In the Basketball Motion Analysis lesson, students use decomposition to break down a specific LeBron James play from the 2015 NBA Finals. Students practice drawing and interpreting speed graphs, as well as discuss whether computers and data can replace human basketball coaches. This lesson was inspired by a post by Savvas Tjortjoglou.
In this math activity, students conduct a strength test using modeling clay, creating their own stress vs. strain graphs, which they compare to typical steel and concrete graphs. They learn the difference between brittle and ductile materials and how understanding the strength of materials, especially steel and concrete, is important for engineers who design bridges and structures.
Construct and measure the energy efficiency and solar heat gain of a cardboard model house. Use a light bulb heater to imitate a real furnace and a temperature sensor to monitor and regulate the internal temperature of the house. Use a bright bulb in a gooseneck lamp to model sunlight at different times of the year, and test the effectiveness of windows for passive solar heating.
Earthquakes happen when forces in the Earth cause violent shaking of the ground. Earthquakes can be very destructive to buildings and other man-made structures. Design and build various types of buildings, then test your buildings for earthquake resistance using a shake table and a force sensor that measures how hard a force pushes or pulls your building.
In this task students use different representations to analyze the relationship between two quantities and to solve a real world problem. The situation presented provides a good opportunity to make connections between the information provided by tables, graphs and equations.
With the help of simple, teacher-led demonstration activities, students learn the basic concepts of heat transfer by means of conduction, convection, and radiation. Students then apply these concepts as they work in teams to solve two problems. One problem requires that they maintain the warm temperature of one soda can filled with water at approximately body temperature, and the other problem is to cause an identical soda can of warm water to cool as much as possible during the same thirty-minute time interval. Students design their solutions using only common, everyday materials. They record the water temperatures in their two soda cans every five minutes, and prepare line graphs in order to visually compare their results to the temperature of an unaltered control can of water.
Learn to connect position-time and velocity-time graphs. Explore velocity using an animated car icon connected to either a position-time or a velocity-time graph, or both. Then investigate other motion graphs.
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.
In the first part of the activity, each student chews a piece of gum until it loses its sweetness, 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 to design and conduct new experiments based on questions of their own choosing. These questions arise naturally from observations during the first experiment, and from students' own experiences with and knowledge of the many varieties of chewing and bubble gums available.
Students utilize data tables culled from the US DOE Energy Information Agency to create graphs that illustrate what types of energy we use and how we use it. An MS Excel workbook with several spreadsheets of data is provided. Students pick (or the teacher assigns) one of the data tables from which students create plots and interpret the information provided. Student groups share with the class their interpretations and new perspectives on energy resources and use.
Several activities are included to teach and research the differences between renewable and non-renewable resources and various energy resources. The students work with a quantitative, but simple model of energy resources to show how rapidly a finite, non-renewable energy sources can be depleted, whereas renewable resources continue to be available. The students then complete a homework assignment or a longer, in-depth research project to learn about how various technologies that capture energy resources for human uses and their pros and cons. Fact sheets are included to help students get started on their investigation of their assigned energy source.
Learn about conservation of energy with a skater dude! Build tracks, ramps and jumps for the skater and view the kinetic energy, potential energy and friction as he moves. You can also take the skater to different planets or even space!
Using plastic straws, wire, batteries and iron nails, student teams build and test two versions of electromagnets one with and one without an iron nail at its core. They test each magnet's ability pick up loose staples, which reveals the importance of an iron core to the magnet's strength. Students also learn about the prevalence and importance of electromagnets in their everyday lives.
This activity simulates the extraction of limited, nonrenewable resources from a "mine," so students can experience first-hand how resource extraction becomes more difficult over time. Students gather data and graph their results to determine the peak in resource extraction. They learn about the limitations of nonrenewable resources, and how these resources are currently used.
Students apply the concepts of conduction, convection and radiation as they work in teams to solve two challenges. One problem requires that they maintain the warm temperature of one soda can filled with water at approximately human body temperature, and the other problem is to cause an identical soda can of warm water to cool as much as possible during the same 30-minute time period. Students design their engineering solutions using only common everyday materials, and test their devices by recording the water temperatures in their two soda cans every five minutes.
Students conduct experiments to determine what environmental factors favor decomposition by soil microbes. They use chunks of carrots for the materials to be decomposed, and their experiments are carried out in plastic bags filled with dirt. Every few days students remove the carrots from the dirt and weigh them. Depending on the experimental conditions, after a few weeks most of the carrots have decomposed completely.
Most of the flavoring in gum is due to the sugar or other sweetener it contains. As gum is chewed, the sugar dissolves and is swallowed. After a piece of gum loses its flavor, it can be left to dry at room temperature and then the difference between its initial (unchewed) mass and its chewed mass can be used to calculate the percentage of sugar in the gum. This demonstration experiment is used to generate new questions about gums and their ingredients, and students can then design and execute new experiments based on their own questions.
This lesson unit is intended to help you assess how well students are able to: Perform arithmetic operations, including those involving whole-number exponents, recognizing and applying the conventional order of operations; Write and evaluate numerical expressions from diagrammatic representations and be able to identify equivalent expressions; apply the distributive and commutative properties appropriately; and use the method for finding areas of compound rectangles.
With the assistance of a few teacher demonstrations (online animation, using a radiometer and rubbing hands), students review the concept of heat transfer through convection, conduction and radiation. Then they apply an understanding of these ideas as they use wireless temperature probes to investigate the heating capacity of different materials sand and water under heat lamps (or outside in full sunshine). The experiment models how radiant energy drives convection within the atmosphere and oceans, thus producing winds and weather conditions, while giving students the hands-on opportunity to understand the value of remote-sensing capabilities designed by engineers. Students collect and record temperature data on how fast sand and water heat and cool. Then they create multi-line graphs to display and compare their data, and discuss the need for efficient and reliable engineer-designed tools like wireless sensors in real-world applications.
Students learn the function of the liver and how biomedical engineers can use liver regeneration to help people. Students test the effects of toxic chemicals on a beef liver by adding hydrogen peroxide to various liver and salt solutions. They observe, record and graph their results.