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Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-12th
What exactly is a vaccine? Can vaccines prevent outbreaks? How effective does a vaccine need to be to help a population during an outbreak? Students will explore these questions and more in this lesson plan by first learning the biology behind vaccines. They will then use SimPandemic, a free online tool, to model different vaccine parameters to understand how vaccines affect both individuals and populations during a COVID-19 outbreak. Remote learning adaptation: This lesson plan can be… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-LS2-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
  • MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
  • HS-LS2-8. Evaluate evidence for the role of group behavior on individual and species' chances to survive and reproduce.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-12th
What is herd immunity, how is it achieved, and what impact does it have on outbreaks? Students will explore these questions and more in this lesson plan. They will then use SimPandemic, a free online tool, to model different levels of viral immunity in communities to understand how a population can reach the herd immunity threshold and the impacts that has on individuals and populations during a COVID-19 outbreak. Remote learning adaptation: This lesson plan can be conducted remotely. … Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
  • HS-LS2-8. Evaluate evidence for the role of group behavior on individual and species' chances to survive and reproduce.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
Sea level rise and more-intense storms, both driven by climate change, threaten coastal communities around the globe. In this engineering project, your students will build a model coastline and design a seawall to protect houses from waves as the sea level rises. Remote learning adaptation: This lesson plan can be conducted remotely. Materials can be distributed for each student to work independently at home on the challenge and report back. Alternatively, students can design a barrier (draw… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-ESS3-2. Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
  • MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
We are surrounded by sounds every day, ranging from unpleasant ones like traffic noise to enjoyable ones like music or singing birds. What makes these sounds different? Why are some louder or higher pitched than others? In this lesson plan, your students will investigate how the properties of a sound wave, like frequency and amplitude, affect the sounds we hear. They will do this using Google's Science Journal app and a homemade musical instrument—a rubber band guitar! Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-PS4-1. Use mathematical representations to describe a simple model for waves that includes how the amplitude of a wave is related to the energy in a wave.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
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Are paper airplanes a nuisance in your classroom? They don't have to be! Those distractions can be a constructive learning opportunity: use them to teach your students about the engineering design process. In this fun lesson, you will be the "customer" ordering a paper airplane, and your student teams will be engineering companies that will manufacture planes. Before they start making planes, they need to define the criteria and constraints of this engineering problem. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Lesson Plan Grade: Kindergarten
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Your kindergarten students are used to moving objects. They throw balls, play with toy cars, and sweep the floor, but how much do they think about these actions? In this fun, hands-on lesson, you will use a game (rolling balls) to explore how pushing and pulling affects an object's motion. This lesson can be expanded with a second lesson exploring how objects can push each other, and how weight influences motion. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • K-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
Learn about real space flight and Newton's laws of motion with this fun lesson! This new twist on a classic project lets your students build a multi-stage balloon rocket that they can launch across the classroom. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-PS2-2. Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object's motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
  • MS-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
Lesson Plan Grade: Kindergarten
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At some point, many children wish for a pet animal to play with and care for. But what does it take to keep an animal alive and healthy? In this engaging lesson plan, children will act out adopting a pet and shopping for items based on its needs. As they bring their items together, they will notice that every animal needs food, water, shelter, and air to survive. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • K-LS1-1. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
Don't just teach your students about Newton's laws of motion using diagrams in a textbook — try something hands-on! In this project, students will build their own cars using craft materials and explore the relationship between force, mass, and acceleration. Students can graph data and make observations in real-time using Google's Science Journal app or use a low-tech approach with a meter stick and stopwatch. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-PS2-2. Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd
Help the budding meteorologists in your classroom learn how to measure wind speed by building their own anemometers (wind speed meters) with paper cups and straws. Then do a simple experiment in which students change the "wind" speed using a fan and measure how fast their anemometer spins. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-ESS2-1. Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season.
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