In this activity, students will learn how to read a topographical map and how to triangulate with just a map. True triangulation requires both a map and compass, but to simplify the activity and make it possible indoors, the compass information is given. Students will practice converting a compass measurement to a protractor measurement, as well as reverse a bearing direction (i.e., if they know a tree’s bearing is 100 degrees from you, they can determine what bearing they are from the tree).
Does Weight Matter?
Using the same method for measuring friction that was used in the previous lesson (Discovering Friction), students design and conduct an experiment to determine if weight added incrementally to an object affects the amount of friction encountered when it slides across a flat surface. After graphing the data from their experiments, students can calculate the coefficients of friction between the object and the surface it moved upon, for both static and kinetic friction.
Analyze the Data
Students go through the logical process of quantitatively analyzing data from the FasTracks system. They gain experience identifying problems with the current design based upon their earlier observations and experiences in activities 1 and 2. Students discuss the flaws that they find in the system. This activity requires the use of the FasTracks Living Lab, a web portal to interactive train (transit) traffic data for a major metropolitan city.
A quantitative illustration of how non-renewable resources are depleted while renewable resources continue to provide energy. The activity requires students to remove beads (units of energy) from a bag (representing a country). A certain number of beads are removed from the bag each “year.” At some point, no non-renewable beads remain. Groups of students have different ratios of renewable and non-renewable energy beads. A comparison of the remaining beads and time when they ran out of energy
Through a five-lesson series with five hands-on activities, students are introduced to six simple machines - inclined plane, wedge, screw, lever, pulley, wheel-and-axle - as well as compound machines, which are combinations of two or more simple machines. Once students understand about work (work = force x distance), they become familiar with the machines' mechanical advantages, and see how they make work easier. Through an introduction to compound machines, students begin to think critically ab
Swing in Time
Students examine the motion of pendulums and come to understand that the longer the string of the pendulum, the fewer the number of swings in a given time interval. They see that changing the weight on the pendulum does not have an effect on the period. They also observe that changing the angle of release of the pendulum has negligible effect upon the period.
Graphing the Rainbow
Students are introduced to different ways of displaying visual spectra, including colored “barcode” spectra, like those produced by a diffraction grating, and line plots displaying intensity versus color, or wavelength. Students learn that a diffraction grating acts like a prism, bending light into its component colors.
Make Some Waves
In this activity, students use their own creativity (and their bodies) to make longitudinal and transverse waves. Through the use of common items, they will investigate the different between longitudinal and transverse waves.
Pointing at Maximum Power for PV
Student teams measure voltage and current in order to determine the power output of a photovoltaic (PV) panel. They vary the resistance in a simple circuit connected to the panel to demonstrate the effects on voltage, current, and power output. After collecting data, they calculate power for each resistance setting, creating a graph of current vs. voltage, and indentifying the maximum power point.
Save Our City!
Students learn about various natural hazards and specific methods engineers use to prevent these hazards from becoming natural disasters. They study a hypothetical map of an area covered with natural hazards and decide where to place natural disaster prevention devices by applying their critical thinking skills and an understanding of the causes of natural disasters.
Two Sides of One Force
Students learn more about magnetism, and how magnetism and electricity are related in electromagnets. They learn the fundamentals about how simple electric motors and electromagnets work. Students also learn about hybrid gasoline-electric cars and their advantages over conventional gasoline-only-powered cars.
Students collect, categorize, weigh and analyze classroom solid waste. The class collects waste for a week and then student groups spend a day sorting and analyzing the garbage with respect to recyclable and non-recyclable items. They discuss ways that engineers have helped to reduce the accumulation of solid waste.
Seismic Waves: How Earthquakes Move the Earth
Students learn about the types of seismic waves produced by earthquakes and how they move the Earth. The dangers of earthquakes are presented as well as the necessity for engineers to design structures for earthquake-prone areas that are able to withstand the forces of seismic waves. Students learn how engineers build shake tables that simulate the ground motions of the Earth caused by seismic waves in order to test the seismic performance of buildings.
Students examine various materials to investigate how they interact with light. They use five characteristics—translucency, transparency, opaqueness, reflectivity and refractivity—to describe how light interacts with the objects.
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
Oceans, climate and weather
What is the difference between weather and climate? What do the oceans have to do with them? Weather is the day-to-day state of the atmosphere and its short-term (minutes to weeks) variation. Climate is typically described by the regional patterns of seasonal temperature and precipitation over 30 years. The averages of annual temperature, rainfall, cloud cover, and depth of frost penetration are all typical climate-related statistics. The oceans influence the worlds climate by storing solar ener
How Do Seasonal Temperature Patterns Vary Among Different Regions of the World?
The purpose of this resource is to have students use GLOBE visualizations to display student data on maps and to learn about seasonal changes in regional and global temperature patterns. Students learn how sunlight spreads over the Earth at different times of the year, emphasizing the solstices and the equinoxes. Students investigate the effect of the Earth.s tilt on the spread of sunlight by modeling different tilts using a three-dimensional polyhedron which they construct from paper. Students
What is Energy?
With an introduction to the ideas of energy, students discuss specific types of energy and the practical sources of energy. Hands-on activities help them identify types of energy in their surroundings and enhance their understanding of energy.
Students are introduced to a systematic procedure for solving problems through a demonstration and then the application of the method to an everyday activity. The unit project is introduced to provide relevance to subsequent lessons.
We've Got the Power
In this lesson, students will research various sources of renewable energy. They will discover how each source can be used to generate electricity, the potential benefits and drawbacks of each and which source might best power their home or school. This lesson can be completed in 1-2 class periods.