This Unit for the 4th Grade Kit, Waves and Energy, weaves together the various FOSS investigations in the context of an authentic and engaging storyline. Through an imaginary correspondence with a 4th grader who lives in the village of Ghaghara, India, students use a series of investigations to build their skills and content knowledge in order to solve larger problems being faced by their friend, Parvathi. Students engage in project-based learning while using science and engineering practices to help solve everyday problems in the context of Parvathi’s life. Students also use online research and evidence from investigations to construct claims based on evidence which inform and drive their practice of engineering.
Using students' step length to understand the relationship between distance, speed and acceleration. Includes graphing of data and interpretation of graphs.
This site looks at the science behind food and cooking. Learn about what happens when you eat sugar, bake bread, cook an egg, or pickle foods. Find out how muscle turns to meat, what makes meat tender, and what gives meat its flavor. Take tours of breads and spices of the world. Explore your sense of taste and smell.
In this demonstration, amaze learners by performing simple tricks using mirrors. These tricks take advantage of how a mirror can reflect your right side so it appears to be your left side. To make the effect more dramatic, cover the mirror with a cloth, climb onto the table, straddle the mirror, and then drop the cloth as you appear to "take off." This resource contains information about how this trick was applied during the making of the movie "Star Wars."
We use motion detectors and a bowling ball to find relationships velocity, mass, and energy.
This trick from Exploratorium physicist Paul Doherty lets you add together the bounces of two balls and send one ball flying. When we tried this trick on the Exploratorium's exhibit floor, we gathered a crowd of visitors who wanted to know what we were doing. We explained that we were engaged in serious scientific experimentation related to energy transfer. Some of them may have believed us. If you'd like to go into the physical calculations of this phenomenam, see the related resource "Bouncing Balls" - it's the same activity but with the math explained.
This module is designed to guide students in better understanding light. The students will also understand how light travels and interacts with other materials. The teacher will facilitate students' explorations as they generate a summary of their experiences. Throughout this unit, students will be guided in using practical materials such everyday items found in their classroom and light energy produced by flashlightThe goal of this module is for students to explore light and to better understand how it behaves. This module has been designed for 5th grade students or students who are developmentally ready to explore light. This module could also be used as a review for students in upper grades who need to build their fundamental understanding.
Demonstrate the Bernoulli Principle using simple materials on a small or large scale. This resource includes two activities that allow learners to experience the Bernoulli Principle, in which an object is suspended in air by blowing down on it. Use this activity to explain how atomizers work and why windows are sometimes sucked out of their frames as two trains rush past each other.
In this activity, a spinning bicycle wheel resists efforts to tilt it and point the axle in a new direction. Learners use the bicycle wheel like a giant gyroscope to explore angular momentum and torque. Learners can participate in the assembly of the Bicycle Wheel Gyro or use a preassembled unit to explore these concepts and go for an unexpected spin!
A 90 minute laboratory experiment utilizing observations and reasoning regarding the Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy.
This activity provides instructions for using a flashlight and aquarium (or other container of water) to explain why the sky is blue and sunsets are red. When the white light from the sun shines through the earth's atmosphere, it collides with gas molecules with the blue light scattering more than the other colors, leaving a dominant yellow-orange hue to the transmitted light. The scattered light makes the sky blue; the transmitted light makes the sunset reddish orange. The section entitled What's Going On? explains this phenomena.
Students investigate whether a bowling ball will float or sink in an aquarium of water after measuring the ball and determining the density. This is meant to be an investigative inquiry of the concepts of density and significant figures.
In this activity, learners burn a peanut, which produces a flame that can be used to boil away water and count the calories contained in the peanut. Learners use a formula to calculate the calories in a peanut and then differentiate between food calories and physicist calories as well as calories and joules.
In this demonstration, cook a cake using the heat produced when the cake batter conducts an electric current. Because of safety concerns, this activity should be conducted as a demonstration only and learners should be kept at a safe distance.
Cardboard Automata are a playful way to explore simple machine elements while creating a mechanical sculpture. This activity was inspired by the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre, a group of automata builders based in England. Artists like Paul Spooner, Keith Newstead, and Carlos Zapata build beautiful narrative pieces using elegant mechanisms based on cams, gears, springs, and linkages. Working with simple materials, this activity is easy to get started, and may become as complex as your mechanical sculpture ideas.
This is a laboratory exercise designed to allow students to further investigate the light spectrum. This lab is used to have students view the light spectrum first hand as opposed to using lecture alone.
This lab activity is designed to allow students to experience what an increase in mechanical advantage means. Students determine the mechanical advantage of three pulley set-ups. Students also measure the work input and output, then calculate the efficiency. Finally, students determine the relationship between the mechanical advantage and the efficiency of the pulleys.
In this physical science lab, students investigate whether or not chewing gum should be considered eating. Students plan their own experiments for this lab. They use the law of conservation of mass to reason that the portion lost of the original mass of gum must be swallowed. Students determine the portion of original mass of gum. A student lab sheet and CER template are provided.
The lessons in this module are empirical – abductive. The teacher helps students identify the activity of substances within pizza dough. The teacher announces the students will conduct chemical reactions to explore how matter is conserved during a chemical change. After the class compares their reasoning, the teacher provides clarifying and direct instruction with videos, guided practice and supported computer simulation practice for students to learn to balance chemical equations. Students complete a problem-based investigation to apply their learning by writing, testing and explaining a lab procedure that will help an absent classmate to gather evidence and gain an understanding of the Law of Conservation of Matter. This module was developed by Patricia Kramolisch as part of a Virginia Commonwealth University STEM initiative sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education.
Successful completion of this cooperative learning activity requires the active involvement of the individual, the small group and the entire classroom (collaboration). The goal is to make a simple task as complicated as possible by constructing a single complex machine.