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
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. <i>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.</i>

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
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. <i>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.</i>

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
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. <i>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.</i>

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
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 <i>Real Time Data Projects</i>. <b>See Related Materials</b> 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
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. <i>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, <b>SEE ANNOTATIONS</b> for an editor-recommended tutorial.</i> 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, <b><i>See Related Materials</b></i>for 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
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
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
Concord Consortium: Heat and Temperature
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This inquiry-based module explores the difference between heat and temperature in an engaging interactive format that includes 12 computer models. Students learn that temperature is a measure of kinetic energy and heat is the transfer of energy from hot systems to cooler ones. The simulations help students visualize that temperature is related to both speed and mass of atoms. Three models promote understanding of average kinetic energy, and its dependence upon changes in heat. This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology.

Subject:
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Interactive
Lecture Notes
Lesson Plan
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
Dan Damelin
National Science Foundation
Rhode Island Information Technology Experiences for Students & Teachers
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
Concord Consortium: Melting Ice
Conditions of Use:
Read the Fine Print
Rating

This activity combines a hands-on lab with a computer simulation, as students investigate and graph the changing temperature of a melting ice cube. In the first step, learners use a sensor to monitor temperature as ice melts in a cup of water. In the second step, the ice cube is melted in a cup of salt water. Interactive graphs allow easy plotting of Temperature vs. Time. The activity concludes with a simulation of the atomic structure of a hot liquid and a cold liquid. Click "Withdraw the Barrier" and watch the changing kinetic energy of the cold liquid particles as they mix with the hot liquid. This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology.

Subject:
Technology
Education
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Full Course
Interactive
Lecture Notes
Lesson Plan
Provider:
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
National Science Foundation
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
Concord Consortium: Seeing Motion
Rating

This activity explores simple, straight-line motion by blending a motion sensor lab with student-generated digital graphs of distance versus time. First, learners use the online graph sketching tool to predict the motion of a person walking forward and backward over a 4-meter track in 30 seconds. Next, they try to reproduce their prediction graphs using a motion sensor to collect data. Finally, they analyze differences in slope between their original predictions and the actual data from the motion sensor. This resource is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology.

Subject:
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
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. <i>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.</i>

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
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
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. <i>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.</i> 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 <i>Easy Java Simulations Modeling and Authoring Tool</i>. <b>SEE RELATED MATERIALS</b> 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
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. <i>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.</i>

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
Energy flows
Rating

This activity introduces students to different forms of energy, energy transformations, energy storage, and the flow of energy through systems. Students learn that most energy can be traced back to nuclear fusion on the sun.

Subject:
Engineering
Technology
Education
History, Law, Politics
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Assessment
Diagram/Illustration
Full Course
Lecture Notes
Lesson Plan
Student Guide
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
ComPADRE Digital Library
Provider Set:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
ComPADRE Classroom-Ready Resources
ComPADRE: Resources for Physics and Astronomy Education
Author:
NEED Project - Putting Energy into Education
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 <u>both</u> falling balls. <b><i>See Annotations</b> for an editor-recommended, interactive tutorial that further explains free fall and air resistance.</i> 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, <b><i>See Related Materials</b> for detailed instructions on installing and running the EJS Modeling and Authoring Tool. </i>

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
Free Fall Model
Rating

This simulation allows students to examine the motion of an object in free fall. <i><u>Download below.</i></u> 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. <b><i>See Annotations</b> for an editor-recommended tutorial that further explains how graphs are used to represent free fall motion.</i> 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. </i>

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