Principles of Technology 1   (#2003600)

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.

Literacy Standards in Science
Secondary science courses include reading standards for literacy in science and technical subjects 6-12 and writing standards for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects 6-12. The courses also include speaking and listening standards. For a complete list of standards required for this course click on the blue tile labeled course standards. You may also download the complete course including all required standards and notes sections using the export function located at the top of this page.

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

General Information

Course Number: 2003600
Course Path:
Abbreviated Title: PRINC TECH 1
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

Educator Certifications

One of these educator certification options is required to teach this course.

Student Resources

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

Original Student Tutorials

Turtles and Towns:

Explore the impacts on sea turtles, humans, and the economy when we live, work, and play at the beach with 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

The Year-Round School Debate: Identifying Faulty Reasoning — Part Two:

Practice identifying faulty reasoning in this two-part, interactive, English Language Arts tutorial. You'll learn what some experts say about year-round schools, what research has been conducted about their effectiveness, and how arguments can be made for and against year-round education. Then, you'll read a speech in favor of year-round schools and identify faulty reasoning within the argument, specifically the use of hasty generalizations. 

Make sure to complete Part One before Part Two! Click HERE to launch Part One.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Year-Round School Debate: Identifying Faulty Reasoning – Part One:

Learn to identify faulty reasoning in this two-part interactive English Language Arts tutorial. You'll learn what some experts say about year-round schools, what research has been conducted about their effectiveness, and how arguments can be made for and against year-round education. Then, you'll read a speech in favor of year-round schools and identify faulty reasoning within the argument, specifically the use of hasty generalizations. 

Make sure to complete both parts of this series! Click HERE to open Part Two. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Evaluating an Argument – Part Four: JFK’s Inaugural Address:

Examine President John F. Kennedy's inaugural address in this interactive tutorial. You will examine Kennedy's argument, main claim, smaller claims, reasons, and evidence.

In Part Four, you'll use what you've learned throughout this series to evaluate Kennedy's overall argument.

Make sure to complete the previous parts of this series before beginning Part 4.

  • Click HERE to launch Part One.
  • Click HERE to launch Part Two.
  • Click HERE to launch Part Three.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Evaluating an Argument – Part Three: JFK’s Inaugural Address:

Examine President John F. Kennedy's inaugural address in this interactive tutorial. You will examine Kennedy's argument, main claim, smaller claims, reasons, and evidence. By the end of this four-part series, you should be able to evaluate his overall argument. 

In Part Three, you will read more of Kennedy's speech and identify a smaller claim in this section of his speech. You will also evaluate this smaller claim's relevancy to the main claim and evaluate Kennedy's reasons and evidence. 

Make sure to complete all four parts of this series!

  • Click HERE to launch Part One.
  • Click HERE to launch Part Two.
  • Click HERE to launch Part Four.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

States of Matter: Phase Transitions:

Explore how heat changes the temperature or the state of matter of a material in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Heat Transfer Processes:

Explore the three types of heat transfer that occur in our world as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Ready for Takeoff! -- Part Two:

Want to learn about Amelia Earhart, one of the most famous female aviators of all time? If so, then this interactive tutorial is for YOU! This tutorial is Part Two of a two-part series. In this series, you will study a speech by Amelia Earhart. You will practice identifying the purpose of her speech and practice identifying her use of rhetorical appeals (ethos, logos, pathos, Kairos). You will also evaluate the effectiveness of Earhart's rhetorical choices based on the purpose of her speech.

Please complete Part One before beginning Part Two. Click HERE to view Part One.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Ready for Takeoff! -- Part One:

Want to learn about Amelia Earhart, one of the most famous female aviators of all time? If so, then this interactive tutorial is for YOU! This tutorial is Part One of a two-part series. In this series, you will study a speech by Amelia Earhart. You will practice identifying the purpose of her speech and practice identifying her use of rhetorical appeals (ethos, logos, pathos, Kairos). You will also evaluate the effectiveness of Earhart's rhetorical choices based on the purpose of her speech.  

Please complete Part Two after completing this tutorial. Click HERE to view Part Two.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Drones and Glaciers: Eyes in the Sky (Part 2 of 4):

Learn how to identify the central idea and key details of a text, as well as how to write an effective summary in this interactive tutorial. This tutorial is the second tutorial in a four-part series that examines how scientists are using drones to explore glaciers in Peru. 

This tutorial is part 1 of a four-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in this series.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Drones and Glaciers: Eyes in the Sky (Part 1 of 4):

Learn about how researchers are using drones, also called unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, to study glaciers in Peru. In this interactive tutorial you will practice citing text evidence when answering questions about a text.

This tutorial is part 1 of a four-part series. Click below to open the other tutorials in this series.

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

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

The Mystery of Muscle Cell Metabolism:

Explore the mystery of muscle cell metabolism and how cells are able to meet the need for a constant supply of energy. In this interactive tutorial, you'll identify the basic structure of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), explain how ATP’s structure is related it its job in the cell, and connect this role to energy transfers in living things.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Eliminating Exotics: Identifying and Assessing Research for Quality and Usefulness:

Explore the topic of invasive exotics in Florida while you learn to distinguish relevant from irrelevant information in research sources, identify authoritative sources from a group of varied resources, and dissect a research question in order to identify keywords for a search of resources. With this interactive tutorial, you'll also learn to use advanced search features to find appropriate sources to address a research question and assess the usefulness of sources when addressing a specific research question. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Comparing Mitosis and Meiosis:

Compare and contrast mitosis and meiosis in this interactive tutorial. You'll also relate them to the processes of sexual and asexual reproduction and their consequences for genetic variation.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Evolution: Examining the Evidence:

Learn how to identify explicit evidence and understand implicit meaning in a text.

You should be able to explain how different types of scientific evidence support the theory of evolution, including direct observation, fossils, DNA, biogeography, and comparative anatomy and embryology.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Scientific Laws and Theories:

Learn what scientific laws and scientific theories are and how they are different from what we commonly call laws and theories outside of science with this interactive tutorial.

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

Cancer: Mutated Cells Gone Wild!:

Explore the relationship between mutations, the cell cycle, and uncontrolled cell growth which may result in cancer with this interactive tutorial.

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

Diving the Depths of Underwater Life:

Learn how the distribution of aquatic life forms is affected by light, temperature, and salinity with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Climbing Around the Hominin Family Tree:

Learn to identify basic trends in the evolutionary history of humans, including walking upright, brain size, jaw size, and tool use in "Climbing Around the Hominin Family Tree" online tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Chemistry With a Conscience:

Explore green chemistry and what it means to be benign by design in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Educational Game

Stop Disasters Before They Happen:

Students attempt to save towns from damage prior to the arrival of several different natural disasters. Students will learn the importance of early prevention and actions to protect others, themselves and their property when faced with a natural disaster. Certain disasters are more appropriate for particular grade levels. Each scenario takes between 20 and 45 minutes to play, depending on the disaster for which your students are trying to prepare. There are five scenarios available, hurricane, tsunami, flood, earthquake, and wildfire. Each scenario can be played on easy, medium or hard difficulty levels. As with life, there are no "perfect solutions" to each scenario and no "perfect score", so students can play multiple times and the scenarios will still be slightly different.These simulation are part of a larger website that provides multiple links for natural disasters.

Type: Educational Game

Lesson Plans

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

Hanging by a Thread:

This lesson focuses on two elements: understanding Newton’s laws of motion, and how to use Newton’s laws to create force diagrams. This lesson also demonstrates how to incorporate requirements of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) into a physics lesson. It uses a discrepant event (phenomenon) to model forces at work on an object resulting in motion. 

Type: Lesson Plan

An Introduction to the Physics of Sailing:

The goal of this lesson is to explain how sailboats work by exploring basic physics principles. At the end of this lesson, students will be able to identify the forces acting on a sailboat and explain how the combination of these forces results in the forward motion of a sailboat. Students should be familiar with vectors and be able to use them to represent forces and moments, and also should be familiar with using free body diagrams to represent forces and moments. The classroom activity challenges are centered around small-group discussions based on the questions posed before each break. Free body diagrams, or another conceptual representation of his or her answer, should support each student’s solution to the questions posed in the video.

Type: Lesson Plan

Perspectives Video: Experts

Pendulums and Energy Transformations:

Explore how pendulums show the transformation of gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy and back with Dr. Simon Capstick in this engaging video. Don't miss his broken-nose defying test of the physics with a bowling ball pendulum.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Electromagnetic Robot Muscles:

Dr. Oates uses engineering practices to design artificial muscles that react to electrostatic fields.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Properties and Structures of Subatomic Particles:

Do you know everything about protons? Are you positive?

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

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiasts

Resistivity in Wires:

An engineer that has previously worked on the F-22 Raptor explains how resistivity in wires plays a role in the development of a large machine.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Boat Propellers:

We'll be looking at the role of pitch, number of blades and material for outboard motor props as it relates to the propulsion of a boat

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Unit Conversions:

Get fired up as you learn more about ceramic glaze recipes and mathematical units.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Forces and Power in Flint Knapping:

Sharpen your knowledge by understanding the forces used to make stone tools.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Current, Voltage, Resistance, and Superconductivity:

Physics is cool, especially if you want to make super-cold, super-efficient, superconductive materials.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

See the Four States of Matter in Welding!:

A welder wields a plasma torch to cut solid metal like a hot knife through butter. It's one-stop shopping to see all four states of matter.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Oceans and Energy Transfer:

Dive deep into science as an oceanographer describes conduction, convection, and radiation and their relationship to oceanic systems.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Blacksmithing and Heat Transfer:

Forge a new understanding of metallurgy and heat transfer by learning how this blacksmith and collier make nails.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Managing Waste Disposal with Landfills and Recycling:

Landfills have a come a long way! Explore modern techniques for managing our environmental impact through responsible waste disposal.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Presentation/Slideshow

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

Problem-Solving Tasks

Weed Killer:

The principal purpose of the task is to explore a real-world application problem with algebra, working with units and maintaining reasonable levels of accuracy throughout. Students are asked to determine which product will be the most economical to meet the requirements given in the problem.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Dinosaur Bones:

The purpose of this task is to illustrate through an absurd example the fact that in real life quantities are reported to a certain level of accuracy, and it does not make sense to treat them as having greater accuracy.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Bus and Car:

This task operates at two levels. In part it is a simple exploration of the relationship between speed, distance, and time. Part (c) requires understanding of the idea of average speed, and gives an opportunity to address the common confusion between average speed and the average of the speeds for the two segments of the trip.

At a higher level, the task addresses MAFS.912.N-Q.1.3, since realistically neither the car nor the bus is going to travel at exactly the same speed from beginning to end of each segment; there is time traveling through traffic in cities, and even on the autobahn the speed is not constant. Thus students must make judgments about the level of accuracy with which to report the result.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Accuracy of Carbon 14 Dating I:

This task examines, from a mathematical and statistical point of view, how scientists measure the age of organic materials by measuring the ratio of Carbon 14 to Carbon 12. The focus here is on the statistical nature of such dating.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Accuracy of Carbon 14 Dating II:

This task examines, from a mathematical and statistical point of view, how scientists measure the age of organic materials by measuring the ratio of Carbon 14 to Carbon 12. The focus here is on the statistical nature of such dating.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Fuel Efficiency:

The problem requires students to not only convert miles to kilometers and gallons to liters but they also have to deal with the added complication of finding the reciprocal at some point.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

How Much Is a Penny Worth?:

This task asks students to calculate the cost of materials to make a penny, utilizing rates of grams of copper.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Runner's World:

Students are asked to use units to determine if the given statement is valid.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Harvesting the Fields:

This is a challenging task, suitable for extended work, and reaching into a deep understanding of units. Students are given a scenario and asked to determine the number of people required to complete the amount of work in the time described. The task requires students to exhibit MAFS.K12.MP.1.1, Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. An algebraic solution is possible but complicated; a numerical solution is both simpler and more sophisticated, requiring skilled use of units and quantitative reasoning. Thus the task aligns with either MAFS.912.A-CED.1.1 or MAFS.912.N-Q.1.1, depending on the approach.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Traffic Jam:

This resource poses the question, "how many vehicles might be involved in a traffic jam 12 miles long?"

This task, while involving relatively simple arithmetic, promps students to practice modeling (MP4), work with units and conversion (N-Q.1), and develop a new unit (N-Q.2). Students will also consider the appropriate level of accuracy to use in their conclusions (N-Q.3).

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Selling Fuel Oil at a Loss:

The task is a modeling problem which ties in to financial decisions faced routinely by businesses, namely the balance between maintaining inventory and raising short-term capital for investment or re-investment in developing the business.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Felicia's Drive:

This task provides students the opportunity to make use of units to find the gas needed (MAFS.912.N-Q.1.1). It also requires them to make some sensible approximations (e.g., 2.92 gallons is not a good answer to part (a)) and to recognize that Felicia's situation requires her to round up. Various answers to (a) are possible, depending on how much students think is a safe amount for Felicia to have left in the tank when she arrives at the gas station. The key point is for them to explain their choices. This task provides an opportunity for students to practice MAFS.K12.MP.2.1: Reason abstractly and quantitatively, and MAFS.K12.MP.3.1: Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Calories in a Sports Drink:

This problem involves the meaning of numbers found on labels. When the level of accuracy is not given we need to make assumptions based on how the information is reported. An unexpected surprise awaits in this case, however, as no reasonable interpretation of the level of accuracy makes sense of the information reported on the bottles in parts (b) and (c). Either a miscalculation has been made or the numbers have been rounded in a very odd way.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Text Resources

Risks of Genetic Engineering:

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

Type: Text Resource

Beginner's Guide to Aerodynamics:

NASA's "Beginner's Guide to Aerodynamics" provides some general information on the basics of aerodynamics. The site allows users to explore at their own pace and level of interest. The topics available include equations of motion, free falling, air resistance, force, gas properties, and atmosphere. Movies, reading materials, and activities are all available to accommodate a variety of different learning styles.

Type: Text Resource

Magnetism:

This site presents the basic ideas of magnetism and applies these ideas to the earth's magnetic field. There are several useful diagrams and pictures interspersed throughout this lesson, as well as links to more detailed subjects. This is an introduction to a larger collection on exploring the Earth's magnetosphere. A Spanish translation is available.

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

Gravitational Forces: Brick vs. Feather:

Would a brick or feather fall faster? What would fall faster on the moon?

Would a brick or feather fall faster?: What would fall faster on the moon?

Type: Tutorial

Projectile at an angle:

This video discusses how to figure out the horizontal displacement for a projectile launched at an angle.

Type: Tutorial

Ice Accelerating Down an Incline:

This video tutorial from the Khan Academy explains how to calculate the acceleration of ice down a plane made of ice.

Type: Tutorial

Inclined plane force components:

This video tutorial shows how to figure out the components of force due to gravity that are parallel and perpendicular to the surface of an inclined plane.

Type: Tutorial

Projectile Motion:

This tutorial is about projectile motion. This powerpoint lecture discusses the independence of the vertical and horizontal motion of projectiles. Students will be asked to solve problems involving projectile motion of both projectiles fired horizontally and at an angle. This tutorial is geared for advanced students.

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

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

Forces:

This tutorial provides the learners with detailed information about forces. Topics covered include Newton's Laws, friction, gravity, balanced and unbalanced forces, vectors, weight, motion and momentum.

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

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

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

Element Math Game:

Students determine the number of protons, electrons, neutrons, and nucleons for different atoms

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

Circuit Construction Kit (AC + DC):

Learn how to build a circuit
Show the difference between AC and DC
Describe the effect of an inductor on a circuit
Describe the effect of a capacitor on a circuit
Learn how to use an ammeter and a voltmeter in a circuit

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Conductivity:

  • Identify the driving force in a circuit using a battery model
  • Explain the difference between conductive (metals and photoconductors) and non-conductive (plastics) materials

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Science of the Olympic Winter Games - Aerial Physics:

A 4-minute video in which an Olympic freestyle skier and a physicist discuss the physics behind freestyle skiing.

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

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

Newton's three laws of motion:

This website has a short biography about Sir Isaac Newton. It also reviews his three laws of motion with examples, and ends with a short quiz.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Collision lab:

Learn more about collisions with the use of a virtual air hockey table. Investigate simple and complex collisions in one and two dimensions.Experiment with the number of discs, masses and initial conditions. Vary the elasticity and see how the total momentum and kinetic energy changes during collisions.

Some of the sample learning goals can be:

  • Draw "Before and After" pictures of collisions.
  • Construct momentum vector representations of "Before and After" collisions.
  • Apply law of conservation of momentum to solve problems with collisions.
  • Explain why energy is not conserved and varies in some collisions.
  • Determine the change in mechanical energy in collisions of varying "elasticity".
  • What does "elasticity" mean?

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Build an Atom:

Build an atom out of protons, neutrons, and electrons, and see how the element, charge, and mass change. Then play a game to test your ideas!

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

Virtual Construction Kit (DC only):

Learn how to build a circuit

Learn how to measure voltage in a circuit using a voltmeter

Determine the resistance of certain objects that can be used as part of an electric circuit

Explain the difference between parallel and series circuits

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Charges and Fields:


This virtual manipulative will allow the students to understand that the electric field is the region where the force on one charge is caused by the presence of another charge. The students will recognize the equipotential lines that exist between the charged regions.
Some of the sample learning goals can be:

  • Determine the variables that affect how charged bodies interact.
  • Predict how charged bodies will interact.
  • Describe the strength and direction of the electric field around a charged body.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Ohm's Law:


This virtual manipulative will allow the user to see how the equation form of ohm's law relates to a simple circuit. Learners can adjust the voltage and resistance, and see the current change according to Ohm's law. The size of the symbols in the equation change to match the circuit diagram.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

The Moving Man:

This virtual manipulative will the students learn about position, velocity and acceleration. Acceleration is the derivative of velocity with respect to time and the velocity is the derivative of position with respect to time. With the elimination of time, the relationship between the acceleration, velocity and position can be represented as x = v2 / 2a. In the stimulation, students will be able to move the man back and forth with the mouse and plot his motion.
Some of the sample learning goals can be:

  • Interpret, predict and draw charts (position, velocity, and acceleration) for common situations.
  • Provide reasoning used to make sense of the charts.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Capacitor Lab:

Explore how a capacitor works in this simulation. Change the plates and add a dielectric to see how it affects capacitance. Change the voltage and see charges built up on the plates. You can observe the electric field in the capacitor, measure voltage and the electric field.

Other investigations can include:

  • Determine the relationship between charge and voltage for a capacitor.
  • Determine the energy stored in a capacitor or a set of capacitors in a circuit.
  • Explore the effect of space and dielectric materials inserted between the conductors of the capacitor in a circuit.
  • Determine the equivalent capacitance of a set of capacitors in series and in parallel in a circuit.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Resistance in a Wire:


This manipulative will help the students to learn about the physics of resistance in a wire. The electrical resistance of a wire would be expected to be greater for a longer wire, less for a wire of larger cross sectional area, and would be expected to depend upon the material out of which the wire is made, to understand this, students can change the resistivity, length, and area to see how they affect the wire's resistance. The sizes of the symbols in the equation change along with the diagram of a wire.
Some of the sample learning goals can be:

  • What characteristics of a resistor are variable in this model?
  • How does each affect the resistance (will increasing or decreasing each make the resistance correspondingly increase or decrease?)
  • Explain your ideas about why they change the resistance.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Gravity Force Lab:

This virtual manipulative will allow you to visualize the gravitational force that two objects exert on each other. By changing the properties of the objects, you can see how the gravitational force changes.
Some areas to explore:

  • Relate gravitational force to masses of objects and distance between objects.
  • Explain Newton's third law for gravitational forces.
  • Design experiments that allow you to derive an equation that related mass, distance, and gravitational force.
  • Use measurements to determine the universal gravitational constant.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Pendulum Lab:


Play with one or two pendulums and discover how the period of a simple pendulum depends on the length of the string, the mass of the pendulum bob, and the amplitude of the swing. It's easy to measure the period using the photogate timer. Students can vary friction and the strength of gravity.

  • Design experiments to describe how variables affect the motion of a pendulum
  • Use a photogate timer to determine quantitatively how the period of a pendulum depends on the variables you described
  • Determine the gravitational acceleration of planet X
  • Explain the conservation of Mechanical energy concept using kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy
  • Describe energy chart from position or selected speeds

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Gas Properties:


Students will pump gas molecules to a box and see what happens as they change the volume, add or remove heat, change gravity, and more. Measure the temperature and pressure, and discover how the properties of the gas vary in relation to each other.

  • Students can predict how changing a variable among pressure, volume, temperature and number influences other gas properties.
  • Students can predict how changing temperature will affect the speed of molecules.
  • Students can rank the speed of molecules in thermal equilibrium based on the relative masses of molecules.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Circuit Construction kit:

An electronic kit in your computer! Build circuits with resistors, light bulbs, batteries, and switches. Take measurements with the realistic ammeter and voltmeter. View the circuit as a schematic diagram, or switch to a life-like view.

Other options for exploration:

  • Discuss basic electricity relationships
  • Build circuits from schematic drawings.
  • Use an ammeter and voltmeter to take readings in circuits.
  • Provide reasoning to explain the measurements and relationship in circuits.
  • Discuss basic electricity relationships in series and parallel circuits.
  • Provide reasoning to explain the measurements in circuits.
  • Determine the resistance of common objects in the "Grab Bag".

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Under Pressure:

Explore pressure under and above water. See how pressure changes as one change fluids, gravity, container shapes, and volume.
With this simulation you can:

  • Investigate how pressure changes in air and water.
  • Discover how to change pressure.
  • Predict pressure in a variety of situations.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Ramp: Forces and Motion:

This simulation allows you to explore forces and motion as you push household objects up and down a ramp. Observe how the angle of inclination affects the parallel forces. Graphical representation of forces, energy and work makes it easier to understand the concept.

Some of the learning goals can be:

  • Predict, qualitatively, how an external force will affect the speed and direction of an object's motion.
  • Explain the effects with the help of a free body diagram
  • Use free body diagrams to draw position, velocity, acceleration and force graphs and vice versa.
  • Explain how the graphs relate to one another.
  • Given a scenario or a graph, sketch all four graphs.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Motion in 2D:

The students will drag a red point across the screen in any direction they please and, in the process, will be able to see the forces that are being put on that point at any given moment.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Maze Game:

The students will try to move a red ball into a blue goal without touching the walls. They will have fun competing amongst themselves to get the best time but at the same time they will also be learning about vectors, velocity, and acceleration.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Projectile Motion:

This simulation demonstrates the physics of projectile motion. The user can fire different objects through a cannon, set its speed, angle and mass and observe the resultant motion.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Balloons and Static Electricity:

The students will rub a balloon on a sweater and see how charges are exchanged between the two objects. With these changes they will see their interactions.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Circuit Construction Kit:

The students will have the opportunity to build their own circuit loop with the materials presented to them.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

States of Matter:

Watch different types of molecules form a solid, liquid, or gas. Add or remove heat and watch the phase change. Change the temperature or volume of a container and see a pressure-temperature diagram respond in real time.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Potential/Kinetic Energy Simulation:

Learn about conservation of energy with a skater! Build tracks, ramps and jumps for the skater and view the kinetic energy, potential energy, thermal energy as he moves. You can adjust the amount of friction and mass. Measurement and graphing tools are built in.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Parent Resources

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