary to teach the unit. These materials can be purchased as science kits or assembled using the kit material list.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson, Module

How can we use solar energy to improve the lives of people living “off-the-grid” in Kenya? (Middle School Engineering Design)

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How can we use solar energy to improve the lives of people living “off-the-grid” in Kenya? This unit explores the NGSS Middle School bundle for Engineering Design (MS-ETS1-1, MS-ETS1-2, MS-ETS1-3, MS-ETS1-4) by engaging students in a Project-Based engineering task where students develop and apply their understanding of solar energy to create a solar device which can generate electricity for people who have lost power due to a natural disaster.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Pranjali Upadhyay

Conceptual Chemistry

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Conceptual Chemistry is a year-long course based on CK-12 OER instructional material and supplemented with limited commercially-available materials. The course is project-based, argument-driven inquiry. Each quarter begins with presentation of an intriguing phenomenon, followed by an essential question about the phenomenon, and a project centered on answering that essential question. Throughout the quarter, students conduct research and investigations to answer portions of the question. Each unit has a student "Task" at the end that serves as an assessment of the unit's concepts. At the end of each quarter, students assemble all of the unit tasks and synthesize a personal final project that answers the essential question in a personal context chosen by the student.

Material Type: Full Course

Authors: Gary Thayer, Jonathan Frostad, Michael Crebbin, Malia Turner, Mackenzie Neal, Zachary Sawhill

Remix

OHPS Conceptual Chemistry- ADA/editable version

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Conceptual Chemistry is a year-long course based on CK-12 OER instructional material and supplemented with limited commercially-available materials. The course is project-based, argument-driven inquiry. Each quarter begins with presentation of an intriguing phenomenon, followed by an essential question about the phenomenon, and a project centered on answering that essential question. Throughout the quarter, students conduct research and investigations to answer portions of the question. Each unit has a student "Task" at the end that serves as an assessment of the unit's concepts. At the end of each quarter, students assemble all of the unit tasks and synthesize a personal final project that answers the essential question in a personal context chosen by the student.

Material Type: Full Course

Author: Barbara Soots