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Earth's Changing Surface: Humans as Agents of Change Science Object
Science Object
Earth's Changing Surface: Humans as Agents of Change
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 three Science Objects in the Earth’s Changing Surface SciPack. It explores the natural and human influences on landscape evolution. These influences sometimes accelerate or slow down the process of landscape evolution. Human activities such as deforestation, accelerated...  [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 three Science Objects in the Earth’s Changing Surface SciPack. It explores the natural and human influences on landscape evolution. These influences sometimes accelerate or slow down the process of landscape evolution. Human activities such as deforestation, accelerated global warming, and mining have impacted Earth’s changing surface. These activities are not new processes but often increase or accentuate the natural processes. When natural processes are accelerated, humans are often affected by the changes in their environment.
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Interdependence of Life: Species Relationships Science Object
Science Object
Interdependence of Life: Species Relationships
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 Interdependence of Life SciPack. It explores species relationships.

All organisms, both land-based and aquatic, are interrelated by their need for resources. One example of a network of interconnections is called a 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 is the second of four Science Objects in the Interdependence of Life SciPack. It explores species relationships.

All organisms, both land-based and aquatic, are interrelated by their need for resources. One example of a network of interconnections is called a food web; it is a model of the interdependence among the organisms in populations of different species. Predator-prey and parasitic relationships are examples of interspecies relationships, interdependence that occurs among organisms in different species in a food web.

Interspecies relationships can be categorized as positive, negative, or neutral for the fitness of the individuals and their populations who are involved. A change in the population of one species can affect the population of another species. Intra-species relationships, or interdependence among organisms of the same species, can also affect a population.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Given the specific nature of an interspecies relationship, categorize the relationship between two interrelated populations as positive, negative or neutral for each population.
  • Given a description of a change to one population depicted in a food web, predict changes that might occur in the size and rate of growth for other populations depicted in the food web.
  • Given a line graph displaying changes in population sizes and rates of growth for a number of populations in a community, along with a description of the trophic relationships among populations, generate plausible hypotheses about causes of the changes depicted in the graph.

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