All resources in Science Review

Using DNA to Identify People

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it would be ideal if students already have learned that DNA is the genetic material, and that DNA is made up of As, Ts, Gs, and Cs. It also would help if students already know that each human has two versions of every piece of DNA in their genome, one from mom and one from dad. The lesson will take about one class period, with roughly 30 minutes of footage and 30 minutes of activities.

Material Type: Lecture

Author: Megan E. Rokop

Biomes and Population Dynamics - Balance within Natural Systems

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With a continued focus on the Sonoran Desert, students are introduced to the concepts of biomes, limiting factors (resources), carrying capacity and growth curves through a PowerPoint® presentation. Abiotic factors (temperature, annual precipitation, seasons, etc.) determine the biome landscape. The vegetative component, as producers, determines the types of consumers that form its various communities. Students learn how the type and quantity of available resources defines how many organisms can be supported within the community, as well as its particular resident species. Students use mathematical models of natural relationships (in this case, sigmoid and exponential growth curves) to analyze population information and build upon it. With this understanding, students are able to explain how carrying capacity is determined by the limiting factors within the community and feeding relationships. By studying these ecological relationships, students see the connection between ecological relationships of organisms and the fundamentals of engineering design, adding to their base of knowledge towards solving the grand challenge posed in this unit.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Amber Spolarich, Wendy J. Holmgren

Got Energy? Spinning a Food Web

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Students learn about energy flow in food webs, including the roles of the sun, producers, consumers and decomposers in the energy cycle. They model a food web and create diagrams of food webs using their own drawings and/or images from nature or wildlife magazines. Students investigate the links between the sun, plants and animals, building their understanding of the web of nutrient dependency and energy transfer.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Authors: Christopher Valenti, Denise Carlson, Malinda Schaefer Zarske

Cell Membrane Structure and Function

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Students learn about the different structures that comprise cell membranes, fulfilling part of the Research and Revise stages of the legacy cycle. They view online animations of cell membrane dynamics (links provided). Then they observe three teacher demonstrations that illustrate diffusion and osmosis concepts, as well as the effect of movement through a semi-permeable membrane using Lugol's solution.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Amber Spolarich

DNA Forensics and Color Pigments

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Students perform DNA forensics using food coloring to enhance their understanding of DNA fingerprinting, restriction enzymes, genotyping and DNA gel electrophoresis. They place small drops of different food coloring ("water-based paint") on strips of filter paper and then place one paper strip end in water. As water travels along the paper strips, students observe the pigments that compose the paint decompose into their color components. This is an example of the chromatography concept applied to DNA forensics, with the pigments in the paint that define the color being analogous to DNA fragments of different lengths.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Mircea Ionescu, Myla Van Duyn

Extinction Prevention via Engineering

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Species extinction is happening at an alarming rate according to scientists. In this lesson, students are asked to consider why extinction is a problem that we should concern us. They are taught that destruction of habitat is the main reason many species are threatened. The lesson explores ways that engineers can help save endangered species.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Authors: Janet Yowell, Karen King, Michael J. Bendewald

Engineering and the Periodic Table

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Students learn about the periodic table and how pervasive the elements are in our daily lives. After reviewing the table organization and facts about the first 20 elements, they play an element identification game. They also learn that engineers incorporate these elements into the design of new products and processes. Acting as computer and animation engineers, students creatively express their new knowledge by creating a superhero character based on of the elements they now know so well. They will then pair with another superhero and create a dynamic duo out of the two elements, which will represent a molecule.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Brian Kay, Denise W. Carlson, Lauren Cooper, Malinda Schaefer Zarske, Megan Podlogar

6.3 Weather, Climate & Water Cycling

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The goals of OpenSciEd are to ensure any science teacher, anywhere, can access and download freely available, high quality, locally adaptable full-course materials. REMOTE LEARNING GUIDE FOR THIS UNIT NOW AVAILABLE! This unit on weather, climate, and water cycling is broken into four separate lesson sets. In the first two lesson sets, students explain small-scale storms. In the third and fourth lesson sets, students explain mesoscale weather systems and climate-level patterns of precipitation. Each of these two parts of the unit is grounded in a different anchoring phenomenon.

Material Type: Full Course, Lesson, Lesson Plan, Module, Teaching/Learning Strategy, Unit of Study

Author: OpenSciEd

Mixtures and Solutions

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Through three lessons and their four associated activities, students are introduced to concepts related to mixtures and solutions. Students consider how mixtures and solutions and atoms and molecules can influence new technologies developed by engineers. To begin, students explore the fundamentals of atoms and their structures. The building blocks of matter (protons, electrons, neutrons) are covered in detail. The next lesson examines the properties of elements and the periodic table one method of organization for the elements. The concepts of physical and chemical properties are also reviewed. Finally, the last lesson introduces the properties of mixtures and solutions. A comparison of different mixtures and solutions, their properties and their separation qualities are explored.

Material Type: Full Course

Energy Skate Park

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Students experiment with an online virtual laboratory set at a skate park. They make predictions of graphs before they use the simulation to create graphs of energy vs. time under different conditions. This simulation experimentation strengths their comprehension of conservation of energy solely between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Joel Daniel

Glaciers, Water and Wind, Oh My!

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This hands-on activity explores five different forms of erosion (chemical, water, wind, glacier and temperature). Students rotate through stations and model each type of erosion on rocks, soils and minerals. The students record their observations and discuss the effects of erosion on the Earth's landscape. Students learn about how engineers are involved in the protection of landscapes and structures from erosion. Math problems are included to help students think about the effects of erosion in real-world scenarios.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Janet Yowell, Malinda Schaefer Zarske, Teresa Ellis

Nerve Racking

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This lesson describes the function and components of the human nervous system. It helps students understand the purpose of our brain, spinal cord, nerves and the five senses. How the nervous system is affected during spaceflight is also discussed in this lesson. Including local settings of the sunset on Magen's Bay in the background content would bring cultural relevance to this resource.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan

Authors: Denali Lander, Emily Weller, Janet Yowell, Jessica Todd, Malinda Schaefer Zarske, Sara Born, Teresa Ellis

Renewable Energy Living Lab: The Bright Idea

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Students use real-world data to evaluate the feasibility of solar energy and other renewable energy sources in different U.S. locations. Working in small groups, students act as engineers evaluating the suitability of installing solar panels at four company locations. They access data from the online Renewable Energy Living Lab from which they make calculations and analyze how successful solar energy generation would be, as well as the potential for other power sources at those locations. Then they summarize their results, analysis and recommendations in the form of feasibility plans prepared for a CEO.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Authors: Jessica Noffsinger, Jonathan Knudtsen, Karen Johnson, Mike Mooney, Minal Parekh, Scott Schankweiler

Sea Turtle Eggs: Washed to Sea?

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Students employ the full engineering design process to research and design prototypes that could be used to solve the loss of sea turtle life during a hurricane. During Hurricane Irma, Florida lost a large proportion of its sea turtle nests. Protecting these nests from natural disasters or even human influence is an essential component of conservation in Florida, since only one hatchling in every thousand survives to adulthood. In this activity, students learn about sea turtle nesting behaviors and environmental impacts of hurricanes. Students work collaboratively to build structures that could protect a single sea turtle nest, or an entire beach, in the event of a hurricane or other similar weather disaster. Then, students present their solutions to concerned stakeholders. As an optional extension, students can build prototypes using 3D printers or 3D pens.

Material Type: Activity/Lab

Author: Mackenzie McNickle