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Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
Global warming, pollution, and deforestation are just a few examples of how human actions affect our planet. How can we reduce our impact on the environment? In this lesson, students will find out by using an online tool called Your Plan, Your Planet. Based on their findings, students will come up with their own action plans aimed at reducing their personal ecological footprint and assess its effectiveness after implementation. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
How does surface area affect the speed of a chemical reaction? Let your students find out in this sizzling lesson plan! In this project, they will explore this correlation by crushing Alka-Seltzer® tablets into different sized particles and measuring how long it takes for them to dissolve in water. 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.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
People have used boats to transport things around the world for thousands of years. Unfortunately, those boats can be vulnerable to stormy seas and they can capsize. This lesson expands on the classic "aluminum foil boat" project. Normally, students would build a boat from a sheet of aluminum foil and see how much weight it can hold—in still water—before sinking. In this project, they will find out how well their boats hold up to waves! Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 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.
  • 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-ETS1-3. 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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Lesson Plan Grade: Kindergarten
Kindergarten students associate the sun with light and warmth. This lesson helps them expand this knowledge by getting their hands dirty! They will fill cups with soil, water and rocks and place them in the sun and shade for a while. By finding out how they can tell where a cup has been stored, they will learn how the sun affects Earth's surface. In a follow-up lesson, Create Shade to Protect from the Sun, students figure out how to protect a territory from getting too hot in the sun. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • K-PS3-1. Make observations to determine the effect of sunlight on Earth's surface.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
Why can we feel gravity pull us down towards the Earth, but not sideways towards other big objects like buildings? Why do the planets in our solar system orbit the sun instead of flying off into space? In this lesson plan your students will develop a model for gravity and use it to explore answers to these questions. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-PS2-4. Construct and present arguments using evidence to support the claim that gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects.
  • MS-ESS1-2. Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
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We hear the word "digital" all the time—digital technology, digital device, digital TV, etc. But what does it actually mean? In this lesson plan, your students will learn how digital signals allow us to reliably transmit and store information. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-PS4-3. Integrate qualitative scientific and technical information to support the claim that digitized signals are a more reliable way to encode and transmit information than analog signals.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
Students explore how force, mass, and acceleration are related in this hands-on lesson plan. By experimenting with pushing a box across the table while varying force and mass and measuring the box's acceleration with a mobile phone and a sensor app, students discover Newton's second law of motion for themselves. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • HS-PS2-1. Analyze data to support the claim that Newton's second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
When light interacts with an object, it can be absorbed, transmitted, or reflected. This lesson focuses on materials that reflect light. Specifically, students will use mirrors and flashlights to investigate how light is reflected from a surface. By doing that, they will discover that when a light ray hits a reflective surface, its angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection, which is stated by the law of reflection. Students will then use their gained knowledge in a mirror maze… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-PS4-2. Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials.
  • MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for the iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 1st
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Young students know that they can hear sounds, but do they know what causes sounds? In this lesson they will learn that sounds are caused by vibrations, and they will build a fun musical instrument of their own. In the Sound and Vibrations 2: Make Sprinkles Dance, students will learn that sounds can also cause vibrations. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 1-PS4-1. Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate.
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Lesson Plan Grade: 6th-8th
Rube Goldberg machines—machines that complete a simple task in a convoluted way—are intriguing, artistic, and fun! In this lesson, students will design and build such a machine themselves and use the concept of kinetic energy in the process. Before students start designing, they will do an experiment that explores how kinetic energy depends on the mass and the speed of the moving object. With a clear understanding of this concept, students then tackle the engineering design… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • MS-PS3-1. Construct and interpret graphical displays of data to describe the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass of an object and to the speed of an object.
  • 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.
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