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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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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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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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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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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 First Law Science Object
Science Object
Force and Motion: Newton's First 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 second of four Science Objects in the Force and Motion SciPack. It provides a conceptual and real-world understanding of Newton’s First Law of Motion. All objects will maintain a constant speed and direction of motion unless an unbalanced outside force acts on it. When an unbalanced...  [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 Force and Motion SciPack. It provides a conceptual and real-world understanding of Newton’s First Law of Motion. All objects will maintain a constant speed and direction of motion unless an unbalanced outside force acts on it. When an unbalanced force acts on an object, its speed or direction (or both) will change. The tendency of objects to maintain a constant speed and direction of motion (velocity) in the absence of an unbalanced force is known as intertia. Even in the most familiar, every day situations, frictional forces can complicate the analysis of motion, although the basic principles still apply.
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Force and Motion: Position and Motion Science Object
Science Object
Force and Motion: Position and Motion
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 Force and Motion SciPack. It provides an understanding of how changes in position and motion can affect the way objects move, focusing on constant motion (where the direction and speed remain the same) and acceleration (a change in motion...  [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 Force and Motion SciPack. It provides an understanding of how changes in position and motion can affect the way objects move, focusing on constant motion (where the direction and speed remain the same) and acceleration (a change in motion due to a change in an object’s direction or speed). The position of an object must be described relative to some other object while the motion of an object can be described by its direction and speed. Velocity is a measure of both an object’s speed and its direction (and can be described by vectors).
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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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