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Nature of Light: Characteristics of Light Science Object
Science Object
Nature of Light: Characteristics of Light
Grade Level: Elementary 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 Nature of Light SciPack. It establishes the concept that electromagnetic waves can interact with materials in different ways. For example, they can reflect off a material’s surface. We can see an object when light waves that are emitted or...  [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 Nature of Light SciPack. It establishes the concept that electromagnetic waves can interact with materials in different ways. For example, they can reflect off a material’s surface. We can see an object when light waves that are emitted or reflected by the object enter the eye. Electromagnetic waves can also pass through materials, sometimes slowing down or changing direction as a result of entering and leaving the material. Or, electromagnetic waves may be absorbed or scattered within the material. Electromagnetic waves and other waves diffract around corners, and interfere with one another in predictable ways.
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Resources and Human Impact: Environmental Degradation Science Object
Science Object
Resources and Human Impact: Environmental Degradation
Grade Level: Elementary 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 NOAA and NSTA, is the third of four Science Objects in the Resources and Human Impact SciPack. It explores how human activities, such as reducing the amount of forest cover, increasing the amount and variety of chemicals that enter the atmosphere, intensive farming...  [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 NOAA and NSTA, is the third of four Science Objects in the Resources and Human Impact SciPack. It explores how human activities, such as reducing the amount of forest cover, increasing the amount and variety of chemicals that enter the atmosphere, intensive farming and fishing, and consuming fossil fuels have changed Earth’s land, oceans, and atmosphere. Although the land, atmosphere, and the oceans have a limited capacity to absorb wastes and recycle materials naturally, humans have disrupted these natural cycles. Fresh water, limited in supply, is essential for life and most industrial processes. Overuse and pollution of rivers, lakes, oceans, and groundwater reduces the availability and suitability of these resources for all organisms. Technology used in the extraction and consumption of fossil fuels needed to meet the growing human demand has increased the depletion of nonrenewable energy resources such as fossil fuels, and degraded or altered the environment, both locally and globally.
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Gravity and Orbits: Orbits Science Object
Science Object
Gravity and Orbits: Orbits
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 third of three Science Objects in the Gravity and Orbits SciPack. It provides an understanding of how gravitational forces influence the motion of an object in orbit. When a force acts toward a single center, an object’s forward motion 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, co-developed between NASA and NSTA, is the third of three Science Objects in the Gravity and Orbits SciPack. It provides an understanding of how gravitational forces influence the motion of an object in orbit. When a force acts toward a single center, an object’s forward motion and its motion toward that center can combine to create a curved path around the center. Gravity governs the motion of all objects in the solar system. The Sun’s gravitational pull holds the Earth and other planets in their orbits, just as the planets’ gravitational pull keeps their moons in orbit around them.
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Gravity and Orbits: Gravitational Force Science Object
Science Object
Gravity and Orbits: Gravitational Force
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 three Science Objects in the Gravity and Orbits SciPack. It investigates the variables that influence gravitational forces acting on objects. Mass is a measure of the amount of matter that makes up an object (regardless of where...  [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 three Science Objects in the Gravity and Orbits SciPack. It investigates the variables that influence gravitational forces acting on objects. Mass is a measure of the amount of matter that makes up an object (regardless of where that object is located) and weight is a measure of the gravitational force acting on an object. The strength of the gravitational force between masses is proportional to the product of the masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Gravity will cause all objects at the same distance from Earth’s surface to fall toward Earth with the same acceleration regardless of their mass.
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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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Science of Food Safety: Food Safety and You Science Object
Science Object
Science of Food Safety: Food Safety and You
Grade Level: Elementary 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 inthe Science of Food Safety SciPack. It explores the scientist involved with the development of germ theory and pasteurization, which brought about great changes in the safe handling of food and water, and improved...  [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 inthe Science of Food Safety SciPack. It explores the scientist involved with the development of germ theory and pasteurization, which brought about great changes in the safe handling of food and water, and improved sanitation measures that represent some of the greatest public health contributions to date. More recently, humans have instituted laws requiring the monitoring of air, soil, and water for microorganisms that pose a threat to human health. Such agricultural and food safety regulations represent social trade-offs that ensure the population's general welfare at the price of increased cost or lowered efficiency. In addition to these large-scale societal precautions, humans rely heavily on personal measures to limit the transmission of invasive organisms into their bodies. These measures include keeping hands and skin clean, avoiding contaminated foods and liquids, cleaning and separating food items properly during preparation, cooking food at high enough temperatures for proper lengths of time, and keeping the temperature of food sufficiently low at all times when it is not being prepared or consumed.


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Science of Food Safety: Microbes, Friend or Foe Science Object
Science Object
Science of Food Safety: Microbes, Friend or Foe
Grade Level: Elementary 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 Science of Food Safety SciPack. It explores how bacteria live in close concert with humans. Bacteria are masters at exploiting a variety of niches in the human body and live in huge colonies in places such...  [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 Science of Food Safety SciPack. It explores how bacteria live in close concert with humans. Bacteria are masters at exploiting a variety of niches in the human body and live in huge colonies in places such as the skin, intestines and mouth. Most of these bacteria are harmless to the human body, and many are important in assisting its normal, healthy functioning. Disease in humans results when organisms such as bacteria interfere with the normal operation of the human body, most commonly foreign organisms entering the body. The human body has many mechanisms to protect itself against outside organisms that may interfere with its normal operation.

Bacteria that gain entrance to the body may form colonies in preferred organs or tissues, emitting harmful toxins as waste products. If the body's immune system cannot suppress a bacterial infection, an antibacterial drug may be effective—at least against the types of bacteria it was designed to combat. Viruses invade healthy cells and cause them to synthesize more viruses, usually killing those cells in the process.


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Cells and Chemical Reactions: Photosynthesis Science Object
Science Object
Cells and Chemical Reactions: Photosynthesis
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 Cells and Chemical Reactions SciPack. It investigates the process of photosynthesis and the chemical reactions that take place in plant cells.

Photosynthesis involves unique synthesis chemical reactions in which energy from the...  [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 Cells and Chemical Reactions SciPack. It investigates the process of photosynthesis and the chemical reactions that take place in plant cells.

Photosynthesis involves unique synthesis chemical reactions in which energy from the sun is transferred into energy in the chemical bonds that are formed when smaller molecules are combined to synthesize complex molecules. For nearly every living organism on Earth, the energy required by its cells originally comes from the sun and the only way to transfer light energy into living systems is through photosynthesis. Only those organisms with chlorophyll, such as plants, can capture energy by absorbing light and using it to form strong (covalent) chemical bonds between atoms of carbon-containing (organic) molecules through photosynthesis. Plants have chlorophyll contained in chloroplasts (the site of photosynthesis) where energy rich organic compounds are synthesized for use by the plant as a source of matter and energy necessary for life. This process of photosynthesis provides a vital connection between the sun and the energy needs of nearly all living systems, and also releases oxygen to the environment.

The simple carbohydrates produced during photosynthesis can be decomposed immediately to supply matter and energy needed for metabolic processes by plants or other photosynthesizing organisms. In addition, the energy from the decomposition can be used to build other complex carbon-based molecules that help the plant grow and function (including proteins, lipids and more complex carbohydrates).
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Cells and Chemical Reactions: Basics of Metabolism Science Object
Science Object
Cells and Chemical Reactions: Basics of Metabolism
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 Cells and Chemical Reactions SciPack. It investigates the basics of cellular metabolisms in plants and animals.

Chemical reactions occur in all cells, are fundamental to cell functions, and are essential to maintain the chemical...  [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 Cells and Chemical Reactions SciPack. It investigates the basics of cellular metabolisms in plants and animals.

Chemical reactions occur in all cells, are fundamental to cell functions, and are essential to maintain the chemical and physical organization of living systems. All living organisms engage in metabolic processes that take place inside their cells. Metabolism refers to all of the chemical activities and reactions in cells and organisms that are necessary for life. Metabolic processes can be categorized into two types, which are distinguished by their function in growth and maintenance of living cells: synthesis, chemical reactions that use energy to synthesize large and complex carbon-based molecules from smaller molecules; decomposition, chemical reactions that release energy from chemical bonds by decomposing the large molecules into smaller, simpler and lower-energy molecules. The energy released in decomposition is used to synthesize large molecules and in other cellular work, including: movement, maintenance and organization, transport of molecules, and transmission of nerve impulses. A large set of protein catalysts, called enzymes are required for both synthesis and decomposition chemical reactions. Because all matter tends toward disorganized states, constant input of energy is required by all cells to maintain chemical and physical organization. Without this organization, cells and organisms die, and with death (the cessation of energy input) living systems rapidly disintegrate.
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Science of Food Safety: Growth and Reproduction of Cells Science Object
Science Object
Science of Food Safety: Growth and Reproduction of Cells
Grade Level: Elementary 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, second of four Science Objects in the Food Science Safety SciPack. It explores cell functions involving chemical reactions that are made possible by protein catalysts called enzymes. These reactions require a fairly narrow range of temperature 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, co-developed between FDA and NSTA, second of four Science Objects in the Food Science Safety SciPack. It explores cell functions involving chemical reactions that are made possible by protein catalysts called enzymes. These reactions require a fairly narrow range of temperature and pH. Low temperatures cause them to go too slowly, and high temperatures or acidity can change cell structures. Molecules from the environment may also attach to or pass through a cell's membrane and affect reaction rates. Cells such as bacteria require energy and nutrients from their environment for survival. When they grow to a certain size, bacteria can reproduce by creating a copy of their DNA and then splitting in two. Under optimal conditions, this doubling of bacteria and each of their generated offspring can proceed at a fast rate, expanding a bacterial colony rapidly in a short time. Many of the precautions taken to protect the health of humans focus on limiting the growth of bacterial colonies by creating environmental conditions not favorable for their functioning or reproduction. Variations in genetic information within a population of bacteria can permit some individuals to survive and reproduce more effectively than others in a given environment. Such hardier individuals usually represent only tiny fractions of a population, but their rapid reproduction can quickly give rise to large numbers of successful offspring. This process may give rise to bacterial strains able to survive under new conditions, such as strains with resistance to overused antibacterial drugs, or grant previously harmless bacteria the ability to cause disease.


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