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Electric and Magnetic Forces: Electrostatics and Current Electricity Science Object
Science Object
Electric and Magnetic Forces: Electrostatics and Current Electricity
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 second of three Science Objects in the Electric and Magnetic Forces SciPack. It explores the ability of electrons to flow, producing an electric current. Negative charges, being associated with electrons on the outer edges of atoms, are far more mobile in materials than...  [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 Electric and Magnetic Forces SciPack. It explores the ability of electrons to flow, producing an electric current. Negative charges, being associated with electrons on the outer edges of atoms, are far more mobile in materials than positive charges located in the nucleus at the center of an atom. In some materials, such as metals, electrons flow easily, whereas in insulating materials such as glass they can hardly flow at all. At very low temperatures, some materials become superconductors and offer no resistance to the flow of current. In between these extremes, semi-conducting materials differ greatly in how well they conduct, depending on their exact composition. Electric currents occur when charges move through conductors. Batteries and other devices store electrical energy by separating and concentrating charges. Electrical circuits provide a means of transferring electrical energy into other forms of energy such as heat, light, and sound.
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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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Nature of Light: Light and Color Science Object
Science Object
Nature of Light: Light and Color
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 third of four Science Objects in the Nature of Light SciPack. It provides conceptual and real world understanding of how the wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation affect the way they interact with different materials. We perceive differences of wavelength within the visible...  [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 Nature of Light SciPack. It provides conceptual and real world understanding of how the wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation affect the way they interact with different materials. We perceive differences of wavelength within the visible part of the spectrum as differences in color. Shorter wavelengths of light (blue) are scattered more by air molecules than longer wavelengths of light (red). When the atmosphere scatters sunlight—which is a mixture of all wavelengths—short-wavelength light (which gives us the sensation of blue) is scattered much more by air molecules than long-wavelength (red) light is. The atmosphere, therefore, appears blue and the sun seen through it by un-scattered light appears reddened. Also, materials that allow one range of wavelengths to pass through them may completely absorb others. For example, some gases in the atmosphere, including carbon dioxide and water vapor, are transparent to much of the incoming sunlight but absorb the infrared radiation from the warmed surface of Earth.
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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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Nature of Light: So, What is Light? Science Object
Science Object
Nature of Light: So, What is 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 final of four Science Objects in the Nature of Light SciPack. It provides an understanding of how sometimes the nature and behavior of electromagnetic radiation such as light can be best described using a wave model, but at other times it can be best described by using a particle...  [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 final of four Science Objects in the Nature of Light SciPack. It provides an understanding of how sometimes the nature and behavior of electromagnetic radiation such as light can be best described using a wave model, but at other times it can be best described by using a particle model. Particles of light called photons contain discrete amounts of energy. The energy that a photon carries is directly proportional to its frequency. The energy of a photon is inversely proportional to the wavelength of the electromagnetic radiation. Each kind of atom or molecule can only gain or lose energy only in discrete amounts so they can absorb and emit light only at frequencies and wavelengths corresponding to these amounts. These combinations of wavelengths or spectra can be used to identify the substance.
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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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Heredity and Variation: Mutation Provides Variation Science Object
Science Object
Heredity and Variation: Mutation Provides Variation
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 Heredity and Variation SciPack. It explores the role of mutations in genetic variation. The random combination of genes during sexual reproduction is not the only source of variation in organisms. Although some genes may be passed...  [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 three Science Objects in the Heredity and Variation SciPack. It explores the role of mutations in genetic variation.

The random combination of genes during sexual reproduction is not the only source of variation in organisms. Although some genes may be passed for many thousands of generations with no consequential changes in its function, occasionally a mutation occurs in which a gene may be altered. Gene mutations can occur spontaneously through random errors in copying, or induced by chemicals or radiation that affect the DNA’s chemical bonds. Only if a mutated gene is in a gamete is it possible for copies of it to be passed down to offspring, becoming part of all their cells, altering the nature of some proteins produced by the DNA. The function of a mutated gene may not be altered or it may have its function in protein synthesis altered, which subsequently affects the physical traits expressed in the organism. Mutations provide additional sources of variation that can be helpful, harmful or of no impact on the survival an individual.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Compare and contrast genetic mutations with genetic variations resulting from the process of meiosis.
  • Identify and describe the general processes involved in the creation of genetic mutations.
  • Describe possible consequences of genetic mutations.
  • Describe conditions necessary for genetic mutations to be inherited by an organism’s offspring.

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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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Interdependence of Life: Organisms and Their Environments Science Object
Science Object
Interdependence of Life: Organisms and Their Environments
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 Interdependence of Life in Ecosystems SciPack. It explores organisms and their environments.

All organisms, including human beings, live within and depend on the resources in their environment. These resources include both...  [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 Interdependence of Life in Ecosystems SciPack. It explores organisms and their environments.

All organisms, including human beings, live within and depend on the resources in their environment. These resources include both living (biotic) factors such as food and nonliving (abiotic) factors such as air and water. The size and rate of growth of the population of any species, including humans, are affected by these environmental factors. In turn, these environmental factors are affected by the size and rate of growth of a population. Populations are limited in growth to the carrying capacity of the ecosystem, which is the amount of life any environmental system can support with its available space, energy, water, and food.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify and describe biotic and abiotic factors that influence the size and growth rate of a specific population in a particular environment.
  • Describe possible immediate and long-term effects on an individual population that exceeds the carrying capacity of its environment.
  • Given a line graph displaying an individual population size and its rate of growth, infer the carrying capacity of the environment for that population.

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Interdependence of Life: Population Balance in Biomes Science Object
Science Object
Interdependence of Life: Population Balance in Biomes
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 Interdependence of Life SciPack. It explores population balance in biomes.

Interdependent and fluctuating interactions among living organisms and populations and the abiotic components of their environment cause cyclical...  [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 Interdependence of Life SciPack. It explores population balance in biomes.

Interdependent and fluctuating interactions among living organisms and populations and the abiotic components of their environment cause cyclical changes in the overall ecosystem resource equilibrium.

Interactions among living organisms within a population and among organisms of different populations take place on an ever-changing environmental stage. The nonliving environment—including land and water, solar radiation, rainfall, mineral concentrations, temperature and topography—shapes Earth’s ecosystems. Because each species can tolerate a limited range of physical conditions, the diversity of physical conditions creates a wide variety of ecosystems. In all these environments organisms use vital, yet limited, resources; each seeking its share in specific ways that are limited by biotic and abiotic factors.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Explain why there are such diverse ecosystems on Earth.
  • Given a description of changes in abiotic factors defining an ecosystem (i.e. temperature, precipitation, soil composition, atmospheric composition, amount of available solar energy) and the tolerance of a few species to these factors, identify graphs that accurately predict their effects on size and growth rate of these species.
  • Identify and explain graphs that accurately represent examples of dynamic equilibrium.
  • Explain how the population sizes of predators and their prey maintain a balance over many generations.

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