Maximize Student Time On Task
Student time on task is the most influential factor in student achievement. To maximize time on task, teachers need to make decisions about the systems they install in their classroom well before any students enter the room. Beginning the school year by explicitly teaching process skills and having classroom operating systems that reinforce process skills are two strategies that lay the foundation for logical thinking throughout the year, which are discussed in this article.
Stats for Schools
Stats4schools, developed by the United Kingdom's Office of National Statistics, is about helping teachers and pupils to get more from statistics. The project has posted here datasets collected by the Office for National Statistics as part of the Omnibus survey and made them available for students to download free of charge. Teachers will also find lesson plans, worksheets and datasets that can be used in their classrooms. The lesson ideas are organized by topics and involve using statistics to a
Observe some products of a Geographic Information System (GIS)
By combining a short paragraph and six enlargeable maps, this resource explains to students what a Geographic Information System (GIS) is. Introductory text explains that GIS technology enables users to plot multiple data sets onto maps of varying scales. Then six sample maps produced through GIS are provided. Among these maps is one that identifies where energy and mineral resources are located globally and another that highlights and labels the rivers that drain into the Mississippi River. Cop
Earth and Space
In earth and space science, students study the origin, structure, and physical phenomena of the earth and the universe. Earth and space science studies include concepts in geology, meteorology, oceanography, and astronomy.
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
Normally we find things using landmark navigation. When you move to a new place, it may take you awhile to explore the new streets and buildings, but eventually you recognize enough landmarks and remember where they are in relation to each other. However, another accurate method for locating places and things is using grids and coordinates. In this activity, students will come up with their own system of a grid and coordinates for their classroom and understand why it is important to have one co
Students will use two different methods to determine the densities of a variety of materials and objects. The first method involves direct measurement of the volumes of objects that have simple geometric shapes, while the second uses the water displacement method to determine the volumes of irregularly-shaped objects. After the densities are determined, students will create x-y scatter graphs of mass versus volume, and these graphs will reveal that objects with densities less than water (floater
Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor?
In the first part of the activity, each student chews a piece of gum until it loses its flavor, and then leaves the gum to dry for several days before weighing it to determine the amount of mass lost. This mass corresponds to the amount of sugar in the gum, and can be compared to the amount stated on the package label. In the second part of the activity, students work in groups of four to design and conduct new experiments based on questions of their own choosing. These questions arise naturally
Students will conduct a simple experiment to see how the water level changes in a beaker when a lump of clay sinks in the water and when the same lump of clay is shaped into a bowl that floats in the water. They will notice that the floating clay displaces more water than the sinking clay does, a result that will probably surprise them. They will then determine the mass of water that is displaced when the clay floats in the water. A comparison of this mass to the mass of the clay itself should r
6.4 Second Essay
Childcare, education, working conditions, healthcare, crime … these issues are hotly debated in today's society. They are also issues that Robert Owen, seen by some as a visionary and by others as a knave and a charlatan, sought to address in the early 1800s. This unit uses a series of essays written by Owen to explore the ideas of this important and controversial figure.