Cultural Connections for Species at Risk
In the face of habitat loss and pollution, more species around the world are threatened by extinction. But how should conservation resources be allocated? In this activity, students will debate whether the allocation of conservation resources should consider the cultural significance of a species.
Building bread reveals physical and chemical changes
Many of the things people make — from concrete to bread — undergo physical and chemical changes during production. While making bread, students will learn more about the differences between chemical and physical changes and how the two are related.
Most of us drive across bridges every day and never question their structural integrity. We trust that the bridge will stand. In this activity, students will study a famous bridge collapse and consider how it could have been prevented. They also will learn how engineers are testing whether crowdsourced cell phone data could be used to determine when bridges need repairs. Using simulated data of bridge vibration frequencies, students will identify whether an imaginary bridge might be unstable. Students have the option of creating model bridges and testing their structural integrity.
Curbing Climate Change
The emissions of greenhouse gases through human activities are changing the world and making it warmer. But there are technologies and strategies that can reduce these emissions and slow climate change. In this activity, students will research methods of reducing carbon dioxide production and removing carbon from the atmosphere and present on their findings.
The Past, Present and Future of Spaceflight
Have you ever wondered how the people who get to fly in space are chosen? The path to becoming an astronaut has changed a lot over the years. In this activity, students will learn about the space travelers of the past and present — and consider a future where the diversity of astronauts better reflects the diversity of all of humankind. Students will use their creative writing skills to imagine this future.
Fermentation and Pasteurization in the classroom
The multitalented Louis Pasteur was a chemist, biologist, the father of microbiology and the inventor of pasteurization. In this hands-on lab, students will learn about Pasteur’s contributions by conducting an inquiry-based yeast fermentation experiment that explores the concept of pasteurization. In this experiment, students will observe, calculate and graph the volume of carbon dioxide produced by yeast during fermentation at different temperatures and identify the point where the yeast have been killed and pasteurization occurs.
Write a scientific question based in history
In this quick activity, students will write a scientific question to learn more about a historical artifact. Learning Outcomes: Asking scientific questions
Lake scavenger hunt
Lakes can vary in color based on levels of sediment, organic matter and algae. Sometimes though, a lake will stand out – not matching the other lakes in an area. Look for these anomalies by participating in a virtual lake scavenger hunt, and help figure out why these lakes don’t fit in! In this activity, students will learn how climate change influences lake color and will investigate lakes with irregular colors that have been impacted by natural or human-made forces.
Create your own unit of measure
In this quick activity, students will create their own unit of length to measure something in the classroom and use principles of dimensional analysis to convert their measurement to a partner’s unit. Learning Outcomes: Units of measurement, unit conversion.
Preparing for population growth
In this quick activity, students will brainstorm the effects of population growth on industries such as agriculture and medicine, then will work collaboratively to come up with changes at the national or international level that will help those industries support the growing population.
Form fits function in extreme environments
From buildings to machines to household objects — and even in the natural world — the structure of something relates to its function. Sea urchin skeletons, for example, have a recurring geometric design called a Voronoi pattern that also shows up in honeycombs and dragonfly wings. The pattern probably strengthens the skeleton and could inspire the creation of strong, lightweight materials. In this activity, students will explore aspects of structure and function in everyday objects before applying the same concepts to the natural patterns found in sea urchin skeletons. Inspired by the sea urchin, students can use an engineering design process to brainstorm solutions to real-world problems.
In this quick activity, students will create a poem or song about a serendipitous finding in science.