This collection of short movies and supporting resources help make complex science ideas both understandable and engaging for kids. The video clips are probably best used in a whole-class setting, when you can help kids unpack some of the more complicated concepts. One way is through the short-response and multiple-choice Think Questions that accompany each video. You can put these in handout form or have kids complete them online.
If your students are able, you might consider using a flipped-classroom method instead, assigning a video and questions for homework and using class time for a deeper discussion of the topic. Be sure to take advantage of the customization options for lesson creation. Kids could also engage in online discussions using the site's forums. Keep in mind that videos aren't organized by the Next Generation of Science Standards, so you'll have to dig around to find what you need.
- "Is our climate headed for a mathematical tipping point?"
- "Where do genes come from?"
- "Five fingers of evolution"
- "Chemistry of cold packs"
Key Standards Supported
Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
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.
Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations.
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.
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.
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Use mathematical representations to support claims for the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem.
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.
Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
Make and defend a claim based on evidence that inheritable genetic variations may result from: (1) new genetic combinations through meiosis, (2) viable errors occurring during replication, and/or (3) mutations caused by environmental factors.
Matter and Its Interactions
Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms.
Apply scientific principles and evidence to provide an explanation about the effects of changing the temperature or concentration of the reacting particles on the rate at which a reaction occurs.
Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.