This is Activity 12 of a set of Level 1 activities designed by the Science Center for Teaching, Outreach, and Research on Meteorology (STORM) Project. The authors suggest that previous activities in the unit be completed before Activity 12: Air Masses, including those that address pressure systems and dew point temperature. In Activity 12, the students learn about the four main types of air masses that affect weather in the United States, their characteristic temperatures, and humidity levels as it relates to dew point temperatures. The lesson plan follows the 5E format. Initially, students discuss local weather and then examine surface temperature and dew point data on maps to determine patterns and possible locations of air masses. They learn about the source regions of air masses and compare their maps to a forecast weather map with fronts and pressure systems drawn in. During the Extension phase, students access current maps with surface and dew point temperatures at http://www.uni.edu/storm/activities/level1 and try to identify locations of air masses. They sketch in fronts and compare their results to the fronts map. Evaluation consists of collection of student papers.
This set of a teacher and student guides provides instruction on a 2-3 day series of activities about Le Chateliers principle, which shows the effect of changes to conditions in an equilibrium reaction. Students work in pairs or groups to develop their concepts of equilibrium and the effects of changing the amount of reactants or products on an equilibrium system. The concepts are presented and analyzed using graphical representations, qualitative lab data, and modelling. The first part addresses the misconception that equal amounts are required for equilibrium through using a mini-activity that involves the transfer of water between beakers. The second part is a lab activity where students will see how an equilibrium system reacts to a change in concentration. The third part uses manipulatives to understand how an equilibrium operates using the mathematical equilibrium constant (Ksp) at the particulate view.
Bug Hunt uses NetLogo software and simulates an insect population that is preyed on by birds. There are six speeds of bugs from slow to fast and the bird tries to catch as many insects as possible in a certain amount of time. Students are able to see the results graphed as the average insect speed over time, the current bug population and the number of insects caught. There are two variations to try for the predator, one where the predator pursues the prey and one where the predator stays still and captures insects that pass nearby. In the first case the bird catches the slow insects and the faster ones survive, reproduce and pass genes on. The average speed of bug should increase over time. In the second case the faster bugs come near to the bird more often than the slow ones. The slow ones survive more, reproduce and pass their genes on.
This variation on the classic bird beak activity demonstrates variation of beak size within a population and shows how the proportion of big-, medium-, and small-beaked birds changes in response to the available types of food. The birds with binder clip beaks live in Clipland where the large population becomes divided into two smaller populations by a mountain range. Popcorn, lima beans and marbles are the three types of food available in the two areas. Food is spread out for the birds to eat and then after 15 seconds it is counted to see whether birds have gathered enough food to survive. The big billed birds need to eat more than the medium and small billed birds to survive and each bird needs to eat more than the minimum amount of food for survival to be able to reproduce. Four years pass during the simulation and students are asked to describe what happened to the Clipbird populations and what they think caused the changes. A link to Rosemary and Peter Grants research on finch populations in the Galapagos is identified for those teachers who want to connect the simulation to a real life example.
This activity provides an introduction to natural selection and the role of genetic variation by asking students to analyze illustrations of rock pocket mouse populations (dark/light fur) on different color substrates in the Sonoran Desert (light/dark) over time. Based on this evidence, and what they learn about variation and natural selection in the accompanying short film, students use this evidence to explain the change in the rock pocket mouse populations on the lava flow (dark substrate) over time. This is one of several classroom activities, focusing on related topics and varying in complexity, built around the short film. This ten minute film shows adaptive changes in rock pocket mouse populations, demonstrating the process of natural selection and can be accessed at http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/making-fittest-natural-selection-and-adaptation. The film is also available as an interactive video with embedded questions, which test students understanding as they watch the film.
This online interactive module of 10 pages or frames integrates textual information, 3D molecular models, interactive molecular simulations, and embedded assessment items to guide students in understanding the copying of DNA base sequences from translation to transcription into proteins within each cell. The module divides the exercises in to Day 1 and Day 2 time frames. Teachers can view student assessment responses by assigning the module within a class created within the Molecular Workbench application. This Java-based module must be downloaded to each computer.
This three-act film tells the story of the detective work that solved the mystery of what caused the disappearance of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period. Shot on location in Italy, Spain, Texas, Colorado, and North Dakota, the film traces the uncovering of key clues that led to the discovery that an asteroid struck the Earth 66 million years ago, triggering a mass extinction of animals, plants, and microorganisms. Science practices in geology, physics, biology, chemistry and paleontology all contributed to the solution to this compelling mystery. Lesson plans are included that have students identify evidence and construct an explanation to tie it together. Summary questions are included at the end and a class discussion is recommended. (This activity will be the only one evaluated in this review.) Another resource is Finding the Crater where students visit different K-T boundary sites. There are also lessons where students analyze various characteristics of the asteroid such as its size and energy, chemical data about the asteroid, and the iridium fallout from an asteroid impact. A hands-on activity where students study the differences in foraminifera fossils below and above the K-T boundary is also included as well as an article that outlines more details about each of the discoveries covered in the film. You can view the film on the website or HHMI will send you a free DVD. Lesson plans including teacher notes and a student handout can be found at http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/following-trail-evidence.
This activity demonstrates the effect of changes in the environment on the growth of plants. The plants are placed in environments such as high salinity, cold, heat, or drought and observe the different reactions (growth) of the plants to these conditions. Students discuss the desirability of breeding new types of plants that are better able to withstand these changes if they occur in the general environment. The objectives of this activity is to: 1. Plant, grow and maintain plants under different environmental treatment conditions. 2. Observe differences in plant growth between these treatments. 3. Compare the growth of treated plants with the growth of control plants
Students will investigate the characteristics of electromagnetism and then use what they learn to plan and conduct an experiment on electromagnets.
This is a description of a student experiment that teachers can adapt to allow students to prove that electric current produces a magnetic field. The sample includes a specific example of how to do the experiment which can be adapted to an inquiry investigation by having students complete the initial experiment and then write their investigation question and further investigate the phenomena. When completing this as a demonstration or student experiment batteries can be substituted for the variable power supply if power supplies are not available or convenient to use. The voltage provided to the circuit can be easily manipulated by changing the number of batteries connected.
Students will observe/investigate the movement of water through the different stages of the water cycle and determine what drives this cycle. Students are asked to think about what precipitation is then watch a video about why the water cycle is important. They observe a simple version of the water cycle and take some notes. Students are asked what stages require solar radiation, which require water to give off heat, and which are driven by the force of gravity. The teacher does several different demonstrations while students fill in a sheet that has the students recording their observations of different processes in the water cycle and how energy is involved. Students build their understanding of the water cycle through the different models that are shown or experienced. The culminating activity has them create their own model of the water cycle from the viewpoint of a water molecule including the processes, the energy involved, and gravity.
Part 1 of the X-ray Spectroscopy Unit from NASAs Imagine the Universe! lesson plans includes a series of three lessons on the formation of elements in stars. During this three lesson series, students learn about the life cycle of stars and model the formation of elements in stars. The lessons are a demonstration of type so fusion reactions and modeling not just the changes to matter during the processes but also the energy involved in these reactions.
This interactive simulation of human homeostasis provides students the opportunity to explore how our body maintains a stable internal environment in spite of of the outside conditions, within certain limits. This simulation allows students to investigate a phenomenon that may in real life, be dangerous to humans. Students are asked to regulate the internal body temperature of an individual using clothing, exercise, and perspiration. A four- page exploration sheet guides students through the simulation, including a short prior knowledge piece providing information on how to use the simulation and introductory questions. Two separate activities are included: one that helps students understand the how each external factor affects initial body temperature and another that allows students to explore effects on body temperature after one hour. In the second portion of the interactive simulation students try to maintain a stable body temperature when the factors are changed. Students choose the factors of exercise level, sweat level, body position, clothing, and nutrients in terms of both water and food to maintain homeostasis. The simulation generates data tables and graphing during specific time intervals of outside temperature and body temperature. Students may also alter the outside temperature as part of the simulation. Students adjust the exercise level, amount of clothing, and sweating levels. Water level, sugar level, and fatigue level are influenced by the students choices and are illustrated by bar graphs and line graphs. This simulation can provide an introduction to a lesson or unit that explores how body systems interact. This simulation provides a good foundation for continued study of how the body systems interact and would be an excellent starting point for a lesson or unit on this concept. This interactive simulation provides students with a strong introduction to how body systems interact as the simulation illustrates how to maintain body temperature, sugar level and fatigue level and students are made aware of the consequences of not maintaining those levels. The importance of water and food are also emphasized. Students can rerun the simulation making different choices to determine the effects on homeostasis. Student exploration sheets provide guides for different runs with students setting their own parameters for the runs and drawing conclusions from the resulting changes. Teachers can view student assessment responses by assigning the simulation to a class created within the ExploreLearning site. Access to the teachers guide is provided with the free 30 day access and is helpful and complete. Vocabulary of dehydration, heat stroke, homeostasis, hypothermia, and involuntary, voluntary and thermoregulation are explained in detail in the accompanying teachers vocabulary guide.
Students use the engineering design process to design and build magnetic-field detectors, and use them to find hidden magnets. Parallels are drawn to real-world NASA missions and how NASA scientists use magnetic field data from planets and moons. The website has video clips, teaching suggestions, a student handout, and a link to the pdf of the Teachers Guide for Mission: Solar System. The Inspector Detector challenge is a series of activities that form a unit in the Mission: Solar System collection. * NOTE: The Teachers Guide does not contain the lesson plan. You will need to click on the Student Handout heading of the website to download the Inspector Detector Challenge Leaders Notes.
Students design and conduct simple experiments using elodea (aquatic plant sold in pet stores) and Bromthymol blue to determine whether plants consume or release carbon dioxide in the process of photosynthesis. Students will record their data which will be used to conclude whether carbon dioxide was consumed or released by the elodea. Through class discussion of student data, students will learn that carbon dioxide was consumed during photosynthesis.
Students work in pairs to compare five aspects of an organism that reproduces sexually, asexually, or both sexually and asexually. The activity comes with a chart for the students to fill out and with information sheets on twelve organisms. As a class, students share their comparisons and generate a list of general characteristics for each mode of reproduction and then discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both. Included in the discussion are reproductive mechanisms and genetic variation.
This Java-based NetLogo model allows students to investigate the chemical and energy inputs and outputs of photosynthesis through an interactive simulation. The simulation is a visual, conceptual model of photosynthesis and does not generate quantitative data. The central concept in the model is the role of chlorophyll in capturing light energy, and this concept is presented without delving into the biochemical details of the photosynthetic reactions. This allows students to focus on the core idea that photosynthesis transforms light energy into chemical energy. Along with exploring the basic process of photosynthesis, students can investigate the effects of light intensity, the day-night cycle (assuming the most common C3 photosynthetic pathway), CO2 concentration, and water availability on the rate of sugar production during photosynthesis. The model highlights the cycling within the chloroplasts between excited and unexcited states as energy is captured and released by chlorophyll. The lesson is written as an introductory learning experience, beginning with the question: What is needed for photosynthesis in a leaf, and what is produced? This resource is best suited as one in a series of learning experiences that either reinforce or extend the concepts addressed here. The model is embedded within an electronic form that provides instructions and guiding questions. Teachers and students should note that the electronic form does not save user data. An important limitation is that the model relies heavily on students visual perception, and this may pose a barrier for some students.
An interactive simulation in which students use a model of charged objects to explain how charges interact and construct an understanding of Coulomb's Law. It is concerned with comparing ions and neutral atoms. The model allows the user to investigate the relationships between sign of charge, magnitude of charge, and distance between ions. The model illustrates the operation of three types of electroscopes. Next it visually explores how a static charge can bend the path of a moving electron, and then graphically and numerically explores Coulomb's Law. Lastly a model that illustrates polarization of charge illustrates why a charged balloon is attracted to a neutral wall. The system allows students to enter their multiple choice and written answers throughout the activity and generate a report of their responses at the end even if they are not logged into the system.
This reference is a series of assessment items that require that the students think through momentum conceptually, analyze graphs related to impulse and momentum, and work through calculations using momentum and impulse. There are energy and momentum problems mixed together in this set. Due to the large number of assessment items, the instructor will want to select a portion of the questions rather than use the entire set as a single assessment. The webpage is formatted in a straight forward text so it is easy to copy and paste the items for use in classroom tests and quizzes.
Students watch video clips of animals and plants in their natural environments to determine what living things need to survive. They will then complete an illustration of their own real or imagined plant or animal fulfilling one or more of their needs for survival, within their natural environment. While this lesson does a good job explaining how animals meet their needs through their environments, additional lessons and experiences with plants would need to be provided in order to meet the full standard.