This video segment adapted from Building Big illustrates the strength of the arch in bridge design and construction.
Did you know that air has weight? This illustrated essay from the NOVA Web site explores conditions that affect air density and atmospheric pressure.
This video segment adapted from A Science Odyssey takes a look at the scale of the atom and the tremendous amount of space between the electrons and the nucleus. If all this empty space exists in matter, how can any substance be solid?
Through a five-lesson series that includes numerous hands-on activities, students are introduced to the importance and pervasiveness of bridges for connecting people to resources, places and other people, with references to many historical and current-day examples. In learning about bridge types arch, beam, truss and suspension students explore the effect of tensile and compressive forces. Students investigate the calculations that go into designing bridges; they learn about loads and cross-sectional areas by designing and testing the strength of model piers. Geology and soils are explored as they discover the importance of foundations, bearing pressure and settlement considerations in the creation of dependable bridges and structures. Students learn about brittle and ductile material properties. Students also learn about the many cost factors that comprise the economic considerations of bridge building. Bridges are unique challenges that take advantage of the creative nature of engineering.
This interactive brainteaser from the NOVA Web site challenges you to explain the behavior of a helium-filled balloon in a moving car.
This interactive brainteaser from the NOVA Web site challenges you to figure out what happens to the water level when a rock is resting in a boat and when it is submerged in water.
CK-12’s Life Science delivers a full course of study in the life sciences for the middle school student, relating an understanding of the history, disciplines, tools, and modern techniques of science to the exploration of cell biology, molecular biology, genetics, evolution, prokaryotes, protists,fungi, plants, animals, invertebrates, vertebrates, human biology, and ecology. This digital textbook was reviewed for its alignment with California content standards.
CK-12’s Life Science delivers a full course of study in the life sciences for the middle school student, relating an understanding of the history, disciplines, tools, and modern techniques of science to the exploration of cell biology, genetics, evolution, prokaryotes, protists, fungi, plants, the animal kingdom, the human body, and ecology. This digital textbook was reviewed for its alignment with California content standards.
CK-12 Physical Science Concepts covers the study of physical science for middle school students. The 5 chapters provide an introduction to physical science, matter, states of matter, chemical interactions and bonds, chemical reactions, motion and forces, and the types and characteristics of energy.
This video segment explains centripetal force and illustrates how roller coasters rely on it to give you a thrilling ride.
Watch the ZOOM cast find out how many balloons filled with air and then with water are required to support the weight of a cast member.
In this video segment, members of the ZOOM cast experiment by bending and folding sheets of paper into various shapes to see which shape will support the weight of a heavy book.
In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, cast members use a hair dryer to balance a ball in a stream of air, seemingly defying gravity.
This video segment adapted from ZOOM offers a clever demonstration of buoyancy by showing how to pour a cup of air into a cup filled with water.
Will a grape float in oil? Will a metal nut sink in corn syrup? Watch as the ZOOM cast tests the buoyancy of a variety of liquids and objects.
In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, cast members design and build door alarms using a variety of materials, including aluminum foil, batteries, and buzzers.
In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, cast members make a bridge from a single piece of paper. Will it be strong enough to hold a hundred pennies?
Students see how surface tension can enable light objects (paper clips, peppercorns) to float on an island of oil in water, and subsequently sink when the surface tension of the oil/water interface is reduced by the addition of a surfactant; such as ordinary dish soap.
This essay from the NOVA Web site explores the impact Einstein made on physics and most everything we know about the cosmos.
In this lesson designed to enhance literacy skills, students examine energy forms in moving objects and discover how changes from one form to another move cars through a roller coaster ride.
In this unit, students explore the various roles of environmental engineers, including: environmental cleanup, water quality, groundwater resources, surface water and groundwater flow, water contamination, waste disposal and air pollution. Specifically, students learn about the factors that affect water quality and the conditions that enable different animals and plants to survive in their environments. Next, students learn about groundwater and how environmental engineers study groundwater to predict the distribution of surface pollution. Students also learn how water flows through the ground, what an aquifer is and what soil properties are used to predict groundwater flow. Additionally, students discover that the water they drink everyday comes from many different sources, including surface water and groundwater. They investigate possible scenarios of drinking water contamination and how contaminants can negatively affect the organisms that come in contact with them. Students learn about the three most common methods of waste disposal and how environmental engineers continue to develop technologies to dispose of trash. Lastly, students learn what causes air pollution and how to investigate the different pollutants that exist, such as toxic gases and particulate matter. Also, they investigate the technologies developed by engineers to reduce air pollution.
In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, the cast investigates how the pitch of sound changes when they strike a variety of glasses filled with different amounts and types of liquids.
Can a fresh lemon power a digital clock? In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, the cast shows you how this can be done and, in the process, discover how kids can be a part of an electric circuit.
In this lesson designed to enhance literacy skills, students explore brain injuries called concussions: what they are, how they occur, the challenges in diagnosing them, and ways to protect yourself from them.
In this lesson designed to enhance literacy skills, students learn about the unique environment of southern Florida's Everglades and gain insights into the interrelatedness of living things, nonliving things, and climate.
In this lesson designed to enhance literacy skills, students learn how the forces of gravity and air resistance affect the motion of falling objects.
The lesson will first explore the concept of current in electrical circuits. Current will be defined as the flow of electrons. Photovoltaic (PV) cell properties will then be introduced. Generally constructed of silicon, photovoltaic cells contain a large number of electrons BUT they can be thought of as "frozen" in their natural state. A source of energy is required to "free" these electrons if we wish to create current. Light from the sun provides this energy. This will lead to the principle of "Conservation of Energy." Finally, with a basic understanding of the circuits through Ohm's law, students will see how the energy from the sun can be used to power everyday items, including vehicles. This lesson utilizes the engineering design activity of building a solar car to help students learn these concepts.
In this video segment adapted from FETCH!, contestants are challenged to use materials from a garbage dump to build a boat that floats, can be steered, and is propelled by something other than oars.
Einstein called Galileo the "father of modern physics." This media-rich essay from the NOVA Web site looks at Galileo's quest to understand the mathematics of motion.
In this lesson, students will investigate error. As shown in earlier activities from navigation lessons 1 through 3, without an understanding of how errors can affect your position, you cannot navigate well. Introducing accuracy and precision will develop these concepts further. Also, students will learn how computers can help in navigation. Often, the calculations needed to navigate accurately are time consuming and complex. By using the power of computers to do calculations and repetitive tasks, one can quickly see how changing parameters likes angles and distances and introducing errors will affect their overall result.
This eight-week module focuses on a “science and society” topic, engaging students in reading compelling informational text about adolescent brain development and the effects of entertainment screen time on the brain.
In Unit 1, students first read various texts that will build their background knowledge about adolescent brain development in general. Their learning will center around three areas of the brain, namely the prefrontal cortex, the limbic system, and the developing neurons. Students determine main ideas and evidence in diverse media and clarify their learning about this complex content. Then they begin to focus on the issue of screen time and how it may affect teenagers.
In this lesson designed to enhance literacy skills, students learn how to read and interpret a distance–time graph.
Students use a hurricane tracking map to measure the distance from a specific latitude and longitude location of the eye of a hurricane to a city. Then they use the map's scale factor to convert the distance to miles. They also apply the distance formula by creating an x-y coordinate plane on the map. Students are challenged to analyze what data might be used by computer science engineers to write code that generates hurricane tracking models. Then students analyze a MATLAB® computer code that uses the distance formula repetitively to generate a table of data that tracks a hurricane at specific time intervals. Students come to realize that using a computer program to generate the calculations (instead of by hand) is very advantageous for a dynamic situation like tracking storm movements. Their inspection of some MATLAB code helps them understand how it communicates what to do using mathematical formulas, logical instructions and repeated tasks. They also conclude that the example program is too simplistic to really be a useful tool; useful computer model tools must necessarily be much more complex.
In this media-rich essay from the NOVA Web site, astronomer Brent Tully of the University of Hawaii walks you through the latest scientific theories about the size of the universe.
This video segment adapted from FETCH! shows contestants experimenting with different materials to see which is the best insulator and thus best able to keep the lemonade at their stand cool for customers.
In this lesson, students will learn how great navigators of the past stayed on course that is, the historical methods of navigation. The concepts of dead reckoning and celestial navigation are discussed.
This video segment from NOVA: "Cracking the Code of Life" looks at the meaning and significance of the effort to decode the human genome.