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.
The 2020 school year was dramatically cut short due to the global virus pandemic. Viruses have always existed in a number of contexts, but few truly understand how viruses impact our lives. More importantly, our bodies have an embedded system for fighting viruses. This lesson, designed for middle school students, provides students an overview of the basics of viruses and explains how they impact the human body.
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.
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.
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.
Water: it’s constantly in use all around us, but did you know that you can recycle water just like paper or plastic? Every year, Americans throw 11 trillion gallons of reusable water, grey water, down the drain. Learn about the human water cycle, the three types
of water, key water conservation methods and how this can lead to a more sustainable future and decrease the impact of 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.
Teaching science can be a difficult task. It requires a unique understanding of science content, student culture, and language.
There is a lot of excitement about engineering. This can be something that is difficult to teach as teachers must learn how to give students access to circuit and programming activities. This lesson allows teachers to provide students with pre-made circuits, switches, and transformers. This is a fun activity that will lead to a lot of fun results. Try this easy to do science lesson.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Milk is mostly water, but it also contains vitamins, minerals, proteins, and tiny droplets of fat suspended in solution. Fats and proteins are sensitive to changes in the surrounding solution (the milk).
The secret of the bursting colors is the chemistry of that tiny drop of soap. Dish soap, because of its bipolar characteristics (nonpolar on one end and polar on the other), weakens the chemical bonds that hold the proteins and fats in solution. The soap’s polar, or hydrophilic (water-loving), end dissolves in water, and its hydrophobic (water-fearing) end attaches to a fat globule in the milk. This is when the fun begins.
To make ice cream, the ingredients—typically milk (or half and half), sugar and vanilla extract—need to be cooled down. One way to do this is by using salt. If you live in a cold climate, you may have seen trucks spreading salt and sand on the streets in the wintertime to prevent roads from getting slick after snow or ice. Why is this? The salt lowers the temperature at which water freezes, so with salt ice will melt even when the temperature is below the normal freezing point of water. This is an easy way to teach phase change.
This lesson is a great way to teach young people about gas laws and the water cycle. Using a small bottle and an air pump you can create the air pressure differential that you need to cause water droplets to move from their gas form to the liquid form of a cloud. This simple lab will teach your students to understand the states of water during the water cycle and how air pressure influence that change.
Students create their very own projector in this lesson to study optics.
Polymers are interesting substances that can teach students about material science. In this lesson, students create and explore the attributes of polymers.
Students explore Bernoulli’s Principle in relation to atmospheric pressure and volume in this lesson.
Inertia and centripetal force are hard topics for students to learn. Through this lesson, students will explore these topics in relation to changing designs of Fidget Spinners with different weights (mass).
By making cars that are propelled by a fan, students in this lesson learn about motion, force, and circuits. This lesson also leverages engineering design skills for students to iteratively think about how some designs work ‘better’ than others.
By exploring the influence pressure has on a closed system, students in this lesson will gain a better understanding of air pressure.
Students in this lesson study a modelled process of the digestive system. With this primer, students can go on to study more nuanced processes that happen in the body.
By conducting an observation-based exploration of the effects that pressure has on condensation, students in this lesson gain a better understanding of the relationship between pressure and the phase change from gas to liquid.
By observing changes in density, students in this lesson gain a more complex understanding of air pressure and density.
By making observations about the impact temperature has on heated gases, students in this lesson are provided with a phenomenon-based learning experience to gain a more complex understanding of gases in relation to temperature and volume.
Sublimation is a rare, yet powerful, phase change. In this lesson, students explore this phenomenon and gain first-hand evidence to discuss and analyze for a more comprehensive view of this phase change.
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.
One of the challenges of teaching science involves getting students to see the value of micro level phenomenon. “Air” is among the things that is most challenging to teach. Air pressure impacts us everyday, but can be hard to understand because it is largely invisible. This lesson uses the building and launching of air pressure powered rockets as a means to give students an understanding of how air pressure impacts our world.
The basic concept of the water cycle can be one that is hard for students to connect to larger sociocultural issues. In helping students set a sense of how the water cycle matters to their lives, this lesson uses the issues of The Flint Water Cycle to help students understand how the water cycle is a vital component in providing clean water for everyone. This lesson includes slides, lesson plans, and handouts to be used for instruction. All of the lessons are available in downloadable and accessible in MS Word and Powerpoint formats that you can adjust.
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…
A Culturally Relevant CS/ Engineering Curriculum Welcome to the CS/Engineering curriculum page. You may ask what is a hybrid CS/Engineering curriculum. This curriculum is a part of an ongoing project to build a free online resource for teachers to teach Computer Science and Engineering. Many of our current products, including phones, cars, drones, and…