This animated essay from the American Experience Web site explains the difference between alternating and direct electric current and offers in-depth explanations about the role played by a battery, light bulb, wire, and generator. Grades 6-12.
At this point in the unit, students have learned about Pascal's law, Archimedes' principle, Bernoulli's principle, and why above-ground storage tanks are of major concern in the Houston Ship Channel and other coastal areas. In this culminating activity, student groups act as engineering design teams to derive equations to determine the stability of specific above-ground storage tank scenarios with given tank specifications and liquid contents. With their floatation analyses completed and the stability determined, students analyze the tank stability in specific storm conditions. Then, teams are challenged to come up with improved storage tank designs to make them less vulnerable to uplift, displacement and buckling in storm conditions. Teams present their analyses and design ideas in short class presentations.
This video segment adapted from First Light explains why the highest peak in the Pacific, Mauna Kea, is an ideal site for astronomical observations. Featured are new telescope technologies that allow astronomers to explore the universe in more depth.
Using students' step length to understand the relationship between distance, speed and acceleration. Includes graphing of data and interpretation of graphs.
Students make a wheel and axle out of cardboard and a wooden dowel. It is rooled along a ramp made of parallel meter sticks, and the acceleration can be made small enough to make accurate measurements and calculations.
Students work as physicists to understand centripetal acceleration concepts. They also learn about a good robot design and the accelerometer sensor. They also learn about the relationship between centripetal acceleration and centripetal force governed by the radius between the motor and accelerometer and the amount of mass at the end of the robot's arm. Students graph and analyze data collected from an accelerometer, and learn to design robots with proper weight distribution across the robot for their robotic arms. Upon using a data logging program, they view their own data collected during the activity. By activity end , students understand how a change in radius or mass can affect the data obtained from the accelerometer through the plots generated from the data logging program. More specifically, students learn about the accuracy and precision of the accelerometer measurements from numerous trials.
This segment from Swift: Eyes through Time traces the history military officers and engineers discovering a strange phenomenon in the sky that astronomers now know are gamma-ray bursts.
In this lab exercise, students practice correctly using measurement tools, recording data, calculating density, using significant figures, and exploring the concepts of accuracy and precision.
In this video segment, the ZOOM cast demonstrates how to use cabbage juice to find out if a solution is an acid or a base.
In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, two cast members demonstrate what happens when vinegar is added to baking soda inside a container. The resulting chemical reaction produces enough carbon dioxide to launch their paper rocket skyward.
Recommended for: Grades K-5
A car propelled by the reaction between lemon juice and baking soda has more in common with rockets and jet aircraft than one might think. In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, two cast members demonstrate the power of rocket-propelled vehicles and how to exploit the force produced by the carbon dioxide gas. Grades 3-8.
It would seem that bottles of lemon juice and rockets have only their basic shape in common. However, as two cast members from ZOOM demonstrate in this adapted video segment, when baking soda is added to the mix, a plastic bottle can act very much like a real rocket. Grades 3-8.
Students play and record the “Mary Had a Little Lamb” song using musical instruments and analyze the intensity of the sound using free audio editing and recording software. Then they use hollow Styrofoam half-spheres as acoustic mirrors (devices that reflect and focus sound), determine the radius of curvature of the mirror and calculate its focal length. Students place a microphone at the acoustic mirror focal point, re-record their songs, and compare the sound intensity on plot spectrums generated from their recordings both with and without the acoustic mirrors. A worksheet and KWL chart are provided.
Students construct rockets from balloons propelled along a guide string. They use this model to learn about Newton's three laws of motion, examining the effect of different forces on the motion of the rocket.
Effective measurement techniques include the concept of measurement uncertainty. Students may make erroneous conclusions analyzing data using measurements that do not include the uncertainty of the measurement. In this lab, students determine a density range for a metal and identify the material based on this range.
This is a lab activity that allows students to collect data to practice using effective measurement. While other authors have produced similar labs, this version includes uncertainty analysis consistent with effective measurement technique as presented in the module Measurement and Uncertainty.
In this lab-based activity the students will use their knowledge about the law of conservation of energy to explain the loss of heat by warm water to cold water. Then, the students will use these concepts to design and carry an experiment to determine the unknown temperature of a hot water sample.
- Material Type:
- Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
- Provider Set:
- Pedagogy in Action
- Nour Sinada
- Date Added:
In this lesson, students learn about work as defined by physical science and see that work is made easier through the use of simple machines. Already encountering simple machines everyday, students will be alerted to their widespread uses in everyday life. This lesson serves as the starting point for the Simple Machines Unit.
In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, cast members make their own hovercraft and demonstrate how the air leaking out of a balloon can make a plastic plate hover above a table.
Air pressure is pushing on us all the time although we do not usually notice it. In this activity, students learn about the units of pressure and get a sense of just how much air pressure is pushing on them.