Physical Science Honors   (#2003320)

Version for Academic Year:

Course Standards

General Course Information and Notes

General Notes

While the content focus of this course is consistent with the Physical Science course, students will explore these concepts in greater depth. In general, the academic pace and rigor will be greatly increased for honors level course work. 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.

General Information

Course Number: 2003320
Course Path:
Abbreviated Title: PHY SCI HON
Course Length: Year (Y)
Course Attributes:
  • Honors
Course Type: Core Academic Course
Course Level: 3
Course Status: Course Approved
Grade Level(s): 9,10,11,12

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

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

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

Energy and Matter Movement through Biogeochemical Cycles:

Learn how to trace matter and energy through living and non-living systems and understand that matter and energy are transferred on a global scale.

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

Fueling the Body: Cellular Respiration:

Explore how organisms gain usable energy and compare the two types of cellular respiration; aerobic and anaerobic. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also learn about reactants and products of both aerobic and anaerobic respiration.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Graphing Quadratic Functions:

The graph of a quadratic equation is called a parabola [puh-ra-bow-luh]. The key features we will focus on in this tutorial are the vertex (a maximum or minimum extreme) and the direction of its opening. You will learn how to examine a quadratic equation written in vertex form in order to distinguish each of these key features. 

 

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

Water and Life:

Learn how the chemical properties of water relate to its physical properties and make it essential for life with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Photosynthesis: Capturing the Sun's Energy to Create Sugar:

Learn how to identify and describe the role of all of the major molecules needed for photosynthesis. You'll also be able to explain the role that photosynthesis plays in capturing carbon from the atmosphere to produce sugars. 

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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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.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Wing Design and Forces of Flight:

Let this video on wing design lift you up!

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

pH Scale:

Keep an eye on pH as you learn about what makes acids and bases.

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?

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

The Discovery and Behavior of Antimatter:

Learn more about the atomic model and antimatter!

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Physical and Chemical Changes in Food :

Don't overreact when this chemist describes physical and chemical changes that you can observe in your own kitchen!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Light Spectrum for Growing Plants:

Plants need visible light, just not all of it. Learn how space plants and their lights strive for efficiency.

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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.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Photosynthesis in Space:

A NASA botanist explains how studying photosynthesis now can help feed astronauts in the future.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Dissolved Oxygen in Aquatic Ecosystems:

Dissolved oxygen is important to all life in and out of the water! Learn more in this video!

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Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Vectors and Oceanography:

Don't let the motion of the ocean cause a commotion! Learn how vectors describe ocean movement patterns.

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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.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Ethanol Fuel:

Why can't you put Ethanol fuel in a boat motor?

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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.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Forces and Power in Flint Knapping:

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

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Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Seeing into Atoms with Electromagnetic Energy:

If you want to understand the atom, you'll need a lot of energy. Learn how physicists use high energy light and electrons to study atomic structure.

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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.

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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.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Using X-rays in Archeology:

An archaeologist explains how he is using x-rays to reconstruct a nineteenth-century battle!

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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.

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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.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Plan Your Archaeological Excavations with Radar Waves! :

Archaeologists can see underground trends before everyone else with ground penetrating radar (GPR).

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Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Vectors and Flight Forces:

When you watch this video, your knowledge related to flight and physics will really take off!

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Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Optical Spectroscopy: Using Electromagnetic Waves to Detect Fires:

Hydrogen is used to launch spacecraft, but accidental fires are difficult to see. Learn about the physics of these fires and how we detect them.

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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.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Shaping Pottery with Angular Momentum:

Factors to consider when making pottery on the wheel are discussed, but not in a way that would make your head spin.

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Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Presentation/Slideshows

Cell Processes and Energy: Photosynthesis and Respirataion:

This presentation, a narrated PowerPoint, provides detailed information regarding photosynthesis and cellular respiration. It is provided by a teacher for his students, but is well-done and engaging enough to be useful for other students.

Type: 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

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

SAT Scores:

This problem solving task challenges students to answer probability questions about SAT scores, using distribution and mean to solve the problem.

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

Coffee and Crime:

This problem solving task asks students to examine the relationship between shops and crimes by using a correlation coefficient.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Should We Send Out a Certificate?:

The purpose of this task is to have students complete normal distribution calculations and to use properties of normal distributions to draw conclusions.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Do You Fit in This Car?:

This task requires students to use the normal distribution as a model for a data distribution. Students must use given means and standard deviations to approximate population percentages.

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

How thick is a soda can? (Variation II):

This problem solving task asks students to explain which measurements are needed to estimate the thickness of a soda can.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

How thick is a soda can? (Variation I):

This problem solving task challenges students to find the surface area of a soda can, calculate how many cubic centimeters of aluminum it contains, and estimate how thick it is.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

How many leaves on a tree? (Version 2):

This is a mathematical modeling task aimed at making a reasonable estimate for something which is too large to count accurately, the number of leaves on a tree.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

How many leaves on a tree?:

This is a mathematical modeling task aimed at making a reasonable estimate for something which is too large to count accurately, the number of leaves on a tree.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

How many cells are in the human body?:

This problem solving task challenges students to apply the concepts of mass, volume, and density in the real-world context to find how many cells are in the human body.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Eratosthenes and the circumference of the earth:

This problem solving task gives an interesting context for implementing ideas from geometry and trigonometry.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Archimedes and the King's Crown:

This problem solving task uses the tale of Archimedes and the King of Syracuse's crown to determine the volume and mass of gold and silver.

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

Finding Parabolas through Two Points:

This problem-solving task challenges students to find all quadratic functions described by given equation and coordinates, and describe how the graphs of those functions are related to one another.

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

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

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

Equations and Formulas:

In this task, students will use inverse operations to solve the equations for the unknown variable or for the designated variable if there is more than one.

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

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

Graphs of Quadratic Functions:

Students compare graphs of different quadratic functions, then produce equations of their own to satisfy given conditions.

This exploration can be done in class near the beginning of a unit on graphing parabolas. Students need to be familiar with intercepts, and need to know what the vertex is. It is effective after students have graphed parabolas in vertex form (y=a(x–h)2+k), but have not yet explored graphing other forms.

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

Graphs of Power Functions:

This task requires students to recognize the graphs of different (positive) powers of x.

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

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

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

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

Graphs and Solutions of Functions in Quadratic Equations:

You will learn how the parent function for a quadratic function is affected when f(x) = x2.

Type: Tutorial

Graphing Quadractic Functions in Vertex Form:

This tutorial will help the students to identify the vertex of a parabola from the equation, and then graph the parabola.

Type: Tutorial

Graphing Quadratic Equations:

This tutorial will help the learners to graph the equation of the quadratic function using the coordinates of the vertex of a parabola adn its x- intercepts.

Type: Tutorial

Graphing Exponential Equations:

This tutorial will help you to learn about the exponential functions by graphing various equations representing exponential growth and decay.

Type: Tutorial

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

Photosynthesis: The Calvin Cycle:


This tutorial is a step by step explanation of what occurs in photosynthesis during the Calvin Cycle. It describes and uses visuals for the chemical reactions in this biochemical pathway. This challenging tutorial addresses the standard at a high level of complexity.

Type: Tutorial

Photosynthesis: The Light Reaction:


This tutorial shows and describes what occurs during the light reactions of photosynthesis which is the first stage of photosynthesis when plants capture and store energy from sunlight. In this process, light energy is converted into chemical energy, in the form of the energy-carrying molecules ATP and NADPH.

Type: Tutorial

Oxidation and Reduction in Cellular Respiration:

This Khan Academy video explains how oxidation and reduction reactions occur in cellular respiration. The chemical equation for cellular respiration is examined and broken down to show where each type of the reactions occur.

Type: Tutorial

CAM Plants:

This Khan Academy video explains how CAM plants fix carbon dioxide at night so they do not lose water by opening their stomata during the day.

Type: Tutorial

C4 Photosynthesis:

The Khan Academy video discusses how some plants avoid photorespiration by fixing carbon in the bundle sheath cells instead of the mesophylll cells.

Type: Tutorial

Photorespiration:

This Khan Academy video reviews the Calvin Cycle in C3 photosynthesis and discusses the reactants and products of this process. The video then describes photorespiration which is what occurs when the enzyme RuBisCO fixes oxygen instead of carbon dioxide and explains why this is considered an inefficient pathway for plants.

Type: Tutorial

Oxidative Phosphorylation and Chemiosmosis:

This Khan Academy video explains how ATP is generated in the electron transport chain through the process of oxidative phosphorylation and chemiosmosis. It also explains the differences between oxidative phosphorylation and substrate level phosphorylation.

Type: Tutorial

Cellular Respiration: The Electron Transport Chain:

This Khan Academy video explains how the NADH And FADH2 that were made during glycolysis and the Kreb's Cycle are used to generate ATP through the electron transport chain.

Type: Tutorial

Cellular Respiration: Glycolysis:

This Khan Academy tutorial describes in detail the process of glucose being broken down into pyruvate during glycolysis. Glycolysis is the first biochemical pathway of cellular respiration.

Type: Tutorial

Cellular Respiration: Kreb's Cycle:

This Khan Academy video describes how the pyruvate produced in glycolysis undergoes oxidation to produce Acetyl CoA. The video then explains what occurs when Acetyl CoA enters the Kreb's cycle and how NADH and FADH2 are produced.

Type: Tutorial

Photosynthesis: The Light Reactions:

This Khan Academy tutorial explains in detail the process of the light reactions of photosynthesis including the importance of the thylakoid membrane and the products that are produced from this reaction.

Type: Tutorial

Photosynthesis: The Calvin Cycle:

This Khan Academy tutorial explains how the by-products from the light reactions of photosynthesis are used to produce sugar molecules in the Calvin Cycle.

Type: Tutorial

Introduction to Cellular Respiration:

This Khan Academy video describes how energy is extracted from the glucose molecule to make ATP. Each biochemical pathway involved in cellular respiration is discussed.

Type: Tutorial

How Glycolysis Works:

This animation shows the process of glycolysis. The reactants, products, and the basic functions of aerobic and anaerobic cellular respiration are identified.

Type: Tutorial

Electron Transport System and ATP Synthesis:

This animation shows the electron transport chain, which is a series of compounds that transfers electrons from electron donors to electron acceptors via redox reactions. This electron transfer is coupled with the transfer of protons across a membrane.

This animation addresses the concept at a high level of complexity.

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

Calvin Cycle:

The Calvin cycle is a metabolic pathway found in the stroma of plant chloroplasts in which carbon enters in the form of carbon dioxide and leaves in the form of sugar. This tutorial will help you to understand how the Calvin cycle works.

This challenging tutorial addresses the standard at a high level of complexity.

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

Mirror Processes:

This tutorial will help students to understand that both the process of photosynthesis and cellular respiration use hydrogen ions and high-energy electrons to make molecules of ATP. Learners will be able to compare the light dependent reactions of photosynthesis and the electron transport chain of cellular respiration.

Type: Tutorial

Photosynthesis:


This tutorial will help the learner understand the process of photosynthesis. They will explore the process and see how photosynthetic organisms capture energy from sunlight to make sugars that store chemical energy.

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

Atoms and Bonding:

This tutorial will help the learner understand the relationship between atoms, their electrons, and the chemical bonds they can form.

Type: Tutorial

Cellular Respiration:

This tutorial reviews the process of cellular respiration which is the set of metabolic reactions and processes that take place in the cells of organisms to convert biochemical energy from nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

Type: Tutorial

The Simple Story of Photosynthesis and Food :

Photosynthesis is an essential part of the exchange between humans and plants. Amanda Ooten walks us through the process of photosynthesis, also discussing the relationship between photosynthesis and carbohydrates, starch, and fiber -- and how the air we breathe is related to the food we ingest.

Type: Tutorial

How Polarity Makes Water Behave Strangely:

Water is both essential and unique. Many of its particular qualities stem from the fact that it consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen, therefore creating an unequal sharing of electrons. From fish in frozen lakes to ice floating on water, Christina Kleinberg describes the effects of polarity.

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

Nature's Smallest Factory: The Calvin Cycle:

A hearty bowl of cereal gives you the energy to start your day, but how exactly did that energy make its way into your bowl? It all begins with photosynthesis, the process that converts the air we breathe into energizing glucose. Cathy Symington details the highly efficient second phase of photosynthesis -- called the Calvin cycle -- which converts carbon dioxide into sugar with some clever mix-and-match math.

Type: Tutorial

The Carbon Cycle:

What exactly is the carbon cycle? Nathaniel Manning provides a basic look into the cyclical relationship of carbon, humans and the environment.

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

Krebs Cycle:

The Krebs cycle is the central metabolic pathway in all aerobic organisms. This tutorial will help the learners understand the Krebs cycle.

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

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

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

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

Solving Literal Equations:

Literal equations are formulas for calculating the value of one unknown quantity from one or more known quantities. Variables in the formula are replaced by the actual or 'literal' values corresponding to a specific instance of the relationship.

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

Example of Solving for a Variable - Khan Academy:

This video takes a look at rearranging a formula to highlight a quantity of interest.

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

Light is a Particle:

This video contains a demo that can be performed to show that light consists of particles
It also uses Lasers with different wavelengths

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

Shapes of Molecules:

  • Differentiate between electron pair and molecular geometry
  • Learn how to name electron pair and molecular geometries for molecules with up to six electron groups around the central atom
  • Illustrate how electron pair repulsion affects bond angles

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Graphing Lines 1:

Khan Academy video tutorial on graphing linear equations: "Algebra: Graphing Lines 1"

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Fitting a Line to Data:

Khan Academy tutorial video that demonstrates with real-world data the use of Excel spreadsheet to fit a line to data and make predictions using that line.

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

Photosynthesis:

This video provides an overview of photosynthesis.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Photosynthesis: Light Reactions and Photophosphorylation:

This video gives more detail on the light reaction and photophosphorylation that occur in photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis: Light reactions and photophosphorylation: More detail on the light reactions and photophorylation

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

Photosynthesis animation and other cell processes in animation:

This site has fantastic short Flash animations of intricate cell processes, including photosynthesis and the electron transport chain.

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

Black body Spectrum:

In this simulation, learn about the black body spectrum of the sun, a light bulb, an oven and the earth. Adjust the temperature to see how the wavelength and intensity of the spectrum are affected.

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

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

Histogram vs. Box Plot:

This simulation allows the student to create a box plot and a histogram for the same set of data and toggle between the two displays. Maximum, minimum, median and mean are shown for the data set. The student can change the cell width to explore how the histogram is affected.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Precipitation Reaction Systems:


Precipitation reactions occur when cations and anions of aqueous solutions combine to form an insoluble ionic solid, called a precipitate. This simulation explores systems for which precipitation reactions are possible.A precipitation reaction is controlled by the magnitude of the solubility product, solubility product constant and the concentrations of the ions in solution.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Scatterplot:

This manipulative will help students in understanding scatter plots which are particularly useful when investigating whether there is a relationship between two variables. Students could develop a systematic plan for collecting and entering data into the scatter plot manipulative and set appropriate ranges for the x and y scales.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Electron Configurations:


The electron configuration of an atom is the representation of the arrangement of electrons that are distributed among the orbital shells and subshells. The simulated activity will help the learners practice the arrangement of the electrons. The learners will be required to follow rules in order to correctly divide the electrons in the orbitals based on the valency of the atom.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Create Molecular Shape:


This simulation will provide the learners with a chance to increase their understanding of a molecular shape. The learners will be required to follow a "Lewis dot structure" which involves two basic principles:

  1. The shapes of the molecule is determined by the repulsion between electron pairs in the outer shell of the central atom. Both bond pairs and lone pairs must be considered.
  2. Lone pairs repel more than bond pairs.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Vapor Pressure:

This simulation activity will help you understand the concept of vapor pressure which is defined as the pressure of the vapor resulting from evaporation of a liquid (or solid) above a sample of the liquid (or solid) in a closed container. You will also recognize that the vapor pressure of a liquid varies with its temperature, which can be seen with the help of a graph in the simulation.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Models of the Hydrogen Atom Simulation:

How did scientists figure out the structure of atoms without looking at them? Try out different models by shooting light at the atom. Check how the prediction of the model matches the experimental results.

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

Graphing Equations Using Intercepts:

This resource provides linear functions in standard form and asks the user to graph it using intercepts on an interactive graph below the problem. Immediate feedback is provided, and for incorrect responses, each step of the solution is thoroughly modeled.

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

Photoelectric Effect:


This virtual manipulative will help the students to understand how the light shines on a metal surface. Students will recognize a process called as photoelectric effect wherein light can be used to push electrons from the surface of a solid.
Some of the sample learning goals can be:

  • Visualize and describe the photoelectric effect experiment.
  • Predict the results of the experiment, when the intensity of light is changed and its effects on the current and energy of the electrons.
  • Predict the results of the experiment, when the wavelength of the light is changed and its effects on the current and the energy of the electrons.
  • Predict the results of the experiment, when the voltage of the light is changed and its effects on the current and energy of electrons.

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

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

Reactions Rates:

This virtual manipulative will allow you to explore what makes a reaction happen by colliding atoms and molecules. Design your own experiments with different reactions, concentrations, and temperatures. Recognize what affects the rate of a reaction.

Areas to Explore:

  • Explain why and how a pinball shooter can be used to help understand ideas about reactions.
  • Describe on a microscopic level what contributes to a successful reaction.
  • Describe how the reaction coordinate can be used to predict whether a reaction will proceed or slow.
  • Use the potential energy diagram to determine : The activation energy for the forward and reverse reactions; The difference in energy between reactants and products; The relative potential energies of the molecules at different positions on a reaction coordinate.
  • Draw a potential energy diagram from the energies of reactants and products and activation energy.
  • Predict how raising or lowering the temperature will affect a system in the equilibrium.

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

Balloons and Buoyancy:

This simulation will provide an insight into the properties of gases. You can explore the more advanced features which enables you to explore three physical situations: Hot Air Balloon (rigid open container with its own heat source), Rigid Sphere (rigid closed container), and Helium Balloon (elastic closed container).

Through this activity you can:

  • Determine what causes the balloon, rigid sphere, and helium balloon to rise up or fall down in the box.
  • Predict how changing a variable among Pressure, Volume, Temperature and number influences the motion of the balloons.

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

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

Beta Decay:

This is a virtual manipulative to understand beta decay. In the Beta decay process, a neutron decays into a proton and an electron (beta radiation). The process also requires the emission of a neutrino to maintain momentum and energy balance. Beta decay allows the atom to obtain the optimal ratio of protons and neutrons.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Alpha decay:

This virtual manipulative will help you to understand the process of alpha decay. Watch alpha particles escape from a polonium nucleus, causing radioactive alpha decay. See how random decay times relate to the half life.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Rutherford Scattering:

This virtual manipulative will help you investigate how Rutherford figured out the structure of the atom without being able to see it. This simulation will allow the you to explore the famous experiment in which Rutherford disproved the Plum Pudding model of the atom by observing alpha particles bouncing off atoms and determining that they must have a small core.
Further explorations of the tutorial could include:

  • Describe the qualitative difference between scattering off positively charged nuclei and electrically neutral plum pudding atoms.
  • For a charged nucleus, describe qualitatively how angle of deflection depends on: energy of incoming particle, impact parameters, and charge of target.

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

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

Acid-Base Solutions:

How do strong and weak acids differ? Use lab tools on your computer to find out! Dip the paper or the probe into solution to measure the pH, or put in the electrodes to measure the conductivity. Then see how concentration and strength affect pH. Can a weak acid solution have the same pH as a strong acid solution.
Some of the topics to investigate:

  • Given acids or bases at the same concentration, demonstrate understanding of acid and base strength by 1. Relating the strength of an acid or base to the extent to which it dissociates in water. 2. Identifying all the molecules and ions that are present in a given acid or base solution. 3. Comparing the relative concentrations of molecules and ions in weak versus strong acid (or base) solutions. 4. Describing the similarities and differences between strong acids and weak acids or strong bases and weak bases.
  • Demonstrate understanding of solution concentrated by: 1. Describing the similarities and differences between concentrated and dilute solutions. 2. Comparing the concentrations of all molecules and ions in concentrated versus dilute solutions of a particular acid or base.
  • Describe how common tools (pH meter, conductivity, pH paper) help identify whether a solution is an acid or base and strong or weak and concentrated or dilute.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Molecules and Light:

This activity will help to investigate how a greenhouse gas affects the climate, or why the ozone layer is important. Using this simulation, explore how light interacts with molecules in our atmosphere.

Areas to explore:

  • How light interacts with molecules in our atmosphere.
  • Identify that absorption of light depends on the molecule and the type of light.
  • Relate the energy of the light to the resulting motion.
  • Identify that energy increases from microwave to ultraviolet.
  • Predict the motion of a molecule based on the type of light it absorbs.
  • Identify how the structure of a molecule affects how it interacts with light.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Beer's Law Lab:

This activity will allow you to make colorful concentrated and dilute solutions and explore how much light they absorb and transmit using a virtual spectrophotometer.
You can explore concepts in many ways including:

  • Describe the relationships between volume and amount of solute to solution concentration.
  • Explain qualitatively the relationship between solution color and concentration.
  • Predict and explain how solution concentration will change for adding or removing: water, solute, and/or solution.
  • Calculate the concentration of solutions in units of molarity (mol/L).
  • Design a procedure for creating a solution of a given concentration.
  • Identify when a solution is saturated and predict how concentration will change for adding or removing: water, solute, and/or solution.
  • Describe the relationship between the solution concentration and the intensity of light that is absorbed/transmitted.
  • Describe the relationship between absorbance, molar absorptivity, path length, and concentration in Beer's Law.
  • Predict how the intensity of light absorbed/transmitted will change with changes in solution type, solution concentration, container width, or light source and explain why?

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Understanding Polarity:

Understanding molecular polarity by changing the electron-negativity of atoms in a molecule to see how it affects polarity. See how the molecule behaves in an electric field. Change the bond angle to see how shape affects polarity. See how it works for real molecules in 3D.

Some learning goals:
•predict bond polarity using electron-negativity values
•indicate polarity with a polar arrow or partial charges
•rank bonds in order of polarity
•predict molecular polarity using bond polarity and molecular shape

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

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

Sound:

The students will see and hear the effects of changing the frequency and/or amplitude of a sound wave. This animation may also be used to demonstrate the Doppler effect, reflection and interference of sound waves.

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

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

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

Curve Fitting:

With a mouse, students will drag data points (with their error bars) and watch the best-fit polynomial curve form instantly. Students can choose the type of fit: linear, quadratic, cubic, or quartic. Best fit or adjustable fit can be displayed.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Equation Grapher:

This interactive simulation investigates graphing linear and quadratic equations. Users are given the ability to define and change the coefficients and constants in order to observe resulting changes in the graph(s).

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Nuclear Fission:

Complete this virtual manipulative to gain a better understanding of nuclear fission. Study the basic principles behind chain reactions and a nuclear reactor.

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

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

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

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

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

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this course.
Integrate Standards for Mathematical Practice (MP) as applicable.
  • MAFS.K12.MP.1.1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • MAFS.K12.MP.2.1 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  • MAFS.K12.MP.3.1 Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  • MAFS.K12.MP.4.1 Model with mathematics.
  • MAFS.K12.MP.5.1 Use appropriate tools strategically.
  • MAFS.K12.MP.6.1 Attend to precision.
  • MAFS.K12.MP.7.1 Look for and make use of structure.
  • MAFS.K12.MP.8.1 Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.