We have been rearing salmon in our classroom for a long time, and the students love it. The project before this point was very teacher lead and much of the care, and set up was done for the students. We are excited to make a student-led project based unit that will better cover the content and incorporate the standards we are looking to teach.
Consistent housing is a continual issue for our community, evidence of this is readily observable in the neighborhoods surrounding our classrooms. Over the course of 15 classroom hours, students will be exploring how they can insulate structures to protect from extreme hot and extreme cold using recycled and/or repurposed materials.
Students will make observations and collect data related to temperature. Student findings will be communicated through science journals, student generated models (charts, 3D structures, drawings, etc.).
Compare the effects of different strengths or different directions of pushes and pulls on the motion of an object and determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull.
Driving Question: Can I as “Science Investigator”, engineer and design,
a way to move an object without using my hands or feet?
Driving Question: How can we as 7th grade math students use surface area to make a mug that retains heat for the longest amount of time possible?
As students are learning about substances, mixtures, and solutions, they will participate in several experiments that involve chemical reactions using regular household products. Some experiments will produce gas or create something that will grow. Students will work in groups of 2-3 students to make a car move using the result of a chemical reaction from combining two or more household substances. They will present their project to the class.
Students will breed fruit flies through several generations and record their data using mathematical models in order to demonstrate the inheritance of trait variations.
The focus of this unit is to introduce the concepts of force and motion. Specifically this unit will address the forces of push, pull, gravity, and work. It also introduces students to the concepts of friction and slope. The unit begins with an introduction to the scientific method and addresses the differences between scientists and engineers. Students will be both scientists and engineers while completing this unit.
Our project involves students learning about the values of a natural area in their community and producing a public service announcement and map to show its value and how it could be developed.
Second part to the C2 Superlesson for ROV's from Kim Stokes and Ben Wells, Siuslaw Elementary School.
Last year the Siuslaw 97J School District changed our food service operation from a national supplier (Chartwell’s) to in-house food service. Our Food Service Manager instituted an organic philosophy and wanted to source local produce. Utilizing our school garden program we now help supply fresh produce for our Siuslaw Elementary School cafeteria. Crop production is stronger in the 4/5 wing because of wind protection from the building. Florence experiences high winds and we are located close to the beach so we have constant sand blowing into our crops. The K-3 garden beds do not have the same protection as the 4/5 beds, and as a result have a lower yield. Our goal is to have students design and engineer wind barriers for these beds and then present the best solutions to our school board so that we can get funding to implement our ideas. This project can be used in any school with a garden by using preexisting barriers on a the school property. The unique environment of the school would dictate the lessons required to be adapted to fit the environmental needs of the community. If the school is lacking a garden, the students can focus on an at home garden project.
Our school, Kelly Middle School, is one of the oldest middle school buildings in 4J (primary construction was completed in 1945). Each year we practice earthquake drills. Why? Why should we be concerned about earthquakes? Where might an earthquake occur in the northwest area? Might it be minor or violent? How might this be measured? Is an earthquake a singular event, or a series of events? What increases or decreases an earthquake hazard? Do we have any early-warning systems? Is the school earthquake drill correct? Considering these questions students need to develop an understanding of how to prepare for, and react to an earthquake event. When students are comfortably informed, who should they report to?
This unit uses the slinky seismometer as a means of studying physics concepts such as waves, sound and the speed of sound vs speed of light, resonance, electricity and magnetism, Lenz Law and magnetic dampening (backwards engineering). Students experiment with the basic parts of the seismometer and either build or connect the seismometer to the internet to take and upload data.
In this project students will research and then build a basic solar cooker shell made out of cardboard. Then they will run a variety of materials through experiments. Data from the experiments will be used to determine which materials should be added to the solar cooker shell to improve its ability to heat up food.
This project was created as a collaboration between a science and an engineering/woodshop class. The engineering class researched and build the basic solar cooker cardboard shells. The science class tested additional materials to add to the shells to improve the solar cookers. Then the engineering class, following the directions from reports created by the science class, added the materials to the solar cooker shells to create the final products.
In this project, students will use knowledge of electricity and electromagnetism to collaboratively design and test a model of a magnetic recycling sorter. They will evaluate the performance of their models and propose further modifications based on the output of their magnetic device measured in mT using a Vernier probe. They will also physically test their magnets on a model of a conveyor belt containing recyclable items. Students will track their data from both tests, with the ultimate goal of creating the strongest and most effective magnet with given materials. Finally, students will present their findings and proposed final design to peers and community partners involved in the recycling industry. The entire process takes about 6 weeks. The unit is a great fit for standards within energy and engineering & design.
Waves and their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer, from NGSS 1PS 4-1, 4-2, 4-3, and 4-4.
Driving Question: How can I, as a 1st grade engineer, design a device to let people know I am safe, using light and sound?
A Google doc with 10 days of lessons. Student learning outcomes:
Students will create “sound makers” to detect different wavelengths and different sounds
Students will use a variety of materials to change the sounds produced by “earphones”
Students will use flashlights as a light source for pin hole evidence of illumination
Students will create a house with windows created from different materials to detect how light diffuses through materials
Students will create shadows
Students will create cup phones for talking over a distance
Students will create light signals that illuminate over a distance
In this engineering unit, students are developing background knowledge on heat, heat transfer and conservation. While this unit can be a stand-alone exercise, it has been designed to provide a way for students to gather data and derive evidence-based conclusions to help them choose the best materials to use in a science class solar cooker project. Students build cardboard houses to explore the movement and conservation of heat energy. A heat source is placed inside the house and students use vernier temperature probes and graphing software to gather and tabulate temperature data. Each house is standard, so that the students understand that we are all gathering data in a consistent way.
Students must calculate percentage of wall space given to doors and windows. Students will compare data from team to team, examining heat loss as recorded by temperature differences as a function of window and door areas. Students will cover doors and windows with various materials, examining different insulating qualities. Students will examine the effect on temperature of different colors of wall surface on the interior of the house. After gathering data, students will work to draw conclusions from the gathering of data. Students will construct charts and tables to tabulate data by hand, then will transfer data to Excel spreadsheets if technology is available.
Siuslaw Elementary students designed, engineered and constructed functioning ROV's to explore ways to solve underwater challenges. Engineering exercises included functionality requirements, buoyancy and floatation, electronics, thrust and maneuverability.
There is a 40% chance that the lower ⅓ of the of the Cascadia subduction zone will rupture in the next 50 years, generating a large earthquake and ensuing tsunami. In this project, students will work collaboratively to design and test a model of a vertical evacuation structure. They will evaluate the performance of their models and propose further modifications to improve their design. Students will then make a scale drawing and a model to apply math concepts of scale to designing and creating an ideal model of a vertical evacuation structure. Finally, students will present their findings and proposed final design to their peers and an adult audience. The entire process takes about 2 weeks, and was expanded to include more information and activities with earthquake/tsunami prediction and application of scale. The unit is a great fit for standards within Earth Science (specifically plate tectonics and human mitigation) as well as Engineering and Design standards.