Science, Technology, and Society

Lesson plans are subdivided according to Georgia Performance Standards.
(All files are in PDF format unless otherwise noted.)

 

Changes and Cycles

  • Bottled Ecosystem
    Students investigate the interactions that take place among several variables of a closed ecosystem simulation.
  • Comparing Heat Absorption in Different Soil Types
    Students will explore the following hypotheses: 1) Sand will absorb heat at a different rate than potting soil, and 2) A dark surface will absorb heat at a different rate than a light surface.
  • Crucifer Cross: Studying Gravitropism in Plants
    How do plant seedlings respond to gravity?
  • Density and Texture of Soil
    With this lesson, students will understand soil texture and bulk density as well as the importance of these characteristics to both scientific and agricultural applications.
  • Determining the Effects of Substances on Plants
    What materials in the environment have an effect on seed germination in plants? In this lab, students will discuss/research the pollutants that may be present in their area and choose one to bioassay on seed germination. After choosing a pollutant and having the instructor approve it, they will design an experiment to test its effects on your seeds.
  • Effects of Salt on Plant Growth
    How does salt in the environment affect plant growth? Students will build a model for studying the effects of contaminants on plant growth, identify two ways pollutants can enter the ecosystem, and identify the effects of pollutants on terrestrial and aquatic plants.
  • Endothermic and Exothermic Reactions
    This lesson focuses on the use of technology to collect, graph, and analyze data from an exothermic and an endothermic reaction.
  • Energy Content of Foods
    The energy content of foods is investigated. The energy released by a number of food samples and absorbed by water is determined using technology. Inferences about the energy content of foods with high fat content and foods with high carbohydrate content are then made.
  • Freezing and Melting of Water
    The cooling and warming behavior of water is investigated. With the use of technology, water temperature data is collected, graphed, and analyzed. The freezing and melting points of water are determined and compared.
  • Soil and Water Relationships
    From this lesson, students will gain an understanding of soil and water relationships. Students will investigate water holding capacity and porosity of soil and how soils of different textures differ in these areas.
  • Terrarium Making and the Water Cycle
    The purpose of this lesson plan is to demonstrate the water cycle through the use of terrariums made in class by the students. The students will better understand the processes through their understanding of how a terrarium works.

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Classifying Matter

  • Classes of Matter - Part I
    Several types of household matter will be placed at different lab stations and students will be asked to identify if it is a solution, mixture, compound or element, and what type, if applicable.
  • Classes of Matter - Part II
    This inquiry based lab builds upon the ability to classify matter and asks the student to explain the experiments used to determine the chemical and physical properties of the sample, and determine if their data matches their classification. This lab can be remediated or extended by including more identifications of less obvious classification.
  • Freezing and Melting of Water
    The cooling and warming behavior of water is investigated. With the use of technology, water temperature data is collected, graphed, and analyzed. The freezing and melting points of water are determined and compared.
  • Mechanical Advantage of Ramps
    In this group lab students will be studying how inclines, friction, and the force applied to a block affect the ideal and mechanical advantage. Applications can be made in a physical science or a physics classroom, and the level of difficulty can be easily changed by changing the factors of the equation.

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Energy

  • Bottled Ecosystem
    Students investigate the interactions that take place among several variables of a closed ecosystem simulation.
  • Energy Transfer and Heat Loss
    This activity is designed to introduce the concept of energy transfer as it relates to heat loss. Students will observe and compare the transfer of heat energy from containers made of different types of materials.
  • Force, Speed and Horsepower
    From this lesson, students will gain an understanding of energy, force, work, power, horsepower, and torque. The lesson will use items familiar to students to better explain the concepts listed above. This lesson contains both a hands-on and lecture component.
  • Freezing and Melting of Water
    The cooling and warming behavior of water is investigated. With the use of technology, water temperature data is collected, graphed, and analyzed. The freezing and melting points of water are determined and compared.
  • Heating and Cooling of Land Forms
    The purpose of this lab is to observe heating and cooling rates of samples of soil, grass, saltwater, fresh water, and sand. The sun's energy warms different types of materials at different rates. This activity will demonstrate the different rates at which common substances seen in nature are heated by the sun's energy.
  • Measuring the Speed of Light with Chocolate
    This lesson can be used as a lab or demonstration to teach students about the speed of light and it relationship to frequency and wavelength. It discusses the equation c = f f=λ.
  • Power of Peanuts
    This lesson plan is for a laboratory activity demonstrating the amount of energy found in a peanut. Peanuts contain proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Oxidation of the molecular bonds found in these compounds leads to the release of energy.
  • Temperature Management and Its Importance
    This lesson will describe how temperature is influenced in a controlled environment and how changes in temperature influence plant and animal production.

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Interactions

  • Bottled Ecosystem
    Students investigate the interactions that take place among several variables of a closed ecosystem simulation.
  • Crucifer Cross: Studying Gravitropism in Plants
    How do plant seedlings respond to gravity?
  • Density and Texture of Soil
    With this lesson, students will understand soil texture and bulk density as well as the importance of these characteristics to both scientific and agricultural applications.
  • Determining the Effects of Substances on Plants
    What materials in the environment have an effect on seed germination in plants? In this lab, students will discuss/research the pollutants that may be present in their area and choose one to bioassay on seed germination. After choosing a pollutant and having the instructor approve it, they will design an experiment to test its effects on your seeds.
  • Effects of Salt on Plant Growth
    How does salt in the environment affect plant growth? Students will build a model for studying the effects of contaminants on plant growth, identify two ways pollutants can enter the ecosystem, and identify the effects of pollutants on terrestrial and aquatic plants.
  • Introduction to Toxicology
    This lesson plan serves as an introduction to toxicology for the high school classroom. This lesson plan is useful in chemistry, physical sciences, and biology as you begin to talk about all things chemical and the importance of chemical reactions in our everyday lives, as well as the effects of chemicals on all living organisms.
  • Plant Growth - Response to Light 
    By conducting their own experiments with tools that they construct, students will understand the effect of gravitropism on plant growth.
  • Soil and Water Relationships
    From this lesson, students will gain an understanding of soil and water relationships. Students will investigate water holding capacity and porosity of soil and how soils of different textures differ in these areas.
  • What's So Special About Bottled Drinking Water? Testing Water for Hardness
    This laboratory teaches students about water hardness, polar and non-polar molecules, and anions and cations.

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Observing and Describing Matter

  • Classes of Matter - Part I
    Several types of household matter will be placed at different lab stations and students will be asked to identify if it is a solution, mixture, compound or element, and what type, if applicable.
  • Classes of Matter - Part II
    This inquiry based lab builds upon the ability to classify matter and asks the student to explain the experiments used to determine the chemical and physical properties of the sample, and determine if their data matches their classification. This lab can be remediated or extended by including more identifications of less obvious classification.
  • Comparing Heat Absorption in Different Soil Types
    Students will explore the following hypotheses: 1) Sand will absorb heat at a different rate than potting soil, and 2) A dark surface will absorb heat at a different rate than a light surface.
  • Density and Texture of Soil
    With this lesson, students will understand soil texture and bulk density as well as the importance of these characteristics to both scientific and agricultural applications.
  • Energy Transfer and Heat Loss
    This activity is designed to introduce the concept of energy transfer as it relates to heat loss. Students will observe and compare the transfer of heat energy from containers made of different types of materials.
  • Ethnobotany: What's The Dirt Say About the Past?
    Ethnobotany is the study of the role of plants in a society. Since agriculture is the basis of ancient societies, more so than today, soil samples tell an ethnobotanist what plants were important to daily life.
  • Food Contamination: Testing the 5-Second Rule
    In this lesson, students will test the old myth: If food is dropped onto a surface (floor, table, etc.) and is picked up within five seconds, it will not have any germs on it and is still edible. Students will test this myth through the use of both wet and dry food sources on surfaces with suspected germ activity.
  • Freezing and Melting of Water
    The cooling and warming behavior of water is investigated. With the use of technology, water temperature data is collected, graphed, and analyzed. The freezing and melting points of water are determined and compared.
  • Introduction to Toxicology
    This lesson plan serves as an introduction to toxicology for the high school classroom. This lesson plan is useful in chemistry, physical sciences, and biology as you begin to talk about all things chemical and the importance of chemical reactions in our everyday lives, as well as the effects of chemicals on all living organisms.
  • Mechanical Advantage of Ramps
    In this group lab students will be studying how inclines, friction, and the force applied to a block affect the ideal and mechanical advantage. Applications can be made in a physical science or a physics classroom, and the level of difficulty can be easily changed by changing the factors of the equation.
  • Moving Fluid in Plants: Experiments with Celery
    Students will explore the vascular tissue of a celery stalk. The celery stalk serves as a model for the generalized plant. In Part I of the activity, students will use a dye to determine the location of the vascular tissues. In Part II of the activity, they will explore how light influences the rate of movement of water in the vascular tissues.
  • Physical Properties of Wood
    This is a hands-on lesson in which students investigate the relationship between physical properties of wood and its suitability for construction purposes. Students will investigate the density, stiffness, and elasticity of several species of wood.
  • Power of Peanuts
    This lesson plan is for a laboratory activity demonstrating the amount of energy found in a peanut. Peanuts contain proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Oxidation of the molecular bonds found in these compounds leads to the release of energy.
  • Scientific Method: How Do Scientists Solve Problems?
    The following lesson will allow students to name and explain the steps of the scientific method and use the scientific method to solve a problem. Can be used as Lesson 2 of 3 in conjunction with What is the Effect of Light on Ice? and Steps to Creating a Science Research Project.
  • Soil and Water Relationships
    From this lesson, students will gain an understanding of soil and water relationships. Students will investigate water holding capacity and porosity of soil and how soils of different textures differ in these areas.
  • Steps to Creating a Science Research Project
    What are the steps necessary to conduct a science research project? This lesson can be used as Lesson 1 of 3 in conjunction with The Scientific Method: How do scientists solve problems? and The Scientific Method: How do scientists solve problems? and Steps to Creating a Science Research Project.
  • The Population Explosion - Plant Population Density
    The purpose of this experiment is to introduce students to population density and its effects on a population. We will explore this by creating an experiment to observe plant growth, development, and density dependent competition.
  • Using Termites to Learn the Scientific Method
    This is an inquiry-based lesson plan used to teach students how to employ the scientific method. Students will learn all steps of the scientific method and use them to explore the behavior of termites. A formal lab report will help ensure that students understand the scientific method.
  • Variation in Families/Populations of Plants
    Using Wisconsin Fast-Plants, we will explore how members of plant families and populations vary, and what significance this has for the population.
  • Viscosity Funnel Lab
    In this lesson, students will investigate the concept of viscosity as it relates to some common food products. Students will gain an understanding of properties that affect viscosity and the importance of viscosity in food related industries.
  • What is the Effect of Light on Ice?
    This lesson focuses on applying the scientific method. Can be used as Lesson 3 of 3 in conjunction with The Scientific Method: How do scientists solve problems? and Steps to Creating a Science Research Project.
  • What's in the Bag? An Observation Lab
    How good are your skills of observation and communication? In this lab, the class will be divided into groups and the group members will reach into a paper bag and feel one of several unknown objects, describing the object to the other group members. At the end, group members will compare their descriptions and guesses of the objects. This can also be modified to be a short filler activity.

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Using Technology

  • Endothermic and Exothermic Reactions
    This lesson focuses on the use of technology to collect, graph, and analyze data from an exothermic and an endothermic reaction.
  • Energy Content of Foods
    The energy content of foods is investigated. The energy released by a number of food samples and absorbed by water is determined using technology. Inferences about the energy content of foods with high fat content and foods with high carbohydrate content are then made.
  • Force, Friction, Speed and Acceleration
    Playing jeopardy to learn about force, friction, speed, and acceleration.
  • Freezing and Melting of Water
    The cooling and warming behavior of water is investigated. With the use of technology, water temperature data is collected, graphed, and analyzed. The freezing and melting points of water are determined and compared.
  • Getting Acquainted with Seeds
    Students will be familiarized with plant seeds, as well as the techniques used to make detailed observations about their physiology.
  • Playground Physics
    This lesson makes use of playground equipment including swings, a merry-go-round, slide, and seesaw to understand some basic principles of physics such Newton's Law of Motion (especially 1st and 2nd), center of gravity, momentum, rotational inertia, torque, and the coefficient of sliding friction. The lesson is to be conducted outside on a playground and requires a Vernier force probe for one of the four activities.
  • Staying Warm in the Cold
    Animals in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are subjected to violently cold temperatures. Still, amidst these treacherous conditions, these animals have adapted to be able not only to survive but also to thrive in the harsh cold. This laboratory activity will demonstrate one of the mechanisms used by these animals to survive.
  • Using Freezing-Point Depression to Find Molecular Weight
    Freezing-point depression, a colligative property, is investigated. Technology is used to collect, graph, and analyze both the cooling of a pure solvent and the cooling of the solvent when a solute is added. The freezing-point depression of the solvent is determined from the data. Using the freezing-point depression and the molality of the solution, the molecular weight of the solute is determined.
  • Work, Power and Machine
    Playing Jeopardy to learn work, power, and machine.

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