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Making My Own Medicine (Protein Synthesis)

Our capacity to build proteins in our body is an important component of our health. We make protein to serve important purposes in our lives. This lesson examines two very important protein synthesis processes. First, our bodies make Enzymes to help the chemical activities in our bodies. Enzymes speed up chemical reactions and lower the activation energy on chemical processes. Lactase in the enzyme we produce that allows us to process Lactose sugar in milk. This is an important enzyme, but many people have DNA allele patterns that do not allow them to make this protein. Second, antibodies are proteins that fight disease. Both vaccines and our natural response to being exposed to the virus rely on our bodies making proteins to make our own medicine.

Tanzania – Fighting Climate Change With Safari’s & Reforestation (VR)

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about the fight against climate change? Does your mind immediately think about the environmental efforts of African nations? In this lesson, students will learn about the powerful impact of humans on the environment. In Tanzania, scientists have worked on building a better and more sustainable culture. The reason why animals thrive in African safaris is because of the careful work to keep the (abiotic) non-living factors healthy enough to allow the animals to thrive. Additionally, using scientific knowledge to plant trees produces a healthier environment. The basic concepts are Ecosystem, Abiotic vs Biotic factors, Biodiversity, and Reforestation. The lesson includes virtual visits to Safari sites and a Reforestation project.

Digital Diversity in Virtual Education: Making Sure Culturally Relevant Practices Make Their Way Home

Teaching from home has emerged as one of the biggest and more difficult challenges teachers have ever faced. In attempting to make instruction as equitable as possible, many questions have emerged around the possibilities of culturally relevant pedagogy in a distance learning format. Although technology issues have emerged, there are numerous ways to ensure the best practices in CRP teaching can thrive in a digital environment.

Redlining & Urban Heat: A Lesson in Climate Change

A recent study from Yale University found that there is a link between redlining and climate change. How could this be? As city planners make decisions about how to organize their cities, the height and density of the buildings, and the color of the rooftops all impact the temperature in the cities. When we combine the fact that urban centers are often places with few trees and thus lower oxygen production, the combination of air quality and heat can cause problems for urban schools.

Can Redlining Affect Climate Change

Many people know about how redlining, inequitable home buying policies, and its effects on the wealth of people of color. However, few have discussed how redlining has impacted the cities and communities where it historically occurred. A recent study from Yale university documented how poor city planning and redlining policies can be linked. The results are urban heat islands where communities are negative impacted in a number of ways. This lesson teaches the fundamentals of climate change, while allowing students to explore the how public policy also plays a role in climate change.

Square Bubbles – Surface Tension

Who doesn’t love bubbles! The things with bubbles is that they offer a quick and easy way to view how electrostatic forces impact small interactions. In the bubbles we see, there is an interesting effect, where the maximum distance of the surface tension is a globe. However, have you ever seen bubbles in different shapes. This lesson explores how making square bubbles might be an option.

Smoke Rings – Air Vortex Movements

A vortex ring is a circular shaped ring of spinning gasses that move together as a unit. A vortex ring can happen in liquid or gasses, but are rarely seen because they happen inside of liquids or gases. When a vortex ring happens inside of suspended particles—as in the smoke rings which are often produced by smoke they can be seen. Visible vortex rings can also be formed by the firing of certain artillery, in mushroom clouds, and in microbursts.[1][2]

A vortex ring usually tends to move in a direction that is perpendicular to the plane of the ring and such that the inner edge of the ring moves faster forward than the outer edge. Within a stationary body of fluid, a vortex ring can travel for relatively long distance, carrying the spinning fluid with it.

Sling Shot Rockets

Slingshot physics involves the use of stored elastic energy to shoot a something at a high speed. This elastic energy comes from rubber bands which are specially made for slingshots. This energy is provided initially by the muscle energy of the slingshot operator. One of the goals of a slingshot is to fire the projectile at the greatest speed possible. To do this two basic physics conditions must be satisfied.

The Science of Making Slime

Admit it, slime is simply awesome! Kids will make slime at home in their spare time, but what it the science of this uber relaxing materials. This lesson prepares your students to understand how substances engage in the formation of Polymers. The discussions of polymers can start at slime and explore environmental justice. Enjoy this engaging interpretation of slime.

The Simplest Electric Motor

Flick a switch and get instant power—We loved to use electric motors even when we don’t know we are using them! You can find them in everything from electric lights to to remote-controlled cars—and you might be surprised how common they are. How many electric motors are there in the room with you right now? There are probably two in your computer for starters, one spinning your hard drive around and another one powering the cooling fan.

Genetics Through Reebops

Genetics plays an important role in our life. How often have you wondered why someone’s brother or sister looks dramatically different from them? Our genes operate by a set of rules that we should talk about more often. Each parent has genes that split in half, scramble and then replicate. Even after that there are environmental factors that cause the genes to work. This lab uses simply marshmallows to teach this idea.

Bernoulli’s Principle

Gases and liquids have similar movement patterns. In chemistry classes students will learn about the Bernoulli’s principle. This concept of fluid movement can be difficult to understand. Years of teaching science taught me to use example like digging up sand and having new sand fill the void. This simple outdoor activity can serve as a simple introduction to understanding this key gas principle.

Sports Science – The Physics of Landing (Newton’s 2nd Law)

Sports and dance provide a wealth of opportunities to learn science. This introductory physics  lesson explores the physics of landing. Many young people experience traumatic injuries that are the result of landing from a jump. The impact of their bodies hitting the ground after accelerating from a height magnifies the weight of their body onto…

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