Lesson Plans

These lessons are developed by SPICE participants and are appropriate for a single class period. More lesson plans are available under our "Modules" link. Each module contains several lessons that build on each other adressing a common theme.

Science Partners in Inquiry-based Collaborative Education

Bats Do It - Why Can't I?
In this lab students determine how far away from a wall humans need to be to hear both a sound and its echo. They will also learn how bats locate objects using echolocation.

Buildings Have Lives Too: Gingerbread House Demolition
In this lesson, students construct and then demolish a gingerbread house. As they demolish the house, they must take care to separate building materials for recycling. Recyclers will not accept material if it has been contaminated with other materials. All materials that cannot be separated must bedumped into landfills and cannot be recycled. The group that recycles the most total material wins!

Buildings Have Lives Too: Disasters
Students research a disaster and search for answers to four major questions. They then describe their disaster and put answers to the questions on a poster that they present to the class.

Fire: Friend or Foe
Lesson Plan; Power point

Go Car, Go
Students will build a balloon-powered car, without directions, using materials provided by the teacher. Students evaluate their cars for velocity, acceleration and momentum. After class races, students will re-evaluate their cars and suggest modifications for improvement.

How Do You Move Along the Earth?
In this lesson students will learn about velocity and how to measure it. They will accomplish this through calculating their own velocity while walking and running. At the end of the lab students compare human speed to that of horses.

Marble Madness
Students learn about velocity, its components and how it is measured. This is accomplished by rolling a marble down a ramp from 6 different heights. Students calculate the velocity of each roll and construct a graph.

Marble Madness II: Momentum
In this follow-up lab to Marble Madness, students learn about momentum, its components and how it is measured. This is accomplished by rolling marbles of 2 different sizes down a ramp from 4 different heights. Students calculate the momentum of each roll and compare the momentum of a small marble to that of alarge marble.

Mythbusting Duct Tape
Lab

Rube Goldberg
Students make Rube Goldberg devices using simple machines as a wrap-up to their study of energy. Goal is to open a textbook using at least 6 different steps to accomplish the task. Video clips allow you to see students completing the activity.
Picture; Video clip 1; Video Clip 2

The Science of Money
Lesson Plan; Student WS

Simple Machines
Lab sheet

Superhero Genetics
Students will work with the concepts of phenotype, genotype, and Punnett squares. Students should already have been introduced to these concepts, as well as the concepts of genes and alleles; this activity is more to practice, reinforce and review these ideas. Students work cooperatively to pick a male and female superhero, determine their phenotypes and genotypes, and then run a cross simulation to determine the traits of a new superhero offspring. Spreadsheet skills are also developed.

Waves
Students learn about the properties of waves and complete a worksheet. Next they explore how waves are used in nature and discuss the conflict between the Navy’s use of LFA sonar and whales.

Wow Waves
Students rotate through 7 lab stations where they explore waves using a number of different media and origins. Using observations, each student forms and tests a hypothesis about waves.  

Department of Sociology and Criminology & Law

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