Book 5 Hands-On Projects

Click here for a downloadable pdf with student notebook page.

Materials List:

Objectives:

  • Practice using scientific tools to make accurate and precise measurements.
  • Describe the difference between accuracy and precision.
  • Collect and interpret data using scientific equipment.

OPTIONAL: Discuss the difference between mass and weight below:

Mass:

  • Definition: Mass is the amount of matter in an object. It is a measure of how much “stuff” is in an object.
  • Units: Mass is usually measured in grams (g), kilograms (kg), or milligrams (mg).
  • Consistency: Mass remains constant no matter where the object is in the universe. For example, a rock has the same mass whether it’s on Earth, the Moon, or floating in space.
  • Measurement Tool: Mass is measured using a balance.

Weight:

  • Definition: Weight is the force exerted by gravity on an object. It is a measure of how strongly gravity pulls on the mass of an object. The equation that relates mass and weight is: W (weight) = m (mass) x g (gravitational force).
  • Units: Weight is measured in newtons (N) or pounds (lb).
  • Dependence on Gravity: Weight can change depending on the location of the object due to the variation in gravitational pull. For example, a rock will weigh less on the Moon than on Earth because the Moon’s gravity is weaker.
  • Measurement Tool: Weight is measured using a spring scale or a force gauge.

Key Points to Emphasize:

  • Gravity's Role: Weight depends on the gravitational force acting on an object. Mass does not change with gravity.
  • Measurement Remembered: Mass is the amount of matter and is measured with a balance. Weight is the force of gravity and is measured with a spring scale.

Example to Illustrate:

  • Mass Example: If you have a textbook, its mass is the same whether it’s sitting on your desk, in your backpack, or on the Moon.
  • Weight Example: The textbook will weigh less on the Moon than on Earth because the Moon’s gravity is weaker.

Visual Aids:

  • Diagram: A simple diagram showing an object on Earth and the Moon, highlighting the constant mass and varying weight.
  • Scale Illustration: Show a balance scale measuring mass and a spring scale measuring weight.

Research:

Read Section 1.5:

  • Instruction: Ensure that students carefully read Section 1.5 in their textbooks. Emphasize the importance of understanding how to make scientific measurements accurately and precisely.

Inductive Reasoning:

  • Instruction: Guide students to review the concept of inductive reasoning. Explain that inductive reasoning allows scientists to draw general conclusions based on specific observations. Provide examples to illustrate this concept.

Scientific Tools:

  • Instruction: Introduce students to various scientific tools, such as graduated cylinders, beakers, and test tubes. Explain how these tools are used to make accurate measurements. Discuss the significance of each tool in scientific experiments.

Accuracy and Precision:

  • Instruction: Help students understand the concepts of accuracy and precision. Explain that accuracy refers to how closely a measurement matches the true value, while precision refers to how consistently repeated measurements agree with each other. Provide practical examples to clarify these concepts.

Ask Questions:

Step 1: Write Down Questions

  • Encourage students to write down as many questions as they can about making scientific measurements and using scientific tools. Prompt them with examples, such as "What is accuracy?" "How do scientists measure liquids accurately?" "Why is precision important in scientific measurements?"

Step 2: Improve the Questions

  • Help students refine their questions by distinguishing between open-ended and closed-ended questions. Guide them in converting questions to make them clearer.
  • Example Conversion: Open-Ended: "How do scientists measure liquids accurately?" -> Closed-Ended: "Do scientists use graduated cylinders to measure liquids accurately?"
  • Example Conversion: Closed-Ended: "Is precision important in scientific measurements?" -> Open-Ended: "Why is precision important in scientific measurements?"

Step 3: Prioritize the Questions

  • Assist students in prioritizing their questions. Encourage them to choose one or two questions that they find most interesting or important to explore further.

Step 4: Record Your Question

  • Have students write down their prioritized questions in their notebooks. Ensure that they understand these questions will guide their exploration and experimentation.

Test, Tinker, Try: Conducting the Experiment

Step 1: Gather All the Materials

  • Ensure all students have the necessary materials laid out on a clean, flat surface within easy reach. Check that all equipment is in good working condition.
  • Materials: Graduated cylinders, beakers, test tubes, water, digital thermometer, scale, pipettes, whiteboard and markers, and a notebook.

Step 2: Measure Water Using a Graduated Cylinder

  • Instructions: Have students fill a graduated cylinder with water to a 100 mL. Then, have students pour the measured water from the graduated cylinder into a beaker carefully to avoid spillage.
  • Record: Have students record the volume they observe in the beaker.
  • Repeat: Have students repeat the measurement and compare results.

Step 3: Transfer Water Using a Pipette

  • Using a pipette, students should transfer a portion of water from the beaker to a test tube (e.g., transfer 10 mL of water). Ensure they measure the amount of water accurately with the pipette.
  • Record: Students should record the volume of water in the test tube in their notebooks (e.g., Volume of water in test tube: 10 mL).

Step 4: Measure the Temperature of the Water

  • Students should use a digital thermometer to measure the temperature of the water in the beaker. They should wait until the reading stabilizes for an accurate measurement.
  • Record: Students should note the water temperature in their notebooks (e.g., Temperature of water: 22°C).

Step 5: Measure the Mass of the Water

  • Place an empty beaker on the scale and zero it out (tare). Then, have students pour the measured water back into the tared beaker on the scale and read the mass displayed.
  • Record: Students should write down the mass of the water in their notebooks (e.g., Mass of water: 100 grams).

Step 6: Repeat the Measurements for Precision

  • Students should repeat Steps 2 to 5 at least two more times with the same volumes and record each measurement. This helps ensure precision in their measurements.
  • Record: All measurements should be noted in the student notebooks, labeled by trial (e.g., Trial 1, Trial 2, Trial 3).

Step 7: Calculate Average (Mean) Values

  • Using the whiteboard, have students write down all recorded measurements from each trial. Guide them in calculating the average (mean) value for each type of measurement (volume, temperature, mass) by adding up all the values and dividing by the number of trials.
  • Discussion: Lead a discussion on the accuracy (how close their measurements are to the actual value) and precision (how consistent their repeated measurements are).

Step 8: Record Observations and Conclusions

  • Encourage students to reflect on the experiment, noting any patterns or discrepancies in their measurements. Have them write down their final observations and conclusions in their notebooks.
  • Example: "The average volume measured was very close to the target volume, indicating accurate measurements. The repeated trials showed very little variation, indicating high precision."

Observe and Record:

  • Guide students to carefully observe each step as they conduct the experiment. Encourage them to take detailed notes in their notebooks, focusing on the accuracy and precision of their measurements.

Analyze Data:

  • Have students compare their repeated measurements to identify any variations. Guide them to calculate the average (mean) values for each type of measurement to determine the overall accuracy and precision.

Draw Conclusions:

  • Help students reflect on their findings and draw conclusions based on the data they recorded. Encourage them to answer their initial questions and hypotheses, and to think about what their results mean.

Share Results:

  • Prompt students to share their results and conclusions with the class. This can be done through presentations, written reports, or group discussions.

Additional Tips:

  • Be Consistent: Remind students to pour and transfer water carefully to avoid spilling and ensure consistent measurements.
  • Double-Check: Encourage students to double-check their measurements for accuracy.
  • Stay Organized: Keep the workspace tidy and organized to avoid confusion with materials and measurements.

Click here for a downloadable pdf with student notebook pages.

Materials Needed

  1. Styrofoam Balls (Various Sizes) Order Here
  2. Toothpicks (Bulk) Order Here
  3. Pipe Cleaners Order Here
  4. Craft Sticks Order Here
  5. Modeling Clay Order Here
  6. Markers Order Here
  7. String Order Here
  8. Scissors Order Here
  9. Glue Order Here
  10. Construction Paper Order Here
  11. Labels or Stickers Order Here
  12. Display Board Order Here

Tasks

  1. Students will go on an imaginary journey to the planet Atomis to explain what atoms and molecules are to the inhabitants.
  2. Students design and build models to demonstrate the structure of atoms and molecules.
  3. Students present and explain models to an audience.

Lesson Overview

Warm-Up (10 minutes):

  • Begin with a short discussion about what students already know about atoms and molecules.

Mission Briefing (15 minutes):

  • Read the mission briefing to the class, setting the stage for their journey to Planet Atomis.
  • Emphasize the importance of their role in teaching the Atomisites about atoms and molecules.

Model Design & Building (20 minutes):

  • Provide materials and guidelines for creating atomic and molecular models.
  • Encourage creativity and accuracy in their representations.

Explanation Cards (20 minutes):

  • Students create explanation cards for their models, detailing each part and its function.
  • Ensure that these cards are clear and informative.

Day 2: Presentation and Reflection

Presentation Preparation (15 minutes):

  • Students finalize their models and practice their presentations.

Mission Day: Presentation (10 minutes):

  • Students present their models to the class, acting as Atomisites.
  • Encourage questions and discussion to deepen understanding.

Reflection and Discussion (15 minutes):

  • Discuss with your student what was learned about atoms and molecules.
  • Reflect on the different models and explanations your student provided.

Click here for a downloadable pdf with student notebook pages.

Grade Level: 4-8

Subject: Science

Duration: 2-3 class periods

Objectives

  1. Understanding the basic structure of atoms and molecules.
  2. Developing models to represent atoms and molecules.
  3. Enhancing presentation and communication skills.
  4. Fostering teamwork and creativity.

Materials Needed

  1. Styrofoam Balls (Various Sizes) Order Here
  2. Toothpicks (Bulk) Order Here
  3. Pipe Cleaners Order Here
  4. Craft Sticks Order Here
  5. Modeling Clay Order Here
  6. Markers Order Here
  7. String Order Here
  8. Scissors Order Here
  9. Glue Order Here
  10. Construction Paper Order Here
  11. Labels or Stickers Order Here
  12. Display Board Order Here

Standards Addressed

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

4-PS1-1:

  • Develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen.

MS-PS1-1:

  • Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.

MS-PS1-3:

  • Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.

Common Core English Language Arts (ELA)

Speaking and Listening Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1:

  • Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.4:

  • Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.1:

  • Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.4:

  • Report on a topic or text, present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.1:

  • Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.4:

  • Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.1:

  • Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.4:

  • Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1:

  • Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.4:

  • Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

Lesson Overview

Day 1: Introduction to the Mission and Basic Concepts

Warm-Up (10 minutes):

  • Begin with a short discussion about what students already know about atoms and molecules.

Mission Briefing (15 minutes):

  • Read the mission briefing to the class, setting the stage for their journey to Planet Atomis.
  • Emphasize the importance of their role in teaching the Atomisites about atoms and molecules.

Team Formation (10 minutes):

  • Divide students into teams of 3-4.
  • Provide each team with a mission packet outlining their tasks and goals.

Introduction to Atoms and Molecules (20 minutes):

  • Present a more detailed explanation of atoms and molecules.
  • Use visual aids and interactive questions to engage students.

Day 2: Design and Build Models

Model Design (20 minutes):

  • Provide materials and guidelines for creating atomic and molecular models.
  • Encourage creativity and accuracy in their representations.

Building Models (30 minutes):

  • Students work in their teams to construct their models.
  • Circulate the room to offer assistance and ensure understanding.

Explanation Cards (20 minutes):

  • Students create explanation cards for their models, detailing each part and its function.
  • Ensure that these cards are clear and informative.

Day 3: Presentation and Reflection

Presentation Preparation (15 minutes):

  • Teams finalize their models and practice their presentations.

Mission Day: Presentation (30 minutes):

  • Each team presents their models to the class, acting as Atomisites.
  • Encourage questions and discussion to deepen understanding.

Reflection and Discussion (15 minutes):

  • Discuss as a class what was learned about atoms and molecules.
  • Reflect on the different models and explanations provided by each team.

Clean-Up (10 minutes):

  • Ensure all materials are stored properly and the classroom is clean.

Assessment Rubric

Scoring

  • Excellent: 21-24
  • Good: 16-20
  • Satisfactory: 11-15
  • Needs Improvement: 0-10

Criteria

Excellent (4)

Good (3)

Satisfactory (2)

Needs Improvement (1)

Participation

Fully engaged in discussions, teamwork, and activities; consistently contributed valuable ideas.

Mostly engaged in discussions and teamwork; contributed useful ideas in most activities.

Some engagement in discussions and teamwork; contributed occasionally to activities.

Rarely engaged in discussions and teamwork; minimal contribution to activities.

Model Accuracy

Models are highly accurate and clearly represent atomic and molecular structures.

Models are mostly accurate with minor errors; represent atomic and molecular structures well.

Models are somewhat accurate but may contain several errors; basic representation of structures.

Models are inaccurate and lack clear representation of atomic and molecular structures.

Creativity and Presentation

Models are exceptionally creative and well-crafted; presentation is clear, engaging, and informative.

Models are creative and well-crafted; presentation is clear and informative.

Models show some creativity; presentation is understandable but may lack engagement.

Models lack creativity and craftsmanship; presentation is unclear and not engaging.

Explanation Cards

Explanation cards are thorough, detailed, and clearly explain each part of the models.

Explanation cards are detailed and explain most parts of the models clearly.

Explanation cards provide basic explanations but may lack detail and clarity.

Explanation cards are incomplete or unclear, providing minimal information.

Teamwork and Collaboration

Excellent collaboration; all team members contributed equally and worked well together.

Good collaboration; most team members contributed and worked well together.

Some collaboration; uneven contribution from team members, but generally worked together.

Poor collaboration; lack of contribution from several team members, frequent conflicts within the team.

Reflection and Understanding

Demonstrates a deep understanding of atomic and molecular concepts; insightful reflections.

Demonstrates a good understanding of atomic and molecular concepts; thoughtful reflections.

Demonstrates a basic understanding of atomic and molecular concepts; reflections are general.

Demonstrates limited understanding of atomic and molecular concepts; reflections are shallow.

Extensions

  • Advanced Model Building: Have students build more complex molecules or explore ionic and covalent bonds.
  • Cross-Curricular Connections: Integrate art by having students draw or paint representations of atoms and molecules.
  • Technology Integration: Use digital tools to create virtual models of atoms and molecules.

Accommodations

  • Differentiated Instruction: Provide additional support and simplified materials for students who need it.
  • Group Dynamics: Ensure diverse groupings to balance skill levels and enhance collaboration.

Wrap-Up

Final Discussion:

  • Recap the key concepts learned during the mission.
  • Discuss how this knowledge can be applied to real-world science.

Thank You Note:

  • Thank the students for their hard work and creativity.
  • Encourage them to continue exploring and learning about the wonders of science.

Click here to download a pdf with student notebook pages.

Materials Needed

  • Copies of the scenario and rubric for each student
  • Access to the internet for research
  • Whiteboard/Chalkboard
  • Markers/Chalk

Scenario Overview

In this lesson, students will explore the fundamental principles of cell theory and discuss whether artificial cells can be considered "life." Students will engage in argumentation by evaluating historical and contemporary scientific evidence.

What is Argument-Based Learning?

Argument-Based Learning is an instructional approach that encourages students to articulate, support, and challenge ideas through structured argumentation. This method aims to develop critical thinking, reasoning, and evidence-based communication skills.

In essence, argument-based learning involves presenting students with a scenario or question that prompts debate. Students are tasked with constructing arguments, supporting their claims with evidence, and addressing counterarguments. This can be done through written essays, oral presentations, or structured debates.

Key Components:

  1. Claims: Statements or assertions that answer a specific question or problem.
  2. Evidence: Data or information that supports the claims, gathered from experiments, research, or reliable sources.
  3. Reasoning: The logical connection between the evidence and the claims, explaining why the evidence supports the claims.
  4. Counterarguments: Opposing viewpoints that challenge the initial claims, requiring students to defend or reconsider their positions.

Benefits:

  • Critical Thinking: Students learn to evaluate and synthesize information, making informed decisions.
  • Communication Skills: Articulating arguments and counterarguments improves both oral and written communication.
  • Engagement: Real-world scenarios and debates make learning interactive and relevant.
  • Collaboration: Group discussions and debates foster teamwork and active participation.

Scenario Details:

  • Two students, Roe and Marlin, are studying cell theory. Roe supports the traditional view that all cells come from naturally occurring pre-existing cells, based on Rudolf Virchow's principle. Marlin, however, believes that synthetic biology can create life from synthetic cells and challenges the traditional view.

Objectives

  1. Identify claims and counterclaims in a scientific debate.
  2. Evaluate evidence to support or refute a claim.
  3. Construct coherent arguments using appropriate scientific evidence.
  4. Understand the historical and contemporary context of cell theory.

Lesson Plan

Day 1: Introduction to Cell Theory and Scenario

Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Briefly introduce cell theory and its three main principles.
  • Explain the importance of understanding scientific debates and argumentation.

Scenario Presentation (15 minutes)

  • Read the scenario together. Ensure your student understands the differing viewpoints of Roe and Marlin.

Go through the scenario with your student, highlighting key points.

  • Roe's view: All living organisms come from pre-existing, naturally occurring cells.
  • Marlin's view: Synthetic biology can create life from synthetic cells.

Ask your student to summarize the viewpoints in their own words to ensure they have understood the scenario.

Claim Identification (20 minutes)

  • Distribute the scenario and rubric.
  • Instruct your student to identify Roe's and Marlin's claims using the rubric.

Day 2: Evaluating Evidence

Review of Previous Lesson (5 minutes)

  • Quickly review Roe's and Marlin's claims.

Evidence Evaluation (35 minutes)

  • Present the four pieces of evidence (A, B, C, and D) to your student.
  • Discuss which claim each piece of evidence supports.

Discussion (20 minutes)

  • Engage in a discussion on their evaluations.

Day 3: Constructing and Presenting Arguments

Constructing Arguments (25 minutes)

  • Have your student construct a complete argument supporting either Roe or Marlin.

Presentation (25 minutes)

  • Have your student present their argument to you and respond to any questions.

Reflection (10 minutes)

  • Reflect on the exercise with your student.

Optional Assessment

Use the provided rubric (see downloadable pdf) to assess student responses to each question. Pay attention to their ability to identify claims, evaluate evidence, and construct coherent arguments.

Click here to download a pdf with student notebook pages.

Materials List:

Agar Plates Order Here

Cotton Swabs Order Here

Household Cleaners (Ammonia, Vinegar, Bleach, Alcohol)

Distilled Water Order Here

Sterile Petri Dishes Order Here

Permanent Markers Order Here

Ruler Order Here

Notebook Order Here

Pencil Order Here

Objectives:

  • Explore how bacteria grow and the conditions that promote their growth.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of different household cleaners in inhibiting bacterial growth.

Read and Research

Review about Bacteria:

  • Have students review Chapter 9 about viruses, bacteria, and archaea. Discuss with them the differences between the three types

Learn about Agar Plates:

  • Explain that agar plates are used to provide a growth medium for bacteria. Discuss why scientists use agar plates to study bacteria.

Review Household Cleaners:

  • Introduce students to the four cleaners: ammonia, vinegar, bleach, and alcohol. Discuss their common uses and properties.

Question Formulation:

Step 1: Write Down Questions

  • Instruction: Encourage students to write down as many questions as they can about bacteria and the effectiveness of cleaners.
  • Examples: "How do bacteria grow on different surfaces?" "Which cleaner is most effective at killing bacteria?"

Step 2: Improve the Questions

  • Instruction: Help students refine their questions to make them clearer and more focused.
  • Examples: Open-Ended: "How do bacteria grow on different surfaces?" -> Closed-Ended: "Do bacteria grow more on surfaces cleaned with water than those cleaned with bleach?"
  • Examples: Closed-Ended: "Is bleach effective at killing bacteria?" -> Open-Ended: "How effective is bleach compared to other cleaners at killing bacteria?"

Step 3: Prioritize the Questions

  • Instruction: Assist students in prioritizing their questions to focus on the most interesting or important ones.

Step 4: Record Your Question

  • Instruction: Have students write down their prioritized question in their notebooks.

Test, Tinker, Try: Conducting the Experiment

Step 1: Gather All the Materials

  • Instruction: Ensure all students have the necessary materials laid out on a clean, flat surface within easy reach. Check that all equipment is in good condition and ready to use.

Step 2: Prepare the Agar Plates

  • Instruction: Have students use a permanent marker to divide each agar plate into four sections, labeling each section with the name of a cleaner (ammonia, vinegar, bleach, alcohol).

Step 3: Collect Bacteria Samples

  • Instruction: Students should use cotton swabs to collect bacteria samples from various surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, desks) and gently streak each sample onto the corresponding section of the agar plate.

Step 4: Apply the Cleaners

  • Instruction: Students should apply a small amount of each cleaner to a separate cotton swab and gently streak it over the corresponding section of the agar plate.

Step 5: Incubate the Agar Plates

  • Instruction: Place the agar plates in a warm, dark place to incubate for 24-48 hours.

Observations:

Visual Inspection:

  • Guide students to carefully examine each section of the agar plates. Look for bacterial colonies and note their size, shape, and color.
  • Use tools like magnifying glasses for more detailed inspection if available.

Measurement:

  • Measure the Bacterial Growth: Have students use a ruler to measure the diameter or radius of the bacterial colonies in each section of the agar plate.
  • Record Data: Ensure students record their measurements accurately in their notebooks. They should label the data clearly with the cleaner used for each section.

Organize Observations:

  • Create Tables: Assist students in creating tables to organize their observations and measurements. This helps in comparing the effectiveness of the different cleaners visually.

Analyze Data:

Compare Measurements:

  • Guide students to compare the measurements of bacterial growth across the different cleaners. Discuss which cleaner had the least bacterial growth.

Identify Patterns:

  • Discuss Patterns: Have students look for patterns in the data. For example, did one cleaner consistently show less bacterial growth compared to the others?
  • Consider Variables: Encourage students to think about any variables that might have affected the results, such as the amount of cleaner used or the type of surface the bacteria were collected from.

Calculate Averages:

  • If students have multiple trials, help them calculate the average bacterial growth for each cleaner to obtain a more reliable comparison.

Draw Conclusions:

Reflect on Hypothesis:

  • Ask students to revisit their initial hypothesis. Was their hypothesis supported by the data? Why or why not?

Summarize Findings:

  • Guide students to summarize their findings in a clear and concise manner. They should explain which cleaner was most effective at inhibiting bacterial growth and why they think that is the case.

Discuss Implications:

  • Encourage students to think about the broader implications of their findings. How can these results be applied in real-life situations? What are the benefits of using an effective cleaner?

Share Results:

Presentations:

  • Have students prepare presentations to share their findings with the class. They can use visual aids such as charts and graphs to illustrate their data.

Written Reports:

  • Encourage students to write a detailed report summarizing their experiment, including their research, question, hypothesis, methods, observations, data analysis, and conclusions.

Group Discussions:

  • Facilitate a discussion where students compare their results and discuss any differences or similarities. Encourage students to ask questions and share insights.

Further Exploration:

New Questions:

  • Encourage students to brainstorm new questions based on their findings. For example, “How does the concentration of the cleaner affect its effectiveness?” or “Do different types of bacteria react differently to the same cleaner?”

Design Follow-Up Experiments:

  • Guide students to design follow-up experiments to test their new questions. Help them outline the steps they would take and the materials they would need.

Research Extensions:

  • Suggest that students research additional topics related to their findings, such as the scientific principles behind antibacterial agents or the different types of bacteria found in various environments.

Community Connection:

  • Encourage students to think about how they can apply their findings in their community. For instance, they could share their results with family members or suggest effective cleaning practices.

Click here for a downloadable pdf with student notebook pages.

Materials List:

Objectives:

  • Describe the concepts of force, energy, and work
  • Engage in a hands-on experiment
  • Measure the amount of work done when moving objects
  • Explore how different forces and distances affect work

Research:

Describe Force, Energy, and Work:

  • Instruction: Ensure students read sections 11.1 to 11.6 from their textbooks. Discuss key concepts such as force, energy, work, balanced and unbalanced forces, and the equation for work: ({work} = {distance} X {force} ). Have students describe force, energy, and work in their own words.

Review Key Vocabulary:

  • Instruction: Go over the key vocabulary with students, ensuring they understand terms such as force, work, energy, balanced forces, unbalanced forces, and acceleration.

Question Formulation:

Step 1: Write Down Questions

  • Instruction: Encourage students to write down questions they have about force, energy, and work.
  • Examples: "How does the amount of work change with different forces?" "What happens to the work done if the distance is doubled?"

Step 2: Improve the Questions

  • Instruction: Help students refine their questions to make them clearer.
  • Example Refinement: "How does the amount of work change with different forces?" -> "Does increasing the force used to move an object increase the work done?"

Step 3: Prioritize the Questions

  • Instruction: Assist students in selecting the most interesting or important questions to explore in the experiment.

Step 4: Record Your Question

  • Instruction: Have students write down their prioritized question in their notebooks.

Conducting the Experiment:

Step 1: Gather All the Materials

Step 2: Measure the Force Required

  • Instruction: Have students use the spring scale to measure the force required to move each object a small distance (e.g., 1 meter). Record the force in newtons (N).
  • Example: "Force to move toy car: 2 N"

How to use a spring Scale

  • Zero the Scale: Ensure the spring scale reads zero before use. Adjust it if necessary.
  • Attach the Object: Hook the object you want to move onto the spring scale securely.
  • Pull or Push: Gradually apply force to pull or push the object while observing the scale.
  • Read the Measurement: Once the object starts moving, note the reading on the scale. This value represents the force required to move the object.
  • Video recommendation: https://youtu.be/i3rsVYQdHzs?si=7jk8PgTorYMmxG9j

Step 3: Measure Different Distances

  • Instruction: Using the measuring tape, have students measure different distances (e.g., 1 meter, 2 meters, 3 meters). Record these distances in their notebooks.

Step 4: Calculate Work Done

  • Instruction: Guide students to calculate the work done for each force and distance using the formula ({work} ={distance} X {force} ).
  • Example: "Work to move toy car 1 meter: ( 1 {meter} \times 2 {newtons} = 2 {joules} )"

Step 5: Record Data

  • Instruction: Ensure students record all their measurements and calculations in a table for easy comparison.

Observations:

Note Patterns:

  • Guide students to observe any patterns in their data. For example, does the work done increase when the distance increases for the same force?

Record Observations:

  • Ensure students jot down their observations in their notebooks, noting any noticeable trends or anomalies.

Analyze Data:

Compare Calculations:

  • Guide students to compare their work calculations for different distances and forces. Discuss what happens to the amount of work when either the force or the distance is increased.

Graph Data:

  • Assist students in creating a graph to visualize the relationship between distance, force, and work. Use graph paper for plotting.

Draw Conclusions:

Reflect on Hypothesis:

  • Have students revisit their initial hypothesis and discuss whether their data supports it.

Summarize Findings:

  • Guide students to summarize their findings in a clear and concise manner. They should explain how force and distance affect the amount of work done.

Share Results:

Presentations:

  • Have students prepare presentations to share their findings with the class. They can use visual aids such as charts and graphs to illustrate their data.

Written Reports:

  • Encourage students to write a detailed report summarizing their experiment, including their research, question, hypothesis, methods, observations, data analysis, and conclusions.

Group Discussions:

  • Facilitate a class discussion where students compare their results and discuss any differences or similarities.

Further Exploration:

New Questions:

  • Encourage students to brainstorm new questions based on their findings. For example, “What happens if we use different surfaces for our experiment?”

Design Follow-Up Experiments:

  • Guide students to design follow-up experiments to test their new questions. Help them outline the steps they would take and the materials they would need.

Research Extensions:

  • Suggest that students research additional topics related to their findings, such as the concept of kinetic energy or real-life applications of work and energy.

Click here for a downloadable pdf with student notebook pages.

Objective

Students will explore kinetic and potential energy and the conservation of energy by designing and building a machine that incorporates various types of energy, such as chemical, electrical, and light energy to creatively solve a problem.

Students should be encouraged to create their own solutions to the problem but the following guide can be used for support.

Recommended Materials

Various Household Items

Small Battery-Operated Devices

Baking Soda and Vinegar

Balloons Order Here

Springs Order Here

  • Washers: Order Here
  • Coins: You can use some spare coins around the house.

Measuring Tape or Ruler

Optional: Small Solar Panel Kit Order Here

Safety Guidelines

  • Ensure all materials are used safely and appropriately.
  • Supervise the use of chemical reactions and electrical devices.
  • Avoid using heavy objects that could cause injury if they fall.
  • Keep the workspace clear of obstacles to prevent tripping or accidents.

Background Information

  • Potential Energy: Stored energy that has the potential to do work (e.g., a weight held above the ground).
  • Kinetic Energy: The energy of motion (e.g., a weight falling to the ground).
  • Conservation of Energy: Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted from one form to another.
  • Chemical Energy: Energy stored in chemical bonds (e.g., in a battery or from a baking soda and vinegar reaction).
  • Electrical Energy: Energy generated by moving electric charges (e.g., from batteries or solar panels).
  • Light Energy: Energy that is visible and can be emitted by sources like the Sun or light bulbs.

Procedure

Day 1: Introduction to Energy Types and Simple Machines

Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Discuss the definitions of potential and kinetic energy with your student. Use simple examples, like a weight held above the ground (potential energy) and the same weight falling (kinetic energy).
  • Introduce the concepts of chemical, electrical, and light energy. Provide examples:

Brainstorming Solutions (20 minutes)

  • Explain to your student that they will design a Rube Goldberg machine that incorporates simple machines (like pulleys, inclined planes, and levers) and demonstrates various types of energy.
  • Brainstorm possible components and steps for the machine:

Day 2: Designing and Building a Park-Cleanup Machine

Gathering Materials (10 minutes)

  • Collect all the materials needed for the Rube Goldberg machine. This could include items like books, dominoes, marbles, toy cars, ramps, pulleys, strings, rubber bands, and small battery-operated devices.

Constructing the Machine (30 minutes)

  • Begin building the Rube Goldberg machine. Start with a basic setup and gradually add more components:

Testing and Observing (20 minutes)

  • Test the machine multiple times to ensure it works as planned.
  • Observe and note how different types of energy are converted and used throughout the machine.

Day 3: Evaluating and Reflecting on the Machine

Final Testing (15 minutes)

  • Conduct final tests of the Rube Goldberg machine. Record the time it takes for the energy to travel through the entire machine.
  • Measure and note the heights, distances, and weights involved to calculate the gravitational potential energy at different points.

Discussion and Reflection (20 minutes)

  • Discuss with your student how the machine demonstrates the concepts of kinetic and potential energy and the conservation of energy.
  • Ask questions like:

Creative Problem Solving (15 minutes)

  • Reflect on the problem-solving process. Discuss any challenges faced during the construction and how they were overcome.
  • Encourage your student to think about how they applied creativity and critical thinking to design the machine.

Assessment

  • see pdf for assessment rubric

Extensions

  • Energy Calculations: Calculate the potential and kinetic energy at different points in the machine using the formula for gravitational potential energy (GPE = weight x height) and the kinetic energy formula (KE = 0.5 x mass x velocity²).
  • Design Improvement: Challenge your student to redesign the machine to make it more efficient or add more steps to increase the complexity.
  • Research Project: Investigate historical and modern examples of Rube Goldberg machines and present findings.

Click here for a downloadable pdf with student notebook pages.

Materials List:

Objectives:

  • Help students understand the different components of soil.
  • Teach students how to conduct a soil test.
  • Encourage students to ask questions, make observations, and analyze data.

Research:

Review Soils

  • Have students review Chapter 15 and note the differences between rocks, minerals and soils. Review that soils are made up of different components, including sand, silt, clay, organic matter, and nutrients and that these components affect how well plants grow.
  • Have students note the type of soil where they live and how well or difficult it is to grow plants in their area. Do they live near farmland with rich soil or in a desert with dry soil?

Asking Questions

  • Step 1: Write Down Questions
  • Encourage students to write down questions they have about soil.
  • Open-ended: "How does soil composition affect plant growth?"
  • Closed-ended: "Does sandy soil hold more water than clay soil?"
  • Help students refine their questions. Convert open-ended questions to closed-ended questions and vice versa.
  • Example: "How does soil composition affect plant growth?" -> "What effect does the proportion of sand in soil have on plant growth?"
  • Assist students in selecting the most interesting or important questions to explore in the experiment.
  • Have students write down their prioritized question in their notebooks.

Experiment:

Step 1: Gather Materials

  • Have students gather the materials they need for testing soils.

Step 2: Collect Soil Samples:

  • Have students use a hand trowel to collect soil samples from different locations. This would be a great opportunity to take a hike or drive to different locations collecting samples from different areas. Ensure they label each sample with the location it was collected from.

Step 3: Test Soil Samples:

Texture Test:

  • In a clear jar, mix one part soil with two parts distilled water. Shake the jar vigorously and let it sit for 24 hours.
  • Observe the layers that form: sand will settle at the bottom, followed by silt, and clay on top.

pH Test:

  • Use pH test strips to determine the pH of each soil sample.

Nutrient Test:

  • Use a soil test kit to test for nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Observe and Record:

  • Have students observe the different layers in the texture test and record their findings.
  • Have student measure the length of the different layers.
  • Record the pH levels and nutrient levels for each soil sample.
  • Have students create a data table for their data.

Analyze Data:

  • Guide students to analyze their results. Ask them to look for patterns in the data, such as which soil sample has the most nutrients or the highest pH level.

Draw Conclusions:

  • Guide students to summarize their findings in a clear and concise manner. They should explain how force and distance affect the amount of work done.
  • Help students draw conclusions from their data. For example, they might conclude that soil with a higher sand content drains water faster or that soil with a neutral pH is better for plant growth.

Discuss Implications:

  • Discuss with students how their findings can be applied in real life, such as in gardening or farming.

Share Results:

  • Presentations:
  • Written Reports:
  • Group Discussions:

Click here for a downloadable pdf with student notebook pages.

Materials List:

Objectives:

  • Students explore Earth's shape and position in space.
  • Students conduct simple observations and experiments to illustrate the Earth, Moon, and Sun.
  • Students ask questions, make observations, and analyze data.

Research

  • Review Chapter 19. Discuss about Earth's place in the universe. Explain that Earth is a spherical planet that orbits the Sun and rotates on a tilted axis.
  • Show some pictures of Earth from space and discuss how these images have helped us understand Earth's shape and position.
  • Engage students with questions like, "Have you ever wondered why we have seasons?" and "How do you think day and night happen?"
  • Discuss the concept of Earth's tilt and its significance in creating seasons.

Ask Questions

  • Step 1: Write Down Questions
  • Ask students to write down any questions they have about Earth in space. Encourage them to think broadly.
  • Examples: "Why does Earth have different seasons?" "How does Earth's tilt affect daylight?"
  • Step 2: Improve the Questions
  • Guide students to refine their questions by converting closed-ended questions to open-ended ones and vice versa.
  • Example: "Why does Earth have different seasons?" can be refined to "How does Earth's tilt cause the seasons?"
  • Step 3: Prioritize the Questions
  • Ask students to review their list of questions and prioritize the ones they find most interesting or relevant.
  • Step 4: Record Your Question
  • Have students write down their prioritized questions in their notebooks for further exploration during the experiment.

Test, Tinker, Try

Shape of Earth:

  • Activity:
  • Use a globe to show students that Earth is a sphere. Rotate the globe and point out different continents and oceans to give them a sense of Earth's vastness.

Discussion:

  • Explain how ancient Greeks deduced Earth's shape by observing its shadow on the Moon during a lunar eclipse. Show illustrations or diagrams if available.

Earth's Rotation:

  • Activity:
  • Use a flashlight to represent the Sun and a globe to represent Earth. Darken the room slightly and rotate the globe to show how Earth rotates, creating day and night.
  • Tip: Move the flashlight around the globe to demonstrate different times of day at various locations.

Discussion:

  • Explain that Earth takes approximately 24 hours to complete one full rotation, which gives us day and night.

Earth's Tilt:

  • Activity:
  • Attach the foam ball (representing the Moon) to a stick or string. Tilt the globe at an angle and use the flashlight to show how Earth's tilt causes different parts of Earth to receive varying amounts of sunlight.

Discussion:

  • Discuss how Earth's 23-degree tilt leads to the changing seasons. Use diagrams to show how the tilt affects sunlight distribution throughout the year.

Observations

  • Have students observe each activity carefully and write down their findings in their notebooks.
  • Ensure they note how the tilt affects sunlight distribution and how the rotation creates day and night.

Analyze

Analyze Data:

  • Guide students to analyze their observations. Ask them to identify patterns in the data, such as the effect of Earth's tilt on sunlight.
  • Encourage them to discuss how Earth's shape and rotation contribute to our understanding of day, night, and seasons.

Evaluate Findings:

  • Help students draw conclusions based on their observations. For example, they might conclude that Earth's tilt is responsible for the seasons and that its rotation causes day and night.
  • Ask them to consider why understanding these concepts is important for our daily lives.

Discuss Implications:

  • Facilitate a discussion about how understanding Earth's shape, rotation, and tilt helps us predict seasons and understand the day-night cycle.
  • Ask students to think about how this knowledge is used in various fields, such as agriculture, navigation, and astronomy.

Draw Conclusions:

  • Have students draw conclusions about their data and summarize their findings in a clear and concise manner. They should be able to explain how the Earth’s shape, rotation and tilt gives us seasons and day-night cycles.

Share Results:

Presentations:

  • Have students prepare presentations to share their findings with others. They can use visual aids such as charts and graphs to illustrate their data.

Written Reports:

  • Encourage students to write a detailed report summarizing their experiment, including their research, question, hypothesis, methods, observations, data analysis, and conclusions.

Group Discussions:

  • Facilitate a class discussion where students compare their results and discuss any differences or similarities.