Predict This!

predict this!

Using Models to Observe Correlation and Improve Predictions

by Caleb Bryce, Kim Goetz and Pablo Barrick

In this mini-activity, students measure the masses of specific numbers of beans and graph their data. From their graph they determine a linear model equation. Using their model, they predict the number of beans based on a given mass. The students are asked to create their own model for estimating the number of marbles in a large jar.

Students learn: 1) How to make graphs to depict data and to assess patterns; 2) How correlation can be used to construct a practical model; 3) How to use a model to predict what can not be easily measured; and 4) How to use evidence to support an argument.

Docs: fulltext.pdf
Keywords: argument, evidence, models, patterns, prediction, proportion, scale, systems


E-LiteracyEvaluating Online Sources

by Elissa Olimpi, and Chrissy MacLean

Students are faced with an overwhelming amount of information online and need to learn how to sift through available sources to find ones that are credible and appropriate for a specific research task. Many students have a basic understanding of the importance of evaluating sources, but have not practiced source evaluation. This lesson guides students through the process by highlighting questions that the student should ask of the source in order to decide if it is reliable.

Students learn: 1) A systematic approach for evaluating the credibility of internet sources 2) How to determine which sources to use for specific tasks, 3) How to cite textual evidence, and 4) How to corroborate or challenge claims.

Docs: fulltext.docx   intro.pptx   assessment.docx
Keywords: communication, evidence, sources


Says Who

says who.Deciphering a Scientific Article

by Hamutahl Cohen and Dan Johnston

The goal of this module is to teach students how to read and understand scientific articles. This skill can be applied to answering a variety of research questions from different disciplines of science and engineering. The context for this inquiry is the impact of climate change on a species. Although climate change is the specific prompt used here, the prompt can be modified for different classroom topics and different courses.

Students learn: 1) How to read a scientific article, 2) How to use scientific articles to answer questions, and 3) How to cite information in APA format.

Docs: fulltext.docx   intro.ppt   handout.docx   pikas.pdf   bears.pdf   turtles.pdf
Keywords: APA citation, cause, climate change, communication, HS-ESS3.C, HS-LS2.A, scientific articles


Solving Crimes with Chemistry

Solving Crimes with ChemistryThe Case of the Missing Balance

by Chandra Goetsch, Rachel Zuercher, Ruth Herradora, and Burnne Yew

Many specialty fields use a variety of scientific techniques to answer questions and/or solve problems. For example, forensic scientists collect different pieces of evidence from a crime scene. This module encourages students to choose which methods are appropriate to test the evidence. After conducting the appropriate chemical tests, the students conclude which suspect committed the crime.

Students learn: 1) How chemical testing is used to identify unknown substances, 2) How to collect data from a series of experiments, and 3) How to record and interpret data and make conclusions based on gathered evidence.

Docs: fulltext.docx   presentation.pptx   teacherguide.docx   studentguide.docx   worksheet.docx   chemref.docx   bios.docx   report.docx
Keywords: argument, cause, chemical tests, communication, crime, data, evidence, explanations, forensic science, investigations, patterns, HS-PS1.A

Colors in Chemistry

colors in chemistryUsing Paper Chromatography to Understand Polarity

by Chandra Goetsch, Rachel Zuercher, Ruth Herradora, and Burnne Yew

It’s difficult for students to understand some chemistry concepts, such as polarity, without being able to see a molecule. This module visually shows students the difference between polar and nonpolar substances. It helps students understand separation chemistry and gives them a background to understanding other chromatography techniques.

Students learn: 1) How chromatography helps scientists test the components of different mixtures, 2) How solubility of polar and nonpolar substances differ depending on the solvent, and 3) How to collect data during an experiment.

A SCWIBLES video to accompany our hands-on inquiry-based module on paper chromatography developed by Fellows Rachel Zuercher and Chandra Goetsch.


Docs: fulltext.docx   presentation.pptx   worksheet.docx
Keywords: chromatography, data, explanations, investigations, patterns, polarity, HS-PS1.A


Toxic Avengers


toxic avengersTools for Uncovering the Human Geography of Pollution

by Jenny Lovell and Dawn Krenz

Environmental Justice (EJ) describes the trend of environmental impacts disproportionately affecting minority communities. It is a great subject to get students engaged about their neighborhoods and health. The Toxics Movement is closely related to EJ and shares the common interest of all people having the right to a clean and healthy environment.

Students learn: 1) How to look up public census data, 2) How to find toxic sites in their neighborhood, 3) How to formulate a testable question regarding census data and toxic sites, 4) How to synthesize data and draw conclusions that answer their questions, and 5) The key components of presenting a social science project to an audience.

Docs: fulltext.docx   presentation.pptx   activity.docx   checklist.docx
eywords: argument, cause, communication, data, environmental justice, mapping, questions, toxic sites


Spinning Tops

spinning tops

Experiencing the Scientific Process

by Kristin deNesnera and Max Tarjan

Independently planning and conducting investigations can be a daunting process for students. This module prepares students to carry out a study from beginning to end and to experience the feeling of ownership that makse the process more exciting. For students who are considering doing a science fair project, this mini-module will give them a better sense of their responsibilities as a science fair participant.

Students learn: 1) How to carry out an investigative study from start to finish, 2) How to perform skills needed for the scientific process and 3) What skills are needed to perform an independent science project (like a school science fair project).

Docs: fulltext.docx   StudentWorksheet.docx   TeacherTips.docx  Worksheet_Espanol.docx
Keywords: argument, cause, data, explanations, investigations, models, patterns, HS-PS2.A, questions, science fair, scientific process, structure

A Fact of Matter

a fact of matterExploring Trends Across the Periodic Table

by Vikram Baliga, Burnne Yew, Ruth Herradora and Bill Callahan

The periodic table is designed to reflect the key properties of all of the elements. This module gives an overview of the trends we see within each group of the periodic table. This module addresses NGSS Performance Expectation HS-PS1-1 by having students analyze trends in the periodic table in relation to atomic radius and first ionization energy.

Students learn: The relative sizes of elements in the periodic table; The definitions of atomic radius and first ionization energy; and How trends in atomic structure relate to trends in first ionization energy and atomic radius.

Docs: fulltext.pdf   lecture.pdf   handout.pdf
Keywords: atomic radius, atomic stucture, math, models, patterns, periodic table, HS-PS1.A, questions, scale, systems

Spit Lab

spit labMacromolecules and Environmental Effects on Enzymes

by Jenn Yost and Erin Mejía

In this module students will do an activity and a lab. A cut-out activity illustrates the anabolic and catabolic functions of enzymes, enzyme specificity, and the individual components of macromolecules. Students then test the effects of temperature on enzymatic activity in spit.

Docs: fulltext.pdf   module.doc   worksheet.doc   enzymes.pdf   lab.doc   lablecture.pdf   enzymelecture.pdf
Keywords: cause, enzymes, investigations, HS-LS1.A, macromolecules, math, models, HS-PS1.B, spit, structure, systems

Controlling DNA

controlling DNA

Ethical Guidelines for the Use of DNA Technology

by Tara Cornelisse

In four 2-hour class sessions, AP Biology students receive enriched, in-depth Power Point lectures that accompany their study of Campbell’s AP Biology textbook to explain the mechanics of DNA modification, and engage in two different group activities to apply their understandings of both science and social issues through engaged ethical reasoning, debate, and presentations.

Docs: Fulltext.pdf   Worksheet.pdf   Lecture 1.pdf   Lecture 2.pdf
Keywords: bioethics, communication, debate, DNA, HS-ETS2.A, HS-ETS2.B, HS-LS3.A

Vehicles Powered on Waste

vehicles powered on waste

Producing Biodiesel from Used Vegetable Oil

by Jennie Liss Ohayon, Mark Sterrett and Ryan Kuntz

In this lab, students learn how to think about what makes the energy in vegetable oil available to use for vehicle engines. They learn about the chemical reactions that produce biodiesel, and why these chemical reactions are needed to produce vehicle-ready fuel. They practice making biodiesel, and compare the results when they use different amounts of catalyst, and when they use either new or used vegetable oil.

Docs: fulltext.pdf
Keywords: biodiesel, catalyst, chemical reactions, data, energy, HS-ESS3.B, HS-ETS1.B, explanations, investigations, HS-PS3.A, HS-PS3.D, questions, structure, vegetable oil

Filtering out Pollution

filtering out pollutionLowering Turbidity to Increase Water Quality

by Tara Cornelisse and Ruben Mejia

In this lab activity, students learn what turbidity is and how to measure it using a turbidity sensor connected to a data logger. Students then use an array of readily available materials to investigate how to build a water filter that efficiently reduces turbidity.

Docs: fulltext.pdf
Keywords: build, data, HS-ESS3.A, HS-ESS3.C, HS-ETS1.C, HS-ETS2.B, explanations, investigations, HS-PS1.A, questions, turbidity, water, water filter, water quality