Environmental Science   (#2001340)

Version for Academic Year:

Course Standards

General Course Information and Notes

General Notes

Laboratory investigations that include the use of scientific inquiry, research, measurement, problem solving, laboratory apparatus and technologies, experimental procedures, and safety procedures are an integral part of this course. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) recommends that at the high school level, all students should be in the science lab or field, collecting data every week. School laboratory investigations (labs) are defined by the National Research Council (NRC) as an experience in the laboratory, classroom, or the field that provides students with opportunities to interact directly with natural phenomena or with data collected by others using tools, materials, data collection techniques, and models (NRC, 2006, p. 3). Laboratory investigations in the high school classroom should help all students develop a growing understanding of the complexity and ambiguity of empirical work, as well as the skills to calibrate and troubleshoot equipment used to make observations. Learners should understand measurement error; and have the skills to aggregate, interpret, and present the resulting data (National Research Council, 2006, p.77; NSTA, 2007).

Special Notes: 
Instructional Practices
 
Teaching from a range of complex text is optimized when teachers in all subject areas implement the following strategies on a routine basis: 

  1. Ensuring wide reading from complex text that varies in length.
  2. Making close reading and rereading of texts central to lessons.
  3. Emphasizing text-specific complex questions, and cognitively complex tasks, reinforce focus on the text and cultivate independence.
  4. Emphasizing students supporting answers based upon evidence from the text.
  5. Providing extensive research and writing opportunities (claims and evidence).


Science and Engineering Practices
 (NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education, 2010)

  • Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering).
  • Developing and using models.
  • Planning and carrying out investigations.
  • Analyzing and interpreting data.
  • Using mathematics, information and computer technology, and computational thinking.
  • Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering).
  • Engaging in argument from evidence.
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.

 

English Language Development ELD Standards Special Notes Section:
Teachers are required to provide listening, speaking, reading and writing instruction that allows English language learners (ELL) to communicate information, ideas and concepts for academic success in the content area of Science. For the given level of English language proficiency and with visual, graphic, or interactive support, students will interact with grade level words, expressions, sentences and discourse to process or produce language necessary for academic success The ELD standard should specify a relevant content area concept or topic of study chosen by curriculum developers and teachers which maximizes an ELL's need for communication and social skills. To access an ELL supporting document which delineates performance definitions and descriptors, please click on the following link: http://www.cpalms.org/uploads/docs/standards/eld/SC.pdf

Additional Instructional Resources:
A.V.E. for Success Collection is provided by the Florida Association of School Administrators: http://www.fasa.net/4DCGI/cms/review.html?Action=CMS_Document&DocID=139. Please be aware that these resources have not been reviewed by CPALMS and there may be a charge for the use of some of them in this collection.

General Information

Course Number: 2001340
Abbreviated Title: ENV SCI
Number of Credits: One (1) credit
Course Length: Year (Y)
Course Type: Core Academic Course
Course Level: 2
Course Status: Course Approved
Grade Level(s): 9,10,11,12
Graduation Requirement: Equally Rigorous Science

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this course.

Original Student Tutorials

Linear Functions: Jobs:

Learn how to interpret key features of linear functions and translate between representations of linear functions through exploring jobs for teenagers in this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Exponential Functions Part 2: Growth:

Learn about exponential growth in the context of interest earned as money is put in a savings account by examining equations, graphs, and tables in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Exponential Functions Part 1:

Learn about exponential functions and how they are different from linear functions by examining real world situations, their graphs and their tables in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

How Viral Disease Spreads:

Learn how scientists measure viral spread and use this information to make recommendations for the public in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Evaluating Sources of Information:

Learn how to identify different sources of scientific claims and to evaluate their reliability in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Testing Scientific Claims:

Learn how to test scientific claims and judge competing hypotheses by understanding how they can be tested against one another in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Genes and Health:

Genetic mutations can cause illness. Learn how genetic diseases can affect you and your communities in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Genes and Environment:

Learn how the expression of genes is affected our environment, including lifestyle choices. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also explore how a combination of genes and environmental factors can impact the risk of multifactorial disease.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Biodiversity and Non-native Species:

See how non-native species can impact ecosystem biodiversity to create problems for native species in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Conditions for Natural Selection:

Explore three conditions required for natural selection and see how these conditions lead to allele frequency shifts in a population. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Phosphorus in the Everglades:

Learn how phosphorus pollution can lead to changes in the Everglades. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Pathogens and Disease:

Pathogens of all sorts can make us sick. Learn the whats, whys, and hows of the process in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Migration in the Kenyan Savannah:

Examine migration and factors affecting both population sizes and distributions of key species in the Kenyan savannah with this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Hallowed Words: Evaluating a Speaker's Effectiveness:

Examine the hallowed words of Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address." In this interactive tutorial you'll identify his point of view, reasoning, and evidence in order to evaluate his effectiveness as a speaker.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Interactions among Organisms: Kenya:

Explore examples of mutualism, competition, and predation in the Kenyan savannah ecosystem. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Ant Populations in the Kenyan Savannah:

Explore living and nonliving factors affecting populations of ants in Kenya and learn a bit about the importance of the acacia tree in this savannah ecosystem. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Untangling Food Webs:

Learn how living organisms can be organized into food webs and how energy is transferred through a food web from producers to consumers to decomposers. This interactive tutorial also includes interactive knowledge checks.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Methylmercury in the Everglades:

Explore the impact of methylmercury pollution in the Everglades wetland ecosystem.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Challenges to Public Health :

Learn to distinguish between public health issues and individual health issues in this interactive tutorial. 

This is part 1 of 4 in a series of tutorials addressing this standard.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Periphyton in the Everglades:

Explore species interdependence focusing on roles played by periphyton in the Everglades ecosystem with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Ecological Data Analysis:

See how data are interpreted to better understand the reproductive strategies taken by sea anemones with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Ecology Sampling Strategies:

Examine field sampling strategies used to gather data and avoid bias in ecology research. This interactive tutorial features the CPALMS Perspectives video Sampling Strategies for Ecology Research in the Intertidal Zone.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

A Study in Sustainability:

Learn how individual and societal choices affect sustainability and explore ways that you can reduce your impact on the environment with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Data and Frequencies:

Learn to define, calculate, and interpret marginal frequencies, joint frequencies, and conditional frequencies in the context of the data with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Sustainability:

Learn the definition of "sustainability" and understand how our throw away consumer lifestyle has affected the environment in a negative way. In this interactive tutorial, you'll explore possible solutions to prevent further harm to the environment.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Natural Selection:

Describe the conditions required for natural selection and tell how it can result in changes in species over time. In this interactive tutorial, follow Charles Darwin through a life of exploration, observation, and experimentation to see how he developed his ideas.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Earliest Beginnings :

Learn how to identify and describe the leading scientific explanations of the origin of life on Earth.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Changing with the Times: Variation within Ecosystems:

 Explore how environmental changes at different time scales affect living organisms within ecosystems.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Observation vs. Inference:

Learn how to identify explicit evidence and understand implicit meaning in a text and demonstrate how and why scientific inferences are drawn from scientific observation and be able to identify examples in biology.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Cool Case Files:

Learn that a scientific theory is the culmination of many experiments and supplies the most powerful explanation that scientists have to offer with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Population Interactions:

Explore population interactions and how those interactions can affect population size in this interactive tutorial. You'll also learn about competition, predation and symbiosis.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Defining Science:

Learn how to define what science is and what it is not. In this interactive tutorial, you will identify why certain ways of exploring the universe can and cannot be considered scientific practices.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Question Quest:

Learn to distinguish between questions that can be answered by science and questions that science cannot answer. This interactive tutorial will help you distinguish between science and other ways of knowing, including art, religion, and philosophy.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Impact of Biotechnology:

Learn how to identify and define types of biotechnology and consider the impacts of biotechnologies on the individual, society and the environment in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Educational Game

EvoDots - Software for Evolutionary Analysis:

The software application, which allows the students to simulate natural selection in a population of dots, goes along with a tutorial which is also at this site.

Type: Educational Game

Educational Software / Tool

Two Way Frequency Excel Spreadsheet:

This Excel spreadsheet allows the educator to input data into a two way frequency table and have the resulting relative frequency charts calculated automatically on the second sheet. This resource will assist the educator in checking student calculations on student-generated data quickly and easily.

Steps to add data: All data is input on the first spreadsheet; all tables are calculated on the second spreadsheet

  1. Modify column and row headings to match your data.
  2. Input joint frequency data.
  3. Click the second tab at the bottom of the window to see the automatic calculations.

Type: Educational Software / Tool

Lesson Plans

The Surprising World of Complex Systems:

This lesson introduces students to complex systems and to basic concepts from the field of system dynamics that lie at the heart of systems thinking. These concepts include stocks and flows, feedback loops, unintended consequences, and the basic principle that the behavior of complex systems can best be understood by looking at the system as a whole, and specifically by analyzing the system’s underlying structure. The lesson introduces these topics through an immersion in (and a role-play simulation of) the dynamics of urban recycling systems, many of which have been thrown into crisis in the past two years. Through this current-affairs example of complex systems in crisis, we identify some key structural features that help to explain how these systems behave over time. We also discover how well-intentioned action can cause negative unintended consequences when we try to intervene in a complex system without understanding how it operates.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Level Rise: The Ocean's Uplifting Experience:

The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the concept of sea level rise as it occurs through climate change by having them examine 3 specific parameters:  ice distribution, thermal expansion, and analyzing and interpreting data.  The lesson and activities within the lesson were designed using the three dimensions of the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards – specifically crosscutting concepts, science and engineering practices, and disciplinary core ideas. While there isn’t any required pre-requisite learning required for this lesson, a general understanding of sea-level rise, glaciers, and climate may be beneficial to students. During classroom breaks, pairs of students will develop/discuss their models, revise their interpretations of their models or data, and think-pair-share their thoughts on the investigation segments.

Type: Lesson Plan

Elasticity: Studying How Solids Change Shape and Size:

This lesson's primary focus is to introduce high school students to the concept of Elasticity, which is one of the fundamental concepts in the understanding of the physics of deformation in solids. The main learning objectives are: (1) To understand the essential concept of Elasticity and be able to distinguish simple solids objects based on degree and extent of their elastic properties; (2) To appreciate the utility of the elastic force vs. deformation curve through experiments; (3) To be aware of potential sources of error present in such experiments and identify corrective measures; and (4) To appreciate the relevance of Elasticity in practical applications.

Type: Lesson Plan

CO2: Find Out What It Means to You:

This BLOSSOMS lesson discusses Carbon Dioxide, and its impact on climate change. The main learning objective is for students to become more familiar with human production of Carbon Dioxide gas, as well as to gain an awareness of the potential for this gas to effect the temperature of Earth’s atmosphere. This lesson should take about an hour to complete. In order to complete the lesson, the teacher will need: printed copies of signs representing the different products and processes that take place in the carbon cycle (included), samples of matter that represent those products, handouts for the students to create a graphic of the carbon cycle (included) and graph paper or graphing software for students to create graphs. In the breaks of this BLOSSOMS lesson, students will be creating models of the carbon cycle as well as observing experiments and analyzing data from them. It is hoped that this lesson will familiarize students with ways in which carbon moves through our environment and provide them with some personal connection to the impact that an increased concentration of CO2 can have on air temperature. The goal is to spark their interest and hopefully to encourage them to ask and investigate more questions about the climate. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Perspectives Video: Experts

Jumping Robots and Quadratics:

Jump to it and learn more about how quadratic equations are used in robot navigation problem solving!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Mathematically Exploring the Wakulla Caves:

The tide is high!  How can we statistically prove there is a relationship between the tides on the Gulf Coast and in a fresh water spring 20 miles from each other?

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

MicroGravity Sensors & Statistics:

Statistical analysis played an essential role in using microgravity sensors to determine location of caves in Wakulla County.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

El Niño and La Niña:

Learn how the ocean pressures the climate into changing.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Biochemistry and Medicine:

Advances in "big data" are leading to rapid developments in personalized medicine. Learn more!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Everglades Invertebrate Biodiversity:

Pick up the pace and learn how snails fit into the Florida food web!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Protecting Wetland Habitats from the Negative Impacts of Roadways:

Roads are a great resource for humans, but what do they mean for fragile ecosystems? Find out in this video.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Measuring Biodiversity to Evaluate Human Impact:

Humans impact the environment in a number of ways. Learn more about how we interact with nature!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Observing Invertebrate Biodiversity with Live Rock:

This teaching activity rocks! Learn about aquatic ecosystems and hands-on learning!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

The Role of Mangroves in Coastal Ecosystems:

What lurks beneath the water's surface? Lots of creatures, big and small! Learn how mangroves grow in an unusual environment and support many other organisms both in and out of the water.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Oil Spills and Biodiversity:

Do you think you know oil there is to know about human impact on the environment? Let this biologist explain.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Physical Environment and Natural Selection:

This video is a natural selection for learning about evolution.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Oil Fingerprinting:

Humans aren't the only ones who get their fingerprints taken. Learn how this scientist is like a crime scene investigator using oil "fingerprints" to explain the orgins of spilled oil.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

On the Origin of Crude Oil:

An oil scientist explains how crude oil is formed and how it behaves in the environment.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Protect our Fisheries from Invasive Species:

Lionfish and other species are roaring past our native populations. Learn more.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Sea Turtle Conservation:

Watch as this scientist shines a light on a type of pollution that affects sea turtles.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Negative Impacts of Oil Spills:

Learn how the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution experts track oil-soaked sand patties on the Gulf Coast to monitor possible negative environmental impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Viticulture and Biotechnology:

A viticulture scientist explains grape expectations for medicine and society.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Presentation/Slideshows

What Killed the Dinosaurs?:

It is often difficult, sometimes impossible, to get a definitive answer to some of life's most enduring questions. Scientific processes provide alternative explanations for a wide variety of phenomena by piecing together all the available information. This interactive activity on the Evolution website explores four possible hypotheses to explain what caused the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, inviting the viewer to consider the evidence and come to their own decision.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow

Introduction to Infectious Diseases:

A PowerPoint with speaker notes covering infectious diseases, causes, transmission, and control.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow

Problem-Solving Tasks

Speed Trap:

The purpose of this task is to allow students to demonstrate an ability to construct boxplots and to use boxplots as the basis for comparing distributions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Musical Preferences:

This problem solving task asks students to make deductions about what kind of music students like by examining a table with data.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Haircut Costs:

This problem could be used as an introductory lesson to introduce group comparisons and to engage students in a question they may find amusing and interesting.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Random Walk III:

The task provides a context to calculate discrete probabilities and represent them on a bar graph.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

As the Wheel Turns:

In this task, students use trigonometric functions to model the movement of a point around a wheel and, through space. Students also interpret features of graphs in terms of the given real-world context.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Warming and Cooling:

This task is meant to be a straight-forward assessment task of graph reading and interpreting skills. This task helps reinforce the idea that when a variable represents time, t = 0 is chosen as an arbitrary point in time and positive times are interpreted as times that happen after that.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Throwing Baseballs:

This task could be used for assessment or for practice. It allows students to compare characteristics of two quadratic functions that are each represented differently, one as the graph of a quadratic function and one written out algebraically. Specifically, students are asked to determine which function has the greatest maximum and the greatest non-negative root.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Average Cost:

This task asks students to find the average, write an equation, find the domain, and create a graph of the cost of producing DVDs.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Telling a Story with Graphs:

In this task students are given graphs of quantities related to weather. The purpose of the task is to show that graphs are more than a collection of coordinate points; they can tell a story about the variables that are involved, and together they can paint a very complete picture of a situation, in this case the weather. Features in one graph, like maximum and minimum points, correspond to features in another graph. For example, on a rainy day, the solar radiation is very low, and the cumulative rainfall graph is increasing with a large slope.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Logistic Growth Model, Explicit Version:

This problem introduces a logistic growth model in the concrete settings of estimating the population of the U.S. The model gives a surprisingly accurate estimate and this should be contrasted with linear and exponential models.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Logistic Growth Model, Abstract Version:

This task is for instructional purposes only and students should already be familiar with some specific examples of logistic growth functions. The goal of this task is to have students appreciate how different constants influence the shape of a graph.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

How Is the Weather?:

This task can be used as a quick assessment to see if students can make sense of a graph in the context of a real world situation. Students also have to pay attention to the scale on the vertical axis to find the correct match. The first and third graphs look very similar at first glance, but the function values are very different since the scales on the vertical axes are very different. The task could also be used to generate a group discussion on interpreting functions given by graphs.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Sum of Even and Odd:

Students explore and manipulate expressions based on the following statement:

A function f defined for -a < x < a is even if f(-x)=f(x) and is odd if f(-x)=-f(x) when -a < x < a. In this task we assume f is defined on such an interval, which might be the full real line (i.e., a=8).

Type: Problem-Solving Task

The Canoe Trip, Variation 2:

The primary purpose of this task is to lead students to a numerical and graphical understanding of the behavior of a rational function near a vertical asymptote, in terms of the expression defining the function.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

The Canoe Trip, Variation 1:

The purpose of this task is to give students practice constructing functions that represent a quantity of interest in a context, and then interpreting features of the function in the light of the context. It can be used as either an assessment or a teaching task.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Text Resources

Carbon Cycle- Ocean Acidification:

This website contains units focused on Earth's systems and cycles, which illustrate a sequence for learning the concepts through reading, data analysis activities, satellite imagery, computer visualizations, and hands-on experiments. This unit focuses on the ocean carbon cycle.

Type: Text Resource

Risks of Genetic Engineering:

An online passage which addresses the Health and Environmental risks of genetic engineering.

Type: Text Resource

What you Need to Know about Energy:

This site from the National Academy of Sciences presents uses, sources, costs, and efficiency of energy.

Type: Text Resource

Tutorials

Embryonic Stem Cells:

This Khan Academy video describes what happens to a zygote as it becomes an embyro. It further explains what a stem cell is and discusses why there are questions concerning the use of stem cells.

Type: Tutorial

Natural Selection and the Owl Butterfly:

This Khan Academy tutorial explains how the owl butterfly might have evolved the spots on its wings through natural selection.

Type: Tutorial

DNA Fingerprinting:

This tutorial will help you to visualize how DNA fingerprinting uses the pattern of DNA fragments caused by specific enzymes to identify individual organisms including humans, animals, plants or any other organism with DNA.

Type: Tutorial

Virus:


This tutorial will help the student understand about viruses which are small infectious agents that replicate only inside the living cells of other organisms.

Type: Tutorial

Natural Selection:


Natural selection is a process through which a population can evolve for a specific environment. This tutorial will help the learner to understand how variation, heritability, adaptation, and selective pressure work together for natural selection to occur within a population.

Type: Tutorial

Survive Within a Niche:

This tutorial will help the learners to understand how animals survive in their habitat. In order to survive, the organisms must have adaptations that make them successful in the area where they live.

Type: Tutorial

Conserving Our Spectacular, Vulnerable Coral Reefs :

How do coral reef conservationists balance the environmental needs of the reefs with locals who need the reefs to survive? Joshua Drew draws on the islands of Fiji and their exemplary system of protection, called "connectivity", which also keep the needs of fishermen in mind.

Type: Tutorial

Not All Scientific Studies are Created Equal:

Every day, we are bombarded by attention grabbing headlines that promise miracle cures to all of our ailments -- often backed up by a "scientific study." But what are these studies, and how do we know if they are reliable? David H. Schwartz dissects two types of studies that scientists use, illuminating why you should always approach the claims with a critical eye.

Type: Tutorial

Dead Stuff: The Secret Ingredient in Our Food Chain:

When you picture the lowest levels of the food chain, you might imagine herbivores happily munching on lush, living green plants. But this idyllic image leaves out a huge (and slightly less appetizing) source of nourishment: dead stuff. John C. Moore details the "brown food chain," explaining how such unlikely delicacies as pond scum and animal feces contribute enormous amounts of energy to our ecosystems.

Type: Tutorial

What Causes Antibiotic Resistance?:

This short video describes the process of antibiotic resistance. Right now, you are inhabited by trillions of micro organisms. Many of these bacteria are harmless (or even helpful!), but there are a few strains of ‘super bacteria' that are pretty nasty -- and they're growing resistant to our antibiotics. Why is this happening? Kevin Wu details the evolution of this problem that presents a big challenge for the future of medicine.

Type: Tutorial

The Case of the Vanishing Honeybees:

In the past decade, the US honeybee population has been decreasing at an alarming and unprecedented rate. While this is obviously bad news for honeypots everywhere, bees also help feed us in a bigger way -- by pollinating our nation's crops. Emma Bryce investigates potential causes for this widespread colony collapse disorder.

Type: Tutorial

The Secret Life of Plankton:

This short video opens up the oceans' microscopic ecosystem, revealing its beauty and complexity. Footage from the Plankton Chronicles Project is used to create a video designed to ignite wonder and curiosity about this hidden world that underpins our own food chain.

Type: Tutorial

Population Demographic Lab:

This lab simulation allows you to use real demographic data, collected by the US Census Bureau, to analyze and make predictions centered around demographic trends. You will explore factors that impact the birth, death and immigration rate of a population and learn how the population transitions having taken place globally.

Type: Tutorial

Interactive Carbon Lab:

This lab simulation will allow you to explore how carbon circulates through the environment. Through data collection and analysis, you will experiment with the impact that humans are having on the cycling of carbon and make data based predictions on how these impacts may change environmental outcomes to the year 2100.

Type: Tutorial

Malaria: Human Host:


When a malaria-carrying mosquito bites a human host, the malaria parasite enters the bloodstream, multiplies in the liver cells, and is then released back into the bloodstream, where it infects and destroys red blood cells. This animation will help you to understand the process of malarial infection.

Type: Tutorial

Refraction of Light:

This resource explores the electromagnetic spectrum and waves by allowing the learner to observe the refraction of light as it passes from one medium to another, study the relation between refraction of light and the refractive index of the medium, select from a list of materials with different refractive indicecs, and change the light beam from white to monochromatic and observe the difference.

Type: Tutorial

Human Eye Accommodation:

  • Observe how the eye's muscles change the shape of the lens in accordance with the distance to the object being viewed
  • Indicate the parts of the eye that are responsible for vision
  • View how images are formed in the eye

Type: Tutorial

Concave Spherical Mirrors:

  • Learn how a concave spherical mirror generates an image
  • Observe how the size and position of the image changes with the object distance from the mirror
  • Learn the difference between a real image and a virtual image
  • Learn some applications of concave mirrors

Type: Tutorial

Convex Spherical Mirrors:

  • Learn how a convex mirror forms the image of an object
  • Understand why convex mirrors form small virtual images
  • Observe the change in size and position of the image with the change in object's distance from the mirror
  • Learn some practical applications of convex mirrors

Type: Tutorial

Color Temperature in a Virtual Radiator:

  • Observe the change of color of a black body radiator upon changes in temperature
  • Understand that at 0 Kelvin or Absolute Zero there is no molecular motion

Type: Tutorial

Solar Cell Operation:

This resource explains how a solar cell converts light energy into electrical energy. The user will also learn about the different components of the solar cell and observe the relationship between photon intensity and the amount of electrical energy produced.

Type: Tutorial

Electromagnetic Wave Propagation:

  • Observe that light is composed of oscillating electric and magnetic waves
  • Explore the propagation of an electromagnetic wave through its electric and magnetic field vectors
  • Observe the difference in propagation of light of different wavelengths

Type: Tutorial

Basic Electromagnetic Wave Properties:

  • Explore the relationship between wavelength, frequency, amplitude and energy of an electromagnetic wave
  • Compare the characteristics of waves of different wavelengths

Type: Tutorial

Geometrical Construction of Ray Diagrams:

  • Learn to trace the path of propagating light waves using geometrical optics
  • Observe the effect of changing parameters such as focal length, object dimensions and position on image properties
  • Learn the equations used in determining the size and locations of images formed by thin lenses

Type: Tutorial

Video/Audio/Animations

Will an Ice Cube Melt Faster in Freshwater or Saltwater?:

With an often unexpected outcome from a simple experiment, students can discover the factors that cause and influence thermohaline circulation in our oceans. In two 45-minute class periods, students complete activities where they observe the melting of ice cubes in saltwater and freshwater, using basic materials: clear plastic cups, ice cubes, water, salt, food coloring, and thermometers. There are no prerequisites for this lesson but it is helpful if students are familiar with the concepts of density and buoyancy as well as the salinity of seawater. It is also helpful if students understand that dissolving salt in water will lower the freezing point of water. There are additional follow up investigations that help students appreciate and understand the importance of the ocean's influence on Earth's climate.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Birds of Paradise: Competition among birds:

This video shows mating displays and courtship behavior of Birds of Paradise. These birds display bright colors and visually stunning behaviors during courtship. 

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

The Mosquito Life Cycle:


This video presentation will help you to visualize the life cycle of mosquito. It will also help in recognizing that in order to prevent mosquitoes from spreading diseases, its essential to understand their life cycle.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Inquiry and Ocean Exploration:

Ocean explorer Robert Ballard gives a TED Talk relating to the mysteries of the ocean, and the importance of its continued exploration.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Photosynthesis:

  • Observe the photosynthesis mechanism in the plant
  • Learn about the main chemical reactions that takes place during photosynthesis
  • Learn how solar energy is converted into chemical energy

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Science Crossword Puzzles:

A collection of crossword puzzles that test the knowledge of students about some of the terms, processes, and classifications covered in science topics

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Ocean Circulation:

This video discusses ocean circulation. First it explains what ocean currents are and what causes them. Then it explains other aspects of the global conveyor belt such as gyres and ocean-atmosphere interactions.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

27 Storms: Arlene to Zeta:

This video from NASA presents the 2005 hurricane season with actual data that NASA and NOAA satellites measured. Sea surface temperatures, clouds, storm tracks, and hurricane category labels are shown as the hurricane season progresses.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Introducing Green Chemistry: The Science of Solutions:

This lesson introduces students to Green Chemistry, the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and/or the generation of hazardous substances. Green chemistry is a proactive approach to pollution prevention that teaches chemists how to develop products and materials in a manner that does not use hazardous substances, thus avoiding much waste, hazards and associated costs. The goal of this lesson is to introduce students to the 12 Principles of Green Chemistry and how they relate to a chemical process. These principles provide a framework for scientists, engineers and chemistry students to use when designing new materials, products, processes, and systems. The Principles focus on sustainable design criteria and have proven to be the source of innovative solutions to a wide range of problems. Through this lesson, students will also use weight and measurement to understand the concept of a recipe as it is applied to a chemical process and think critically about that process and how it might be improved. Students will be asked to use a wasteful, inefficient procedure to make glue and be challenged to improve the procedure-during which they will unknowingly use the 12 Principles. Before starting this lesson, students should have been introduced to the periodic table and properties of matter. The estimated time for this lesson is 50-60 minutes. 

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Variation Is Essential: How Does Variation Within a Population Affect the Survival of a Species?:

This is a lesson about phenotypical variation within populations and how these differences are essential for biological evolution. Students will use a model organism (in this case, kidney beans) to explore variation patterns and subsequently connect these differences to artificial & natural selection. The NGSS’ CrossCutting Concepts and Science & Engineering Practices are embedded throughout the lesson.

The main learning objectives are:

  • Using a model (kidney beans) to explore the natural variations within a population.
  • Measuring differences between individuals in a population (population of beans).
  • Describing how genetic/phenotypic variation is a key part of biological evolution because it is a prerequisite for natural selection.
  • Demonstrating in which ways genetic variation is advantageous to a population because it enables some individuals to adapt to the environment while maintaining the survival of the population.

The NGSS Performance Expectations covered are HS-LS4-2. & HS-LS4-4.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Pocket Mouse Evolution:

This simulation shows the spread of a favorable mutation through a population of pocket mice. Even a small selective advantage can lead to a rapid evolution of the population.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Evolving Ideas: Isn't evolution just a theory?:

This video examines the vocabulary essential for understanding the nature of science and evolution and illustrates how evolution is a powerful, well-supported scientific explanation for the relatedness of all life. A clear definition and description of scientific theory is given.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Mount St. Helens: Rising From the Ashes :

In this NSF video and reading selection evolutionary biologist and ecologist John Bishop documents the return of living things to Mount St. Helens after the largest landslide in recorded history. This is a rare opportunity for scientists to get to study a devastated area and how it comes back from scratch in such detail.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Citizen Science:

In this National Science Foundation video and reading selection lab ecologist Janis Dickinson explains how she depends on citizen scientists to help her track the effects of disease, land-use change and environmental contaminants on the nesting success of birds.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Virtual Manipulatives

Gel electrophoresis Virtual Lab:

This virtual lab provides an excellent resource to show how biotechnology can be incorporated into an actual situation. The student will be walked through the gel electrophoresis process and then apply the results to solve a crime.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Slope Slider:

In this activity, students adjust slider bars which adjust the coefficients and constants of a linear function and examine how their changes affect the graph. The equation of the line can be in slope-intercept form or standard form. This activity allows students to explore linear equations, slopes, and y-intercepts and their visual representation on a graph. This activity includes supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the java applet.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Split Brain Experiments:

The split brain experiments revealed that the right and the left hemisphere in the brain are good at different things. For instance, the right hemisphere is good at space perception tasks and music while the left is good at verbal and analytic tasks. This game guides students through some examples of the split-brain phenomenon and how the differences are understood.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Graphing Lines:

Allows students access to a Cartesian Coordinate System where linear equations can be graphed and details of the line and the slope can be observed.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Box Plot:

In this activity, students use preset data or enter in their own data to be represented in a box plot. This activity allows students to explore single as well as side-by-side box plots of different data. This activity includes supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the Java applet.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Data Flyer:

Using this virtual manipulative, students are able to graph a function and a set of ordered pairs on the same coordinate plane. The constants, coefficients, and exponents can be adjusted using slider bars, so the student can explore the affect on the graph as the function parameters are changed. Students can also examine the deviation of the data from the function. This activity includes supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the java applet.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Normal Distribution Interactive Activity:

With this online tool, students adjust the standard deviation and sample size of a normal distribution to see how it will affect a histogram of that distribution. This activity allows students to explore the effect of changing the sample size in an experiment and the effect of changing the standard deviation of a normal distribution. Tabs at the top of the page provide access to supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the java applet.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Function Flyer:

In this online tool, students input a function to create a graph where the constants, coefficients, and exponents can be adjusted by slider bars. This tool allows students to explore graphs of functions and how adjusting the numbers in the function affect the graph. Using tabs at the top of the page you can also access supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the java applet.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Advanced Data Grapher:

This is an online graphing utility that can be used to create box plots, bubble graphs, scatterplots, histograms, and stem-and-leaf plots.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Natural Selection:

Students will explore natural selection by controlling the environment and causing mutations in bunnies. This will demonstrate how natural selection works in nature. They will have the opportunity to throw in different variables to see what will make their species of rabbit survive.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

The Greenhouse Effect:

The students will watch as gases become trapped by the Earth's surface. They can examine different variables and the relationship between concentration of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, and temperature.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Histogram Tool:

This virtual manipulative histogram tool can aid in analyzing the distribution of a dataset. It has 6 preset datasets and a function to add your own data for analysis.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Histogram:

In this activity, students can create and view a histogram using existing data sets or original data entered. Students can adjust the interval size using a slider bar, and they can also adjust the other scales on the graph. This activity allows students to explore histograms as a way to represent data as well as the concepts of mean, standard deviation, and scale. This activity includes supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the java applet.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Multi Bar Graph:

This activity allows the user to graph data sets in multiple bar graphs. The color, thickness, and scale of the graph are adjustable which may produce graphs that are misleading. Users may input their own data, or use or alter pre-made data sets. This activity includes supplemental materials, including background information about the topics covered, a description of how to use the application, and exploration questions for use with the java applet.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this course.