Standard 1: The Practice of Science

A: Scientific inquiry is a multifaceted activity; The processes of science include the formulation of scientifically investigable questions, construction of investigations into those questions, the collection of appropriate data, the evaluation of the meaning of those data, and the communication of this evaluation.

B: The processes of science frequently do not correspond to the traditional portrayal of "the scientific method."

C: Scientific argumentation is a necessary part of scientific inquiry and plays an important role in the generation and validation of scientific knowledge.

D: Scientific knowledge is based on observation and inference; it is important to recognize that these are very different things. Not only does science require creativity in its methods and processes, but also in its questions and explanations.

General Information
Number: SC.912.N.1
Title: The Practice of Science
Type: Standard
Subject: Science
Grade: 912
Body of Knowledge: Nature of Science

Related Benchmarks

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Independent

SC.912.N.1.In.1
Identify a problem based on a specific body of knowledge, including life science, earth and space science, or physical science, and do the following: 1. Identify a scientific question 2. Examine reliable sources of informtion to identify what is already known 3. Develop a possible explanation (hypothesis) 4. Plan and carry out an experiment 5. Gather data based on measurement and observations 6. Evaluate the data 7. Use the data to support reasonable explanations, inferences, and conclusions.
SC.912.N.1.In.2
Describe the processes used in scientific investigations, including posing a research question, forming a hypothesis, reviewing what is known, collecting evidence, evaluating results, and reaching conclusions.
SC.912.N.1.In.3
Identify that scientific investigations are sometimes repeated in different locations.
SC.912.N.1.In.4
Identify that scientists use many different methods in conducting their research.

Supported

SC.912.N.1.Su.1
Recognize a problem based on a specific body of knowledge, including life science, earth and space science, or physical science, and do the following: 1. Recognize a scientific question 2. Use reliable information and identify what is already known 3. Create possible explanation 4. Carry out a planned experiment 5. Record observations 6. Summarize results 7. Reach a reasonable conclusion.
SC.912.N.1.Su.2
Identify the basic process used in scientific investigations, including questioning, observing, recording, determining, and sharing results.
SC.912.N.1.Su.3
Recognize that scientific investigations can be repeated in different locations.
SC.912.N.1.Su.4
Recognize that scientists use a variety of methods to get answers to their research questions.

Participatory

SC.912.N.1.Pa.1
Recognize a problem related to a specific body of knowledge, including life science, earth and space science, or physical science, and do the following: 1. Observe objects and activities 2. Follow planned procedures 3. Recognize a solution.
SC.912.N.1.Pa.2
Recognize a process used in science to solve problems, such as observing, following procedures, and recognizing results.
SC.912.N.1.Pa.3
Recognize that when a variety of common activities are repeated the same way, the outcomes are the same.
SC.912.N.1.Pa.4
Recognize that people try different ways to complete a task when the first one does not work.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

3D Modeling

Carrying Cargo - 3D Boat Design and Modeling:

This MyStemKits.com model-eliciting activity (MEA) will help students tackle real-world problems as they balance constraints with finding the optimal design, all while overcoming unforeseen circumstances that may change the procedure students use to determine the best solution. In the end, students are challenged to design and test their own boats, using Tinkercad to model a 3D-printable boat.

Type: 3D Modeling

Educational Software / Tool

Density: Sea Water Mixing & Sinking:

This is an excellent resource for teachers and students that provides student sheets, data graphs, vocabulary, and teacher notes as well as Big Ideas, Essential Questions, Data Tables, Formative Assessment questions - extremely teacher friendly who need assistance on this Big Idea and Concept. (The Preconceptions were helpful to my students.)

Type: Educational Software / Tool

Lesson Plans

Citizen Science:

Citizen science is a critical component to many different scientific studies, and gives citizen scientists the opportunity to better understand the research and the process. In some studies, citizen scientists assist in major scientific discoveries that can change or create legislature. Students will participate in ongoing citizen science projects to learn more about the scientific method.

Type: Lesson Plan

How Big Is a Mole? Do We Really Comprehend Avogadro’s Number?:

The unit “mole” is used in chemistry as a counting unit for measuring the amount of something. One mole of something has 6.02×1023 units of that thing. The magnitude of the number 6.02×1023 is challenging to imagine. The goal of this lesson is for students to understand just how many particles Avogadro's Number truly represents, or, how big is a mole.  This lesson is meant for students currently enrolled in a first or second year chemistry course. This lesson is designed to be completed within one approximately 1 hour class; however, completion of optional activities 4 and 5 may require a longer class period or part of a second class period.

Type: Lesson Plan

Help Behind-the-Scenes at a Museum as a Citizen Scientist:

Students will learn about the importance of biodiversity research collections (specifically, herbaria), the types of data that their specimens hold, the process of digital data creation about the specimens, and the online publishers of that digital data. Students will act as citizen scientists and transcribe labels of plant specimens then explore the research value of the data that they create.

Type: Lesson Plan

Do You See What I See:

The student will be able to describe the process of human development including major changes that occur in each trimester of pregnancy. Students will become scientists and explore the major changes that occur during embryo development. First, students will work in groups and correctly match the fetal development picture cards with the appropriate description. Next, students compare and share their findings with other groups and record this data. Finally, students will act as physicians as they investigate a medical case study of a pregnant woman and determine what trimester she is in by analyzing ultrasound reports detailing certain makers of the stages of development. Students will use a claim, evidence, rationale style activity using the ultrasound pictures and learned content to support their answers. The lesson culminates with students sharing their findings through a gallery walk.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Last Supper: Identifying Macromolecules:

The students will solve a mystery using laboratory tests for different types of macromolecules. They will use argumentation to justify and communicate their claim. They will construct explanations and communicate with one another to determine which macromolecule would be best to eat in different scenarios. Students will be able to identify the structure and functions of the four main types of macromolecules. The students will use laboratory testing to determine the identity of an unknown. They will fill in a chart about the structures, functions, and examples for each macromolecule type and then they will practice their knowledge by answering short response questions relating the macromolecules to the real world. Finally, they will review using a whole-class cooperative activity and take a quiz about the structures and functions of macromolecules.

Type: Lesson Plan

Eukaryotic Cells: The Factories of Life:

Students will be able to identify the main parts of a cell and to describe the basic function of each part. The students will match parts of a cell to parts of a city that have functions that are analogous to each cell part. They will then develop their own analogy and present it to the class. Finally, they will practice their knowledge using a computer-based review game.

Type: Lesson Plan

Languages: Barriers to Global Science?:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The research article discusses different languages as barriers to the transfer of knowledge within the scientific community and then provides potential resolutions to aid in the reduction of language barriers. This lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Modeling Moon Craters:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that highlights current research on high impact craters on the moon. Scientists have been studying the largest impact basins on the moon, such as the Orientale basin. Until now, how impact craters with rings form had not been well understood, but scientists have modeled Orientale's formation using data from NASA's GRAIL mission. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a vocabulary guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Can Snails Cure Diabetes?:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article addresses an innovative possible treatment for diabetes using cone snail venom. The venom contains a form of insulin that is faster acting than human insulin. Further research shows that the cone snail insulin requires no prep before it is used, therefore explaining its quick response time. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Antifreeze Proteins Both Help and Hurt Fish:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article from the National Science Foundation discusses research conducted in the Antarctic concerning the notothenioid fish, which contains "antifreeze" proteins. The proteins prevent the fish from freezing in the cold waters of the Southern Ocean, but it was also discovered that these same proteins prevent ice crystals from melting when temperatures warm. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

 

Type: Lesson Plan

This Dinosaur Can't Sing:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article presents new research that suggests dinosaurs were not able to vocalize or "sing" in a way similar to modern birds. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Determining Relative Salinity of Estuaries:

Students will help their teacher figure out where her water samples came from by determining their relative salinity. With this information and a picture map of areas of the Intercoastal Waterway, they will locate possible sources of the samples.

Type: Lesson Plan

Genetics, Genetics, and More Genetics:

Students will use appropriate tools (Punnett squares) and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data.Students will explore various modes of inheritance through a hands-on activity creating offspring of a fictitious organism. Students will complete Punnett Squares for various genetic crosses, and analyze and interpret the results of those crosses. Students will be able to predict the genotype and phenotype of P1 and F1 generations using Punnett Squares. Students will be able to identify complex patterns of inheritance such as co-dominance and incomplete dominance.

Type: Lesson Plan

Artificially Sweetened Foods and Drinks Can't Fool Your Brain:

In this lesson, students will study an informational text that describes how researchers at the University of Sydney have discovered a correlation between artificial sweeteners, like sucralose, and an increased appetite. There are estimates that over 4,000 types of food contain sucralose. Billions of people around the world consume artificial sweeteners in hopes of losing weight, and until this study, little has been known about how these sweeteners affected the brain. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area; it includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sensoring Data:

In this follow up lesson, students will explore data collection using the weather station sensor and perform statistical analysis of the data. Students will use a scientific method of inquiry to plan an investigation of their own. This activity is meant to allow students to use a variety of skills they have acquired throughout a statistics unit in a personally meaningful way.

Type: Lesson Plan

Bird Migration: A Risky Business:

In this lesson plan, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area.  The article reports new findings on bird migration patterns. Recent research points to migratory birds conducting a "risk assessment" based on factors like weather and their own amount of body fat. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Far From Home: NASA's Year in Space Mission:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that presents information on a year-long space mission aboard the International Space Station. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes the mission of studying the long-term effects of microgravity on human health. Astronaut Scott Kelley and Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko were used in the year-long study, along with Kelly's identical twin brother, Mark Kelly, who remained on Earth and was used as a control subject. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Research Project: Sensing Nature:

In this week-long, open-ended activity, students will observe their local environment, devise and pose a testable research question, conduct observations using sensors, and use mathematics skills for quantitative analysis and plotting. To communicate results, students will summarize their findings on a custom poster that explains their work.

Type: Lesson Plan

STEM Engineering Design Challenge: Yeast Fermentation:

Students will design an experiment to measure the effect of various macromolecules on fermentation rates of yeast. Students will imagine, plan, and implement their designs in a collaborative manner and then will improve their experiment after the first results.

The ultimate goal is for students to be able to discuss the role of anaerobic respiration in living things and develop their scientific thinking skills as they solve a problem within a small group.

This is an inquiry-based lab that is to be facilitated by the teacher but will provide the students the opportunity to test and defend their own thinking as they design their experiment and analyze their results.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Ups and Downs of Populations:

Students will analyze population graphs, collect data to generate their own population graph, and experience limiting factors and their impact on carrying capacity in a small deer population. Students will be able to identify, explain, and evaluate the impact that different limiting factors have on the population of organisms including food, water, shelter, predation, human interference, changes in birth and death rate, changes in immigration and emigration, disease, and reproduction.

Type: Lesson Plan

Some Assembly Required: Fighting Cancer with DNA:

This lesson utilizes an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes a new nanotechnology technique that uses computers to rapidly and accurately assemble molecules that can fight cancer. The article also emphasizes how scientific research is supported monetarily through public (NSF) and private partnerships. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Whole New World: The Search for Water 5E Lesson:

In this lesson, students will run a variety of tests on different liquids. During their experimentation, students will collect data, graph data, collaborate and discuss their findings, compare their findings to known characteristics of water, make a claim, provide evidence and justification to support their claim, and create an advisory report of their findings. Students will run various tests on several different liquids and compare those characteristic to those of water. Students will gain an understanding that water is unlike other liquids in the way that it moderates temperature, in its cohesive strength, in its ability to expand upon freezing, in its pH neutrality, and in its designation as the "universal solvent."

Type: Lesson Plan

Enzymes in Action 5E Lesson:

Students will predict, investigate, observe, and report on the effects that pH, concentration, and temperature have on catalase enzyme reactions. Students will conduct an experiment in which they will alter the pH, concentration, and temperature of the environment in which catalase enzyme reactions are taking place. Students will be able to describe how changes in these environmental conditions affect the action of the enzymes in living things.

Type: Lesson Plan

It May Be A Planet, But Could Goldilocks Live There?:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text resource intended to support reading in the content area. This text describes scientists' research on identifying "habitable" planets and explains how failed attempts might actually open the doors to more thorough research and understanding. Scientists faced the challenge of collecting specific data in order to determine if bodies qualified as planets. When research revealed that their original hypotheses were incorrect, scientists were able to take the new information and apply it to further investigations. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Options to extend the lesson are included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Size Does Matter: Brain Size in Mammalian Carnivores:

This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that describes a recent experiment that helps to prove that larger brain size could indicate higher intelligence within carnivorous mammals. The research was conducted at nine U.S. zoos and included 140 animals from 39 mammalian carnivore species. The lesson plan includes text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, sample answers, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Engineering Design Challenge: Exploring Structures in High School Geometry :

Students explore ideas on how civil engineers use triangles when constructing bridges. Students will apply knowledge of congruent triangles to build and test their own bridges for stability.

Type: Lesson Plan

Easy Enzymes:

In this lesson, students will learn how important enzymes are by functioning as a catalyst in most all biological processes. In learning about the functions of enzymes, they will also see how they are related to things they come across in everyday life. Students will observe the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide by catalase from potatoes.

Type: Lesson Plan

Rats on the Move:

This lesson plan uses an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes a research project undertaken by Tulane University students, who collected rodents from neighborhoods affected by Hurricane Katrina. The text describes how a mathematical model can be used to simulate how environmental changes affect the populations of rodents that carry pathogens harmful to human health. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Submarines of Jelly: The Remarkable Siphonophore:

This lesson uses an informational text resource intended to support reading in the content area. The text informs readers about siphonophores, a relatively little-studied organism related to jellyfish and corals. It can grow as long as 160 ft. (49 m) and can move through the water column in a coordinated fashion, and knowledge of its locomotion may help humans propel themselves efficiently underwater. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Numerous options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Everyday Mysteries: Why Do We Yawn?:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that seeks to answer the question "Why do we yawn?" Students will learn that while many claims regarding the social and physiological functions of yawning have been presented from Hippocrates, 17th and 18th century scientists, and experts today, scientists have yet to reach a consensus about the answer to the title question. All the while, this frequent challenge and re-examination of scientific claims helps to strengthen scientific knowledge. This lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric, as well as options to extend the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Purple Haze:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text designed to support reading in the content area. An ancient coloring pigment is leading to new research in magnetic fields and superconductivity. Will this lead to new technologies involving quantum computers? The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric. Options to extend the lesson are also included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Investigating Rulers of the Reef: Coral Reef Parasites :

This lesson uses an NSF article to inform the reader about the influence of parasites on damselfish, a coral reef species. The author explains how his team determined the reason for the consistent behavior of damselfish leaving their aggressively guarded territory each morning to go to a cleaning station. He also explains how more questions arose throughout his investigation, questions like "Do these parasites carry other parasites that infect fishes?" and "Do these gnathiid parasites infect other species of fish?" This first-person account creates an interesting view of how marine research is done, including field work, lab work, and collaborating with other scientists. This lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Innovative Methods: Using Drones to Study Glaciers:

In this lesson, students will read a text that describes new and creative technologies that are being used in climate research to study high-altitude glaciers and map how they are changing. The text describes the ways in which the use of drones with time-lapse thermal camera systems are being used to gather data over the Peruvian Andes more effectively than satellites or planes. The text also describes some of the researchers' early findings based on the data they have gathered through the use of these drones. The text used in this lesson is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions and a writing prompt, sample answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Using Scientific Methods to Starve the Beast:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text that describes how scientists employed use of scientific methods to discover what may lead to a new method to treat cancer. The article describes the preliminary research done in eliminating protein cell chaperones that bring copper into cancer cells. Depriving cancer cells of copper causes them to stop growing. Use of this informational text is designed to support reading in the content area. The lesson plan includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, sample answers, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Yeast Fermentation Inquiry - Predict, Observe, Explain:

Using the Predict, Observe, and Explain model, students will be able to identify the basic function of cellular respiration. Students will predict what is needed for yeast fermentation, why they do it and what gas is being released. With a teacher led debrief, students will then decide what factors allow fermentation to occur and finally explain why it's happening.

Type: Lesson Plan

Landing on Mars and Beyond – A 3D Printer Design Challenge:

Students will utilize a 3D printer to design a landing device simulating landing men and equipment on Mars safely. Once they have settled on a design, then they will move to designing a parachute that, when attached to the lander, provides a slow, low impact landing.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Real Story of Where Babies Come From:

Students will observe, explore, and create a story about the main structures of the female/male reproductive systems, describing how these systems interact during the process of fertilization to a create human being.

Type: Lesson Plan

One Fly, Two Fly, Red Fly, Blue Fly:

Students apply the scientific process in an online lab inquiry of how traits are inherited with the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. They also learn and apply the principles of Mendelian inheritance. Students make hypotheses for monohybrid, dihybrid and sex-linked traits and test their hypotheses by selecting fruit flies with different visible mutations, mating them, and analyzing the phenotypic ratios of the offspring. Students record their observations into an online notebook and write an online lab report.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Penny Lab:

Students will design a collect data evidence, determine results, write a justification and make a presentation using U.S. pennies.

Paired student teams will determine the mass of 50 U.S. pennies. Students will also collect other data from each penny such as minted year and observable appearance. Students will be expected to organize/represent their data into tables, histograms and other informational structures appropriate for reporting all data for each penny. Students will be expected to consider the data, determine trends and research information and make a claim to historically explain trends in data from minted U.S. pennies.

Hopefully, student data reports will support the knowledge that the metallic composition of the penny has changed over the years. Different compositions can have significantly different masses. A sufficiently random selection of hundreds of pennies across the class should allow the students to discover trends in the data to suggest the years in which the composition changed.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sensoring Data:

In this follow up lesson, students will explore data collection using the weather station sensor and perform statistical analysis of the data. Students will use a scientific method of inquiry to plan an investigation of their own. This activity is meant to allow students to use a variety of skills they have acquired throughout a statistics unit in a personally meaningful way.

Type: Lesson Plan

Where'd that come from?!?:

This is a lab activity resource to accompany learning of photosynthesis and the Calvin cycle. Students are able to measure change in water conditions and gaseous production associated with autotrophs.

Type: Lesson Plan

Planting Science:

With this lesson, students are able to evaluate scientific inquiry firsthand by applying variables to their own enclosed ecosystems. With this experimental process they will also be able to personally devise their own experimental method and execute the process to the point of sharing their own data with their peers. The only limits to their discovery are the materials available. This can be done with anything from simple household products to the most advanced chemicals in the storeroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Why Do Apples Turn Brown?:

Students design an experiment to determine the effects of pH and temperature on enzyme activity in apples.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sea Turtle Sex and Climate Change:

In this lesson students will examine how changes in an ecosystem result from environmental factors specifically demonstrating the consequences of climate change on sea turtles. The lesson is in four parts: 1) a fact finding/research component; 2) a group discussion and student presentation; 3) a multi-media component; and 4) a laboratory activity.

Type: Lesson Plan

Crime Scene Measurements:

Using a crime scene scenario, students will measure length, mass, volume and temperature. They will calculate area and shoe size using a chart. Students will analyze soil samples using a microscope. Students will use the process of elimination based on their data to determine a suspect.

Type: Lesson Plan

Pendulum Conundrum Inquiry Lab:

In this exploration, students will answer the following essential questions:

  1. How does the length of a pendulum impact how long it takes to swing back and forth?
  2. How does the amount of mass hanging from a pendulum impact the amount of time to swing back and forth?
  3. How can we calculate the value of acceleration due to gravity (g) from the behavior of a moving pendulum (optional activity for math reinforcement)?

Type: Lesson Plan

Describing Populations of Frogs and Salamanders:

Students use real world examples of sampling frog and salamander populations to explore the different characteristics of a population and the process of observation and inference. The lesson includes individual and group activities.

Type: Lesson Plan

Evaluating Claims About Cancer:

Students identify claims about UV exposure presented in a selection of media items, then design, execute, and report the results of an experiment designed to test one such claim.

Type: Lesson Plan

Investigating the pH of Soils:

In this activity students will conduct research then test the effects of adding products to soil. Students will learn about soil pH, what factors affect the pH of soil and how important it is to the growth of plants. Students will learn to use reputable resources to support their findings. Students will be expected to write a detailed lab report that thoroughly explores the concept while integrating the data from their investigation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Cleaning Up Your Act:

Cleaning Up Your Act Model Eliciting Activity (MEA) provides students with a real world engineering problem in which they must work as a team to design a procedure to select the best material for cleaning up an oil spill. The main focus of this MEA is to recognize the consequences of a catastrophic event, and understand the environmental and economical impact based on data analysis. Students will conduct individual and team investigations in order to arrive at a scientifically sound solution to the problem.

Type: Lesson Plan

CrazyConcrete:

In this MEA students work collaboratively to analyze concrete and cement formulas based on research collected. Students are required to apply knowledge of chemical composition and determine which formula would be best to use in a given situation. In the first letter, students are asked to rank different concrete mixtures. In the second letter, students are asked to analyze a series of cement mixtures. Then, the students must determine which cement mixture is the most appropriate for rebuilding a coastal area. Students must also investigate hurricane building standards to make the most appropriate choices.

Type: Lesson Plan

Distance and Displacement.:

  • In this lesson students, will be able to identify frames of reference and describe how they are used to measure motion.
  • Identify appropriate SI units for measuring distances.
  • Distinguish between distance and displacement.
  • Calculate displacement using vector addition.

Type: Lesson Plan

Flower Power:

In this MEA students compare data from different commercial floral preservatives. Students are asked to choose which is the best preservative for a certain floral arrangement.

Type: Lesson Plan

Camouflage in the Ocean:

In this lesson, students will complete two mini-labs to explore how colors change as you descend in an aquatic environment. Based on their observations they are challenged to design a camouflage pattern which could be used below the upper, sun-lit portions of the ocean, AND defend their design decisions in written form.

Type: Lesson Plan

Conductors vs. Insulators: An Inquiry Lab:

This is a basic introduction to the difference between conductors and insulators when either is placed into a series circuit with a battery and a light bulb. This introductory activity is primarily used as a vehicle for students to better understand how to write a lab report with the appropriate sections and to integrate technology through Google Docs and a virtual lab simulation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Current Event Assignment:

Science is ever-changing. Students have the opportunity to see how classroom topics relate to current events and research from around the world. Students will decipher claims and support given by author to evaluate the purpose of the article.

Type: Lesson Plan

My 2 Cents:

Students predict how the mass of a penny changes over time, devise a method to test their prediction, collect/analyze data and determine the composition of a penny based on physical properties and calculations. This student-centered activity allows freedom from mistakes as they explore their learning in a supportive environment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Virtually Possible:

This is a ray drawing activity to aid students in their understanding of how virtual images are formed by plane mirrors, and how the image size and distance from the mirror compare to those of the object.

Type: Lesson Plan

Picture This!:

This is a short unit plan that covers position/time and velocity/time graphs. Students are provided with new material on both topics, will have practice worksheets, and group activities to develop an understanding of motion graphs.

Type: Lesson Plan

Corn Conundrum:

The Corn Conundrum MEA provides students with an agricultural problem in which they must work as a team to develop a procedure to select the best variety of corn to grow under drier conditions predicted by models of global climate change. Students must determine the most important factors that make planting crops sustainable in restricted climate conditions for the client. The main focus of this MEA is manipulating factors relating to plant biology, including transpiration and photosynthesis.

Type: Lesson Plan

Can You Read My Mind?:

This engaging activity is a fun game requiring a teacher to team up with a student and provide insider information before the activity begins. The team will cleverly involve the rest of the class in a guessing game where students must apply logic and their understanding of variables to devise questions aimed at figuring out the trick, which allows the chosen student and the teacher to always know what the other is thinking! The concept of changing one variable at a time is critical to making progress in this game of reasoning and observation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Defining Problems and Planning Investigations:

This lesson, if well planned out and conducted properly, addresses every component of the benchmark it is intended to cover. It involves a whole-group segment, during which the teacher provides a demonstration for students to observe. It also involves a segment that requires the students consult other sources of information related to what they observed in making their hypothesis and planning their investigation. It also involves a group-learning segment, that can easily be adjusted to incorporate differentiated instruction to accommodate students with special needs, during which students conduct the investigation they planned. Finally, it also involves a segment that allows the students the opportunity to communicate the results of their investigation and to evaluate the results of investigations conducted by others. It may also involve another segment involving direct instruction of the components of the scientific method and practice opportunities for students to develop their understanding of these components if this is determined to be necessary based upon the results of the pre-lesson assessment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Profile: Judah Folkman Cancer Research:

This PBS/NOVA lesson combines a discussion of the Nature of Science using a renowned Cancer researcher (and supported by the profiles of several other renowned scientists in the activities) to study concepts of creativity and tentativeness in the Nature of Science with a study of the biological characteristics of cells in disease (cancer).

Type: Lesson Plan

Natural Records of Climate Change: Working with Indirect Evidence:

Students play a dice game to explore the differences between direct and indirect evidence. Student pairs roll dice and record the numbers rolled as a series of colors instead of numbers. Other pairs of students try to crack the color code to figure out the sequence of numbers rolled. In this way, students gain an understanding of how indirect evidence of climate change can be interpreted. In conclusion, the class discusses the various records made by humans and indirect evidence found in nature that can be studied to understand how climate has varied through time.

Key Concepts

  • Scientists collect data from many sources to identify, understand, and interpret past changes in Earth's climate.
  • Natural records of climate change, such as tree rings, ice cores, pollen and ocean sediments offer indirect evidence of climate change. They require knowledge of how the natural recorder works.
  • Records made by humans , such as artwork, harvest records, and accounts of changing seasons, are more direct, but can be incomplete.

Type: Lesson Plan

Checks Lab:

Each team has an envelope containing a series of bank checks. A few are removed at a time, and the team attempts to construct a plausible scenario which involves those checks. With each subsequent removal of checks, appropriate revision of the scenario is done. Final scenarios are compared by the class. Class discussion is designed to show how human values and biases influence observation and interpretation, even in science. This is one of the few nature-of-science lessons which have a biological connection.

Type: Lesson Plan

Personal DNA Testing:

A lesson with multi-media components from PBS/NOVA that focuses on DNA testing, including techniques, purposes, and considerations for biotechnology and human decisions regarding health. Students will learn about single nucleotide polymorphisms, how they are used in science, and how they are being used in the medical field. Students will apply this knowledge by looking at a mock data set and probabilities to inform medical recommendations.

Type: Lesson Plan

Amusement Park Physics:

Students will research various types of amusement park rides and use their findings to design a feasible ride of their own. They will summarize their findings and present their ride design to the class. Each student will then write a persuasive letter to a local amusement park describing the reasons their ride design is the best.

Type: Lesson Plan

Behavior of Gases: Disaster at Lake Nyos:

Students, through discussion and structured inquiry, will learn about the behavior of gases under various conditions. Students will be able to apply these concepts to everyday objects such as soda bottles, fire extinguishers, hot air balloons, propane tanks, and aerosol products.

Type: Lesson Plan

Blood flow: A Student-Centered Inquiry:

This is set of related lessons including direct instruction, games, readings, small group work and an inquiry activity to model factors affecting the human circulatory system.

Type: Lesson Plan

Discover the Planimal:

In this lesson, students will analyze an informational text intended to support reading in the content area. The article explains how scientists utilized the scientific method to discover a plant-animal hybrid between a sea slug and algae. Students also analyze another text reviewing the attributes of scientists that are employed to make discoveries. By reading and synthesizing two texts, students will explore a real-world example of how the scientific method led to the discovery of the first case of gene transfer between multicellular organisms. This lesson includes a note-taking guide, text-dependent questions, a writing prompt, answer keys, and a writing rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

SMALL: Shape Memory Alloy Lab:

Shape Memory Alloys are metals that can return to or 'remember' their original shape. They are a cutting edge application for Chemistry, Physics, and Integrated Science. The activities in this lesson work well for the study of forces, Newton's Laws, and electricity in physics. They also lend themselves well to crystalline structures, heat of reaction, and bonding in chemistry. In addition, students could study applications for the materials in the medical and space industries.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sunburn Stamp Out:

"Sunburn Stamp Out" MEA gives student an everyday problem they are familiar with in which they must work as a team to develop a procedure to choose the best sunscreen product for children ages 8 to 10. Students will read an informational text and then create a ranking system for the sunscreens in order to decide which product meets the client's needs.

Type: Lesson Plan

Uncertainty of Measurement:

The students will learn the application of scientific notation, significant figures, accuracy and precision as they pertain to the collection of data (measurement).

Type: Lesson Plan

Visualization of Social Networks with Node Graphs:

This lesson introduces the concept of node graphs for the purpose of visualizing social networks.

The lesson is presented with an introductory physical activity where students create a living graph. Students, building on their existing knowledge regarding common graph types, learn how node graphs can be used to visualize data from social networks.

Students will then participate in a simulated contagious infection event and will accurately record data about the transmission of the disease. These data will be used to construct a single computer file to be used to create a single node graph for describing the network. Students will then be responsible for understanding how to interpret the resulting network graph in the context of the activity.

Type: Lesson Plan

Lesson Study Resource Kits

Measurement Matters:

This Lesson Study Resource Kit is an introductory unit on measurement for a Chemistry I course.

Type: Lesson Study Resource Kit

Exploring Diversity and Evolution: A Lesson Study Resource Kit for grades 9-12:

This lesson study resource kit is designed to support lesson study teams in developing a unit of instruction for students in grades 9-12 on the topic of diversity and evolution.

Type: Lesson Study Resource Kit

Model Eliciting Activity (MEA) STEM Lesson

3D MEA: Carrying Cargo Challenge:

Students will be engaged in a hands-on activity to test the efficiency of various cargo boat designs. In testing, students will collect data using 3D-printed boat models and determine which design is superior in terms of total cargo mass. Students will explore scientific approaches, engineering design, and mathematical applications, namely developing a procedure to select a boat while meeting several constraints. In part 2 of the activity, students will have the opportunity to design their own boat prototype.

Type: Model Eliciting Activity (MEA) STEM Lesson

Original Student Tutorials

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

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

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

Perspectives Video: Experts

Library of Scientific Plant Samples: Step inside an Herbarium:

Listen as Dr. Austin Mast describes how and why an herbarium collects, maintains, and distributes plant samples for scientific research.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Reef Sampling:

NOAA Scientist, Doug Devries talks about fish survey techniques and technologies.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Systematic Approach to Testing Pilot Equipment:

Air Force Test Pilot discusses the need for systematic testing and collection of data for new flight technologies.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Testing New Designs: F-15 Experimental Aircraft:

F-15 Experimental Test Pilot discusses the importance of the iterative process of collecting data, analyzing data and communicating the findings when developing aircraft for the United States Air Force.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Oil Fingerprinting:

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

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiasts

Normal? Non-Normal Distributions & Oceanography:

What does it mean to be normally distributed?  What do oceanographers do when the collected data is not normally distributed? 

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Making Inferences about Wetland Population Sizes:

This ecologist from the Coastal Plains Institute discusses sampling techniques that are used to gather data to make statistical inferences about amphibian populations in the wetlands of the Apalachicola National Forest.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

How to Build a Research Study on Education:

This researcher explains common methods behind randomized studies in the social sciences, specifically in education.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Residuals and Laboratory Standards:

Laws and regulations that affect the public are being formed based on data from a variety of laboratories. How can we be sure that the laboratories are all standardized?

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Training, Simulation, and Modeling:

Complex problems require complex plans and training. Get in shape to get things done.

Related Resources:
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: GPS Data Set[.XLSX]
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Path Visualization for Google Earth[.KML]

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Study Your Social Network Data:

Just about anything can be data, including how you interact with social media apps!

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

Perspectives Video: Teaching Ideas

Crowd-sourced Herbarium Data Transcription:

Listen closely as Dr. Austin Mast explains how students can help scientists by transcribing data from real herbarium plant samples. 

Related Site: Notes from Nature

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

The Value of Marine Science Field Research Experiences for Teachers:

In this video, Angela Lodge describes the value of hands-on experiences gained from field research for transforming both teachers and their classroom practices. 

This research is made possible by a grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI/C-IMAGE II).
This research is made possible by a grant from the NOAA Gulf of Mexico BWET program.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Enhancing Teaching Practices through Watershed Research Outreach Programs:

Field experiences are powerful and capable of improving teachers' ability to impact students in the classroom. Watch as USF Outreach Coordinator Teresa Greely explains the experiences offered to teachers through the NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program.

This research is made possible by a grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI/C-IMAGE II).
This research is made possible by a grant from the NOAA Gulf of Mexico BWET program.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Applying Marine Field Experiences to Classroom Practices: Susan Cullum:

In this video, science teacher Susan Cullum describes the impact of field research experiences on classroom teaching practices.

This research is made possible by a grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI/C-IMAGE II).
This research is made possible by a grant from the NOAA Gulf of Mexico BWET program.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Applying Marine Field Experiences to Classroom Practices: Patty Smukall:

Listen as science teacher Patty Smukall recounts past and present marine field experiences and how they affect teaching practices back in the classroom. 

This research is made possible by a grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI/C-IMAGE II).
This research is made possible by a grant from the NOAA Gulf of Mexico BWET program.

 

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Using the Encyclopedia of Life as a Source for Science Information:

Dr. Jeff Holmes from the Harvard University Museum of Comparative Zoology discusses the Encyclopedia of Life as a teaching resource and as an example of reliable information.

This video was created in collaboration with the Okaloosa County SCIENCE Partnership including the Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Current Events:

This teacher has an idea about how to bring higher-level reading skills to science class.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Building Observational Skills with Pirate Archaeology:

Avast, me hearties! You ready to learn about observation skills?

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Citizen Science: Getting Students Involved in Conservation with Project GOO:

What could be better than having class on the beach and conducting actual research to boot? See how this marine science teacher transforms his students into scientists.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Getting Started in Science with a Goldenrod Paper Inquiry:

This simple inquiry helps students learn about the scientific method while trying to unlock the mystery of goldenrod paper.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

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 Task

Anolis Lizards of the Greater Antilles: Using phylogeny to test hypotheses :

Students "take a trip" to the Greater Antilles to figure out how the Anolis lizards on the islands might have evolved. They begin by observing the body structures and habitat of different species, then plot this data on a map of the islands to look for patterns in their distribution. From the patterns they observe, students develop alternative hypotheses about how these lizards colonized the islands and evolved. To test their hypotheses, they are given a phylogeny which they color code according to their previous data. By combining both types of data, students make a final hypothesis about how they think the lizards colonized the islands.

Type: Problem-Solving Task

Professional Development

The Nature of Science: Presenting Lessons for Maximum Effect & Dispelling Popular Myths :

The webmaster for the ENSI web site (http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb), a popular repository for Nature of Science Lessons, describes some educational philosophy about teaching the Nature of Science, including dispelling some teacher-held misconceptions.

Type: Professional Development

Project

Transpirational Design Lab:

This is an inquiry design lab for students to understand transpirational pull of plants. Like all inquiry labs, it is open for more designs than the one presented in the PowerPoint example. The example in the PowerPoint is the easiest to implement in the classroom. It requires a growlite (a bulb that produces the UV light plants need to grow), a fan, a light source with a 100 Watt bulb, Ziplock bags, rope, and plants that are the same (I use petunias).

Type: Project

Teaching Ideas

An Ecological Field Study with Statistical Analysis of Two Populations:

Students will design an investigation that compares a characteristic of two populations of the same species. Students will collect data in the field and analyze the data using descriptive statistics.

Type: Teaching Idea

Showdown at Crayfish Corral-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

Students will be able to describe the concept of dominance and hierarchy displayed by other animals after observing dominance behavior displayed by crayfish.

Type: Teaching Idea

Island of Stability:

A video and supporting activities about the Periodic Table. The context is man's quest to create elements. The focus is atomic structure and atomic theory.

Type: Teaching Idea

All Numbers Are Not Created Equal:

Although a sheet of paper is much thinner than the divisions of a ruler, we can make indirect measurements of the paper's thickness.

Type: Teaching Idea

Zip-lock Bag Reactions:

Students conduct and observe a chemical reaction in a sealable plastic bag. Students then devise and conduct their own experiments to determine the identity of two unknown substances used in the reaction.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resources

A Green Sea Slug Steals Power from Algae:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Researchers are gaining more insight into how Elysia chlorotica can survive for months without food in a well-lit laboratory. It is well known that the slug can store plastids from the algae it consumes. However, scientists questioned how the organelles remained active for several months in the slug's gut even after a drug was given to shut down photosynthesis. Using fluorescent DNA markers, scientists were able to find a gene that allows the slug to keep the chloroplasts working. It is the first known case of gene transfer from one multicellular organism to another.

Type: Text Resource

Languages Are Still a Major Barrier to Global Science:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes a Google Scholar survey, focusing on environmental issues, as the basis for presenting an argument that language is a barrier to global communication in the scientific community. The recognized barriers are two-fold: the limitation of knowledge transfer and the inability of local policy makers to make decisions based on existing knowledge. The article provides possible solutions to the problem, including the "multilingualization" of texts through changes in journal requirements.

Type: Text Resource

Analysis of Fossilized Antarctic Bird's 'Voice Box' Suggests Dinosaurs Couldn't Sing:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists have presented new findings on the fossilized voice box called a syrinx -- and its apparent absence in non-avian dinosaur fossils of the same age. This may indicate that other non-avian dinosaurs were not able to make noises similar to the bird calls we hear today.

Type: Text Resource

Antifreeze Proteins in Antarctic Fish Prevent Both Freezing and Melting:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The National Science Foundation article discusses research conducted in the Antarctic concerning the notothenioid fish, which contains "antifreeze" proteins. These proteins are essential because they prevent the fish from freezing in the cold waters of the Southern Ocean, but it was discovered that these same proteins prevent ice crystals from melting when temperatures warm.

Type: Text Resource

Cone Snail Venom Reveals Insulin Insights:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the context area. The text describes how cone snail venom, a simpler form of insulin than human insulin, works more rapidly. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body is no longer to control the glucose levels in the bloodstream. Cone snail venom could help scientists develop a better, more efficient way of treating diabetes.

Type: Text Resource

NASA Moon Mission Shares Insights into Giant Impacts:

This informational text resource supports reading in the content area. The GRAIL mission is a research project tasked with studying large impact basins. Orientale basin is a giant, ringed impact crater on Earth's moon. Until now, how impact craters with rings form had not been well understood. Scientists have reconstructed Orientale's formation using data from NASA's GRAIL mission.

Type: Text Resource

Why Artificial Sweeteners Can Increase Appetite:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes how researchers at the University of Sydney have discovered a correlation between artificial sweeteners, like sucralose, and an increased appetite. There are estimates that over 4,000 types of food contain sucralose. Billions of people around the world consume artificial sweeteners in hopes of losing weight, and until this study, little has been known about how these sweeteners affected the brain.

Type: Text Resource

Ten things to know about Scott Kelly’s #YearInSpace:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes an ongoing NASA research project where astronaut Scott Kelly and cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko are being tested for the effects of a year-long spaceflight. However, the science of their mission spans three years: one year before they left, one year in space, and another upon their return. In addition, part of the research also includes the Twin Study; Scott’s identical twin brother, and a former astronaut, served as a human control on the ground during Scott’s year-long stay in space.

Type: Text Resource

Risk Assessment, for the Birds:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Bird migration patterns have shown to be much more complex than once thought. Birds change their patterns based on a variety of factors, recent research indicates. The article refers to this as risk assessment; it includes the availability of food, strength, and even weather. The research was completed using three different species of songbird. Researchers are hoping that understanding of these patterns will help us in our conservation efforts.

Type: Text Resource

Drag-and-Drop DNA: Novel Technique Aiding Development of New Cancer Drugs:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. It informs readers of how cutting edge nanotechnology is being combined with supercomputing and drug production. The new process it describes uses unique algorithms to search for DNA sequences that will self-assemble molecules tailored to locate, attach, and kill cancer cells. The passage also is a good example of how public agencies can support private-sector entities through various grants.

Type: Text Resource

Astronomers Developed Technology While Studying Gliese 581:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The author describes research on identifying "habitable" planets and explains how failed attempts might actually open the doors to more thorough research. Scientists faced the challenge of collecting specific data in order to determine if readings pointed to the existence of a planet. When research revealed that their original hypotheses were incorrect, the scientists were able to take the new information and apply it to further investigations.

Type: Text Resource

Do Bigger Brains Make Smarter Carnivores?:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text describes an experiment that helps to confirm that larger brain size could indicate higher intelligence within carnivorous mammals. The experiment involved 140 animals and each was given the same task of retrieving food from a locked box within 30 minutes. The results of the test show that having a larger brain really does improve an animal’s ability to solve a problem it has never encountered before.

Type: Text Resource

Where Do Rats Move in After Disasters?:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article describes how a mathematical model can be used to simulate how environmental changes affect populations of pathogen-carrying rodents. A "capture" program undertaken by researchers at Tulane University allowed them to capture rats in post-Katrina neighborhoods in order to determine how rats migrate after natural or man-made disasters.

Type: Text Resource

Clues to Future of Undersea Exploration May Reside Inside a Jellyfish-like Creature:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article relates the findings of a study by four scientists about siphonophores, a relatively little-studied organism related to jellyfish and corals. Their study focuses on this organism's ability to move through the water column in a coordinated fashion and how this knowledge may help humans propel themselves efficiently underwater.

Type: Text Resource

Parasites: Rulers of the Reef:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text informs readers about the influence of parasites on damselfish, a coral reef species. The author explains how his team determined the reason for the consistent behavior of damselfish leaving their aggressively guarded territory each morning to go to a cleaning station. Through the scientist describing how his research lead to new observations that lead to new questions and research, the text is a good example of how scientific investigations are conducted, including working collaboratively and communicating important results.

Type: Text Resource

Why Do We Yawn?:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The article seeks to answer the question, "Why do we yawn?" Scientists have yet to reach consensus about the function of yawning. Social and physiological claims about why we yawn are presented from Hippocrates, 17th and 18th century scientists, and scientists today.

Type: Text Resource

Starving the Beast: New NSF-Funded Research Finds Way to Withhold Cancer Cells' Favorite Food:

This informational text resource supports reading in the content area. This text describes the findings of a scientific study to determine how cancer cell growth can be halted by reducing the amount of copper that is transported to the cell. The text also describes how the scientists used the scientific method to develop their experiment.

Type: Text Resource

Text Resource - Purple Haze: Ancient Pigment Reveals Secrets about Unusual State of Matter:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. The text explains how extreme cooling of an ancient pigment comprised of metallic compounds, as well as exposure to strong magnetic fields, converts the matter into a state called a Bose-Einstein condensate. In this state, the behavior of electrons within the pigment's atoms shifts and they form a single magnetic threedimensional structure. When the condensate is cooled even further in this case, the magnetic structure loses a dimension.

Type: Text Resource

Three Miles High: Using Drones to Study High-Altitude Glaciers:

This informational text resource is designed to support reading in the content area. This text describes new and creative technologies that are being used in climate research to study high-altitude glaciers and map how they are changing. The text describes the ways in which the use of drones with time-lapse thermal camera systems are being used to gather data over the Peruvian Andes more effectively than satellites or planes. The text also describes some of the researchers' early findings based on the data they have gathered through the use of these drones.

Type: Text Resource

Cholera: Tracking the First Truly Global Disease:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes London in the mid-19th century as a filthy, foul place for an ever-increasing population as families relocated to the city hoping for work. Open reservoirs and use of the nearby Thames for raw sewage disposal was commonplace. Outbreaks of disease thrived in these environments but no causal association was made until Dr. John Snow hypothesized that cholera was transmitted by contaminated food or water. He mapped cholera deaths to sources of contaminated water, ultimately leading to improved sanitation and public health.

Type: Text Resource

Ultracold Atoms:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Most students are familiar with the four most common states of matter, but what about the 5th state of matter, the Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC for short)? This article explains what a BEC is and how researchers are exploring this unique state of matter.

Type: Text Resource

Killing a Patient to Save His Life:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article explores a controversial clinical trial being conducted by the University of Pittsburgh. Scientists are exploring more efficient ways to save lives when patients enter the emergency room in critical condition. The idea involves draining the patient's blood and replacing it with freezing saltwater to induce a hypothermic state that will buy doctors more time to save human lives. This is causing an ethical debate as patients will be essentially clinically dead during this procedure. The technique is known as Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation (EPR).

Type: Text Resource

Feathers Yield Mysteries of Pigment Chemistry to Spectroscopic Analysis:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The pigments in the feathers of bird specimens have been traditionally hard to analyze because it required destroying the feathers. Now, scientists have come up with a new, non-destructive way to explore the complex chemistry of bird feather pigments, using lasers and Raman spectroscopy.

Type: Text Resource

Phrenology-History of a Science and Pseudoscience:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses phrenology, which is a pseudoscience that claims to be able to use bumps on human skulls to make inferences about personality traits. The article details why phrenology is not a true science, and reviews the history of phrenology, the role of phrenology in the debate about the organization of the brain, how phrenology came under scientific criticism, and modern iterations of the technique.

Type: Text Resource

Iron in Earth's Core Weakens Before Melting:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Researchers have created models that can be used to understand previously unexplained properties of the Earth's core. Previously, we have not been able to explain the behavior of seismic waves traveling through the core. However, a new model suggests that the iron in the core greatly weakens before melting, which slows the waves down.

Type: Text Resource

Heaviest Named Element is Official:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the addition of copernicium, the heaviest named element, to the periodic table. It discusses the process of validation required for elements to be named and added to the periodic table.

Type: Text Resource

Chemistry Unearths the Secrets of the Terracotta Army:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. In 1974 a group of Chinese farmers digging a well came across a great discovery: the Terracotta Army from the tomb of the first emperor of China. Since the discovery, archaeologists have been researching many aspects of the artifacts. Recently, with the use of chemistry, they have been able to determine many details of the weapons of the Terracotta Army, including their chemical composition and production techniques.

Type: Text Resource

Newly Discovered Paddle Prints Show How Ancient Sea Reptiles Swam:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area.

Scientists have found fossils in seabeds in China that are tracks left by nothosaurs, ancient sea reptiles. These tracks provide evidence that these reptiles moved by rowing their forelimbs in unison, answering a long-standing question about how they propelled themselves.

Type: Text Resource

With Data and Resolve, Tacoma Fights Pollution:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Rain and runoff carry pollutants from human activity to the sea in places like Tacoma, Washington. The city has devised a scientific process for identifying sources and pathways of pollution and is making headway in reducing pollutant buildup and damage. By utilizing forensic methods to find the source of pollution and fining polluters, Tacoma is winning the war.

Type: Text Resource

The Weird, Wild World of Citizen Science is Already Here:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes the collision course between citizens and scientists as "makers" and "hobbyists" begin aiding and supplementing the scientific community more and more. The article gives many examples of amateurs helping out on active projects, especially when science cannot dedicate the hours or money necessary to complete them.

Type: Text Resource

Meteorites May Have Sparked Life on Earth:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists have formulated and tested another theory to explain how life began on Earth: meteorites crashing into the surface of the ancient planet brought with them the elements of life's building blocks. The results of the scientists' simulations are promising.

Type: Text Resource

How Basic Research Fuels Medical Advances:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Research out of Scripps Research Institute's Florida campus illustrates how studying simple processes, such as DNA replication, can lead to highly beneficial medical advances: in this case, a possible cure for adult-onset muscular dystrophy. The article also shows how basic research has led to some familiar medical applications.

Type: Text Resource

The Unexplained Mystery of Why Hot Water Freezes Faster than Cold:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the Mpemba Effect - the odd phenomenon that causes hot water to freeze faster than cold water. The author discovers how a high school student brought the Mpemba Effect to the attention of a physicists and explores potential hypotheses for the cause of the phenomenon. The author goes on to discuss some experiments that have sought to explain the Mpemba Effect, but none have done so conclusively.

Type: Text Resource

Math for Hungry Birds:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. A new study indicates that the flying patterns of hunting albatrosses may resemble mathematical designs called fractals. This article describes the basics of fractals and why scientists think the albatross may hunt in such patterns. As it turns out, many animals may use math to find food!

Type: Text Resource

NASA Widens 2014 Hurricane Research Mission:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article focuses on the technology used by NASA for its most recent research being conducted on hurricanes. It describes the technology used as well as the data that is collected. It is an excellent article for explaining how scientists "know what they know" about weather.

Type: Text Resource

Deploying the Body's Army:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists have been making breakthroughs in immunotherapy: the use of infectious pathogens as a method for treating cancer. The infections heighten the response of the immune system and eradicate the cancer in the process.

Type: Text Resource

Urban Bees Respond to Littering by Adopting Innovative Nest-Building Techniques:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text explains how some bees living in an urban environment have started to build their nests out of human-made materials such as plastics. Furthermore, the bees seem to prefer the materials to plants! Scientists theorize that these nests may actually prove to be safer for the bees, as they are stronger and protect against parasites.

Type: Text Resource

The Calamitous Climate Responsible for Florida's Record Rainfall:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article introduces extreme rainfall as an effect of climate change that is both measurable and personal - as it occurred in our own back yard. The article discusses the storm in Pensacola before heading into information about climate change.

Type: Text Resource

Birds Have Clever Solution for a Cuckoo Conundrum:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The text describes how Australia's superb fairy wrens have developed a solution to the parasitism of the cuckoos that lay their eggs in their nests. The wrens' adaptation of singing to incubating eggs allows the unborn babies to learn the call as a password. Once born, the babies repeat this call to the mother so she can feed them and not the parasitic cuckoos.

Type: Text Resource

Antimatter:

This informational text is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes the history of the study of antimatter in language that is easier to understand than most technical texts.

Type: Text Resource

The Sloth's Busy Inner Life:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article is about how scientists sought to understand why some sloths descend from trees, risking their lives, to defecate on the ground. Their research results suggest that the behavior is to increase the benefit gained from the sloth's mutualists: moths and algae.

Type: Text Resource

Skull Fossil Suggests Simpler Human Lineage:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article discusses the discovery of "Skull 5" and the traits that have led scientists to the conclusion that early Homo was a more diverse genus than realized before.

Type: Text Resource

F-16 Accident Investigation Complete:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Investigators give their final conclusion of what caused an F-16 crash after making scientific observations.

Type: Text Resource

New Problem Linked to 'Jet Lag':

This resource is intended to support reading in the content area. Scientists have discovered that when they disrupt waking and sleeping times in mice, their immune systems responded in a harmful way causing disease, asthma, allergies and maybe even immune disorders.

Type: Text Resource

The Story of Serendipity:

The article explains how some famous scientific discoveries that happened "by accident" more accurately resulted from scientific habits of mind, which allowed researchers to take full advantage of these serendipitous moments.

Type: Text Resource

Faster than the Speed of Light:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article discusses how neutrinos seem to be arriving at their destination slightly faster than mathematically calculated and describes how the discovery of new scientific evidence must undergo scrutiny from many angles before being accepted.

Type: Text Resource

Illuminating the Perils of Pollution, Nature's Way:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article explores the work of Dr. Edith Widder in researching animals that make light. Specifically, she has has found a way use bioluminescence to fight pollution in the Indian River Lagoon.

Type: Text Resource

Threatened Coral Get Fishy Rescue:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article describes an experiment that was done by scientists to show how corals are being destroyed by a certain type of seaweed and how gobie fish rescue the coral.

Type: Text Resource

"The Riddle of the Human Species," a New York Times Opinionator blog by biologist E. O. Wilson :

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This New York Times Opinionator blog by one of the world's leading biologists is an explanation of the important role that "eusociality" has played in human evolution.

Type: Text Resource

"What Do Scientific Studies Show?" an Opinionator Blog from The New York Times:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area.

It includes an explanation from a philosophy professor of what is wrong when the media reports on scientific results that are later called into question.

Type: Text Resource

"Top Ten Things to Know About Stem Cell Treatments":

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area.

The reading passage is a Top Ten list by the International Society for Stem Cell Research intended to educate the general public about the myths and realities of stem cell treatments.

Type: Text Resource

Metastasis Stem Cells in Blood of Breast Cancer Patients Discovered:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area.

Science Daily posted a summary of a research study originally published in Germany about how metastasis stem cells were found in the blood of breast cancer patients.

Type: Text Resource

"Forget the Placebo Effect: It's the 'Care Effect' that Matters":

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This article published in Wired magazine explains how caring is an important variable when measuring the effects of different medical treatments on patients' well-being.

Type: Text Resource

The Structure of DNA: Cooperation and Competition:

The insight, innovation, and persistence of James Watson, Rosalind Franklin, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins led to a detailed understanding of the structure of DNA, the stuff that genes are made of. This discovery brought together information from many disciplines and many researchers to answer one of the most fundamental questions in life science: How do living things pass on traits to their offspring?

Type: Text Resource

Tutorials

Infectious Evidence:

Click "View Site" to open a full-screen version. This tutorial is designed to help secondary science teachers learn how to integrate literacy skills within their science curriculum. This tutorial focuses on using specific textual evidence to support students' responses as they analyze science texts. The focus on literacy across content areas is designed to help students independently build knowledge in different disciplines through reading and writing.

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

Scientific Method Tutorial and Virtual Experiment:

Site takes the student through a tutorial, then a virtual experiment designed to test the affect of various environmental variables on the rate of chirping in crickets. The steps in the tutorial and the experiment are - Define the Problem, Collect Information, Formulate a Hypothesis, Test the Hypothesis, and Draw a Conclusion.

Type: Tutorial

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Modeling for Understanding Natural Selection:

This series of lessons introduces students to evolutionary reasoning and to the explanatory power of the Darwinian model of natural selection. Students read three evolutionary scientists' (Paley, Lamarck and Darwin) original work and compare their thinking, proposed mechanism of evolution, use of evidence, and explanatory power of their theory. They apply the three scientists thinking to another scenario to refine their understanding of the explanations.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Video/Audio/Animations

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

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

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Inquiry and Ocean Exploration:

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

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Citizen Science:

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

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Virtual Manipulatives

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

Mesquite - Phylogenetic Trees:

Students use software to create evolutionary trees by comparing and contrasting physical traits.

This activity demonstrates the complexity of creating evolutionary trees when multiple traits are being analyzed. The use of the software simplifies the analysis without compromising the learning objectives.

Type: Virtual Manipulative

Student Resources

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

Original Student Tutorials

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

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

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

Perspectives Video: Expert

Oil Fingerprinting:

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

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

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

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

Video/Audio/Animations

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

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

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Inquiry and Ocean Exploration:

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

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Citizen Science:

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

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Virtual 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

Parent Resources

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

Perspectives Video: Expert

Oil Fingerprinting:

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

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Expert

Perspectives Video: Teaching Ideas

Current Events:

This teacher has an idea about how to bring higher-level reading skills to science class.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Getting Started in Science with a Goldenrod Paper Inquiry:

This simple inquiry helps students learn about the scientific method while trying to unlock the mystery of goldenrod paper.

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Teaching Idea

Tutorial

Scientific Method Tutorial and Virtual Experiment:

Site takes the student through a tutorial, then a virtual experiment designed to test the affect of various environmental variables on the rate of chirping in crickets. The steps in the tutorial and the experiment are - Define the Problem, Collect Information, Formulate a Hypothesis, Test the Hypothesis, and Draw a Conclusion.

Type: Tutorial

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