Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-7th
In this two-part inquiry-based activity, students will practice using the scientific method while learning about decomposition, exploring how some types of garbage will decompose while others will not. Students can then go on to design their own experiment to test different variables affecting the rate of decomposition. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 5-LS2-1. Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
Using the Netlogo platform to run simulations of a basic neural network called the perceptron, students explore a basic, yet powerful, model of machine learning as they are challenged to understand the logic. Students engage in the perceptron model and discover a weakness of the model. The students then move on to run simulations on Netlogo with the multi-layer perceptron which overcomes the weakness in the original perceptron model. Engineering… Read more
Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
In this lesson, students will employ the enzymatic decomposition reaction of hydrogen peroxide to investigate how chemical reactions are affected by enzymes and different substrate concentrations. Students will be challenged to control the rate of the reaction by adjusting the amount of substrate and thus changing the catalase activity. Foam production, created by the enzymatic breakdown of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen, will function as a proxy for the reaction rate. Based on their… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • HS-PS1-5. Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-12th
Scientists are concerned that climate change could cause the spread of mosquito populations that carry diseases like malaria, West Nile virus, Zika virus, and dengue fever. In this lesson plan, your students will access real-world data on mosquitoes at different locations throughout the United States, and examine the effects of temperature on mosquito populations. Remote learning adaptation: This lesson plan can be conducted remotely. Students can work independently on the Explore section of… 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-LS2-1. Use mathematical and/or computational representations of phenomena or design solutions to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales.
Lesson Plan Grade: Kindergarten
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Students will enter this lesson knowing that materials get warm in the sun. In this fun follow-up activity, your students will get creative with craft materials. They will figure out how to protect an "animal" and its territory from getting too hot in the sun. What will they build to keep their animals cool? This lesson connects effortlessly with the How Sunlight Warms the Earth lesson. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • K-PS3-2. Use tools and materials to design and build a structure that will reduce the warming effect of sunlight on an area.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
Teach your students about the engineering design process with this fun lesson plan. They will design and build a ball-launching machine to knock down a target. Optionally, they can enter their designs in the 2020 Fluor Engineering Challenge for a chance to win a cash prize for your school! Teachers, note that middle school and high school versions of this lesson plan are also available, as is a Spanish language version of the basic challenge. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
  • 3-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
Teach your students about the engineering design process with this fun lesson plan. They will design and build a ball-launching machine to knock down a target. Optionally, they can enter their designs in the 2020 Fluor Engineering Challenge for a chance to win a cash prize for your school! Teachers, note that elementary school and high school versions of this lesson plan are also available, as is a Spanish language version of the basic challenge. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
  • MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
  • MS-PS3-5. Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.
Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
Teach your students about the engineering design process with this fun lesson plan. They will design and build a ball-launching machine to knock down a target. Optionally, they can enter their designs in the 2020 Fluor Engineering Challenge for a chance to win a cash prize for your school! Teachers, note that elementary school and middle school versions of this lesson plan are also available, as is a Spanish language version of the basic challenge. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • High School - Science & Engineering Practices
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-12th
In this lesson plan, students will take a closer look at the most recent developments in gene editing. Specifically, they will learn about the CRISPR technology using various interactive simulations and other resources. Based on their gained knowledge, students will create a model of the CRISPR-Cas9 components and create a stop-motion animation video of the molecular mechanism of CRISPR-Cas9. Remote learning adaptation: This lesson plan can be conducted remotely. Students can work… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-LS4-5. Gather and synthesize information about technologies that have changed the way humans influence the inheritance of desired traits in organisms.
  • HS-LS1-1. Construct an explanation, based on evidence, for how the structure of DNA determines the structure of proteins, which carry out the essential functions of life through systems of specialized cells.
Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
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Have you or your students ever felt frustrated at not being able to access a favorite website or online game? Did you realize the site might have been a victim of a cyber-attack? If you aren't careful about online security, your own computer could even be used to launch the attack! In this fun lesson plan, you and your students will model one type of attack (a denial-of-service attack) and figure out how to protect the network against it (no computer programming required)! Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 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.
  • MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
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