In this guide, students will learn about how food scientists are using chemistry to improve the texture of ice cream, discuss the science of ice cream on a molecular level and brainstorm testable scientific questions about favorite frozen desserts.
Students will design and build models inspired by flying seeds with the goal of making the models travel as far as possible. Students will test the models, analyze which ones performed the best and explain why those models performed well using physics principles.
In this guide, students will learn about an experiment inspired by the movie Avengers: Infinity War that investigates the role of friction in a successful finger snap. Students will then apply their scientific knowledge to assess scientific accuracy in movies and other media.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “New high-speed video reveals the physics of a finger snap,” which details scientists’ exploration of the friction required for finger snapping. A version of the article, “Camera captures physics in a snap,” appears in the December 18, 2021 & January 1, 2022 issue of Science News.
Students will evaluate experimental methods for recycling plastics, gather data about the types of plastics they use at home, research plastics recycling in their community and write a letter to local officials that advocates for improving plastics recycling.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “How the laws of physics constrain the size of alien raindrops,” which explores a new model for rain on planets across the Milky Way. A version of the story, “Physics helps alien rain stay in shape,” appears in the May 8, 2021 & May 22, 2021 issue of Science News.
Students will compare and contrast rain on Earth with rain on other planets and practice drawing molecular structures of various rain substances to examine the substances' physical and chemical properties. Students will use that information, along with the planetary conditions needed to form rain, to create a short weather forecast for one planet.
In this activity, students will learn about the seemingly indestructible diabolical ironclad beetle and review Newton’s laws of motion and force diagrams. Then, students will design, build and test crush-resistant packaging using biomimetics, the practice of solving problems using solutions inspired by biological structures and systems.
Students will answer questions about the online Science News article “This weird chemical bond acts like a mash-up of hydrogen and covalent bonds,” which explores new research that suggests chemical bonds exist on a continuum. A version of the story, “Chemical bond acts like a mash-up,” can be found in the January 30, 2021 issue of Science News.
Students will discuss the classical definitions of chemical bonds and determine how to adjust those definitions based on new research. Then, students will talk about the best strategies for assessing general chemistry concepts and exceptions to those generalizations.