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  • Physical Science
The Art of Approximation in Science and Engineering: How to Whip Out Answers Quickly
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The purpose of this learning video is to show students how to think more freely about math and science problems. Sometimes getting an approximate answer in a much shorter period of time is well worth the time saved. This video explores techniques for making quick, back-of-the-envelope approximations that are not only surprisingly accurate, but are also illuminating for building intuition in understanding science. This video touches upon 10th-grade level Algebra I and first-year high school physics, but the concepts covered (velocity, distance, mass, etc) are basic enough that science-oriented younger students would understand. If desired, teachers may bring in pendula of various lengths, weights to hang, and a stopwatch to measure period. Examples of in- class exercises for between the video segments include: asking students to estimate 29 x 31 without a calculator or paper and pencil; and asking students how close they can get to a black hole without getting sucked in.

Subject:
Engineering
Algebra
Numbers and Operations
Physics
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT Learning International Networks Consortium
Provider Set:
M.I.T. Blossoms
Author:
Stephen M. Hou
Date Added:
06/02/2012
"Baseketball"
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This trick from Exploratorium physicist Paul Doherty lets you add together the bounces of two balls and send one ball flying. When we tried this trick on the Exploratorium's exhibit floor, we gathered a crowd of visitors who wanted to know what we were doing. We explained that we were engaged in serious scientific experimentation related to energy transfer. Some of them may have believed us. If you'd like to go into the physical calculations of this phenomenam, see the related resource "Bouncing Balls" - it's the same activity but with the math explained.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Author:
Paul Doherty
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
11/07/2012
Can Earthquakes Be Predicted?
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This learning video uses a simple analog setup to explore why earthquakes are so unpredictable. The setup is simple enough that students should be able to assemble and operate it on their own with a teacher's supervision. The teaching approach used in this module is known as the 5E approach, which stands for Engagement, Exploration, Explanation, Elaboration, and Evaluation. Over the course of this lesson, the basic mechanisms that give rise to the behavior of the simple analog system are explained, and further elaboration helps the students to apply their understanding of the analog system to complex fault systems that cause earthquakes

Subject:
Geology
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT Blossoms
Author:
Zach Adam
Date Added:
06/11/2012
Catalytic Converter
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This video lesson aims to motivate students about chemistry and to raise their awareness about how chemistry helps in solving certain environmental problems. In this lesson, the air pollution problem created by cars and other vehicles is presented. The lesson will highlight causes of this problem, harmful products from it and possible solutions. There will also be discussion of ways to convert the pollutants produced by burning oil in vehicles into more friendly products.

الموضوع:
Environmental Science
الكيمياء
نوع المادة:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
أزهار معهد ماساتشوستس للتكنولوجيا MIT
المؤلف:
Prof. Mohammad El-Khateeb
Date Added:
06/11/2012
Drawing Board
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The Drawing Board consists of a marking pen that remains stationary and a platform that swings beneath the pen, acting as a pendulum. As the platform swings, the pen marks a sheet of paper that is fastened to the platform, generating beautiful repetitive patterns. These colorful designs contain hidden lessons in physics. This resource includes instructions for making a large-scale Drawing Board as well.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Provider Set:
Science Snacks
Date Added:
12/07/2012
Experimenting with Symmetry
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CC BY-NC-SA
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In this activity, learners use pattern blocks and mirrors to explore symmetry. Learners work in pairs and build mirror images of each other's designs. In doing so, learners will examine principles of symmetry and reflection.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Exploratorium
Author:
Exploratorium
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
National Science Foundation
The Exploratorium
Date Added:
12/07/2010
Exploring Size - StretchAbility
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CC BY-NC-SA
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In this game, learners explore the different sizes of things in the world. In this Twister-like game, learners must place a hand or foot on a circle of the right scale - macro, micro, or nano. This activity is a fun way for learners to investigate the sizes of different objects.

Subject:
Engineering
Life Science
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Game
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network
Author:
Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network
National Science Foundation
NISE Network
Sciencenter
Date Added:
01/02/2010
Free Fall
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This video lesson is an example of ''teaching for understanding'' in lieu of providing students with formulas for determining the height of a dropped (or projected) object at any time during its fall. The concept presented here of creating a chart to organize and analyze data collected in a simple experiment is broadly useful. During the classroom breaks in this video, students will enjoy timing objects in free fall and balls rolling down ramps as a way of learning how to carefully conduct experiments and analyze the results. The beauty of this lesson is the simplicity of using only the time it takes for an object dropped from a measured height to strike the ground. There are no math prerequisites for this lesson and no needed supplies, other than a blackboard and chalk. It can be completed in one 50-60-minute classroom period.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT Learning International Networks Consortium
Provider Set:
M.I.T. Blossoms
Author:
John Bookston
Date Added:
06/02/2012
General Chemistry I
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
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This survey chemistry course is designed to introduce students to the world of chemistry. In this course, we will study chemistry from the ground up, learning the basics of the atom and its behavior. We will apply this knowledge to understand the chemical properties of matter and the changes and reactions that take place in all types of matter. Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: Define the general term 'chemistry.' Distinguish between the physical and chemical properties of matter. Distinguish between mixtures and pure substances. Describe the arrangement of the periodic table. Perform mathematical operations involving significant figures. Convert measurements into scientific notation. Explain the law of conservation of mass, the law of definite composition, and the law of multiple proportions. Summarize the essential points of Dalton's atomic theory. Define the term 'atom.' Describe electron configurations. Draw Lewis structures for molecules. Name ionic and covalent compounds using the rules for nomenclature of inorganic compounds. Explain the relationship between enthalpy change and a reaction's tendency to occur. (Chemistry 101; See also: Biology 105. Mechanical Engineering 004)

Subject:
Chemistry
Material Type:
Assessment
Full Course
Homework/Assignment
Lecture
Lecture Notes
Reading
Syllabus
Textbook
Provider:
The Saylor Foundation
Date Added:
11/16/2011
How many sand grains on a beach?
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Short exercise designed to give students practice in determining what information is needed to answer a question, estimating an answer, and calculating an answer (including unit conversions and scientific notation). Emphasizes the relevance of large numbers to society (population, debt, etc).

Subject:
Geology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lecture Notes
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Teach the Earth
Author:
Alan Whittington
Date Added:
08/01/2012
I Spy Nano!
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CC BY-NC-SA
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In this game, learners try to find nano-related objects on a game board. Learners investigate the different ways nano is in the world around us.

Subject:
Engineering
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Game
Reading
Provider:
Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network
Author:
Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network
National Science Foundation
NISE Network
Date Added:
01/02/2011
Inquiry: Using an Egg Drop Activity to Promote Critical Thinking and Analysis Skills
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CC BY-NC-SA
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In this hands-on inquiry activity, students will design and construct an apparatus that will permit an egg to survive a nine foot fall. Students are given limited materials, so they must critically think about the design and improvise strategies during the building of the apparatus

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Author:
Seth Webster
Date Added:
12/09/2011
Introduction to the Sky Multi-Activity Pack
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Packet of activities to assist in explaining solar and lunar eclipses, night and day, the four seasons and much more.

الموضوع:
علم الفلك
نوع المادة:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
التوعية بالكون UNAWE
Provider Set:
التوعية الأوروبية EU بالكون
Date Added:
03/20/2012
Length Scales in the Solar System
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A dynamically simplified solar system is constructed from online data to explore the real solar system on many different scales.

The realistically scaled solar system is surprising because nothing is visible due to the presence of many different scales. That is why it is usually rescaled in animations or illustrations. This is nice but gives us a wrong sense of distances and sizes. This Demonstration is intended to show the solar system's different scales in their full glory.

Since it is hardly possible to see anything when the real scales are used, controls have been added to modify the sizes of the celestial bodies.

Subject:
Astronomy
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Homework/Assignment
Interactive
Simulation
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
Wolfram Research
Provider Set:
Wolfram Demonstrations Project
Author:
Cedric Voisin
Date Added:
09/04/2013
Mean, Median, Mode, and Range
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CC BY-NC-ND
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This lesson unit is intended to help you assess how well students are able to: Calculate the mean, median, mode, and range from a frequency chart; and to use a frequency chart to describe a possible data set, given information on the mean, median, mode, and range.

Subject:
Education
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Shell Center for Mathematical Education
Provider Set:
Mathematics Assessment Project (MAP)
Author:
Shell Center Team
Date Added:
01/17/2013
Modeling and Simulation for High School Teachers: Principles, Problems, and Lesson Plans
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CC BY-NC-SA
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A collaboration between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the CK-12 Foundation, this book provides high school mathematics and physics teachers with an introduction to the main principles of modeling and simulation used in science and engineering. An appendix of lesson plans is included.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Textbook
Provider:
CK-12 Foundation
Provider Set:
CK-12 FlexBook
Date Added:
10/24/2012
Navigating by the Numbers
Read the Fine Print
Educational Use
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In this lesson, students will learn that math is important in navigation and engineering. Ancient land and sea navigators started with the most basic of navigation equations (Speed x Time = Distance). Today, navigational satellites use equations that take into account the relative effects of space and time. However, even these high-tech wonders cannot be built without pure and simple math concepts basic geometry and trigonometry that have been used for thousands of years. In this lesson, these basic concepts are discussed and illustrated in the associated activities.

Subject:
Engineering
Mathematics
Geometry
Trigonometry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jeff White
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
09/18/2014
The Physics of Pool
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The objective of this lesson is to illustrate how a common everyday experience (such as playing pool) can often provide a learning moment. In the example chosen, we use the game of pool to help explain some key concepts of physics. One of these concepts is the conservation of linear momentum since conservation laws play an extremely important role in many aspects of physics. The idea that a certain property of a system is maintained before and after something happens is quite central to many principles in physics and in the pool example, we concentrate on the conservation of linear momentum. The latter half of the video looks at angular momentum and friction, examining why certain objects roll, as opposed to slide. We do this by looking at how striking a ball with a cue stick at different locations produces different effects.

Subject:
Geometry
Physics
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT Blossoms
Author:
Joseph A. Formaggio
Date Added:
06/02/2012
Red Rover Robotics
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Educational Use
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This lesson will start with a brief history of robotics and explain how robots are beneficial to science and society. The lesson then will explore how robots have been used in recent space exploration efforts. The engineering design of the two Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, will be used as prime examples. Finally, the maneuverability of their robotic arms and the functionality of their tools will be discussed.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Chris Yakacki
Daria Kotys-Schwartz
Geoffrey Hill
Janet Yowell
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Smaller Than You Think
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Learners compare a life-size drawing of a Tyrannosaurus rex head and a full-size Sinornithosaurus body to understand that dinosaurs varied in size. Learners trace individual pieces of a dinosaur on paper and then work together as a group to arrange the pieces of the "puzzle". This is an opportunity to understand scale drawings as well as learn how to work as a group.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Education
Life Science
Mathematics
Anthropology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
American Museum of Natural History
Author:
American Museum of Natural History
Date Added:
10/31/2007