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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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Nutrition: What is Food? Science Object
Science Object
Nutrition: What is Food?
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 first of four Science Objects in the Nutrition SciPack. It demonstrates that all living organisms require food for functioning, renewal, and growth. Animals use both plants and other animals as food. Food provides the necessary energy for bodily...  [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 first of four Science Objects in the Nutrition SciPack. It demonstrates that all living organisms require food for functioning, renewal, and growth. Animals use both plants and other animals as food. Food provides the necessary energy for bodily movement and physiological processes. It also provides substances needed to repair and create bodily structures and regulate physiological processes such as cellular activity or immune responses. Nutrients, the substances and elements in food that the body requires, are classified according to their composition. For humans, these nutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Carbohydrates, fats, and protein are present in foods in larger amounts. Vitamins and minerals are present in only small amounts. Water, an essential nutrient, is part of every body cell and contributes to all physiological processes.
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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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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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Plate Tectonics: Plates Science Object
Science Object
Plate Tectonics: Plates
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 five Science Objects in the Plate Tectonics SciPack. It provides a conceptual understanding of what plates are and how they move, contributing to a constantly changing surface. The Earth’s continents and ocean basins are made up of plates consisting of the crust and...  [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 five Science Objects in the Plate Tectonics SciPack. It provides a conceptual understanding of what plates are and how they move, contributing to a constantly changing surface. The Earth’s continents and ocean basins are made up of plates consisting of the crust and the upper part of the mantle. One plate can consist of both continental and oceanic crust. These plates move very slowly (an inch or so per year) on the hot, deformable layer of the mantle beneath them. The outward transfer of Earth’s internal heat drives convection circulation in the mantle. This convection, together with gravitational pull on the plates themselves, causes the plates to move.
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Plate Tectonics:  Layered Earth Science Object
Science Object
Plate Tectonics: Layered 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 is the first of five Science Objects in the Plate Tectonics SciPack. It explores the characteristics of the various layers of the Earth, using the way waves travel through the different layers to illustrate the differences in each layer. The interior of the earth is hot, under high...  [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 five Science Objects in the Plate Tectonics SciPack. It explores the characteristics of the various layers of the Earth, using the way waves travel through the different layers to illustrate the differences in each layer. The interior of the earth is hot, under high pressure from gravitational pull, and more dense than its rocky outer crust. The earth is layered with a relatively thin crust; hot, deformable mantle; liquid outer core; and solid, metallic, and dense inner core.
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Nutrition: What Choices Lead to a Healthy Lifestyle? Science Object
Science Object
Nutrition: What Choices Lead to a Healthy Lifestyle?
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 last of four Science Objects in the Nutrition SciPack. It demonstrates that variety, balance, and moderation in overall food choices are essential for human health, growth, and energy. The amounts of specific nutrients recommended for healthy...  [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 last of four Science Objects in the Nutrition SciPack. It demonstrates that variety, balance, and moderation in overall food choices are essential for human health, growth, and energy. The amounts of specific nutrients recommended for healthy people depend on age, gender, heredity, and—for females—pregnancy and lactation. Energy recommendations—measured in calories—are set for age, gender, and physical activity level. Basal metabolic rate and body efficiency also impact energy needs. Food-guidance systems (e.g., MyPyramid) and nutrition information on food labels are founded in science-based evidence for nutrient and energy intake (e.g., Dietary Reference Intakes) and science-based dietary guidelines (e.g., Dietary Guidelines for Americans), and help people apply these recommendations to their daily food and lifestyle decisions. The food choices individuals make affect their nutritional status, and are influenced by personal, hereditary and social factors, as well as by individuals’ understanding of biological consequences.
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Heredity and Variation: Genes in Action Science Object
Science Object
Heredity and Variation: Genes in Action
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 Heredity and Variation SciPack. It explores sexual reproduction and the process of meiosis.

We now know that structures and functions at the molecular and cellular levels provide the mechanism for reproduction and the continuity...  [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 Heredity and Variation SciPack. It explores sexual reproduction and the process of meiosis.

We now know that structures and functions at the molecular and cellular levels provide the mechanism for reproduction and the continuity of species. Instructions for development are passed from parents to offspring in thousands of discrete genes, each of which is a segment of a molecule of DNA. An organism’s particular genetic information, coded in its DNA (genotype), contains genes that provide the information necessary to assemble proteins. Offspring of asexual organisms inherit all of the parent's genes. In organisms that reproduce sexually, specialized female and male sex cells (gametes) are formed during a process of cell division called meiosis. Each of these sex cells contains a random half of the parent's genetic information.

When a particular male gamete fuses with a particular female gamete during fertilization, they form a cell with one complete set of paired chromosomes, a combination of one half-set from each parent. This random combining of gametes and their chromosomes during fertilization results in millions of different possible combinations of genes, which causes the offspring genotypes to vary from their parents’. Some of the new gene combinations make little difference in the ability of the offspring to reproduce or survive, some can produce organisms with capabilities that enhance their ability to survive and reproduce, and some can be deleterious, resulting in an inability to survive and/or reproduce. Learning Outcomes:
  • Distinguish among the following structures by describing their relationship to one another: DNA, chromosomes, genes, and alleles.
  • Describe the role genes play in the production of proteins and defining the phenotype of an organism.
  • Compare and contrast the DNA in cells produced during asexual reproduction versus the DNA in gametes produced during meiosis.
  • Indentify and describe those steps within the process of meiosis that explain the random distribution of genotypes among offspring resulting from sexual reproduction.
  • Explain how the recombination of the allele pairs for individual genes during sexual reproduction results in phenotypic variation among offspring.

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Atomic Structure: Investigating Atoms Science Object
Science Object
Atomic Structure: Investigating Atoms
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 Atomic Structure SciPack. It discusses the basics of atomic structure and how we know what we know about atoms. Atoms are made of a positive nucleus surrounded by negatively charged electrons. The nucleus is a tiny fraction of the volume...  [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 Atomic Structure SciPack. It discusses the basics of atomic structure and how we know what we know about atoms. Atoms are made of a positive nucleus surrounded by negatively charged electrons. The nucleus is a tiny fraction of the volume of an atom but makes up almost all of its mass. The nucleus is composed of protons and neutrons, which have roughly the same mass but differ in that protons are positively charged while neutrons have no electric charge. Isotopes of the same element have the same number of protons (and therefore of electrons) but differ in the number of neutrons. The electric force between the nucleus and electrons holds the atom together.
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Heredity and Variation: Inheritance Science Object
Science Object
Heredity and Variation: Inheritance
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 Heredity and Variation SciPack. It explores the historical perspective and experiments of Mendel. Sexual reproduction results in the continuity of species accompanied with a great deal of variation in physical traits. One familiar...  [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 Heredity and Variation SciPack. It explores the historical perspective and experiments of Mendel.

Sexual reproduction results in the continuity of species accompanied with a great deal of variation in physical traits. One familiar observation is that offspring are very much like their parents but still show some variation— differing somewhat from their parents and from one another. People have long been curious about heredity, using even the most primitive understanding of inheritance to cultivate desirable traits in domesticated species. In the 1800s, Gregor Mendel took his observations of heredity and variation to new heights through carefully designed and executed breeding experiments that generated repeatable inheritance patterns. Mendel developed a model for explaining the patterns he observed, describing discrete units or “particles,” which both segregate and assort independently of one another during inheritance. This model offered a foundational explanation for how variation is generated through sexual reproduction. Although Mendel’s model over-simplified how traits are inherited and expressed, it set the stage for the discoveries of chromosomes and genes from which contemporary genetics grew.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Explain how domestication of plants and animals produced an early understanding of inheritance.
  • Use Mendel’s model to explain patterns of inheritance represented in graphic form (for example, data tables, histograms, etc.).
  • Identify the conditions required for an inheritance pattern to be explained correctly by Mendel’s model.
  • Use data representing patterns of inheritance to support the idea that some observable traits are defined by discrete units of inheritance that segregate and assort independently of one another during inheritance.

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