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Universe: The Origin and Evolution of the Universe Science Object
Science Object
Universe: The Origin and Evolution of the Universe
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between NASA and NSTA, is the fifth of five Science Objects in the Universe SciPack. It provides understanding of how the universe formed, how it has changed over time, and how it continues to change today. The ‘big bang’ theory of universe formation is supported by recent...  [view full summary]
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between NASA and NSTA, is the fifth of five Science Objects in the Universe SciPack. It provides understanding of how the universe formed, how it has changed over time, and how it continues to change today. The ‘big bang’ theory of universe formation is supported by recent observations of the motion of galaxies, as well as observations of the energy left over from the formation of the universe. This evidence suggests that the origin of the universe occurred approximately 13.6 billion years ago, during a point in time when the state of the universe was much hotter and more dense. The fact that light seen from almost all distant galaxies has longer wavelengths than comparable light here on earth provides evidence that the whole universe has been expanding ever since the big bang (and continues to expand today).
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Gravity and Orbits: Universal Gravitation Science Object
Science Object
Gravity and Orbits: Universal Gravitation
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between NASA and NSTA, is the first of three Science Objects in the Gravity and Orbits SciPack. It provides an understanding of gravitational forces associated with all objects that have mass. Every object exerts a gravitational force on every other object. The force is...  [view full summary]
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between NASA and NSTA, is the first of three Science Objects in the Gravity and Orbits SciPack. It provides an understanding of gravitational forces associated with all objects that have mass. Every object exerts a gravitational force on every other object. The force is hard to detect unless at least one of the objects has a lot of mass. Any two objects will exert an equal gravitational force (in opposite directions) on one another. Gravity is the force behind the falling rain and flowing rivers, and is responsible for pulling the matter that makes up planets and stars toward their centers to form spheres.
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Force and Motion: Newton's Second Law Science Object
Science Object
Force and Motion: Newton's Second Law
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the third of four Science Objects in the Force and Motion SciPack. It provides a conceptual and real-world understanding of Newton’s Second Law of Motion. An object’s change in motion is proportional to the net force applied to the object and inversely proportional to the mass of...  [view full summary]
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the third of four Science Objects in the Force and Motion SciPack. It provides a conceptual and real-world understanding of Newton’s Second Law of Motion. An object’s change in motion is proportional to the net force applied to the object and inversely proportional to the mass of the object (being the measure of its inertia). The magnitude of the change in motion can be calculated using the relationship F = ma, which is independent of the nature of the force acting on the object.
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Force and Motion: Newton's Third Law Science Object
Science Object
Force and Motion: Newton's Third Law
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the last of four Science Objects in the Force and Motion SciPack. It provides a conceptual and real-world understanding of Newton’s Third Law of Motion, addressing common misconceptions associated with this law. Whenever one object exerts a force on another, an equal amount of force...  [view full summary]
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the last of four Science Objects in the Force and Motion SciPack. It provides a conceptual and real-world understanding of Newton’s Third Law of Motion, addressing common misconceptions associated with this law. Whenever one object exerts a force on another, an equal amount of force is exerted back on it. These equal and opposite forces are exerted simultaneously on the objects involved.
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Nutrition: What are Nutrients? Science Object
Science Object
Nutrition: What are Nutrients?
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach This Science Object, co-developed between FDA and NSTA, is the third of four Science Objects in the Nutrition SciPack. It explores nutrients and the specific physiological functions associated with each nutrient. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins provide energy for body movement and physiological processes;...  [view full summary]
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach This Science Object, co-developed between FDA and NSTA, is the third of four Science Objects in the Nutrition SciPack. It explores nutrients and the specific physiological functions associated with each nutrient. Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins provide energy for body movement and physiological processes; proteins provide building material for body tissue as well as substances for important physiological processes; and vitamins and minerals regulate body processes. Water carries nutrients, provides an environment for many physiological functions and is part of the composition of the body itself. Getting too much or too little of these nutrients can cause undesired effects; good nutrition involves getting the right amounts {and in the right combinations}. Other substances in food, including phytonutrients, may also have important health benefits that are not yet well understood.
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Flow of Matter and Energy in Ecosystems: Does Matter Matter? Science Object
Science Object
Flow of Matter and Energy in Ecosystems: Does Matter Matter?
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the first of three Science Objects in the Flow of Matter and Energy in Ecosystems SciPack. It explores the structure of the biomass in an ecosystem and overall cycling of matter. However complex the workings of living organisms, they share with all other systems the same physical...  [view full summary]
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the first of three Science Objects in the Flow of Matter and Energy in Ecosystems SciPack. It explores the structure of the biomass in an ecosystem and overall cycling of matter. However complex the workings of living organisms, they share with all other systems the same physical principles that describe the conservation and transformation of matter.

Ecosystems are a community of interdependent organisms and the chemical and physical factors making up the environment with which they interact. For every ecosystem on Earth there is a particular biomass (matter) distribution among organisms in its populations. While the specific biomass distribution in any given ecosystem is unique because of resource availability, there is a common overall biomass distribution pattern in all ecosystems. Greater biomass exists in populations that obtain matter from the physical environment than in populations that obtain matter from other living organisms. As matter flows through different levels of organization in living systems—cells, organs, organisms, communities—and between living systems and the physical environment, chemical elements are recombined in different ways. Matter is conserved through each change.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Define an ecosystem and understand how it comprises an interdependent community of organisms along with their interactions with the chemical and physical components of the environment
  • Categorize organisms in a community based on their sources of matter/biomass and nutrients as one of the following: producers, herbivores (primary consumers), carnivores (secondary consumers; tertiary or top-consumers),
  • omnivores, and decomposers
  • Predict the relative biomass for different levels in a biomass pyramid for a typical ecosystem
  • Explain how matter is conserved in the interactions between consumers and producers, but that in a biomass pyramid there is less biomass at the consumer level compared to the producer level

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Flow of Matter and Energy in Ecosystems: Carbon, Carbon Everywhere Science Object
Science Object
Flow of Matter and Energy in Ecosystems: Carbon, Carbon Everywhere
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the second of three Science Objects in the Flow of Matter and Energy in Ecosystems SciPack. It explores how the cycling of carbon and other nutrients from non-living to living components and back is one of the most important of ecosystem functions and is representative of the cycling...  [view full summary]
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the second of three Science Objects in the Flow of Matter and Energy in Ecosystems SciPack. It explores how the cycling of carbon and other nutrients from non-living to living components and back is one of the most important of ecosystem functions and is representative of the cycling of other elements.

All matter that comprises organic molecules, including hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorous and others are transferred cyclically among living organisms and their non-living environment. The cycling of elements from non-living to living components and back is one of the most important ecosystem characteristics. For example, carbon, an essential element in organic molecules, is conserved as it is transferred from inorganic carbon in an ecosystem to organic molecules in living organisms of the ecosystem and back as inorganic carbon to the environment. The carbon cycle, in the following description, serves as an example of one of the essential biogeochemical cycles.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Trace the path of a carbon atom from the atmosphere through a biomass pyramid and ultimately back to the atmosphere
  • Describe how photosynthesis and consumer respiration affect the flow of carbon through an ecosystem
  • Predict the biological effects of increasing levels of atmospheric carbon due to the massive combustion of fossil fuels
  • Identify the process that emits carbon to the atmosphere from producers, consumers and decomposers

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Nutrition: What Happens to the Food I Eat? Science Object
Science Object
Nutrition: What Happens to the Food I Eat?
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between FDA and NSTA, is the second of four Science Objects in the Nutrition SciPack. It discusses how the body makes use of foods’ nutrients, after food is digested into simpler substances. These simpler substances must then be absorbed through the lining of the small...  [view full summary]
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between FDA and NSTA, is the second of four Science Objects in the Nutrition SciPack. It discusses how the body makes use of foods’ nutrients, after food is digested into simpler substances. These simpler substances must then be absorbed through the lining of the small intestine and transported for use throughout the body for physiological processes. In cells, these nutrients and substances derived from them are taken in and react to provide the biochemical constituents needed to synthesize other molecules. Some cells store energy from the breakdown of some nutrients in specific chemicals that are used to carry out the many functions of the cell. The circulatory system moves substances to the cells and removes waste products. Lungs take in oxygen for metabolism and eliminate the carbon dioxide produced, excretory systems rid the body of dissolved and solid waste products, and the skin and lungs rid the body of excess heat energy.
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Universe: The Universe Beyond our Solar System Science Object
Science Object
Universe: The Universe Beyond our Solar System
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between NASA and NSTA, is the fourth of five Science Objects in the Universe SciPack. It explores the more unknown parts of the universe beyond our solar system and provides an understanding of where and how we fit into the universe as a whole. Astronomers have carefully...  [view full summary]
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between NASA and NSTA, is the fourth of five Science Objects in the Universe SciPack. It explores the more unknown parts of the universe beyond our solar system and provides an understanding of where and how we fit into the universe as a whole. Astronomers have carefully measured the changing positions of stars, leading them to believe that the Sun is located about half-way out from the center of a disk-shaped galaxy of stars, part of which can be seen as a glowing band of light that spans the sky on a very clear night. Although our Sun is a single star, most stars exist in systems of two or more stars orbiting around one another and are arranged in huge star clusters. Galaxies are isolated collections of billions of gravitationally bound stars and immense clouds of gas and dust. Galaxies are, in turn, grouped into galaxy clusters and super-clusters. The universe contains many billions of galaxies separated by immense distances of mostly empty space. Some of these distant galaxies are so far away that their light takes several billion years to reach Earth. This means that here on Earth we are seeing them as they were that long ago.
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Interdependence of Life: Agents of Change in Ecosystems Science Object
Science Object
Interdependence of Life: Agents of Change in Ecosystems
Grade Level: Elementary School, High School, Middle School
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the fourth of four Science Objects in the Interdependence of Life SciPack. It explores agents of change in ecosystems.

Various influences (including human impact, natural disasters, climate change, and the appearance of new species) can force an ecosystem into...  [view full summary]
Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the fourth of four Science Objects in the Interdependence of Life SciPack. It explores agents of change in ecosystems.

Various influences (including human impact, natural disasters, climate change, and the appearance of new species) can force an ecosystem into a state of different equilibrium. Depending on both the severity of the disturbance and the diversity of populations, feedback mechanisms may be sufficient to restore a state of equilibrium similar to the original ecosystem. However, if the disruptive influences are so severe (in duration and/or degree) they can push an ecosystem beyond its capacity to maintain equilibrium, irreversibly altering the system. In this case, a new point of dynamic equilibrium is eventually established, thus defining a new ecosystem.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Describe how populations might reach a new state of equilibrium following significant changes to the conditions (abiotic and biotic factors) defining their ecosystem.
  • Sequence and provide the rationale for a series of ecological processes that could logically occur following a large-scale disruption.
  • Given a description of factors that influence and affect population sizes in an ecosystem, identify those factors that could most likely contribute to an ecosystem’s long-term inability to return to dynamic equilibrium.
  • Explain how human activity (mining, dam construction, housing development) could affect the equilibrium of an ecosystem.

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