Go Fish

Go_FishExploring Fisheries Management

by Rachel Zuercher, Ben Higgins, and Satina Ciandro

More than 1/3 of people in the world rely on fish as their major source of protein, however, global fisheries today face enormous challenges such as; overfishing, habitat loss, marine pollution and climate change. Fortunately, well-designed fisheries regulations can help mitigate these problems and ensure sustainability of fisheries into the future. Teaching students about fisheries can lead to a public that is informed regarding fisheries management, and a generation of conscious seafood consumers.

This module is an opportunity for students to learn: 1) The “tragedy of the commons” in the context of fisheries, 2) The components that make up a fishery, 3) Some of the causes of overfishing, 4) How fisheries regulations work, and 5) The benefits and costs of fisheries regulations.

Docs: GoFish_module_text.docx  West_coast_groundfish_template.pdf  intro.pdf   wrksht.docx   labwrksht.docx
Standards: HS-ESS3, Models, Cause and Effects, Systems
Keywords: cause communication economics fisheries HS-ESS3 math models natural resources systems tragedy of the commons

Tragedy of the Goldfish

tragedy of the goldfishSustainably Managing a Common Pool Resource

by Duran Fiack and Dan Johnston

The tragedy of the commons is a dilemma when multiple individuals, acting independently, deplete a shared, limited resource. Articulating solutions to the tragedy of the commons is one of the main problems of environmental policy and natural resource managers. In the absence of enlightened self-interest, altruistic or cooperative behavior, some form of authority is needed to solve the collective action problem.

In this module, students represent independent actors seeking to catch fish to support their livelihood. Students learn: 1) How human activities can cause resource depletion, 2) How interactions between individual actors are important in natural resource management, and 3) How to use data to make graphs and to discover trends over time.

Docs: fullltext.docx   lecture.pptx   info.docx   handout1.docx
Keywords: cause, common pool resource, environmental policy, graphs, HS-LS3.A, HS-LS3.B, HS-LS4.A, natural resource, patterns

Are You My Sister

Sister moduleBuilding Trees to Understand Evolutionary Relationships

by Ben Higgins and Satina Ciandro

How do students begin to make sense of the vast diversity of life?  Even when exposed to just a sliver of such diversity, it is commonplace for students to become disengaged.  This module is a first step in understanding why and how animals are classified and to become excited about the process.

The purpose of this module is to use the traits that each species possess to develop an understanding of species relatedness.  Upon completion of this module, students should have a better understanding of why assemblages of animals are classified together. This module is an opportunity for students to learn: 1) How organisms are grouped together and 2) How to interpret relationships among groups of organisms.

Docs: sequences.docx   cards.pdf
Keywords: argument, cause, data, evolutionary trees, explanations, HS-LS3.B, HS-LS3.A, HS-LS3.B, HS-LS4.A, investigations, models, MS-LS4.A, patterns, phylogenetics, traits

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

Round & Round It Goes

round and round it goesGetting Dizzy in Geosynchronous Orbit

by Caleb Bryce and Stephen Buchter

Some satellites “hover” over one place on the earth’s surface – a geosynchronous orbit. This module introduces students to the physics behind geosynchronous orbits. Students work together to find the relationship between the radius and the velocity of an object in circular motion. They graph their data and calculate the gravitational force needed to keep a satellite in geosynchronous orbit.

Students learn: 1) How circular motion is critical for satellites to stay in orbit, 2) How velocity and mass of an object in circular motion are related, and 4) How to use a graphical hypothesis to make predictions, interpret data, and create an argument from evidence.

A SCWIBLES video used as an intro to the Geosynchronous Orbit module created by Caleb Bryce and Stephen Buchter.

Docs: fulltext.docx   lecture.pptx   prequiz.pptx   quiz.pptx   quizkey.pptx   vandrlect.pptx
Keywords: argument, cause, data, geosynchronous, investigations, math, models, patterns, HS-PS2.A, HS-PS2.B, radius, systems, velocity


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


Go With the Flow

go with the flowThe Impact of Slope and Substrate on Water Flow Speed

by Catherine Wade and Will Federman

Water constantly cycles through the earth and the atmosphere. The study of water flow in streams and rivers and on impervious surfaces involves many variables. These include the slope or gradient of a stream, surface, or pipe and the type of substrate that water is flowing through. In this lab activity, students investigate how the speed of water flow changes with different slopes and different substrates.

Students learn: 1) How slope and substrate affect the speed of water flow, 2) How to ask questions, carry out an experiment and develop graphical hypotheses and 3) How to calculate speed and mathematical averages, and 4) How to plot line and bar graphs, and use data to explain results.

Docs: fulltext.docx   presentation.ppt   worksheet.docx
Keywords: argument, cause, data, erosion, HS-ESS2.C, explanations, graphs, hypothesis, investigations, math, models, questions, systems, water

Physics of Motion

Motion ModuleHow Far Can You Hit the Ball?

by Ben Higgins, Caleb Bryce and Stephen Buchter

Objects are in motion all around us, yet it is often difficult to measure even the basic properties of moving objects such as their velocity, acceleration, or turning angles. Fortunately, a freely available software, called Tracker, lets you measure the underlying mechanics for any object in motion. All you need is a computer and a video of the motion that you’d like to investigate. This module uses a baseball bat swing to show how the Tracker software works.

This module is an opportunity for students to: 1) Learn how to use the Tracker software, 2) Hypothesize what factors are responsible for how far a batter can hit a ball, 3) See how far they can hit the ball, and 4) Test a hypothesis and then interpret and communicat the results.

A SCWIBLES video that explains the use of "Tracker", a free software app. Tracker allows you to gather physics data on the motion of any moving object seen in a video.

Docs: fulltext.docx   wrksht.docx
Keywords: acceleration, arguing from evidence, cause, computational thinking, HS-PS2, investigations, mechanics, motion, newtonian physics, projectile, velocity

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

Native Plant Garden

native plant gardenAssessing Biodiversity Using a School Garden

by Jenn Yost, Carla Fresquez and Bill Callahan

One way that we can protect biodiversity is by restoring degraded habitats to more natural conditions. This process can be simulated at a school through the restoration of a degraded plot of land into local native plant communities. Planting a native garden is a way to expose students to local biodiversity, teach them the importance of biodiversity, and mimic what can be done on a large scale to restore ecosystems once they are degraded.

Students 1) develop their own methods to quantify biodiversity, 2) measure biodiversity in a native garden, and 3) gain first hand experience in native plant gardens, restoration, and human impacts on environments.

Docs: fulltext.docx   lecture1.pdf   lecture2.pptx   handout.docx   datasetExs.xlsx   graphs.docx
Keywords: argument, biodiversity, cause, data, HS-ESS3.A, HS-ESS3.C, explanations, garden, investigations, HS-LS1.A, HS-LS2.A, HS-LS2.C, HS-LS4.A, HS-LS4.D, models, native plants, patterns, questions, restoration, systems

Splitting Atoms

splitting atomsArguments From Evidence to Address Nuclear Energy Policy

by Duran Fiack and Chrissy MacLean

In this module students represent the views of an interest group that either supports or opposes the expansion of nuclear-generated energy in the U.S. Students learn about the source of energy within the U.S. with a focus on the potential benefits and risks associated with expansion of nuclear energy.

In this module, students learn: How to formulate arguments from evidence, how to examine different views from a range of interest groups, how to evaluate a U.S. policy statement from an interest group perspective. Students will also learn how to understand the issues surrounding public policy decisions and the potential challenges of finding a political solution in a democratic society.

Docs: fulltext.pdf   intro.pdf   reading.pdf   groupnames.pdf   worksheet.pdf
Keywords: argument, cause, communication, HS-ESS3.A, HS-ESS3.C, HS-ESS3.D, evidence, nuclear energy, policy, scale

Land to Sea

land to seaSearching for the Source of Pollutants

by Max Tarjan and Will Federman

In this module students work in small groups with map-based data to learn about watersheds and to find a likely source of pollutants. After a short introduction, students work together to intrepret ther maps provided and to support an argument, stating where the pollutant is coming from, using the map data as evidence. The module provides all the supporting materials needed to run a 90 minute activity.

In this module, students learn: 1) How substances and organisms on land can affect ocean life, 2) How human activities may disrupt ecosystem integrity, to identify the watershed that supplies a river, 3) How to interpret maps of watersheds and land use, and 4) How to combine information from different maps using map scales, and 5) How to make estimates based on map data, and engage in argument from evidence.

Docs: fulltext.pdf   introlect.pdf   summarylect.pdf   handout.pdf   watersheds.pdf   landuse.pdf   seaotters.pdf   sealions.pdf
Keywords: argument, cause, communication, data, HS-ESS2.C, evidence, explanations, HS-LS2.A, HS-LS2.C, mapping, marine mammals, models, patterns, pollution, scale, systems, watersheds

Top Carnivore

top carnivoreTrophic Cascades and Predator-Prey Dynamics

by Veronica Yovovich and Dan Johnston

This module presents a “game” activity in which students learn about trophic cascades and how the different elements of a food chain interact. The module explores the importance of top-down regulation and how predators may regulate the habitats in which they live.

In this module, students learn: 1) How predators and prey interact, 2) How human activities may disrupt ecosystem integrity, 3) How to formulate predictions and hypotheses, 4) How to engage in argument from evidence, make and interpret simple graphs, and make estimates based on data they collect.

Docs: fulltext.pdf   handout.pdf   homework.pdf   cards.pdf
Keywords: argument, cause, data, evidence, food web, graphs, HS-LS2.A, HS-LS2.C, math, models, predators, prey, stability, systems, trophic cascades

Hold Your Breath!

hold your breathby Vikram Baliga and Sarah Baumgart

This module helps students learn about the mammalian dive response. Students simulate a dive by submerging their faces in cold water for 30 seconds. They measure heart rate and body temperature before and after the “dive”. Students learn how the human body responds to stress (cold water) and they convey their findings using bar graphs and a final lab report.




Fellow Vikram Baliga produced this video to accompany his Dive Response module for inquiry-based education in high school science lab.

Docs: fulltext.docx   worksheet.docx
Keywords: body temperature, cause, data, dive response, graphs, heart rate, investigations, HS-LS1.A, math, questions, stability, systems

Ecosystem in a Jar

ecosystem in a jarExperimenting With Plant Growth

by Kristin McCully and Jack Horner

Students, as a class, develop, conduct, and analyze an experiment to determine what affects the growth of an “ecosystem in a jar.” “Ecosystems” include soil, water, plant seeds, and other items decided by the class in glass jars. Discussion should focus on experimental design and analysis, but instructor can incorporate ecosystem ecology, biodiversity, food chains and webs, photosynthesis and respiration, and other concepts of ecology and biology.

Docs: fulltext.pdf
Keywords: cause, communication, data, ecosystem, experimental design, investigations, jar, HS-LS2.A, HS-LS2.D, math, models, patterns, photosynthesis, plants, questions, respiration, stability, structure, 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

Vanishing Shells

vanishing shellsEffects of Ocean Acidification on Marine Life

by Tara Cornelisse and Bill Callahan

This project is an opportunity for students to learn how increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere decreases the ocean’s pH and negatively affects shelled marine organisms. Students start with short informational videos and news readings, and then a real-life problem (an oyster business) as the context for designing questions, hypotheses, and investigating this phenomenon through hands-on experiments.

Docs: fulltext.pdf   labworksheet.pdf   labkey.pdf
Keywords: atmosphere, carbon dioxide, cause, data, HS-ESS3.C, HS-ESS3.D, explanations, investigations, marine, ocean acidification, oysters, pH, HS-PS1.B, questions, shells, stability, structure

Roadkill Reduction with GIS

road-kill reduction with GIS

Learning to Use Layers

by Beth Bastiaans and Dan Johnston

What factors influence roadkill densities on our streets and highways? What steps can we take to protect wildlife? In this 2-hour module, students use Google Earth to learn how Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology can help solve environmental problems. They also develop and test their own original hypotheses about roadkill, a familiar, local environmental issue. By combining multiple GIS layers in Google Earth, students develop and test hypotheses about which other landscape features may be correlated with roadkill frequency. Finally, the students discuss the difference between correlation and causation and what factors might bias their analyses.

Docs: Fulltext.pdf
Keywords: argument, causation, cause, communication, correlation, data, HS-ESS3.C, HS-ETS2.A, HS-ETS2.B, explanations, GIS, investigations, layers, math, patterns, questions, roadkill, systems

It Runs in the Family

Runs in the FamilyBuilding Trees to Understand Evolutionary Relationships

by Ben Higgins and Satina Ciandro

How do students begin to make sense of the vast diversity of life?  Even when exposed to just a sliver of such diversity, it is commonplace for students to become disengaged.  This module is a first step in understanding why and how animals are classified and to become excited about the process.

The purpose of this module is to use the traits that each species possess to develop an understanding of species relatedness.  Upon completion of this module, students should have a better understanding of why assemblages of animals are classified together. This module is an opportunity for students to learn: 1) How organisms are grouped together and 2) How to interpret relationships among groups of organisms.

Docs: fulltext.docx   handout.docx   handoutkey.docx
Keywords: cause, evolution, Inheritance, HS-LS3.A, HS-LS3.B, HS-LS4.A, morphology, MS-LS4.A, patterns, traits