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Mathematical models of a dog’s age

Students will define, apply and analyze a new mathematical model for determining dog age in human years before comparing it to an old version of the model. Then, students will give examples of mathematical models in other fields and think about models’ benefits and limitations.

Colorful chemistry

Students will review concepts of light and chemical structures to explore color. Then, students will partner up to research a pigment of their choice and present their findings to the class.

Ecological relationship status

Students will use their knowledge of interspecific interactions to explore bacterial communities on human tongue cells. Then, students will apply those concepts to create metaphors for relationships in their own community.

Phase changes: cloudy with a chance of iron rain

Students will use phase diagrams to explore how changes in temperature and pressure affect a substance’s phase of matter before applying the concepts to meteorology on Earth and the exoplanet WASP 76b.

Dissecting diagrams

Students will explore the value of diagrams, what information they should include and how to draw them. This discussion can be used with any science- or engineering-related article that contains a diagram.

The path from outbreak to pandemic

Students will explore the definitions of outbreak, epidemic and pandemic and research how an outbreak becomes an epidemic or pandemic.

The difficult path to diagnosis

Doctors often have to diagnose an injury or disease based on incomplete information. In this discussion, students will explore how symptoms and other biological information — including protein biomarkers in particular — can help doctors identify a problem and recommend a treatment.

Taking charge of allergies

Students will identify and categorize various approaches to fending off cat allergies. After discussing the approaches, students will apply similar problem-solving strategies to a new allergen.

Exploring electromagnetic radiation

Students will watch a NASA video about the electromagnetic spectrum to learn about properties of the various types of radiation. Then, students will explore and discuss technologies that use specific types of electromagnetic radiation.

Designing soundscapes

Drawing on their experiences with how sound behaves in different spaces, students will explore the engineering process by designing and sketching a room to meet specific sound requirements.

How to write a summary

Students will discuss what makes a good summary and practice their summarizing skills. After summarizing an article of their choice, students will share their summaries and get feedback from classmates. This exercise is based on Science News’ Top 10 stories of the year but can be used with any article.

Do not disturb

Students will explore the immediate and long-term effects of specific environmental disturbances, including how energy enters or leaves an ecosystem, how the biotic and abiotic characteristics of the ecosystem change and how organisms evolve under the new conditions.