To see descriptions of all available curriculum by grade, click here. To download a PDF of all available units, click here.

Dye in Water

Developing a Model of Thermal Energy, Atoms, and Molecules

Grades:
6-8
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
Through a series of exploration and inquiry activities, students will explain kinetic molecular theory, atomic, and molecular structures. Students will be challenged to gradually increase the precision of their explanation of molecular-level structures and...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will develop a model through collaborative inquiry to explain thermal kinetic energy and predict the outcome when heat is added to a substance. Students will build argumentation from evidence skills through collaborative sense-making and gallery walk presentations. Students will develop a model of atomic and molecular structures.  
Author:
Melody Childers
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
9 hours
Simple Solar Water Heater

Making the Standard Solar Heater

Grades:
6-8
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
In part one of the activity students will be asked to create a simple solar heater, measure the temperature change in a vial of water, then calculate the heat energy transferred to a vial of water. Students will construct the solar heater, place a set amount...
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Learning Goal(s):
In this activity students will learn that sunlight energy can be transformed into other forms of energy and that the amount of sunlight energy captured by an object can be quantified and measured.
Author:
Nathan Franck
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Energy Transformations

What is Energy?

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
Students will gain an understanding of the fundamentals of energy through observing a variety of energy transformations and develop a foundational vocabulary for identifying and discussing energy concepts. Students will make observations about how energy is...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will obtain the foundational knowledge of energy sources and forms of energy. In addition, students will learn that energy can transfer from one form to another. Students will build the understanding that there are different types of energy and many can not be directly observed.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Carol Patrick
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Energy Transformations

What is Energy Transfer?

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
Students will continue to build an understanding of the fundamentals of energy through observing and describing a variety of energy transformations and build on their foundational vocabulary for identifying and discussing energy concepts. In this stage of the...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will obtain the foundational knowledge of energy sources and forms of energy. In addition, students will learn that energy can transfer from one form to another. Students will be able to match images of energy transformations to their respected vocabulary.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Carol Patrick
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours
 Foil Barge

What is Force?

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
Students will build a barge out of tin foil and describe the forces acting it. The barge itself is designed only with the constraints that passengers within the barge will not get wet, allowing for students to experiment with different shapes and densities as...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will identify the Laws of Motion and learn about the forces acting on the system. There are multiple forces acting on a boat, some of these forces include, acceleration, friction, gravity and thrust.
Author:
Carol Patrick
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour

Gears vs. Pulleys on Solar Cars

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
Students will design an investigation to test differences between solar vehicles. This is an excellent follow-up lesson to the solar boat activity or any other activity in which students have already experimented with other types of solar vehicles. However,...
Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will design an investigation to test differences between solar vehicles. They will make claims based on backing evidence, without having directly tested their vehicles before this point. They will use background knowledge regarding pulleys and gears in order to begin the design process. Students will determine which specific design they will be moving forward with for the next lesson.
Pedagogy & Practice:
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Carol Patrick
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
30 min

Solar Cars Science Investigation

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
Students will design a science investigation to test solar car with a pulley or with a variety of gear sizes. In the previous lesson, they were introduced to the different types of systems that can be employed on their car. In this lesson they will use the “...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will design an investigation to test solar vehicles. They will determine which particular materials they will use in the testing of their chosen format. Students will allow for redesign to take place by determining variables that can be manipulated in a measurable format. Students will determine data that will be useful to collect in the testing of their vehicle design.
Author:
Carol Patrick
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
Checklist

Solar Ovens: Frontload Vocab. And Preview Standards

Grades:
4-5
Unit:
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
Vocabulary and standards will be reviewed throughout all of the lessons, but this day is dedicated to front loading the vocabulary and previewing the standards. Students will use their energy workbook to keep track of vocabulary from this point forward...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will preview vocabulary and standards in order to better comprehend future lessons.
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
Debbie Abel
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
Sources of Energy

Energy Review: Practical and Technical Perspectives—What is Energy?

Grades:
4-8
Description:
Students will take a short field trip around the school to identify different types of energy.
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
To access prior knowledge about different forms of energy
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Erin Sturtz
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min