Using models and maps

How do you construct scale models, maps, and labeled diagrams to communicate scientific knowledge? What is the usefulness (and limitations) of maps and models as scientific representations of reality?

Forces and Motion Box

Overview  Physical objects are part of an interactive system mediated by forces, which are governed by Newton’s laws.  This unit teaches students to recognize different types of forces, their effects on ...

Field Trip - Marin Headlands

Marin Headlands photograph of Marin Headlands from the Golden Gate Bridge by Christopher Beland The Marin Headlands contain the geologic record of a great deal of plate tectonic action that can ...

5. Seafloor Spreading

Students take what they know about earthquake, volcano and mid-ocean ridge distributions (The Big One and Plate Patterns) and put it together with what they know about convection in the ...

4. Convection in a Pan

What drives the motion of the Earth’s tectonic plates? Partly, it is convection, the process by which heat energy is transferred by currents in a liquid or gas. Convection currents ...

2. Plate Patterns

Kilauea Crater, Hawaii Pu'u 'O'o crater at dusk. Image courtesy of USGS.Starting with an earthquake epicenter map (generated by students in The Big One activity), students add information about where ...

1. The Big One

San Francisco, 1906 Aftermath of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that caused an estimated 3,000 deaths and $524 million in damage.Students use the USGS World Earthquake Archive to research the major ...

Field Trip - Marine Science Institute

Sail aboard a research vessel and explore the living treasures of the San Francisco Bay. The Marine Science Institute (MSI) provides some of the best hands-on science and environmental education ...

5. Slimy cells

To solidify students’ conceptualization of cells, students build a model of a cell in a ziplock bag using polyvinyl alcohol slime as cytoplasm. So far, students’ experience with cells has ...

Sub Plan - DNA Jewelry

Students create DNA models from beads and wire that may be used as earrings, pendants, Christmas ornaments, and/or key chain pulls. This project is simple enough that a good substitute ...

Project - Dragon Genetics

In this long term computer based simulation, students play with a fabulous FREE software program called Biologica developed by the Concord Consortium. It offers an in depth, virtual experience exploring ...