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# Authentic activity on physical sciences

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teaching MATTER AND METERIAL using computer simulation

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### Authentic activity on physical sciences

1. 1. 1 | P a g ePHYSICAL SCIENCE GRADE: 10CONTENT: MATTER AND METERIALFOCUS CONTENT: ATOMStudent Prerequisite Skills/Understandings1. Atoms are the basic building block of matter.2. Basic computer skills (click and drag).OverviewThe lesson begins with the teacher carefully smashing a cell phone. This serves as anintroduction of objects are composed of smaller things. Next, the students are handedelement cards where they are introduced to the idea of atomic numbers. The students thenmove to a computer simulation (see http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/build-an-atom).Each pair of students is given a set of element cards that resemble the boxes on the periodictable for each element. The students are also given an activity sheet where they use thesimulation and their element card to identify the distinguishing parts of each element (name ofelement, atomic number, mass number, net charge of the atom, number of protons, neutrons,and electrons). Students are introduced to the charges associated with protons, neutrons,and electrons. In addition, students are introduced to a Bohr Model of an atom and becomeable to draw specific elements.Content Focus: Matter, for example a cell phone, is composed of atoms.To demonstrate that items can be made of smaller parts, the teacher performs a demo bysmashing a cell phone into component parts. The teacher then asks students what sort ofelements a cell phone might contain. Just as a cell phone has parts, so does an element,which is what will be explored in this lesson.Computer simulation: I willUse it for introduction to concepts, learning new concepts,reinforcement of concepts, as visual aids for interactive demonstrationsWith the help of options to hide the readouts in the play area (e.g., Show Element Name) so Iwill ask prediction questions during class discussion
2. 2. 2 | P a g eResources, materials and supplies needed for each classA cell phoneHammerSmashing set-up (plastic sheet and cardboard)Goggles for teacherGloves for teacherComputers with internet access (1 per student is ideal, but no more than 2 students shouldshare a computer)aDry erase board &MarkersIndex CardsI will allow for 5 minutes of open play, encourage students to try all features and determine whateach feature does. Have students share what they have discovered. Pass out an element card.
3. 3. 3 | P a g eI will provide them with the element card activity
4. 4. 4 | P a g e
5. 5. 5 | P a g eI will provide Authentic learningactivities byTeaching Physics using PhET SimulationsThe following(FIVE-E ORGANIZATION) describe the activities exactly as I will would do if I wasactually teaching a class the next dayFIVE-E ORGANIZATIONENGAGEMENT Time: 7 minutesWhat the Teacher Will Do Probing Questions Student ResponsesPotential MisconceptionsHave a cell phone smashingstation set up. Use cautionand wear safety goggles!Scientists are always trying tofigure out how things work.One way to do this is to breakthings apart and look at whatis inside of them.Don’t try this at home! Smashcell phone. Be careful!Now that I’ve smashed thiscell phone into small pieces,let’s talk about what is inside.1. How many of you haveever wondered what isin a cell phone? Whatdo you think is in a cellphone?2 Why does breakingthings into smallerpieces help a scientistfigure out how thingswork?3 What observations canyou make about thesepieces? Walk aroundwith pieces sostudents can see.4 What elements do youthink are inside of acell phone?5 How many cell phonesdo you think it wouldtake to get one gramof gold?1. Me! Lots of tinyparts…technology!2 So they can see whatis inside and makepredictions aboutwhat the parts do.3 There are lots of wiresand shiny parts.4 Metals, plastic (MC:plastic is not anelement!)5 One, fifteen,hundreds.
6. 6. 6 | P a g eENGAGEMENT Time: 7 minutesWhat the Teacher Will Do Probing Questions Student ResponsesPotential MisconceptionsThose are all greatobservations! Cell phoneshave many parts. A fewelements inside of a cell phoneinclude aluminum, gold,silicon and copper.Yes! Gold is inside cell phones,but there is such a smallamount that it would takehundreds of cell phones to getone gram of gold!What we’ve just seen is thatobjects are composed ofsmaller things. Today, we’ll bestudying atoms anddiscovering that they are alsocomposed of smaller particles,too!EXPLORATION Time: 25 minutesWhat the Teacher Will Do Probing Questions Student ResponsesPotential MisconceptionsShow students the elementcards.Today, we are going to be1. What do you see onthese cards?2. What do you think thatthey mean?1. Letter(s) andnumbers.2. They identifysomething. Theymake it different from
7. 7. 7 | P a g eEXPLORATION Time: 25 minutesWhat the Teacher Will Do Probing Questions Student ResponsesPotential Misconceptionsexploring atoms. Each of thesecards has information for aspecific element that describeswhat the atom of that elementwill look like.Pass around a couple periodictables to the students.As you look at the periodictable, notice how manyelements there are.Today, we will be using asimulator to explore atoms.Instruct students on how toget to the simulator. (Look atadvanced preparations.)Play with the sim for fiveminutes.Walk around the room andmake sure students are nothaving problems opening andexploring the simulator.Now that you’ve had a fewminutes to explore, let’s sharewith each other what we havediscovered about thesimulation.3. Where have you seenthese types of cardsbefore?4. How are theyarranged?5. What does thatnumber mean?other cards.3. Some students maysay that they haveseen them on theperiodic table.4. By number.5. Some may sayprotons or atomicmass.
8. 8. 8 | P a g eEXPLORATION Time: 25 minutesWhat the Teacher Will Do Probing Questions Student ResponsesPotential MisconceptionsHave students “share out”what they have discoveredabout the simulation. Makesure that a student mentionsthat there is the “symbol”function in the simulation.Today, you will figure out whateach number and letter onyour element card means.Label each part of the card asshown in my example. Hold upthe example card showingstudents how to label parts ofthe symbol.Pass out an element card andan Element Card Activity half-sheet to each student.A class before you has madeall of these cards for you. Yourjob is to solve the cards forthem and then make cards foranother class to solve afteryou.You may now begin labelingthe element card.Once you finish labeling yourelement card, fill out theElement Card Activity half-sheet.Questions to ask studentswhile walking around theroom:1. What component ofthe atom determinesthe identity of theatom?1. Protons