Prepmagic simulations are best used when teachers create their own interactive lessons and formative assessments to weave into their curriculum. Sometimes, like in the Peppered Moth Activity, the information in the simulation introduction gives away the explanation. Teachers might consider skipping this part and playing the simulation for the students on a projector. Then, use the pop-quiz option to see how students make sense of the phenomena themselves.
Teachers who are flipping their classroom can assign a simulation and pop quiz for homework. Then have students come to class ready to discuss the phenomena they observed.Continue reading Show less
Prepmagic uses simulations to help students visualize real-world scientific phenomena. They can watch a person bungee-jumping as a way to explore Hooke's Law or observe how populations of rabbits and foxes fluctuate in an ecosystem. Alongside each simulation are real-time data or graphs that allow students to view the changes in different ways.
For some simulations, labeled with a green L, teachers can add pauses, captions, and icons such as arrows to emphasize the key points they want students to notice. Teachers can also add pop quizzes during interactives to check for understanding. Students can take the quiz on their phones or other device by entering a specific code. Each simulation has been labeled with NGSS Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and overarching Disciplinary Core Ideas. But it is currently not available for teachers to search by specific DCI or by Performance Expectation.
Prepmagic is a great resource for teachers looking to create phenomena-centered lessons. Each simulation gives students an opportunity to use data to explain a real-world situation. The custom lessons empower teachers to tailor the simulation specifically to their lessons and curricula by adding their own descriptions and symbols. The simulations have some minor bugs that can baffle kids, however. In Mutation – Fitness of Mutant Allele, birds with the alleles "DD" are blue while "rr" birds are red. Unfortunately, when students select the allele percentages, these colors are switched. The editing tools do allow teachers to add notes and help students with possible areas of confusion.
In an effort to assess the 3-Dimensional Performance Expectations of NGSS, many standardized science tests are becoming enhanced by tech. Prepmagic offers students a chance to practice multiple-choice problems, but the tool could be improved by providing other question types, like drag and drop, to match the types of items students will see on their high-stakes tests.
Key Standards Supported
Linear, Quadratic, And Exponential Models
Observe using graphs and tables that a quantity increasing exponentially eventually exceeds a quantity increasing linearly, quadratically, or (more generally) as a polynomial function.
Key Standards Supported
Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time.
Apply concepts of statistics and probability to support explanations that organisms with an advantageous heritable trait tend to increase in proportion to organisms lacking this trait.
Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
Use mathematical and/or computational representations to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales.
From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that feedback mechanisms maintain homeostasis.
Matter and Its Interactions
Construct and revise an explanation for the outcome of a simple chemical reaction based on the outermost electron states of atoms, trends in the periodic table, and knowledge of the patterns of chemical properties.
Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles.
Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
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.
Use mathematical representations to support the claim that the total momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system.
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 describe a simple model for waves that includes how the amplitude of a wave is related to the energy in a wave.
Use mathematical representations to support a claim regarding relationships among the frequency, wavelength, and speed of waves traveling in various media.
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