The science of light : funhouse mirrors background
This page briefly describes and illustrates the laws of reflection. It includes a short section on pedagogy and it relates the content to standards.
Identify rocks game
This is an interactive page where students identify 15 rocks.
Quick take on the wide, wide world of geometry
As the social studies, art, and music classes in the middle school widen students horizons, some of your students may become fascinated with the art, costumes, and customs of other peoples in this and other times. The NCTM Principles and Standards calls for middle school students to be able to recognize and apply geometric ideas and relationships in areas outside the mathematics classroom, such as art, science, and everyday life.
Tides and gravity labs
How does gravity cause tides in the oceans? This section, part of an interactive laboratory series for grades 8-12, introduces students to four activities on tides and gravity that cover critical orbital speed between Earth and the moon, gravitational forces between two bodies, tidal effects from the sun and moon, and the change in tidal levels over time. The activities include hands-on animations of concepts whose variables can be manipulated by students. Questions posed to students include ans
Our Solar System
This site contains information about the nine planets, the sun, and the moon. Included is each planet's size compared to the sun. Students can click on a picture to discover the following information: the diameter, mass, temperature, number of rings, what it's made of, can life exist there, and other interesting facts. Included for each planet are the number of moons, length of a day and year, and the average distance from the sun. Students can enter their weight to find out how much they would
Science Sampler : Thinking about students' questions
Asking questions is a vital component in any classroom, but it is absolutely essential in a science classroom. As science teachers, we know that questioning plays a major role in the inquiry process and has a positive impact on students' learning. This article discusses the importance of questioning skills and current research on questioning techniques. In addition, this article will present a series of lessons that were implemented by the author to improve the questioning abilities of middle sc
Indirect measurement and trigonometry
This online workshop session offers practical experience in the use of trigonometry. Teachers work together on examples of measuring impossible distances and inaccessible heights as they explore a number of methods for indirect measuring. They learn about right triangle trigonometry and use trig ratios to solve problems. This is one session from Measurement, a free online course developed for elementary and middle school teachers.
Statistics and probability. Grades 6-8
This MathPARTNERS unit contains seven lessons with hands-on learning activities for exploring statistics and probability with students in grades 6-8. The lessons, designed for mentoring situations, may also be helpful for teachers and parents. Each lesson with reproducible student materials, features an overview of the mathematics, preparation guidelines, teaching tips, and suggestions for how to use each activity to develop specific mathematics concepts. Statistics activities focus on posing qu
Appendix 1 Terminology
Optical-fibre communications became commercially viable in the 1970s and innovation continues today. This unit will illustrate how very high data rates can be transmitted over long distances through optical fibres. You will learn how these fibres are linked, examine the technology used and assess the future direction of this continually developing area of communication.
Plot Your Course - Navigation
In this unit, students learn the very basics of navigation, including the different kinds of navigation and their purpose. The concepts of relative and absolute location, latitude, longitude and cardinal directions are discussed, as well as the use and principles of a map and compass. Students discover the history of navigation and learn the importance of math and how it ties into navigational techniques. Understanding how trilateration can determine one's location leads to a lesson on the globa
In this activity, students will use bearing measurements to triangulate and determine objects’ locations. Working in teams of two or three, students must put on their investigative hats as they take bearing measurements to specified landmarks in their classroom (or other rooms in the school) from a “mystery location.” With the extension activity, students are challenged with creating their own map of the classroom or other school location and comparing it with their classmates’ efforts.
In this activity, students will use vector analysis to understand the concept of dead reckoning. Students will use vectors to plot their course based on a time and speed. They will then correct the positions with vectors representing winds and currents.
Evolutionary Engineering: Simple Machines from Pyramids to Skyscrapers
Simple machines are devices with few or no moving parts that make work easier, and which people have used to provide mechanical advantage for thousands of years. Students learn about the wedge, wheel and axle, lever, inclined plane, screw and pulley in the context of the construction of a pyramid, gaining insights into tools that have been used since ancient times and are still important today. Through numerous hands-on activities, students imagine themselves as ancient engineers building a pyra
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 allow for different animals and plants to survive in their environment. Next, students learn about groundwater and how environmental engineers study groundwater to
The Trouble with Topos
Students learn how to identify the major features in a topographical map. They learn that maps come in a variety of forms: city maps, road maps, nautical maps, topographical maps, and many others. Map features reflect the intended use. For example, a state map shows cities, major roads, national parks, county lines, etc. A city map shows streets and major landmarks for that city, such as hospitals and parks. Topographical maps help navigate the wilderness by showing the elevation, mountains, pea
Through 10 lessons and more than 20 hands-on activities, students are introduced to the concept of an environment and the many interactions within it. As they learn about natural and human-made environments, as well as renewable and non-renewable natural resources, they see how people use our planet’s natural resources and the many resulting environmental issues that exist in our world today. Topics include: solid waste disposal; the concepts of reduce, reuse, recycle and compost; the causes a
Students learn about and use a right triangle to determine the width of a "pretend" river. Working in teams, they estimate of the width of the river, measure it and compare their results with classmates.
In this activity students will learn the basic concept of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) using triangulation and measurement on a small scale in the classroom. Students discover how GPS and navigation integrate mathematic and scientific concepts to create a standard for locating people and objects. This activity helps students understand both the need for and methods of navigation.
Energy of Motion
By taking a look at the energy of motion all around us, students learn about the types of energy and their characteristics. They first learn about the two simplest forms of mechanical energy: kinetic and potential energy, as illustrated by pendulums and roller coasters. They come to understand that energy can change from one form into another, and be described and determined by equations. Through the example of a waterwheel, the concepts of and differences between work and power are explained an
This unit teaches students how and why engineers design satellites to benefit life on Earth as well as allows students an opportunity to explore motion, rockets and rocket motion. Students discover that the motion of all objects including the flight of a rocket and even the movement of a canoe is governed by Newton's three laws of motion. Space exploration is a huge consideration for aerospace engineers, and this unit introduces students to the challenges of getting into space for the purpose of