M/J Comprehensive Science 3   (#2002100)

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 middle school level, all students should have multiple opportunities every week to explore science laboratory investigations (labs). School laboratory investigations 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 middle 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 (NRC 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.


Additional content that may be included in the Grade 8 NAEP Science assessment includes:

  • Rocks and rock formations bear evidence of the minerals, materials, temperature/pressure conditions, and forces that created them. (SC.4.E.6.1 and SC.4.E.6.2)
  • Earth as a whole has a magnetic field that is detectable at the surface with a compass, with north and south poles and lines of force. (SC.912.P.10.16)
  • The Sun is the major source of energy for phenomena on Earth's surface. (SC.3.L.17.2; SC.3.E.5.2; SC.3.E.6.1; SC.4.P.10.4; SC.4.L.17.2)
  • Water, which covers the majority of Earth's surface, circulates through the crust, oceans, and atmosphere in what is known as the water cycle. (SC.5.E.7.1; SC.5.E.7.2; SC.5.E.7.6)
  • A tiny fraction of the light energy from the Sun is Earth's primary source of energy, heating Earth surfaces and providing the energy that results in wind, ocean currents, and storms. (SC.2.E.7.2; SC.3.E.6.1)
  • Following fertilization, cell division produces a small cluster of cells that then differentiate by appearance and function to form the basic tissues of an embryo. (SC.912.L.16.13)
  • Characteristics of organisms are influenced by heredity and environment. (SC.4.L.16.2 and SC.4.L.16.3)
  • Nuclear reactions take place in the Sun. (SC.912.P.10.10; SC.912.P.10.11)

The NAEP frameworks for Science may be accessed at http://www.nagb.org/publications/frameworks/science-09.pdf.

Florida’s Benchmarks for Excellent Student Thinking (B.E.S.T.) Standards
This course includes Florida’s B.E.S.T. ELA Expectations (EE) and Mathematical Thinking and Reasoning Standards (MTRs) for students. Florida educators should intentionally embed these standards within the content and their instruction as applicable. For guidance on the implementation of the EEs and MTRs, please visit https://www.cpalms.org/Standards/BEST_Standards.aspx and select the appropriate B.E.S.T. Standards package.

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: http://www.fasa.net/4DCGI/cms/review.html?Action=CMS_Document&DocID=139

General Information

Course Number: 2002100
Course Path:
Abbreviated Title: M/J COMP SCI 3
Course Length: Year (Y)
Course Attributes:
  • Class Size Core Required
Course Level: 2
Course Status: Draft - Course Pending Approval
Grade Level(s): 6,7,8

Student Resources

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

Original Student Tutorials

It All Makes Cents! The Two Rs in Science Research: Repetition and Replication :

Learn the importance of replication and repetition in science as you investigate the composition of a penny with this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Science Innovation: Using Tools in New Ways to Make Discoveries:

Learn how innovation is important in moving scientific thinking forward with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Connections Between Science and Society, Economy, and Politics:

Explore the interconnected world of science, society, economy, and politics and how they all influence one another with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Scientific Theories Can Change:

Learn about scientific theories and how they can change when new information is presented with this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Math Models and Social Distancing:

Learn how math models can show why social distancing during a epidemic or pandemic is important in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Vast Universe:

The universe is so big it is hard to even imagine! Consider the vastness of space with this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Atom Part 2: The History of the Atom:

Follow the story of how the model of the atom has changed over time in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Atom Part 1: Big Things Come in Small Packages:

Explore atoms--the smallest unit of matter--and how they are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Voyage Across the Universe:

Learn about the variety and amazing features of our universe in this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Think Like a Scientist:

Learn about the tools of science as we look at the mystery of bird migrations in this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Goldilocks and the Three...Planets?:

Compare conditions on Venus, Earth, and Mars, and learn why Earth is an ideal place for life in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Is It Science or Pseudoscience?:

Learn the differences between science and pseudoscience in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Using Science to Make Informed Decisions:

Learn how science can help us make informed decisions that improve our lives as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Tides:

Explore the causes of tides as they occur along the coasts around the world in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Solar and Lunar Eclipses:

Explore and contrast solar and lunar eclipses in this interactive tutorial. By the end, you'll learn how interactions between the Sun, Earth, and moon cause these cool phenomena. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Technology is Essential in Science:

Technology is essential to scientific knowledge. In this interactive tutorial, you will learn how technology has helped us make scientific discoveries throughout history. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Hunt for Exoplanets:

Learn how science relies on creative and innovative thinking as we explore the science of discovering exoplanets in this interactive tutorial. Science is a problem solving endeavor as we try and figure out and learn new things. The answers are hard to find, but if we keep asking questions and building on what we know, then we can solve problems to things we once were thought were impossible!

 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Stop the Zombie Virus by Interpreting Graphs:

Help scientists find the most effective vaccine for Zombie Virus vaccine by effectively analyzing and summarizing experimental data. In this interactive tutorial, you'll write a scientific question, a claim, supporting evidence and an explanation of what happened during the experiment.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Science Research: Developing a Hypothesis:

Learn how to write an effective hypothesis with sharks as a focus in this interactive tutorial. A hypothesis should be testable and falsifiable. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Exploring the Periodic Table, Part 2: Groups:

Explore the organization of elements into groups on the periodic table and what the group location indicates about an element's atomic structure. 

This is part 2 of 2 in a series of tutorials on the periodic table. Click below to open part 1.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Exploring the Periodic Table Part 1: Periods:

Explore the organization of elements on the Periodic Table and pay special attention to energy levels of elements that share periods in this interactive tutorial.

This is part 1 of 2 in a series of tutorials on the periodic table. Click below to open part 2.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Science Research: Writing a Conclusion:

Learn how to write a valid conclusion from a scientific investigation. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also learn how to answer questions using scientific reasoning. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Energy and Cellular Respiration:

Learn how food is broken down to produce energy for cells in the in the form of ATP in this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Star Properties:

Discover how scientists classify stars according to their brightness, temperature, color, and size in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Challenges of Space Travel:

Explore the challenges related to space travel in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Law of Universal Gravitation:

Learn about Isaac Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation. This law helps calculate the force of gravity dependent on the mass of the objects and the distance between them. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Scientist's Next Top Model:

Come with me as we select Scientist's Next Top Model! When does an abstract idea become a real scientific model? When the model appears in scientific journals and textbooks all over the world. Before a model can grace the cover of these high profile, peer reviewed journals and textbooks it must go through a rigorous process. How does a model go from an idea to a scientific model? What took me 2000 years I am going to make happen for one lucky model in just 15 short minutes!

Competition is tough and each model will have to showcase why they are able to represent themselves as Scientist’s Next Top Model.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Universe:

Explore the universe and identify key facts about galaxies and stars, how scientists learn about the universe, and contemplate the massive size of the universe. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Characteristics of the Electromagnetic Spectrum:

Examine the electromagnetic spectrum and characteristics associated with different portions of the spectrum in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Sunny With a Side of Photons: How to Build a Sun:

Explore the Sun and how energy goes from the Sun's core to our Earth in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Mixtures and Pure Substances:

Learn the difference between pure elements, pure compounds, mixtures and solutions in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Cooking with Chef Ragu: Acids, Bases, and Salts:

Join Chef Ragu as he learns about acids, bases, and salts while he cooks up something special. In this interactive tutorial you will compare and classify the properties of compounds that are acids, bases, and salts and identify basic examples of these compounds.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Hot on the Trail:

Investigate how temperature affects the rate of chemical reactions in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Classifying and Comparing Physical Properties:

Learn to identify physical properties, compare and contrast substances based on their physical properties. In this interactive tutorial, you'll focus on density and determine whether physical properties have the ability to change.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Mass and Weight: What's the Difference?:

Differentiate between weight and mass, recognizing that weight is the amount of gravitational pull on an object and is distinct though proportional to mass. In this interactive tutorial you'll help a curious chicken learn more about this important topic.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Knights of the Round and Round Table-The Carbon Cycle:

Follow our quest to learn how the element carbon is cycled on Earth with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Atoms Make Up Everything:

Learn to demonstrate that there are a finite number of elements that combine to form all existing compounds, whether living or non-living, and in any state of matter.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Measuring Amounts of "Stuff": Exploring Density:

Learn to find the density (how many g/cm3) of three different objects, and explain what that number means.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Center Stage: Models of the Solar System:

Compare and contrast the heliocentric and geocentric models of the Solar System in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Conservation of Mass and Energy in Living Systems:

Learn how to identify explicit evidence and understand implicit meaning in a text. You should be able to describe how matter and energy are continuously transferred within and between organisms and their physical environment; and cite evidence that living systems follow the Laws of Conservation of Mass and Energy.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Conservation of Mass:

Understand and demonstrate that mass is conserved when substances undergo physical and chemical changes in a closed system.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Photosynthesis:

Learn about the process of photosynthesis and ways that plants convert energy from the sun into glucose with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Your Ice Cream Is Moving:

Learn to sequence a series of diagrams to create a model of a substance transitioning from a solid state to a liquid state in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Physical and Chemical Changes:

Learn to distinguish a physical change from a chemical change 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

Image/Photographs

View the Earth from a Satellite:

Choose a satellite to see the current view of Earth from that satellite.

Type: Image/Photograph

Hubble Satellite Telescope ePhoto Gallery:

This site offers images captured by Hubble, a telescope that orbits Earth! You will find images of planets, stars, galaxies, moons, nebulae, and more.

Type: Image/Photograph

Perspectives Video: Experts

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

Technology and Oceanography:

Some places on Earth can be quite remote, like the depths of the ocean. Get there with technology.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiasts

Properties of Materials:

This discussion about the physical properties of flamenco guitars is full of good vibes.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

How Material Properties affect Audio Recordings:

Want a clean sound in your recording? Oxidation will test your mettle. Make sure you choose the right material for the job.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Presentation/Slideshow

What is Science?:

Resource provides a succinct overview of the nature of science; what science is and is not. Information includes the aims of scientific pursuits, principles, process and thinking.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow

Text Resources

Why Isn't Pluto A Planet?:

This Frequently Asked Question page can be used by educators and students as a scientific resource to answer the question, "Why isn't Pluto a planet?". From the International Astronomical Union, the definitive answer from the governing body that classified Pluto as a dwarf planet.

Type: Text Resource

American Elements:

This web site features an interactive periodic chart that provides information on the elements, including a description, physical and thermal properties, abundance, isotopes, ionization energy, the element's discoverer, translations of element names into several languages, and bibliographic information on research-and-development publications involving the element. Additional information includes technical information and information on manufactured products for elemental metals, metallic compounds, and ceramic and crystalline products. The American Elements company manufactures engineered and advanced material products.

Type: Text Resource

Tutorials

How the Earth's Tilt Causes Seasons:

This tutorial discusses how the Earth's tilt causes the different seasons. The tutorial supports student learning with visual representations of how the tilt of the Earth as it orbits the Sun influences the seasons in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Type: Tutorial

Seasons and Temperatures:

Spring, summer, fall and winter. Many places on the Earth have seasons. Others do not. What causes the seasons? This tutorial discusses seasonal changes and describes that they are caused by the movement of the Earth around the sun, the tilt of the Earth, and how high the sun will get in the sky.

Type: Tutorial

Properties of the Solar System:

This website contains numerous interesting facts, images and activities intended to support greater understanding of properties of our solar system.

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

Creating New Tools for Exploration:

In this video, new observation technologies are presented. National Geographic is developing and using these technologies to better capture the world.

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

Billion-Pixel View of Mars from Curiosity Rover:

  • This interactive tool contains views of Mars taken from Curiosity Rover
  • Students get to observe the a close view of the surface of Mars
  • Snap shots of different things identified on the surface are also displayed

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Supermodels of Science:

This game aims at showing the use of model organisms in behavioral studies and in detecting the causes of certain diseases

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

What is a Planet?:

This video provides a historical background about the definition of a planet and how different objects discovered in space were classified as planets or fir into a different category

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Mars Science Laboratory-Curiosity Rover-Mission Animation:

This animation depicts key events of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, which launched in late 2011 and landed a rover, Curiosity, on Mars in August 2012.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Element Word Scramble:

Students test their knowledge about the names of elements and learn some of their properties through the hint provided with each scrambled word

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Element Math Game:

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

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Element Matching Game:

Students match the names of elements of the periodic table with their symbols

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Element Flash Cards:

This game tests students' knowledge about elements, such as their symbols, atomic numbers, and names

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

Concentration:

  • Explain the concept of concentration
  • Explain the effect of concentration changes on colors of solutions
  • Demonstrate the effect of changing the amount of solute, or solvent, or both on the concentration of the solution
  • Identify a saturated solution

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

Solar Eclipses:

Every now and then, the Sun, Earth, and Moon align so that, when viewed from parts of the Earth, the Moon eclipses the Sun's light. Solar eclipses are fairly common -- the Moon will block out some portion of the Sun at least twice a year. However, it is still a special event to be able to witness a total solar eclipse. In this video segment adapted from NASA, learn how solar eclipses happen and why they are so difficult to witness.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Jupiter: Earth's Shield:

More than 155 planets have been found outside of our solar system since the first extra-solar planet was identified in 1995. The search has long been heavily biased towards finding massive planets with short orbits. Now, to find an Earth-like planet, scientists are looking for a planetary setup that is similar to our own, in which a Jupiter-like planet lies a good distance away from its sun. This video segment adapted from NOVA explores how the arrangement of planets in our solar system may have affected the development of life on Earth.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Photosynthesis:

This 2-1/2 minute video segment from Interactive NOVA: "Earth" explores the history of plant biology. The video takes the viewer from the earliest scientific hypotheses that plants "eat" dirt, to our present-day understanding of photosynthesis, the process by which plants use the sun's energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates, a storable form of chemical energy.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Solar Wind's Effect on Earth:

The Sun produces a solar wind — a continuous flow of charged particles — that can affect us on Earth. It can, for example, disrupt communications, navigation systems, and satellites. Solar activity can also cause power outages, such as the extensive Canadian blackout in 1989. In this video segment adapted from NASA, learn about solar storms and their effects on Earth.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Eclipse of the Century:

In July 1991, the alignment of the Sun, Moon, and Earth produced a rare opportunity — a total solar eclipse with a particularly long duration and a path that crossed easily accessible locations, including a major astronomical observatory in Hawaii. In this video segment adapted from NOVA, learn about the mechanics of solar eclipses and observe the rare 1991 eclipse from the top of Mauna Kea.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Space School Musical:

Join teenager Hannah on a trip through the solar system in this "hip-hopera" that uses song and dance to introduce the planets, moons, asteroids and more. Download the lyrics for students to learn and perform or just play the videos in class.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Distances Between the Planets Animation:

This animation simulates a voyage from the sun past all nine planets. For convenience, the planets are lined up in the same direction. The animation shows each planet's average distance from the sun.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Virtual Manipulatives

Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram Virtual Lab:

This interactive lab explores the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram in areas of spectrum, classification, luminosity, and temperature. The simulator plots stars according to the areas you chose to explore.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Photosynthesis: "Putting together with light." An interactive learning module:

This interactive site allows students to explore the structures and functions associated with photosynthesis using animation and self-paced learning. It allows for differentiated learning strategies for ESE/ELL students (self paced, graphic-rich lesson, interactive post introduction animated activity).

This site incorporates an introduction component integrated with an extended learning component.

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

Periodic Table:

This unique periodic table presents the elements in an interesting visual display. Select an element to find an image of the element, a description, history, and even an animation. Other chemical data is linked as a PDF file (requires Acrobat Reader).

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Gas Density:


Density is defined as mass per unit volume. Density of the gases is highly affected by the pressure and the temperature. This module simulates the measurement of the density of a gas sample. Different gaseous compounds and elements are available and the pressure and temperature of the sample can be adjusted. Learners will understand that density of an ideal gas can be doubled by doubling the pressure or by halving the temperature.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Seasons and Ecliptic Simulator:

  • Observe the orbit of the earth around the sun and its relationship to seasons
  • Understand the factors affecting Earth's climate
  • Observe the effect of Earth's tilt on the seasons

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Solar System Exploration:

This resource provides an interactive tool for the exploration of the solar system. To navigate the interactive solar system move the mouse to hover the target over different objects, to learn more about each click to access images, information about scientists, homework help, articles, news, missions, time lines, and important facts.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Density:

This resource will build the following skills:

  • Describe the relationship of mass and volume to density.
  • Compare objects of same mass and different volume and vice versa.
  • Explain that density of a certain object does not vary with its mass or volume.
  • Measure the volume of an object from fluid displacement.
  • Use density to identify an unknown material.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Balancing Chemical Equations:

This activity will allow you to practice balancing a chemical equation. You will have to make sure you are following the law of conservation of mass and recognize what can change to balance an equation.
You can:

  • Balance a chemical equation.
  • Recognize that the number of atoms of each element is conserved in a chemical reaction.
  • Describe the difference between coefficients and subscripts in a chemical equation.
  • Translate from symbolic to molecular representation.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

States of Matter: Basics:

This simulation will allow you to heat, cool and compress atoms and molecules and watch as they change between solid, liquid and gas phase.
Ideas to investigate:

  • Describe characteristics of three states of matter: solid, liquid and gas.
  • Predict how varying the temperature or pressure changes the behavior of particles.
  • Compare particles in the three different phases.
  • Explain freezing and melting with molecular level detail.
  • Recognize that different substances have different properties, including melting, freezing and boiling temperatures.

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

Explore Buoyancy:

Explore when objects float and when will they sink. Learn how buoyancy works with blocks by modifying the properties of the blocks and the fluid.

Some of the sample learning goals can be:

  • Predict whether an object wills sink or float when place in a liquid, given densities of the object and liquid.
  • Apply the definition of density to both liquids and solids
  • Relate the buoyant force on an object to the weight of liquid it displaces
  • Predict the weight of a completely or partially submerged object of known mass and volume
  • Describe the forces that act on a completely or partially submerged object
  • Explain how an object that is more dense than water can be kept afloat by placing it on an object that is less dense than water.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

pH Scale:

Students can test the pH of several substances and visualize hydronium, hydroxide, and water molecules in solution by concentration or the number of molecules. Students can add water to a given substance to see the effects it will have on the pH of that substance; or they can create their own custom substance.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

My Solar System:

This simulation demonstrates the effect of gravitation in determining planetary orbits as well as that of comets and satellites. This simulation allows you to change initial positions, velocities and masses of bodies and see the resulting orbit.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

How Fast do Objects Move in the Solar Sytem?:

This interactive demonstrates the impacts of the gravitational force of the sun on motion of objects in the solar system.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

PhET Gas Properties:

This virtual manipulative allows you to investigate various aspects of gases through virtual experimentation. From the site: Pump gas molecules to a box and see what happens as you change the volume, add or remove heat, change gravity, and more (open the box, change the molecular weight of the molecule). Measure the temperature and pressure, and discover how the properties of the gas vary in relation to each other.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

The Life Cycle of the Star/H-R Diagram:

This is a great resource with online lessons providing inquiry as you learn about the life cycle of the star as well as the usages of the H-R diagram. The images provide a conceptual understanding of the life cycle of the star and how it applies to the H-R diagram. You will enjoy the interactive lab tools as well as the online formative assessment questions.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Parent Resources

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