12th Grade Science

 

Life Sciences Physical Sciences Science and Technology Scientific Inquiry Scientific Ways of Knowing


 

Earth and Space Sciences

(Based on State of Ohio
Curriculum Standards)

1. Explain how scientists obtain information about the universe by using technology to detect electromagnetic radiation that is emitted, reflected or absorbed by stars and other objects.
 
  1. Details: Solar System Explorer  Step through the solar system, observing the length of a year and the orbital path of each object. The positions of the eight official planets are displayed, as well as one dwarf planet, Pluto. Learn about Kepler's Laws, when planets will align, and why space probes are often launched at certain times.
  2. Gravitational Force Drag two objects around and observe the gravitational force between them as the positions change. The mass of each object can be adjusted, and the gravitational force is displayed both vectorially and numerically as the distance between the objects is altered
  3.  
2. Explain how the large-scale motion of objects in the universe is governed by gravitational forces and detected by observing electro-magnetic radiation.
  1. Orbit Simulator
    This interactive activity from Explore Science allows you to control up to 9 celestial objects and alter their mass, velocity, and direction to understand the effect of gravity on orbits.
    Note: Every Gizmo in the library can be used for up to 5 minutes each per day.
  2. Gravitational Force  Drag two objects around and observe the gravitational force between them as the positions change. The mass of each object can be adjusted, and the gravitational force is displayed both vectorially and numerically as the distance between the objects is altered.
  3. Tides  Gain an understanding of high, low, spring, and neap tides on the Earth by observing the tidal heights and the positions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun. Tidal bulges can be observed from space, and water depths can be recorded from a dock by the ocean.
3. Explain how information about the universe is inferred by understanding that stars and other objects in space emit, reflect or absorb electromagnetic radiation, which we then detect.  
4. Explain how astronomers infer that the whole universe is expanding by understanding how light seen from distant galaxies has longer apparent wavelengths than comparable light sources close to Earth.  
5. Investigate how thermal energy transfers in the world’s oceans impact physical features (e.g., ice caps, oceanic and atmospheric currents) and weather patterns.
  1. Tides  Gain an understanding of high, low, spring, and neap tides on the Earth by observing the tidal heights and the positions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun. Tidal bulges can be observed from space, and water depths can be recorded from a dock by the ocean.
6. Describe how scientists estimate how much of a given resource is available on Earth.
  1. Earth Live   View on line real time from a satellite the planet and determine for your self local and regional resource that is available on Earth. 4 star

Life Sciences

1. Recognize that information stored in DNA provides the instructions for assembling protein molecules used by the cells that determine the characteristics of the organism.
  1. Tour of the Basics: Heredity
     
    This interactive web site explains many topics in genetics with clear explanations and animated slide shows. The topics include DNA, Genes, Chromosomes, Proteins, Heredity, and Traits. You can also download the entire presentation for use offline.
  2. Transcribe and Translate a Gene

    This interactive web site explains the process of transcribing a DNA sequence and translating it into a protein by letting you do it yourself. You get to build the mRNA sequence and then assemble the needed amino acids to make the final protein.
2. Explain why specialized cells/structures are useful to plants and animals (e.g., stoma, phloem, xylem, blood, nerve, muscle, egg and sperm).
  1. Cells Alive This website is awesome.  You really need to click on this website just to view what it has to offer.  (Go to HOW big is a ..?) first.
  2. Cell Structure   Select sample cells from a plant or animal and place the cells on a microscope to look inside the cells. Information about their common structures is provided (and the structures are highlighted), but you will need to move your microscope slide to find all the different structures.
3. Explain that the Sun is essentially the primary source of energy for life. Plants capture energy by absorbing light and using it to form strong (covalent) chemical bonds between the atoms of carbon-containing (organic) molecules.
  1. Cell Energy Cycle Explore the processes of photosynthesis and respiration that occur within plant cells. The cyclical nature of the two processes can be constructed visually, and the photosynthesis and respiration equations can be balanced in a descriptive and numerical format.
  2. Interdependence of Plants and Animals Discover how animals, plants, and sunlight interact to maintain a balance of gases in Earths? atmosphere. Place aquatic plants and pond snails into sealed test tubes and incubate in a light or dark room. Measure concentrations of dissolved carbon dioxide using the indicator brom thymol blue, and use this information to infer oxygen levels as well.
  3. Photosynthesis Lab  Study photosynthesis in a variety of conditions. Oxygen production is used to measure the rate of photosynthesis. Light intensity, carbon dioxide levels, temperature, and wavelength of light can all be varied. Determine which conditions are ideal for photosynthesis, and understand how limiting factors affect oxygen production.
4. Explain that carbon-containing molecules can be used to assemble larger molecules with biological activity (including proteins, DNA, sugars and fats). In addition, the energy stored in bonds between the atoms (chemical energy) can be used as sources of energy for life processes.
  1. Dehydration Synthesis  Build a glucose molecule, atom-by-atom, to learn about chemical bonds and the structure of glucose. Explore the processes of dehydration synthesis and hydrolysis in carbohydrate molecules.
5. Examine the inheritance of traits through one or more genes and how a single gene can influence more than one trait.
  1. Tour of the Basics: Heredity  
    This interactive web site explains many topics in genetics with clear explanations and animated slide shows. The topics include DNA, Genes, Chromosomes, Proteins, Heredity, and Traits. You can also download the entire presentation for use offline.
  2. Evolution: Mutation and Selection  Observe evolution in a fictional population of bugs. Set the background to any color, and see natural selection taking place. Inheritance of color occurs according to Mendel's laws and probability. Mutations occur at random, and probability of capture by predators is determined by the insect's camouflage.
  3. Microevolution  Observe the effect of predators on a diverse population of parrots. The initial percentages and fitness levels of each genotype can be set. Determine how initial fitness levels affect genotype and allele frequencies through several generations. Test predictions about what initial conditions lead to equilibrium, and which lead to extinction.
  4. Natural Selection You are a bird hunting moths (both dark and light) that live on trees. As you capture the moths most easily visible against the tree surface, the moth populations change, illustrating the effects of natural selection.
  5. Rainfall and Bird Beaks Study the thickness of birds' beaks over a five year period as you control the yearly rainfall on an isolated island. As the environmental conditions change, the species must adapt (a real?world consequence) to avoid extinction.
6. Explain how developmental differentiation is regulated through the expression of different genes.  
7. Relate diversity and adaptation to structures and functions of living organisms at various levels of organization.  
8. Based on the structure and stability of ecosystems and their nonliving components, predict the biotic and a biotic changes in such systems when disturbed (e.g. introduction of non-native species, climatic change, etc.).
  1. GeoSciences  Virtual Museum of Fossils You will discover what appears to be an outstanding website for investigation.            4 Star
9. Explain how living systems require a continuous input of energy to maintain their chemical and physical organizations. Explain that with death and the cessation of energy input, living systems rapidly disintegrate toward more disorganized states.  
10. Explain additional components of the evolution theory, including genetic drift, immigration, emigration and mutation.
  1. Evolution: Mutation and Selection  Observe evolution in a fictional population of bugs. Set the background to any color, and see natural selection taking place. Inheritance of color occurs according to Mendel's laws and probability. Mutations occur at random, and probability of capture by predators is determined by the insect's camouflage.
11. Trace the historical development of a biological theory or idea (e.g., genetics, cytology and germ theory).
  1. Chicken Genetics   Breed "pure" chickens with known genotypes that exhibit specific feather colors, and learn how traits are passed on via codominant genes. Chickens can be stored in cages for future breeding, and the statistics of feather color are reported every time the chickens breed. Punnet squares can be used to predict results.
12. Describe advances in life sciences that have important, long-lasting effects on science and society (e.g., biotechnology).  

Physical Sciences

1. Explain how atoms join with one another in various combinations in distinct molecules or in repeating crystal patterns.
  1. Covalent Bonds Choose a substance and move electrons between atoms to build covalent bonds and molecules. Observe the orbits of shared electrons in single, double, and triple covalent bonds. Compare the completed molecules to the corresponding Lewis diagrams.
  2. Dehydration Synthesis  Build a glucose molecule, atom-by-atom, to learn about chemical bonds and the structure of glucose. Explore the processes of dehydration synthesis and hydrolysis in carbohydrate molecules.
  3. Ionic Bonds  Simulate ionic bonds between a variety of metals and nonmetals. Select a metal and a nonmetal, and transfer electrons from one to the other. Observe the effect of gaining and losing electrons on charge, and rearrange the atoms to represent the molecular structure. Additional metal and nonmetal atoms can be added to the screen, and the resulting chemical formula can be displayed.
  4. Limiting Reactants Explore the concept of limiting reactants, non-limiting reactants, and theoretical yield in a chemical reaction. Select from two different reactions, choose the number of molecules for the reactants, and then observe the products created and reactants left over.
2. Describe how a physical, chemical or ecological system in equilibrium may return to the same state of equilibrium if the disturbances it experiences are small. Large disturbances may cause it to escape that equilibrium and eventually settle into some other state of equilibrium.
  1. Diffusion  Explore the motion of particles as they bounce around from one side of a room to the other through an adjustable gap or partition. The mass of the particles can be adjusted, as well as the temperature of the room and the initial number of particles. In a real‑world context, this can be used to learn about how odors travel, fluids move through gaps, the thermodynamics of gases, and statistical probability.
3. Explain how all matter tends toward more disorganized states and describe real world examples (e.g., erosion of rocks, expansion of the universe).  
4. Recognize that at low temperatures some materials become superconducting and offer little or no resistance to the flow of electrons.  
5. Use and apply the laws of motion to analyze, describe and predict the effects of forces on the motions of objects mathematically.
  1. 2D Collisions

    This interactive activity from Explore Science lets you deal with 2D elastic/inelastic collisions on a flat (or tilted) table and even use magnetic pucks! You can adjust a wide variety of parameters including mass, initial velocity, and direction.
    Note: Every Gizmo in the library can be used for up to 5 minutes each per day.
  2. Air Track

    This interactive activity from Explore Science models a basic air track with two blocks. You can change the coefficient of restitution, initial masses, and velocities.
    Note: Every Gizmo in the library can be used for up to 5 minutes each per day.
  3. Forces Tutorial - Part 1

    This is an excellent and extensive online tutorial about force, using animations, audio explanations, and interactive quizzes. This tutorial covers speed, velocity, acceleration, force, mass, weight, friction, and more. Lots of practical examples and graphs are used to explain these concepts. You can view the entire tutorial or jump to the section you want.
6. Recognize that the nuclear forces that hold the nucleus of an atom together, at nuclear distances, are stronger than the electric forces that would make it fly apart.  
7. Recognize that nuclear forces are much stronger than electromagnetic forces, and electromagnetic forces are vastly stronger than gravitational forces. The strength of the nuclear forces explains why greater amounts of energy are released from nuclear reactions (e.g., from atomic and hydrogen bombs and in the Sun and other stars).  
8. Describe how the observed wavelength of a wave depends upon the relative motion of the source and the observer (Doppler effect). If either is moving towards the other, the observed wavelength is shorter; if either is moving away, the observed wavelength is longer (e.g., weather radar, bat echoes, police radar). Doppler Effect (1 source)

In this interactive activity from Explore Science you can watch sound waves that originate from a moving source. Learn why a train whistle changes in pitch as it passes by you and see why planes moving faster than the speed of sound create a sonic boom.
Note: Every Gizmo in the library can be used for up to 5 minutes each per day
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What is the Doppler Effect for Sound

This interactive web site gives a good explanation of the Doppler Effect and then lets the you do an online experiment. You get to set the speed and direction of a sound source and then see the effect that has on the sound waves created.

9. Describe how gravitational forces act between all masses and always create a force of attraction. Recognize that the strength of the force is proportional to the masses and weakens rapidly with increasing distance between them.  
10. Explain the characteristics of isotopes. The nucleus of radioactive isotopes is unstable and spontaneously decays emitting particles and/or wavelike radiation. It cannot be predicted exactly when, if ever, an unstable nucleus will decay, but a large group of identical nuclei decay at a predictable rate.
  1. Isotopes and Radioactivity

    From the University of Colorado at Boulder, this site uses interactive Java applets and cartoon characters to introduce physics in a friendly way. This section covers isotopes and radioactivity.
  2. Element Builder   Use protons, neutrons, and electrons to build elements. As the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons changes, information such as the name and symbol of the element, the Z, N, and A numbers, the electron dot diagram, and the group and period from the periodic table are shown. The state of the element at room temperature is provided, along with the metallicity of the element.
  3. Half-life  Investigate the decay of a radioactive substance. The half-life and the number of radioactive atoms can be adjusted, and theoretical or random decay can be observed. Data can be interpreted visually using a dynamic graph, a bar chart, and a table. Determine the half-lives of two sample isotopes as well as samples with randomly generated half-lives
  4. Half-life Laboratory  Investigate the half life of a sample of radioactive particles as well as a dynamic graph of the number of particles vs. time. The half-life can be adjusted, along with the initial number of particles
  5. Nuclear Decay  Observe the five main types of nuclear decay: alpha decay, beta decay, gamma decay, positron emission, and electron capture. Write nuclear equations by determining the mass number and atomic number of daughter products and emitted particles.
11. Use the predictability of decay rates and the concept of half-life to explain how radioactive substances can be used in estimating the age of materials.
  1. Exponential Growth and Decay - Activity B  Explore the graph of the exponential growth or decay function. Vary the initial amount and the rate of growth or decay. Investigate the changes to the graph.
  2. Half-life  Investigate the decay of a radioactive substance. The half-life and the number of radioactive atoms can be adjusted, and theoretical or random decay can be observed. Data can be interpreted visually using a dynamic graph, a bar chart, and a table. Determine the half-lives of two sample isotopes as well as samples with randomly generated half-lives
  3. Half-life Laboratory  Investigate the half life of a sample of radioactive particles as well as a dynamic graph of the number of particles vs. time. The half-life can be adjusted, along with the initial number of particles
12. Describe how different energy levels are associated with the electron configurations of atoms and electron configurations (and/or conformations) of molecules.
  1. Electron Configuration  Create the electron configuration of any element by filling electron orbitals. Determine the relationship between electron configuration and atomic radius. Discover trends in atomic radii across periods and down families/groups of the Periodic Table.
  2. Element Builder   Use protons, neutrons, and electrons to build elements. As the number of protons, neutrons, and electrons changes, information such as the name and symbol of the element, the Z, N, and A numbers, the electron dot diagram, and the group and period from the periodic table are shown. The state of the element at room temperature is provided, along with the metallicity of the element.
  3. Ionic Bonds  Simulate ionic bonds between a variety of metals and nonmetals. Select a metal and a nonmetal, and transfer electrons from one to the other. Observe the effect of gaining and losing electrons on charge, and rearrange the atoms to represent the molecular structure. Additional metal and nonmetal atoms can be added to the screen, and the resulting chemical formula can be displayed.
13. Explain how atoms and molecules can gain or lose energy in particular discrete amounts (quanta or packets); therefore they can only absorb or emit light at the wavelengths corresponding to these amounts.
  1. Covalent Bonds Choose a substance and move electrons between atoms to build covalent bonds and molecules. Observe the orbits of shared electrons in single, double, and triple covalent bonds. Compare the completed molecules to the corresponding Lewis diagrams.
  2. Dehydration Synthesis  Build a glucose molecule, atom-by-atom, to learn about chemical bonds and the structure of glucose. Explore the processes of dehydration synthesis and hydrolysis in carbohydrate molecules.
  3. Limiting Reactants Explore the concept of limiting reactants, non-limiting reactants, and theoretical yield in a chemical reaction. Select from two different reactions, choose the number of molecules for the reactants, and then observe the products created and reactants left over.
  4. Photoelectric Effect Shoot a beam of light at a metal plate in a virtual lab and observe the effect on surface electrons. The type of metal as well as the frequency and intensity of the light can be adjusted. An electric field can be created to resist the electrons and measure their initial energies.
14. Use historical examples to explain how new ideas are limited by the context in which they are conceived; are often initially rejected by the scientific establishment; sometimes spring from unexpected findings; and usually grow slowly, through contributions from many different investigators (e.g., nuclear energy, quantum theory, theory of relativity).  
15. Describe concepts/ideas in physical sciences that have important, long lasting effects on science and society (e.g., quantum theory, theory of relativity, age of the universe).
  1. Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity
    This web site gives a good explanation of the Theory of Relativity using two animations, one with you passing by a house, and the other with you passing through a house. In each animation you get to choose how fast you are moving, up to 99% of the speed of light. Depending upon your speed, the animation changes to show how the house would appear to you.

Science and Technology

1. Explain how science often advances with the introduction of new technologies and how solving technological problems often results in new scientific knowledge.  
2. Describe how new technologies often extend the current levels of scientific understanding and introduce new areas of research.  
3. Research how scientific inquiry is driven by the desire to understand the natural world and how technological design is driven by the need to meet human needs and solve human problems.  
4. Explain why basic concepts and principles of science and technology should be a part of active debate about the economics, policies, politics and ethics of various science-related and technology-related challenges.  

Scientific Inquiry

1. Formulate testable hypotheses. Develop and explain the appropriate procedures, controls and variables (dependent and independent) in scientific experimentation.  
2. Derive simple mathematical relationships that have predictive power from experimental data (e.g., derive an equation from a graph and vice versa, determine whether a linear or exponential relationship exists among the data in a table).  
3. Research and apply appropriate safety precautions when designing and/or conducting scientific investigations (e.g., OSHA, MSDS, eyewash, goggles, ventilation). The Material Safety Data Sheet Quiz

This quiz contains seven parts. In each section you will read some background material about OSHA-required content, consult an MSDS sheet, and then answer a few questions. You must complete one section in order to move on to the next one.
(Submitted by: Steve Wheeler)

Fire Extinguisher Training

Module from Oklahoma State University offering a guided tutorial and quiz over the proper use of fire extinguishers. Ideal for safety training for the Science or Vocational lab.
(Submitted by: Steve Wheeler)

4. Create and clarify the method, procedures, controls and variables in complex scientific investigations.  
5. Use appropriate summary statistics to analyze and describe data.  

Scientific Ways of Knowing

1. Give examples that show how science is a social endeavor in which scientists share their knowledge with the expectation that it will be challenged continuously by the scientific community and others. .
2. Evaluate scientific investigations by reviewing current scientific knowledge and the experimental procedures used, examining the evidence, identifying faulty reasoning, pointing out statements that go beyond the evidence and suggesting alternative explanations for the same observations.  
3. Select a scientific model, concept or theory and explain how it has been revised over time based on new knowledge, perceptions or technology.  
4. Analyze a set of data to derive a principle and then apply that principle to a similar phenomenon (e.g., predator/prey relationships, properties of semiconductors).  
5. Describe how individuals and teams contribute to science and engineering at different levels of complexity (e.g., an individual may conduct basic field studies, hundreds of people may work together on major scientific questions or technical problem).  
6. Explain that scientists may develop and apply ethical tests to evaluate the consequences of their research when appropriate.  
7. Describe the current and historical contributions of diverse peoples and cultures to science and technology and the scarcity and inaccessibility of information on some of these contributions.  
8. Recognize that individuals and society must decide on proposals involving new research and the introduction of new technologies into society. Decisions involve assessment of alternatives, risks, costs and benefits and consideration of who benefits and who suffers, who pays and gains, and what the risks are and who bears them.  
9. Recognize the appropriateness and value of basic questions “What can happen?” “What are the odds?” and “How do scientists and engineers know what will happen?”  
10. Recognize that social issues and challenges can affect progress in science and technology. (e.g., Funding priorities for specific health problems serve as examples of ways that social issues influence science and technology.)  
11. Research how advances in scientific knowledge have impacted society on a local, national or global level.