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Universe: The Sun as a Star Science Object
Science Object
Universe: The Sun as a Star
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 second of five Science Objects in the Universe SciPack. It provides an understanding of how our Sun compares to other stars in the universe. Analyzing the light from other stars and comparing it with light from our Sun has allowed us to determine...  [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 second of five Science Objects in the Universe SciPack. It provides an understanding of how our Sun compares to other stars in the universe. Analyzing the light from other stars and comparing it with light from our Sun has allowed us to determine that our Sun is a medium-size star. The Sun appears brighter than the other stars because it is many, many times closer to us. It takes about 8 minutes for light to travel from the Sun to Earth, but more than four years for light to travel from the Sun out to the next nearest star.
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Energy: Thermal Energy, Heat, and Temperature Science Object
Science Object
Energy: Thermal Energy, Heat, and Temperature
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 Energy SciPack. It provides a conceptual and real-world understanding of the relationship between thermal energy, heat, and temperature. The thermal energy of a material consists of the disordered motion of its atoms or molecules. Thermal...  [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 Energy SciPack. It provides a conceptual and real-world understanding of the relationship between thermal energy, heat, and temperature. The thermal energy of a material consists of the disordered motion of its atoms or molecules. Thermal energy can be transferred through materials or from one material to another by conduction (the collisions of atoms), or across space by radiation. If the material is fluid, convection currents aid the transfer of thermal energy (convection). When thermal energy is transferred it is called heat. Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of atoms and molecules in a material.
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Earth, Sun, and Moon: General Characteristics of Earth Science Object
Science Object
Earth, Sun, and Moon: General Characteristics of Earth
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 four Science Objects in the Earth, Sun, and Moon SciPack. It provides an understanding of how the different spheres (atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere) of Earth interact and why each plays an important role in making Earth...  [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 four Science Objects in the Earth, Sun, and Moon SciPack. It provides an understanding of how the different spheres (atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere) of Earth interact and why each plays an important role in making Earth the only planet with the conditions necessary for life. Earth is approximately spherical in shape like all planets and stars. Earth is composed mostly of rock. Three-fourths of its surface is covered by a relatively thin layer of water (some of it frozen), and the entire planet is surrounded by a relatively thin blanket of air.
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Energy: Useful and Not So Useful Energy Science Object
Science Object
Energy: Useful and Not So Useful Energy
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 Energy SciPack. It provides a conceptual and real-world understanding of why energy in some forms can easily be used but in other forms is difficult to use. Energy transformations usually produce some heat, which is transferred to cooler...  [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 Energy SciPack. It provides a conceptual and real-world understanding of why energy in some forms can easily be used but in other forms is difficult to use. Energy transformations usually produce some heat, which is transferred to cooler places or objects in the surrounding area via radiation or conduction. In such interactions the number of atoms or molecules is very large and statistics dictate that they will end up with less order than that the initial state. Although just as much total energy remains, it is more widely distributed or spread out which means less can be done with it. This is because useful transfer of energy can be accomplished only when energy is concentrated (such as in falling water, in high-energy molecules in fuels and food, or in radiation from sources such as the intensely hot sun).
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Explaining Matter with Elements, Atoms, and Molecules: Evidence for Atoms and Molecules Science Object
Science Object
Explaining Matter with Elements, Atoms, and Molecules: Evidence for Atoms and Molecules
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 three Science Objects in the Explaining Matter with Elements, Atoms, and Molecules SciPack. It explores the evidence for atoms and molecules, and looks at the way atoms and molecules are arranged and behave in different types of matter (solids, liquids, and gases).
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 three Science Objects in the Explaining Matter with Elements, Atoms, and Molecules SciPack. It explores the evidence for atoms and molecules, and looks at the way atoms and molecules are arranged and behave in different types of matter (solids, liquids, and gases).
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Explaining Matter with Elements, Atoms, and Molecules: Classifying the Elements Science Object
Science Object
Explaining Matter with Elements, Atoms, and Molecules: Classifying the Elements
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 Explaining Matter with Elements, Atoms, and Molecules SciPack. It investigates how the classification of elements into families of elements with similar properties assisted with the development of the periodic table of elements.
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 Explaining Matter with Elements, Atoms, and Molecules SciPack. It investigates how the classification of elements into families of elements with similar properties assisted with the development of the periodic table of elements.
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Energy: Energy Transformations Science Object
Science Object
Energy: Energy Transformations
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 four Science Objects in the Energy SciPack. It provides a conceptual and real-world understanding of how energy is transferred, from object to object and from one form of energy to another. Although the various forms of energy appear different, each can be measured...  [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 four Science Objects in the Energy SciPack. It provides a conceptual and real-world understanding of how energy is transferred, from object to object and from one form of energy to another. Although the various forms of energy appear different, each can be measured in a closed system. This makes it possible to keep track of how much of one form of energy is converted into another form. Most of what goes on in the universe—from exploding stars and biological growth to the operation of machines and the motion of people—involves some form of energy being transformed into another form. The law of conservation of energy states that whenever the amount of energy in one place (or form) decreases, the amount of energy in other places (or forms) increases by the same amount.
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Energy: Different Kinds of Energy Science Object
Science Object
Energy: Different Kinds of Energy
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 four Science Objects in the Energy SciPack. It provides a conceptual and real-world understanding of the different types of energy. Energy can appear in many different forms, however all forms of energy can be broadly classified as one or a combination of two kinds:...  [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 four Science Objects in the Energy SciPack. It provides a conceptual and real-world understanding of the different types of energy. Energy can appear in many different forms, however all forms of energy can be broadly classified as one or a combination of two kinds: kinetic energy, which is the energy of motion; and potential energy, which depends on the relative position or shape of an object. Other kinds of energy include gravitational energy (the separation of mutually attracting masses), thermal energy (the disorderly motion of atoms or molecules), and chemical energy (the arrangement of atoms).
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Universe: How We Know What We Know Science Object
Science Object
Universe: How We Know What We Know
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 five Science Objects in the Universe SciPack. It explores the methods and tools used by astronomers to study the universe and the various objects that make up the known universe. What we know about the universe today is a result 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, co-developed between NASA and NSTA, is the first of five Science Objects in the Universe SciPack. It explores the methods and tools used by astronomers to study the universe and the various objects that make up the known universe. What we know about the universe today is a result of increasingly sophisticated technologies that allow astronomers to capture and study incoming light from the universe across many different wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum, as well as use computers to analyze data. Astronomers study the position and motion of objects, as well as the color and intensity of the light coming from those objects. These observations help determine the distances of those objects, their composition, and the processes at work.
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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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