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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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).
- Material Type:
- Lecture Notes
- Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
- Provider Set:
- Teach the Earth
- Alan Whittington
- Date Added:
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.
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
Packet of activities to assist in explaining solar and lunar eclipses, night and day, the four seasons and much more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.