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Green light means “go”

Just when we all thought we had evaporation all figured out, clever experiments shine a new light on old assumptions. A new study points to light having the ability to help sever bonds (a type of intermolecular force) between water molecules to boost evaporation. Learn how these findings support new scientific claims and challenge the old notion that light affects evaporation only indirectly, through heat generation.

A sweaty plant adaptation

Sweating has a surprising purpose for one desert plant. Students will learn about a chemical adaptation that allows the plant to collect moisture in an arid environment. They’ll answer questions about using videos to collect data and then draw molecular diagrams that illustrate the plant’s adaptation.

Pink diamonds

Colliding tectonic plates might make your diamond blush. Learn how differences in crystal structure give rise to distinctive physical differences, such as the rare pink diamonds of Western Australia. Answer questions about the value of skepticism in science and discuss how uncovering the history of our planet can give us a treasure-hunting lead.

Planning a Garden Plot

Gardens have many functions ranging from vegetable and fruit production to flood mitigation and erosion control. Gardens also can be a haven for pollinators and a repository for native plants. Over the course of a year, students will design a garden for their school or a community organization using scientific concepts they learn in class.

Fluorescing frogs

Light up your class with examples of fluorescence, including recently found biofluorescence in many frog species. Learn about the discovery of fluorescing frogs, discuss the potential evolutionary advantages of fluorescence, answer questions about the chemistry behind fluorescence and perform a demonstration of fluorescence from common objects.

Health Effects of Climate Extremes and Thermal Technology

Climate extremes are impacting human health and inspiring new technology. This guide provides lesson plans paired to recent news articles covering a new thermal fabric prototype and its ability to regulate temperature and how wildfire smoke impacts the air quality index and human health.

Not too hot. Not too cold

Staying cool in the summer and keeping warm in the winter may become easier. Learn about a new thermal fabric prototype and its ability to regulate temperature, answer questions about its design and function and discuss potential applications.

Applying the ideal gas law

Summary: Students will review the ideal gas law and use a simulation to explain the assumptions made in a recent study about how climate change is impacting baseball. Learning Outcomes: Exploration of the cause and effect of manipulating conditions of a gas using a simulation, identifying relationships of variables using a mathematical equation and application of theoretical concepts to real-world examples.

Confounding Life and Science Research

In this quick activity, students will discuss confounding factors in their own lives and in scientific research to determine why it is important to identify and control for those factors. Learning Outcomes: Reviewing confounding factors and learning why it is important to identify them in science.

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.

Chemists Crack the Code to Ancient Roman Concrete

The ancient Romans built concrete structures that have stood for thousands of years. In this Guide, students will learn how scientists experimented to make Roman-style concrete — without causing explosions!

Concrete physical and chemical changes

Use a real-life example to give students a deeper understanding of physical and chemical changes and properties of substances.