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Resources and Human Impact: Population Growth, Technology, and the Environment Science Object
Science Object
Resources and Human Impact: Population Growth, Technology, and the Environment
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 second of four Science Objects in the Resources and Human Impact SciPack. It explores how technology can solve problems, but at the same time, can also create new strains on the environment. Improved technology used for harvesting food, coupled...  [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 second of four Science Objects in the Resources and Human Impact SciPack. It explores how technology can solve problems, but at the same time, can also create new strains on the environment. Improved technology used for harvesting food, coupled with the technology of improved sanitation, has accelerated the growth of the human population. A larger human population increases the impact on the environment and its resources, many of which are limited and non renewable. Due to the rapid growth of the human population and their use of technology in many parts of the world, humans have exceeded the carrying capacity of their environment, compromising human health.
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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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Cell Structure and Function: The Most Important Molecule Science Object
Science Object
Cell Structure and Function: The Most Important Molecule
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 last of four Science Objects in the Cell Structure and Function SciPack. It explores protein molecules at a more in-depth level. The work of the cell is carried out by the many different types of molecules it assembles, mostly proteins. DNA is the blueprint that determines 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 last of four Science Objects in the Cell Structure and Function SciPack. It explores protein molecules at a more in-depth level. The work of the cell is carried out by the many different types of molecules it assembles, mostly proteins. DNA is the blueprint that determines the order of amino acids for any given protein that differs somewhat with each species. Protein molecules are long, usually folded chains composed of combinations from 20 different kinds of amino acid molecules. The function of each protein depends on its specific sequence of amino acids and the shape the chain takes as a consequence of attractions between the chain's parts. The action of the proteins is catalyzed by a set of enzymes (also proteins). Some of the assembled molecules assist in replicating genetic information, repairing cell structures, helping other molecules to get in or out of the cell, and generally in catalyzing and regulating molecular interactions. In specialized cells, other protein molecules may carry oxygen, affect contraction, respond to outside stimuli, or provide material for hair, nails, and other body structures. In still other cells, assembled molecules may be exported to serve as hormones, antibodies, or digestive enzymes.
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Cell Structure and Function: The Molecular Machinery of Life Science Object
Science Object
Cell Structure and Function: The Molecular Machinery of Life
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 Cell Structure and Function SciPack. It explores cells at the molecular level. It is at the molecular level that many of the basic functions of organisms are carried out such as, protein synthesis, extraction of energy from food, and replication....  [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 Cell Structure and Function SciPack. It explores cells at the molecular level. It is at the molecular level that many of the basic functions of organisms are carried out such as, protein synthesis, extraction of energy from food, and replication. All cells have similar types of complex molecules that are involved in these basic activities of life. These macromolecules include proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids, which interact in a soup, about 2/3 water, surrounded by a membrane that controls what can enter and leave the cell. Proteins act in several ways including enzymes that are responsible for catalyzing chemical actions, receptor molecules in the cell membrane, hormones that travel distances to communicate regulatory processes and structurally as the physical fibers of the cell. The cell’s energy comes from food in the form of sugars or from stored fats (lipids). Lipids are also a critical component in the structure of the cell membrane. The cell membrane in association with carbohydrates and proteins, regulate the flow of water, ions, and other molecules into and out of the cells. Nucleic acids contain instructions for genes that determine structural and chemical processes through protein synthesis.s.
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Cell Structure and Function: Cells – The Basis of Life Science Object
Science Object
Cell Structure and Function: Cells – The Basis of Life
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 Cell Structure and Function SciPack. It explores the difference between living and non-living things as it looks at the many different types of cells. All self-replicating life forms are composed of cells,-from single-celled bacteria to elephants,...  [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 Cell Structure and Function SciPack. It explores the difference between living and non-living things as it looks at the many different types of cells. All self-replicating life forms are composed of cells,-from single-celled bacteria to elephants, with their trillions of cells. Although a few giant cells, such as hens' eggs, can be seen with the naked eye, most cells are microscopic. Multi-celled organisms are composed of many tiny microscopic cells, as opposed to fewer larger cells. Surface area to volume ratio makes efficient food absorption and waste removal possible in cells.
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Chemical Reactions: Rates of Chemical Reactions Science Object
Science Object
Chemical Reactions: Rates of Chemical Reactions
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 Chemical Reactions SciPack. It demonstrates how chemical reactions can take place in time periods ranging from the few femto-seconds (10-15 seconds) required for an atom to move a fraction of a chemical bond distance to geologic time scales...  [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 Chemical Reactions SciPack. It demonstrates how chemical reactions can take place in time periods ranging from the few femto-seconds (10-15 seconds) required for an atom to move a fraction of a chemical bond distance to geologic time scales of billions of years. The rate of reactions among atoms and molecules depends on how often they encounter one another, which is affected by the concentration, pressure (for gases), and temperature of the reacting substances. The configuration of atoms in a molecule determines the molecule's properties. Shapes are particularly important in determining how large molecules interact with others. Some atoms and molecules called catalysts are highly effective in accelerating chemical reactions. Chemical reactions in living systems are catalyzed by protein molecules called enzymes.
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Chemical Reactions: A World of Reactions Science Object
Science Object
Chemical Reactions: A World of Reactions
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 Chemical Reactions SciPack. It explains that chemical reactions occur all around us, for example in health care, cooking, cosmetics, and automobiles. An enormous variety of biological, chemical, and physical phenomena can be explained by changes...  [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 Chemical Reactions SciPack. It explains that chemical reactions occur all around us, for example in health care, cooking, cosmetics, and automobiles. An enormous variety of biological, chemical, and physical phenomena can be explained by changes in the arrangement and motion of atoms and molecules. An atom's electron configuration, particularly the outermost electrons, determines how the atom can interact with other atoms. Atoms form bonds to other atoms by transferring or sharing electrons. Carbon atoms can bond to one another in chains, rings, and branching networks to form a variety of structures, and complex chemical reactions involving these molecules take place constantly in every cell in living objects.
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Coral Reef Ecosystems: Ecosystems in Crisis
 Science Object
Science Object
Coral Reef Ecosystems: Ecosystems in Crisis
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 NOAA and NSTA, is the fourth of four Science Objects in the Coral Reef Ecosystems SciPack. It explores the natural and human causes of ecosystem stress. Human beings live near coral ecosystems and use them in a variety of ways. Increasing amounts of stress is brought...  [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 fourth of four Science Objects in the Coral Reef Ecosystems SciPack. It explores the natural and human causes of ecosystem stress. Human beings live near coral ecosystems and use them in a variety of ways. Increasing amounts of stress is brought on these ecosystems as humans continue to modify the surrounding environment as a result of population growth, technology, and consumption. Human destruction of habitats through direct harvesting, pollution, atmospheric changes, and other factors is threatening the stability and overall health of many coral reefs. Human activities may also exacerbate the impact of natural disturbances on coral reefs or compromise the ability of the reef to recover from events such as hurricanes, tsunamis, or disease.
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Coral Reef Ecosystems: Interdependence Science Object
Science Object
Coral Reef Ecosystems: Interdependence
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 NOAA and NSTA, is the third of four Science Objects in the Coral Reef Ecosystems SciPack. It explores the interdependent relationships between species in the coral reef ecosystem. All populations in the reef ecosystem are a part of and depend on a global food web...  [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 Coral Reef Ecosystems SciPack. It explores the interdependent relationships between species in the coral reef ecosystem. All populations in the reef ecosystem are a part of and depend on a global food web (a connected set of food chains) through which energy flows in one direction, from the sun into organism and eventually dissipating into the environment as heat. This food web includes ocean plants, the animals that feed on them, and the animals that feed on those animals. Energy is transferred between organisms and their environment along the way. Energy concentration diminishes at each step. The cycles of life continue indefinitely because organisms decompose after death and return food materials to the environment.
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Coral Reef Ecosystems: The Abiotic Setting Science Object
Science Object
Coral Reef Ecosystems: The Abiotic Setting
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 NOAA and NSTA, is the second of four Science Objects in the Coral Reef Ecosystems SciPack. It investigates the abiotic characteristics that affect the coral reef ecosystem. The number and kinds of organisms found along each reef depend on the physical conditions...  [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 second of four Science Objects in the Coral Reef Ecosystems SciPack. It investigates the abiotic characteristics that affect the coral reef ecosystem. The number and kinds of organisms found along each reef depend on the physical conditions of the environment and resources available, including food, light, water quality, temperature, and other organisms living in the reef. If conditions change significantly due to changes in climate, loss of food sources, excessive predation, or loss of habitat, the health and stability of the ecosystem will be affected. Like many complex systems, coral ecosystems tend to have cyclic fluctuations around a state of rough equilibrium. In the long run, if conditions remain reasonably constant a coral ecosystem can be stable for hundreds of years.
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