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Cells and Chemical Reactions: Cellular Respiration Science Object
Science Object
Cells and Chemical Reactions: Cellular Respiration
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 Cells and Chemical Reactions SciPack. It explores the process of cellular respiration in chemical reactions involved.

Non-photosynthetic organisms obtain the energy necessary for cell growth and maintenance by decomposing large...  [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 Cells and Chemical Reactions SciPack. It explores the process of cellular respiration in chemical reactions involved.

Non-photosynthetic organisms obtain the energy necessary for cell growth and maintenance by decomposing large molecules into smaller molecules that have lower energy levels stored in their chemical bonds (thus, releasing some energy from bonds so that it can be used to do cellular work). These smaller molecules can enter or exit the cell to be synthesized into larger complex molecules necessary for growth and maintenance of the organism. Organisms unable to photosynthesize, such as animals and fungi, must take matter into their cells to provide the building blocks (chemical constituents) and energy needed for metabolism (both synthesis and decomposition processes). The matter and energy that is stored in the structures that are synthesized by photosynthetic organisms (for example, the stems, roots and leaves of plants) can be consumed and used by other organisms as an essential source of this matter and energy.

The chemical bonds in the molecules that are synthesized through photosynthesis and other synthesis processes contain energy that is needed by all cells (including plant cells). The energy stored in chemical bonds of the matter taken into the cells can be released and transferred into a form available for cellular work. This occurs when the bonds are broken through decomposition reactions and new compounds with lower energy bonds are formed. Cells capture some of the energy that is released during decomposition and usually store this energy temporarily in the phosphate bonds of a small high-energy compound called ATP. The energy stored in the bonds of ATP is then readily available for use by the cell for synthesis and other cellular work.
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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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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 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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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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Resources and Human Impact: Earth as a System Science Object
Science Object
Resources and Human Impact: Earth as a System
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 first of four Science Objects in the Resources and Human Impact SciPack. It explores how human beings, who live within and depend on Earth’s ecosystems, modify the land, ocean, and atmosphere. In all environments, organisms, including humans,...  [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 first of four Science Objects in the Resources and Human Impact SciPack. It explores how human beings, who live within and depend on Earth’s ecosystems, modify the land, ocean, and atmosphere. In all environments, organisms, including humans, cooperate or compete with one another for resources. These resources include food, air, water, and space. The size and rate of growth of all 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 by the carrying capacity of the environment, which is the amount of life any ecosystem can support with its available space, energy, water, and food.
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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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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: 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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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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