In this lesson, students collect 3 samples of soil from different outdoor locations, recording observations and questions about each location in their science notebooks. On the second day of the investigation, students will work in collaborative groups to investigate the soil using hand lenses, sifters/strainers, and sorting pans. Then students will share what they have learned with their peers.
Lesson plan that uses students' step length to understand the relationship between distance, speed and acceleration. Includes graphing of data and interpretation of graphs.
This lesson outlines teacher-led discussion on the topic of migration as an adaptive behavior in response to changes in the animal's environment. Journaling questions are also provided to help build each student's individual understanding.
This video clip is meant to serve as a writing or discussion prompt during a unit on forces and motion. This can be used at varied grade levels, with the expectation that student responses would be more complex in higher grade levels.
This is an introductory activity / lesson for a larger investigation into the properties of air. Students build a equal arm balance from simple materials to demonstrate that air has mass.
In this activity students compare plant growth under two conditions. Through the activity students will observe the life cycle of seed plants and determine in which conditions plants grow well. Students will also collect data such as number of days to germination for each plant and daily plant height.
In this activity, students will work in collaborative groups to create 9M x 9M models of plant and animal cells. Class population can be split into 2 or 4 groups, with half the students constructing animal cells and the other half constructing plant cells. Students must organize and assign duties, provide materials for this activity, and write a written report. They will also give "Cell Tours" to other students and/or classroom guests.
This hands-on activity is designed for students to demonstrate the concepts of bonding amino acids to create proteins, and to model protein synthesis. This activity cab be used as an assessment of the students' understanding of peptide and disulfide bonds formed during protein synthesis, and the structure of an amino acid (R-group plus the common structure that all amino acids share). Students will demonstrate the process of dehydration synthesis by combining amino acids. They will synthesize one molecule of the protein ADH (antidiuretic hormone) by reading the mRNA sequence, cutting out the -OH on the carboxyl group on amino acid one, and the -H on the amino group of amino acid two. These two pieces (-OH and -H) will combine to form a water molecule. The students will connect the two amino acids by taping a peptide bond label between the carbon of the carboxyl and the nitrogen of the amino group on amino acid. This process is continued until the stop codon on the mRNA is read. If the synthesis is done correctly, the student will produce eight peptide bonds creating one chain, and eight molecules of water. If this activity is used for biology, the tRNA, and rRNA molecules can be added to the process.
In this lesson, students will learn that forces can change the speed or direction of motion. Students will observe what happens to a toy car as it moves down a ramp and then encounters "speed bumps" that are added at different lengths away from the ramp. Students will also add a clay figure to the top of the cars to see what effect the ramp and "speed bumps" will have on the figure.
In this activity students will observe how temperature affects different types of gases. First students will blow up a round balloon. They will need to measure the circumference in centimeters of the fattest part of the balloon. Then they will put the balloon in the freezer for approximately 30-60 minutes. (A chest freezer tends to work best) They will remove the balloon from the freezer and quickly measure the circumference of the balloon again in centimeters, recording beginning and end results in a journal.
In this activity students will investigate how different materials are changed when heated or cooled. Students will choose from a variety of materials and devise a method of data collection.
In this activity, students will explore how to prove that light travels in a straight line using 3 index cards, with a hole punched in each one, and a flashlight.
In this lab activity, students will investigate chemical changes that occur when acids and bases react. It is meant to introduce the concepts of chemical changes, mass of gases, conservation of mass, and balancing equations. Students will make qualitative observations and quantitative measurements.
In this geochemistry activity, students explore a STELLA model of anhydrite-solution equilibrium. They find ways to illustrate several points about chemical equilibrium that address common misconceptions using this model. Then they write a mock research paper about addressing common misconceptions about chemical equilibrium in the classroom. Note: A free demo of STELLA can be downloaded at: http://www.iseesystems.com/
In this activity, students will work in pairs to discover the indicators of chemical reactions. Each pair of students is assigned either an exothermic or endothermic reaction. Based on their observations, students are then asked to explain the evidence that a chemical reaction occurred. Students then perform 10 more chemical reactions with unknown powders (labeled A - F) and liquids (labeled 1 - 6). They must collect data and then develop a testable question based upon all of the data collected. Finally, they answer their question by performing more experiments. For higher grade levels, the lesson may be modified to use appropriate equipment to demonstrate the conservation of matter.
In this lab activity, students will investigate the characteristics of a chemical change. Students will also provide a definition of what constitutes a physical change through observation of several examples. Students will develop (through discussion) and use the criteria for identifying a chemical change. Several examples of a chemical change will also be observed for students to compare to physical changes. The students will use the five characteristics of chemical change to determine/judge whether or not baking soda, citric acid and water creates a chemical change. Students will write down observations of the reaction and use the five characteristics to explain why it is in fact a chemical reaction (The five characteristics will be listed for use).
In this activity, students will study how temperature and concentration affect reaction rates and then design a procedure to get the reaction to occur in a specified amount of time. This activity is meant to be used as a performance-based assessment. Detailed student instructions, handouts, and a grading rubric are included.
This lab activity is designed to allow students to experience what an increase in mechanical advantage means. Students determine the mechanical advantage of three pulley set-ups. Students also measure the work input and output, then calculate the efficiency. Finally, students determine the relationship between the mechanical advantage and the efficiency of the pulleys.
In this chemistry field lab, students will determine the density, pH and water content of 4 types of soil; 1) prairie soil, 2) transition soil, (where the prairie meets the trees) 3) woods soil, and 4) riverbed soil at various locations in and around the Fergus Falls area. Students will compare class data and write a lab report describing their results. A detailed lab report format will be provided. Students will also analyze their findings and report on the various differences and similarities found in their soil samples.
This inquiry based lab shows students how acetone breaks down the cross-links holding together polystyrene. Students will add acetone to either packing peanuts or pieces of foam cups. The result is a tiny bit of material (polystyrene) in the beaker. Discussions following the lab can cover the conservation of matter (the mass should stay the same), percent yield and cross-link bonding.
In this physics lab students will investigate whether Ohm's Law applies to common electric devices (incandescent light bulbs and LEDs). Students will design a controlled experiment, including a written procedure, and then conduct the experiment, collect and graph data. Students may submit their findings in a formal written report or through informal class discussion.
In this lab activity, students build a container to safely deliver 2 eggs from the top of the school to the pavement below. Students will use the mass of the container and the time it takes to fall to calculate average velocity, acceleration, momentum, and force as it hits the ground.
In this electric circuit guided inquiry students will investigate what an electric circuit is, the main parts of a circuit and the difference between series and parallel circuits. Students will work in small groups and create a circuit using materials provided by the teacher. Students will draw and label a closed and open circuit, a series of circuits, and parallel circuit. Students will then meet with a different small group and share their results.
In this activity, students will investigate several properties of the given elements and decide whether each element is a metal, non-metal or a metalloid. They will examine the appearance of the given samples and note the color, luster and form. Using a hammer, they will determine if it is brittle or malleable. They will test for electrical conductivity and the reactivity of each sample with hydrochloric acid and copper (II) chloride solution.
These two demonstrations will introduce energy changes during reactions and promote discussion regarding exothermic and endothermic reactions, enthalpy, and spontaneity.
In this activity, diagrams are used to represent vectors. In part one, students draw vector diagrams to illustrate a written description of a car's velocity and acceleration. In part two, students write sentences to describe various vector diagrams.
In this lab, students will investigate the law of conservation of energy. Student teams must develop and carry out a lab procedure to achieve the stated goal of finding the maximum conversion of potential energy to kinetic energy. Using a ruler and a toy car, students will work collaboratively to design a lab that will demonstrate the change from one form of energy to another based upon the law of conservation of energy. Teams will then develop a hypothesis for maximizing the amount of energy transfer and create a procedure for proving the hypothesis. Once they run their lab, students will work independently to create formal lab reports that summarize the activity.
In this activity, students explore the idea that magnets can repel and attract. Students will diagram and write about what happens when they put two ring magnets together on a pencil. Students will also develop their own investigation on how to test the properties of magnets.
This is an introductory activity that introduces the concept of work and helps students understand the difference between work and energy in terms of pulling and lifting masses.
This is a unit on fish habitats. The activities include the following: looking at pictures of fish and their habitat, talking about what all animals need to live, how fish live, making a poster of a fish habitat, and finally visiting a lake.
This article features an interview with Martin Hoffert, a physics professor at New York University who is a staunch advocate for the adoption of alternative energy sources to stave off ill effects of global climate change. Hoffert discusses alternative energies such as solar energy, biomass fuels, wind power, hydrogen fuel, and nuclear power. Supplemental resources, including a background essay and discussion questions, are also provided.
In this activity, students will observe and perform experiments with the elements sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur and phosphorus. Conclusions will be made about trends down groups, across periods and relating to acidity/basicity of metal oxides vs. nonmetal oxides.
In this lesson students will investigate heat transfer and how different materials transfer heat at different rates. Students will make observations and have discussion after several demonstrations.
This lesson reviews the three methods of heat transfer and introduces students to the concept that heat transfer through convection is more efficient then heat transfer through conduction. This activity is meant to be one of many common experiences that help students understand that convection is a major driving force on our planet, i.e. in the atmosphere ? which is a major cause of weather; in the ocean ? which is a major cause of ocean currents; in the mantle ? which is a major cause of the movement of crustal plates.
This activity is designed for students to learn about the the changes in day to day weather and to pose questions about changes in daily temperature. The students will gain experience using thermometers by measuring temperature. The students will use the scientific method to ask questions, predict, observe, collect data and make conclusions. Students will observe the weather conditions and outdoor temperature twice a day, both a.m. and p.m., and record it in their science notebook on a chart. Then on a class graph, continue to record daily morning temperature each month for the students to predict and draw conclusions from how the morning temperature will change throughout the seasons.
This lab activity is designed for students to gain a general understanding of the characteristics of enzymes, their function and susceptibility to denaturing when exposed to a variety of environmental factors. In this activity, students will use pineapple juice as an enzyme and Jell-O as a substrate to illustrate an enzyme/substrate complex. The initial guided procedure will allow students to discover that the processing of food, specifically canned pineapple, will denature the enzymes and render them useless. The lab extension questions allow students to design and conduct two additional investigations that focus on the behavior, function and the effect that environmental factors have on enzyme activity. The environmental factors that students can explore include: temperature, pH, microwave radiation and detergents.
In this lesson students will investigate shadows and realize that the sun is a source of light. Students will make observations and record their understanding in their science journals.
In this introductory physics activity, students will investigate the basic requirements for electricity. They will create a simple circuit for a quiz board that will light up when the correct matching pair is selected. Students will create six questions and answers for the quiz board, using electricity vocabulary terms.