ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources

ComPADRE's Classroom Ready Collection consists of learning resources deemed by our editors to be of the very highest quality, and which meet strict criteria for inclusion: representative of evidence-based best practices; accurate in content; accessible at low or no cost; easy for teachers to implement in the classroom; pedagogically appropriate for intended audiences, grades 5 - 12 and introductory undergraduate; and aligned to national standards. The Classroom Ready Collection gives particular emphasis to multimedia learning objects, resources which include assessments and content support, and materials that promote active learning experiences. ComPADRE is a portal of educational resources and community services for teachers and learners of physics, astronomy, and physical science at all levels. ComPADRE is a collaboration of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the American Physical Society, and the American Institute of Physics.

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Andy Darvill's Science Site: Energy Resources
Rating

This award-winning web page is devoted to the study of energy sources, both renewable and non-renewable. It features multimedia content on nine sources of energy: fossil fuels, solar, wind, geothermal, nuclear, biomass, hydroelectric, tidal, and ocean waves. Each section is supported with video clips, diagrams, schematics, and images of how the energy source is used to deliver power. The author discusses advantages/disadvantages of each energy source and provides links to additional information for extended learning. The content of this resource is written at a Grade 9 level. Extensive integration of video, diagrams, and schematic drawings makes the collection especially appropriate for accommodating a variety of levels and learning modalities.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
History, Law, Politics
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Full Course
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Andy Darvill
Date Added:
10/13/2011
Build a Hydro Generator
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This resource for secondary physical science gives step-by-step instructions for building a water-powered electric generator from plastic spoons. The model closely resembles real micro-hydro designs, and can produce enough electricity to light a small light bulb. The 9-page construction plans may be freely downloaded and are organized for first-time builders. Comprehensive background information is provided on water power and renewable energy. All materials can be readily purchased from grocery or hardware store. Links are also provided to animated tours of hydroelectric plants and giant turbines. This item is part of a collection of K-12 projects on renewable energy sources and clean energy technology. Registered teacher-users have access to a complete lesson plan with teaching tips. Editor's Note: Although this resource is designated for use in Grades 6-12, the reading level for the student guide is Grade 9, and for background information is Grade 10. Overall, the concepts are appropriate for the cognitive level of Grades 7-8, but teacher scaffolding may be needed for unfamiliar vocabulary. High school students should be expected to complete the activity with minimal scaffolding.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
11/27/2007
Build a Solar Oven
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This page features a classroom project for secondary science education that integrates engineering design with optics and thermodynamics. Students work on teams to construct a solar oven with flat reflector panels. The project was designed to help learners understand that, to harness the sun as a source of energy, solar energy must be converted from visible light into heat or electricity. The construction kit calls for simple materials such as cardboard and duct tape, and includes a downloadable pattern for building the oven. Background information gives student and teacher support on the subject of solar heat and its applications. Registered teacher-users also have access to supporting lesson plans. This resource is part of a larger collection of hands-on projects and teaching materials on the topic of renewable energy. Editor's Note: Although this resource is designated for use in middle school, the reading level for the student guide is Grade 10, and for background information is Grade 11. Overall, the concepts are appropriate for the cognitive level of Grades 7-8, but teacher scaffolding may be needed for unfamiliar vocabulary. High school students should be expected to complete the activity with minimal scaffolding.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Student Guide
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
10/25/2007
Build a Wind Turbine
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This hands-on project provides step-by-step instructions for building a vertical axis wind turbine in secondary classrooms. The 17-page construction plans may be freely downloaded and are organized for first-time builders. Comprehensive background information on wind energy and renewable energy are provided. Registered teacher-users also have access to supporting lesson plans. All of the materials are readily available in hardware or grocery stores. This resource, which meets multiple national science standards, was developed to spark students' interest in learning more about renewable energy sources and the science and engineering principles that underlie the harnessing of renewable power. Editor's Note: Wind turbines work by using an internal generator to convert the mechanical energy of the spinning turbine shaft into electricity. This particular project is modeled after the Savonius rotor system, which uses uses drag -- not lift -- to capture energy for making electricity. Although it isn't as efficient as a conventional horizontal axis turbine, it is much easier to build.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
10/25/2007
CIESE Real Time Data Projects: Tsunami Surge
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This internet-based project for Grades 6-12 taps into real-time data as the framework for a student investigation of tsunami phenomena. First, students look at historical information on five tsunamis, then interactively explore the science behind tsunamis and wave behavior. Next, students will access and interpret existing data from the highly destructive 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Finally, students take on roles as scientists to develop a global tsunami preparedness plan based on a budget. They must support their ideas with evidence from reliable data and present arguments based upon their studies. Included are detailed project instructions, teacher's guide, reference material, and a student discussion forum. This project is part of the CIESE K-12 Curriculum Program's Real Time Data Projects. See Related Materials for a link to the full index of data projects.

Subject:
Education
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Lecture Notes
Lesson Plan
Student Guide
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
04/14/2012
Ceiling Bounce Model
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This simulation shows a ball launched by a spring-gun in a building with a very high ceiling. The student's task is to calculate an initial velocity so that the ball barely touches the 80-foot ceiling. Students can test their answers by setting the initial velocity on the simulation, then watch the ball's path. Graphs of position vs. time or velocity vs. time may be turned on to view the ball's motion as a function of time. Editor's Note: This model is especially helpful for visualizing the relationship between the one-dimensional motion of this example and its graph, as it displays the ball continuously bouncing at constant velocity in a straight line from floor to ceiling. There is no horizontal displacement. For students who need help determining time of flight and peak height, SEE ANNOTATIONS for an editor-recommended tutorial. This item was created with Easy Java Simulations (EJS), a modeling tool that allows users without formal programming experience to generate computer models and simulations. To run the simulation, simply click the Java Archive file below. To modify or customize the model, See Related Materialsfor detailed instructions on installing and running the EJS Modeling and Authoring Tool.

Subject:
Technology
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
National Science Foundation
Wolfgang Christian
Date Added:
12/16/2008
ChemTeacher Resource: The Structure of Matter
Rating

Structure of solids, liquids and gases at the molecular level is shown in this animation.

Subject:
Engineering
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Data Set
Provider:
Chemical Education Digital Library
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ChemTeacher
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
ChemEd DL
Mark Bishop
Date Added:
04/07/2011
Concord Consortium: Energy2D - Interactive Heat Transfer Simulations for Everyone
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This free, open source simulation tool, the outgrowth of physics education research, was developed as a means for students to visualize the underlying concepts necessary to approach and solve heat transfer problems. The program models all three mechanisms of heat transfer-conduction, convection, and radiation. The Energy2D package models only two-dimensional systems, thus is not intended to replicate commercial engineering software used in many university settings. Rather, it was constructed to allow for rapid experimentation through use of dynamic graphics that users can easily manipulate and comprehend. This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology.

Subject:
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Interactive
Lecture Notes
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Charles Xie
National Science Foundation
Date Added:
04/29/2012
Concord Consortium: Light and Matter Interactions
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

This activity introduces students to the basic concepts of light, followed by several simulations that model the interactions of light with matter. Students investigate the wave nature of photons, view models of light/matter interactions, and explore how light energy is converted into heat energy. They may also create their own model photon beam and generate an absorption spectrum. As learners manipulate light intensity and frequency of light, they can visualize the effects on the heating of matter. With this basic understanding, they move to the wavelike properties of photons to explore three ways photons interact with matter: 1) no interaction, 2) absorption, 3) emission. This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology. Users may register for additional free access to teaching guides, data capture, and tools to adapt/modify the models for customized classroom use.

Subject:
Engineering
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
06/20/2008
Concord Consortium: Motion on a Ramp
Rating

This activity explores the relationship between graphs of Distance vs. Time and Velocity vs. Time by blending a motion sensor lab with student-generated digital graphs. First, learners use the online graph sketching tool to predict graphs of both distance and velocity for a toy car being pushed up a ramp and allowed to coast back down. Next, they use a motion sensor to collect data on a real toy being pushed up a ramp. Finally, they analyze differences in slope between their original predictions and the actual data from the motion sensor. This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology. The Concord Consortium develops digital learning innovations for science, mathematics, and engineering.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Lecture Notes
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
National Science Foundation
Date Added:
04/23/2012
Core Concepts of Systems Engineering
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This telecollaborative project is designed to provide students in grades 9-12 with an orientation to systems engineering concepts. Through guided activities students will reverse-engineer a common device that contains both electrical and mechanical components and then create a systems diagram for the deconstructed device. (In this case, the device is a disposable camera.) In partnership with other project participants across the country, learners will reassemble the device and test their reconstruction against quality controls. The project is free with teacher registration. The module includes lesson plans, comprehensive teacher tutorial, reference material, question sets and worksheets, and digital collaboration tools. This resource was developed by the Center for Innovation in Science and Engineering Education (CIESE). Participation is cost-free with teacher registration. Editor's Note: Several components of this activity specifically address a physics curriculum. Disposable flash cameras provide an opportunity for analysis of electric field, charging a capacitor, and energy storage on a capacitor.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lecture Notes
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
04/03/2012
DiscoverE
Rating

This website is designed to introduce kids to engineering. It includes a section with brief career profiles of various engineering career paths, but the real fun is in the videos. Featuring kids engaged in activities that illuminate key concepts in engineering, these videos showcase the work of engineering in a dynamic and exciting format. For example, one video covers the biomechanics of skateboarding -- taking real kids on a field trip to the Etnies Shoes headquarters where they learn how engineers (who are also skateboarders) use science to design shoes that help absorb impact and minimize injury. Another video takes a group of kids to Disney World to experience how Disney engineers transform potential energy into thrilling roller coaster rides. All of the videos feature a related hands-on activity to let students apply the science concepts involved. Editor's Note: Don't miss the section "Cool Stuff" for games and activities that help students connect the science principles with engineering practice. For easy downloading or full-screen viewing, see Related Materials for a link to the You Tube version of the roller coaster video.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
National Engineers Week
Date Added:
10/10/2003
Ejs Intro 1D Motion Lab Model
Rating

The Introductory Physics 1D Motion Lab asks students to develop a computer model for a ball moving vertically under the influence of gravity. When the file is opened, it is initially programmed with a mass moving at constant velocity. It is assumed that students have first collected data of a basketball or volleyball bouncing under a motion detector. The lab instructions fully explain how to build the computer model using Easy Java Simulations modeling tool. The students will learn how to modify the model to simulate a bouncing ball, define variables, calculate relationships, and change the properties for plotting the graph. The calculus is done for the student. Editor's Note: The Easy Java Simulation tool greatly reduces the amount of programming required to develop computer models. Exercises in student-generated modeling are becoming much more widespread in physics education because of the opportunities for students to test and apply their own prototypes to explain and predict physical phenomena. This resource is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive. In order to modify the simulation (and see how it is designed), users must install the Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool. SEE RELATED MATERIALS for a link to install the EJS modeling tool.

Subject:
Computing and Information
Technology
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Full Course
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Anne Cox
Mario Belloni
National Science Foundation
Wolfgang Christian
Date Added:
05/29/2008
Energy Kids: What is Energy?
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This tutorial offers straightforward information on energy basics, forms of energy, renewable and nonrenewable energy sources, energy transfer, and a historical perspective of scientific breakthroughs in the field. It includes games, experiments, and an Energy IQ test for the middle grades. Especially noteworthy are the diagrams, tables, and images that support the text. This resource was developed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, an independent organization that collects, analyzes, and disseminates impartial energy information to promote public understanding of issues relating to energy use. Editor's Note: The authors developed this resource for use in the middle grades, but the readability score ranges from Grade 10 to Grade 13 (depending upon the index used). It is appropriate for independent student use in high school settings, however, we recommend scaffolding for use in middle school.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Energy Information Administration
Date Added:
07/10/2006
Free Fall Air Resistance Model
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This simulation allows students to compare the motion of free falling objects with and without the influence of air resistance. Air resistance is the result of collisions of the object's leading surface with air molecules. On Earth, objects falling through the air usually encounter some sort of air resistance, though the amount is dependent upon several factors. In this model, a blue ball falls under the influence of gravity alone. A falling red ball is subject to both gravity and air resistance. Students can adjust the amount of air resistance with a slider. When the simulation is played, graphs are simultaneously plotted that show position vs. time, velocity vs. time, and acceleration vs. time for both falling balls. See Annotations for an editor-recommended, interactive tutorial that further explains free fall and air resistance. This item was created with Easy Java Simulations (EJS), a modeling tool that allows users without formal programming experience to generate computer models and simulations. To run the simulation, simply click the Java Archive file below. To modify or customize the model, See Related Materials for detailed instructions on installing and running the EJS Modeling and Authoring Tool.

Subject:
Computing and Information
Engineering
Technology
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Andrew Duffy
Date Added:
04/27/2010
Free Fall Model
Rating

This simulation allows students to examine the motion of an object in free fall. Download below. The user can control the initial height (0-20m), set an initial velocity from -20 to 20 m/s, and change the rate of gravitational acceleration from zero to 20 m/s/s (Earth's gravitational constant is ~9.8 m/s/s). Students can also launch the ball upward from any point on the line of motion. The free fall is displayed as a motion diagram, while graphs are simultaneously displayed showing position vs. time, velocity vs. time, and acceleration vs. time. See Annotations for an editor-recommended tutorial that further explains how graphs are used to represent free fall motion. This item was created with Easy Java Simulations (EJS), a modeling tool that allows users without formal programming experience to generate computer models and simulations. To run the simulation, simply click the Java Archive file below.

Subject:
Computing and Information
Technology
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Andrew Duffy
Date Added:
04/27/2010
Fundamental Physical Constants from NIST
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

Values of the fundamental physical constants, recommended for international use, are provided at this web site developed and maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). These are the latest values of the constants recommended by CODATA (updated in 2006). Included are values for universal, electromagnetic, and atomic/nuclear constants, as well as non-SI units and conversion factors for energy equivalents. Users may also view background information related to constants, a searchable bibliography, and correlation coefficients between any pair of constants.

Subject:
Education
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Data Set
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
ComPADRE Digital Library
Internet Scout Project
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Internet Scout Project
Author:
Barry Taylor
Peter Mohr
Date Added:
10/10/2003
An Introduction to Chemistry: Nuclear Chemistry
Rating

This cost-free resource is a chapter from a textbook on introductory chemistry, developed for learners with little background in physics or chemistry. This chapter deals with the atomic nucleus and radiation, nuclear energy, and uses of radioactive substances. It is appropriate for teachers seeking additional content knowledge, high school physics and chemistry courses, and college-level preparatory chemistry. It builds a foundation to understand the physical forces in the nucleus (electrostatic force and strong force), and explains how chemical reactions differ from nuclear reactions. Graphs and diagrams depict what happens in radioactive decay. The section on chemical nuclear equations is straightforward and comprehensible for non-scientists. This collection is part of An Introduction to Chemistry, a set of resources developed by Mark Bishop which includes two textbooks, 15 animated tutorials, downloadable Power Point presentations for teachers, concept maps, and 3D molecular models.

Subject:
Technology
Education
Life Science
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Assessment
Diagram/Illustration
Full Course
Textbook
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Mark Bishop
Date Added:
07/22/2011
Micrometer Model
Rating

This interactive simulation gives students practice in the operation and the physical parts of a real micrometer, a measuring device that employs a screw to amplify distances that are too small to measure easily. The accuracy of a micrometer derives from the accuracy of the thread that is at its heart. The basic operating principle of a micrometer is that the rotation of an accurately made screw can be directly and precisely correlated to a certain amount of axial movement (and vice-versa), through the constant known as the screw's lead. The Micrometer model was created using the Easy Java Simulations (EJS) modeling tool. It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive. Double click the ejs_ntnu_Micrometer.jar file to run the program (Java must be installed).

Subject:
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Data Set
Interactive
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Fu-Kwun Hwang
Loo Kang Wee
Wolfgang Christian
Date Added:
09/10/2009
Middle School Chemistry: Molecules in Motion
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This multimedia lesson by the American Chemical Society explores factors that affect the motion of molecules. Students add food coloring to a cup of ice water and a cup of hot water, then analyze the difference in how the colors spread/diffuse through each cup. Two interactive animations help them visualize what is happening: heating a substance increases molecular motion, while cooling decreases it. Editor's Note: Often, students in the middle grades have difficulty comprehending why the measured volume increases slightly when water is heated. Many have the misconception that volume is always conserved in a physical change. This resource provides a clear way to understand the volume differences that can occur when molecules move further apart or closer together by heating/cooling. Included in the lesson is a student activity sheet with answer key and suggested discussion questions.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Mathematics
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Interactive
Lecture Notes
Lesson Plan
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
American Chemical Society
Jim Kessler
Patti Galvan
Date Added:
04/27/2011
Middle School Chemistry: The Periodic Table and Energy-Level Models
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This two-hour multimedia lesson explores models for understanding the basic pattern of the arrangement of electrons on energy levels around an atom. Focusing on the first 20 elements, the lesson opens with an animated model of energy levels in an oxygen atom. Next, download and print "Element Game Cards", a cooperative activity where learners place a card with its correct atom and practice with Lewis dot diagrams. The second day begins with guided instruction to find patterns in rows/columns of the first 20 elements. It concludes with four videos of different chemical reactions in which learners relate the reactions to location of elements on the periodic table.

Subject:
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Data Set
Interactive
Lecture Notes
Lesson Plan
Student Guide
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Jim Kessler
Patti Galvan
Date Added:
08/17/2011
Modular Approach to Physics: Simple Harmonic Motion - Weighted Spring
Rating

This resource is a Java applet-based module relating to the simple harmonic motion produced by a block on a frictionless spring. It features a rich array of tools: motion graphs, energy graphs, vector components, reference circle, zoom toggle, and a data box that displays amplitude, angular frequency, displacement from equilibrium, phase angle, velocity, and acceleration of the oscillating block. Users control the spring constant, mass of the block, and amplitude of the oscillation. A comprehensive help section provides detailed directions and lesson ideas for instructors. This simulation is part of a larger collection of physics resources sponsored by the MAP project (Modular Approach to Physics).

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Life Science
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Lesson Plan
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
05/22/2008
NASA Engineering Design Challenges: Spacecraft Structures
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This instructional unit challenges students to build a model thrust structure that is as light as possible, yet strong enough to withstand the load of a “launch-to-orbit” three times. Students first determine the amount of force needed to launch a model rocket to 1 meter, then they design, build, and test their own structure designs. In collaborative groups, they revise their designs to increase the strength and reduce the weight of their structure. Materials are all readily available at hardware stores. Allow six class periods. This resource served as the 2007 NASA Design Challenge, and is now available in an archived text format. It includes extensive content support for teachers, step-by-step building instructions, masters for in-class presentations, and assessments (with answer keys). The Design Challenge program was developed to connect students in the classroom with the challenges faced by NASA engineers as they design the next generation of spacecraft, habitat, and communications technologies.

Subject:
Technology
Education
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
05/01/2012
NASA Jet Propulsion Lab: Ion Engines Interactive
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This is a learning module on ion engines, a newer rocket propulsion technology that uses electric fields instead of chemical or nuclear reactions for powering spacecraft. The ion propulsion system's efficient use of fuel and electrical power enable spacecraft to travel farther and cheaper than other propulsion technology. Students begin their tour with a tutorial on positive and negative charges, then progress to hitting targets using a charge simulator. Next, they look at multimedia materials that explain the inner workings of an ion engine. The activity culminates in an interactive challenge to design an ion engine using what has been learned. At each phase, teachers and learners are provided with background text, teacher guides, and explicit help with the fundamentals of charge interaction. This resource is part of NASA's Dawn project, whose goal is to shed light on the early evolution of our Solar System by investigating two large asteroids that have remained intact since their formations. Dawn's spacecraft are powered by ion propulsion.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Lesson Plan
Student Guide
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Date Added:
11/02/2012
NASA: Pythagorean Theorem
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This resource features an animated Java tutorial that uses geometric overlays to show why the Pythagorean Theorem works. The resource was developed by NASA to supplement the algebraic proofs which are typically provided to students for solving problems involving right triangles. Background information on the Pythagorean Theorem and its historical use is included. This resource is part of a larger collection, developed by scientists and teacher workshop participants at NASA's Glenn Learning Research Center.

Subject:
Technology
Education
Mathematics
Trigonometry
Physics
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
12/22/2008
NASA: Radioisotope Power Systems
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This is a multimedia overview of RPS (radioisotope power systems), a type of nuclear energy technology that uses heat to produce electricity for powering spacecraft. The heat is produced by the natural radioactive decay of plutonium-238. RPS systems have been in use for more than 50 years, and could continue to support missions to some of the most extreme environments in the solar system. Advantages of RPS include: continuous operation over long-duration space missions, largely independent of changes in sunlight, temperature, charged particle radiation, or surface conditions like thick clouds or dust. This resource is part of NASA's Solar System Exploration website. It includes videos, 3D interactive animations, illustrations, schematics of RPS components, and fact sheets about how the technology has been used in past missions.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
History, Law, Politics
Chemistry
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
U.S. Department of Energy
Date Added:
06/13/2012
NEED Project: Energy from the Wind
Rating

This resource for Grades 7-9 provides turn-key lessons for teaching a two-week unit on the use of wind energy to generate electricity. The first week is a study of the history and science underlying wind energy; the second week features an engineering design project for students to build their own windmill blades. In the culminating activity, students take on various community roles to decide where to locate a wind farm. This resource includes every component required for immediate classroom use: lesson plans, illustrated lab procedures, pre and post-test assessments, age-appropriate background information, worksheets, graphics for classroom projection, and student guidebooks. The NEED Project is a national initiative to bring innovative curriculum materials in energy education to teachers and learners from the primary grades through college. The windmill blade design activity requires purchase of a kit costing $450.00. All other activities can be performed using materials easily acquired from hardware stores or science supply houses.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Diagram/Illustration
Full Course
Lecture Notes
Lesson Plan
Student Guide
Unit of Study
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
05/13/2013
NEED Project: Energy of Moving Water
Rating

This resource for middle school provides 13 complete lessons for teaching about hydropower and conversion of moving water to electrical energy. The unit crosses the curriculum to include physical science, engineering design, earth systems, language arts, social studies and math. As with all NEED educational materials, this resource includes every component required for immediate classroom use: lesson plans, illustrated lab procedures, rubric, pre and post-test assessments, age-appropriate background information, worksheets, graphics for classroom projection, and student guidebooks. Specific physical science objectives revolve around energy flow in systems and the concept that energy is never destroyed, but can be converted from one form to another. Each investigation requires students to first read about the topic in "infobooks" (included in the materials), then make predictions, complete the lab, record data, and write a conclusion. The NEED Project is a national initiative to bring innovative curriculum materials in energy education to K-12 teachers and learners.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Diagram/Illustration
Full Course
Lecture Notes
Lesson Plan
Student Guide
Unit of Study
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
05/10/2013
NEED Project: Primary Science of Energy Infobook
Rating

This free infobook provides an overview of energy forms and sources for Grades 2-4, along with hands-on activities, graphics, and classroom presentation materials for teaching an entire unit. Students will first be introduced to energy as a physical science concept before being exposed to sources of energy. Using this sequence can help learners differentiate energy forms (thermal, motion, wave, chemical) from energy sources (fossil fuels, wind, geothermal, hydroelectric). For the companion Student Guide with printable data guides and activities, Primary Science of Energy-Student Guide. The NEED Project is a national initiative to bring innovative curriculum materials in energy education to teachers and learners from the primary grades through college.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
History, Law, Politics
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Assessment
Diagram/Illustration
Full Course
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
04/03/2013
NEED Project: The Sun and Its Energy
Rating

This inquiry-based curriculum unit for Grades 1-3 introduces children to basic concepts of solar energy. It is noteworthy because the developers approach energy as a physical science concept, rather than as a fuel or source of power. Learners conduct investigations with live plants, UV detection beads, light sensitive paper, a radiometer, glow toys, and solar balloons. They explore how the sun produces light energy that can be collected and converted into other energy forms. The culminating activity is the design, building, and testing of a solar oven. The resource provides lesson plans, warm-up questions, detailed lab procedures, and classroom presentation materials for teaching an entire unit. The NEED Project is a national initiative to bring innovative curriculum materials in energy education to teachers and learners from the primary grades through college. Editor's Note A pre-assembled kit is available from NEED for $200, or teachers can buy their own materials from science supply stores -- $100 will serve a class of 30 students.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Assessment
Diagram/Illustration
Full Course
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
04/17/2013
NOVA: How Do Solar Panels Work?
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

How do solar panels convert sunlight into electricity? This interactive activity from NOVA takes the learner inside a virtual photovoltaic cell to see how two different layers of silicon work to establish an electric field, push electrons to metal conductor strips, and generate electricity. Appropriate for high school physical science, introductory physics, or environmental science courses.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Dr. Stephanie Chasteen
Date Added:
08/15/2012
NTTI: Significant What?
Rating

This 3-day inquiry-based lesson is designed to help students differentiate accuracy and precision through multimedia investigations. Hands-on activities include measuring objects using ancient "cubit" units and tossing foam darts to gather data. Short video lessons raise additional questions and promote understanding. The culminating lesson is a digital activity, during which the students will practice what they have learned by investigating ink chromatography. Assessment and extension activities are also provided. The National Teacher Training Institute was founded by WNET-TV, New York, to help teachers use video as a meaningful tool in the classroom.

Subject:
Education
History, Law, Politics
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Lesson Plan
Student Guide
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
National Teacher Training Institute (NTTI)
Date Added:
08/18/2009
NanoSense: Clean Energy: Converting Light Into Energy
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

This is a lesson module for Grades 9-12 that explores solar energy in two contexts: 1) its role in providing clean energy solutions, and 2) the use of nanoscience in enabling novel energy conversion mechanisms. After a 1-2 day background preparation, students will build and test a nanocrystalline solar cell, then use critical analysis to connect their lab results with the overall driving question of the unit: how do we use nanotechnology and renewable energy sources to address skyrocketing global demand for fuel and electricity? Includes syllabus, lesson plans, pretest and post-test, free student "infobooks", Power Point lecture materials, and assessment ideas. NanoSense is an NSF-funded project developed to promote the teaching of nanoscale science at the high school level.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Diagram/Illustration
Lecture Notes
Lesson Plan
Student Guide
Unit of Study
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
04/18/2013
NanoSense: Size Matters - Introduction to Nanoscience
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

This resource provides a multimedia introduction to nanoscience, the interdisciplinary study of special phenomena that occur when objects are of a size between 1 and 100 nanometers. The unit features activities for exploring scale and unusual properties at the nanoscale, lessons about the tools of nanotechnology such as the scanning probe microscope, and example applications. Supplementary materials include a classroom play about a not-too-futuristic world where every aspect of daily life is influenced by nanotechnology. This curricular unit aims to model the process scientists use when confronted with new phenomena. It provides meaningful practice in constructing scientific questions and explanations, two of the Scientific Practices addressed in the NextGen Science Standards. These materials were developed in a modular fashion to enable use for a short classroom introduction or a two-week experiential learning project. NanoSense is NSF-funded project to aimed at promoting the teaching of nanoscale science at the high school level.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Lecture Notes
Lesson Plan
Student Guide
Unit of Study
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
National Science Foundation
Date Added:
07/20/2012
Navigational Vectors
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This is a high school instructional unit that features nine lessons relating to vectors. Students build understanding of vector properties as they learn airplane navigation. Problem-based learning activities include reading real-time weather maps, tracking airplanes flying in U.S. skies, calculating vector components, analyzing effects of wind velocity, and completing training segments similar to a private pilot certification program. Participants have access to help from experts at the Polaris Career Center. Comprehensive teacher guides, student guides, reference materials, and assessments are included. This resource was developed by the Center for Innovation in Science and Engineering Education (CIESE). Participation is cost-free; additional options are available for registered users.

Subject:
Technology
Education
Mathematics
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Lesson Plan
Student Guide
Unit of Study
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
12/10/2008
PBS Learning Media: Origins of Wave Energy
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This is a standards-aligned lesson plan for secondary education on the topic of mechanical wave motion. The lesson blends a six-minute video with a classroom activity that uses Slinky springs to model transverse and longitudinal waves. Explicit directions are given to support new or crossover teachers, including background information on wave energy and discussion questions. The resource was developed for use with the video "Making Big Waves", which may be freely downloaded for classroom use. Teachers' Domain, a network partner of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL), is a growing collection of free educational resources compiled by researchers and experienced teachers to promote the use of digital resources in the classroom.

Subject:
Technology
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
Date Added:
10/31/2005
PBS Learning Media: Virtual Car-Velocity and Acceleration
Rating

This Flash simulation demonstrates how vectors are used to represent velocity. As students drive a virtual car on a flat surface, vectors change in response to the changes in speed and direction. A graph of speed vs. time is displayed in real-time as the car is maneuvered. This resource can be adapted for use in middle school, Physics First, and conceptual physics courses. Background information and discussion questions are also provided. Teachers' Domain is an NSF-funded network partner of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). It is a growing collection of more than 10,000 free educational resources compiled by researchers and experienced teachers to promote the use of digital resources in the classroom.

Subject:
Technology
Education
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Date Added:
12/10/2008
PBS Learning Media: What Is a Wave?
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This is an interactive activity for middle school on the fundamentals of waves, adapted from the University of Utah's ASPIRE lab. It features animations of wave motion and a simulation that explores how a wave moves through different mediums. Students can adjust the density of the medium and choose to view longitudinal, transverse, or circular wave motion. The animation on water waves clearly depicts the movement of periodic waves, which can be difficult for learners to visualize. This resource also includes background information, discussion questions, and links to applicable national science education standards. Teachers' Domain is an NSF-funded network partner of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). It is a growing collection of free educational resources compiled by researchers and experienced teachers to promote the use of digital resources in the classroom.

Subject:
Technology
Education
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
Author:
Pierre Sokolsky
Date Added:
10/31/2003
Pendulum Energy Model
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This is a standards-based simulation for middle school, developed to help students visualize how total energy is conserved in a simple pendulum. It depicts a child swinging on a swing suspended from a stationary point. Students can drag the swing to different heights, then activate the motion. As the swing moves in periodic motion, energy bar graphs are simultaneously displayed that show changing levels of kinetic and potential energy. The simulation is accompanied by a lesson plan and printable student activity guide. This item was created with Easy Java Simulations (EJS), a modeling tool that allows users without formal programming experience to generate computer models and simulations. To modify or customize the model, See Related Materials for detailed instructions on installing and running the EJS Modeling and Authoring Tool.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Physics
Material Type:
Interactive
Lesson Plan
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Anne Cox
Barbara Christian
Mario Belloni
Wolfgang Christian
Date Added:
06/17/2009
PhET Teacher Activities: Air Resistance Lesson
Conditions of Use:
No Strings Attached
Rating

This lesson plan was crafted by PhET teacher-fellows specifically to accompany the Flash simulation Projectile Motion. It is quite comprehensive, providing both teacher and learner with appropriate support to learn about projectile motion with or without air resistance. It contains scripted teacher discussion, background information, explanations of fluid properties of air and coefficient of drag, common misconceptions, and modifiable worksheets. The simulation must be open and running to complete this activity. Allow two class periods. This resource is part a large collection of interactive simulations developed by the Physics Education Technology Project (PhET). The Projectile Motion simulation has been classroom-tested.

Subject:
Technology
Education
Mathematics
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Lecture Notes
Lesson Plan
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
UTeach - University of Texas
Date Added:
09/13/2012