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Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
Building on an introduction to statics, dynamics free-body diagrams, combustion and thermodynamics provided by the associated lesson, students design, construct and test their own rocket engines using sugar and potassium nitrate—an opportunity to apply their knowledge of stoichiometry. This activity helps students understand that the energy required to launch a rocket comes from the chemical energy stored in the rocket fuel. The performance of each engine is tested… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • HS-PS3-3. Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
Lesson Plan Grade: 2nd-6th
Do you know the relative sizes of the planets in our solar system? Put yourself to the test with some Play-doh. Size comparisons between planets can be surprisingly tricky. This activity allows students to model, in three dimensions, the relative sizes of the planets. Read more
Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
Students learn how astronomers use the transit method to detect exoplanets, by measuring how the brightness of a star changes over time. Animations illustrate how light curves vary for systems with single versus multiple planets, and for planets of different sizes. Students interpret and analyze light curve data from actual exoplanet discoveries, and make connections to Kepler's laws of planetary motion. Read more
Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
A lesson plan to teach students about the transit method of detecting exoplanets. Optionally build a model of a transiting system and take measurements. Read more
Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
A hypothetical scenario is introduced in which the class is asked to apply their understanding of the forces that drive natural selection to prepare a proposal along with an environmental consulting company to help clean up an area near their school that is contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE). Students use the Avida-ED software application to test hypotheses for evolving (engineering) a strain of bacteria that can biodegrade TCE, resulting in a non-hazardous cleanup… Read more
Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
Students are introduced to the concepts of digital organisms and digital evolution. They learn about the research that digital evolution software makes possible, and compare and contrast it with biological evolution.Engineering Connection Computer scientists and engineers work together to create software and hardware to model complex systems and create new technologies. The digital evolution software, Avida, was created by a group of computer scientists and software… Read more
Lesson Plan Grade: 9th-12th
This lesson plan enables students to describe a transit and the conditions when a transit may be seen, describe how a planet’s size and distance from its star affects the behavior of transits, and interpret graphs of brightness vs time to deduce information about planet-star systems. Read more
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Free science fair projects.