The NASA Physics and Engineering collection from PBS LearningMedia offers videos and interactives featuring actual scientists as they demonstrate physics and engineering principles. Some tasks, like Rotations in Space, are listed as interactive but are really just videos. Make this more engaging by playing a few seconds of the clip, pausing so students can make a prediction, finishing the clip, and then letting students come up with an explanation for the phenomena. Some cartoons, like Centripetal Force, do a good job of laying out exactly how the science works. But you could follow up with a better video, like Teaching from Space: Centripetal Force so students can see actual astronauts putting the concepts into action.
PBS Learning Video provides some useful resources to support the Engineering Practices in the Next Generation of Science Standards. For example, Inflatable Moon Habitat has a teaching tips section with ideas on helping kids identify a problem and its constraints prior to designing a solution. Also check out the discussion questions that accompany the online simulations. Standout resources include Electric Charges Interact, Rotations in Space, Centripetal Force, and Inflatable Moon Habitat.Continue reading Show less
Key Standards Supported
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Develop models to describe that organisms have unique and diverse life cycles but all have in common birth, growth, reproduction, and death.
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration.
Apply scientific and engineering ideas to design, evaluate, and refine a device that minimizes the force on a macroscopic object during a collision.
Use mathematical representations of Newton’s Law of Gravitation and Coulomb’s Law to describe and predict the gravitational and electrostatic forces between objects.
Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer
Use mathematical representations to support a claim regarding relationships among the frequency, wavelength, and speed of waves traveling in various media.
Communicate technical information about how some technological devices use the principles of wave behavior and wave interactions with matter to transmit and capture information and energy.
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