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Physics of Roller Coasters

Students explore the physics exploited by engineers in designing today's roller coasters, including potential and kinetic energy, friction and gravity. First, they learn that all true roller coasters ...
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7 (7-9) Lesson 7648
What Is the Best Insulator: Air, Styrofoam, Foil or Cotton?

That heat flows from hot to cold is an unavoidable truth of life. People have put a lot of effort into stopping this natural physical behavior, however all they have been able to do is slow the proces...
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4 (3-5) Activity 6881
Earthquake in the Classroom

Students learn how engineers construct buildings to withstand damage from earthquakes by building their own structures with toothpicks and marshmallows. Students test how earthquake-proof their buildings are by testing them on an earthquake simulated in a pan of Jell-O®. 5 (3-5) Activity 5591
Potato Power

Students use potatoes to light an LED clock (or light bulb) as they learn how a battery works in a simple circuit and how chemical energy changes to electrical energy. As they learn more about electri...
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4 (3-5) Activity 4711
Straw Bridges

Working as engineering teams, students design and create model beam bridges using plastic drinking straws and tape as their construction materials. Their goal is to build the strongest bridge with a t...
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8 (6-8) Activity 4291
Engineering: Simple Machines

Simple machines are devices with few or no moving parts that make work easier. Students are introduced to the six types of simple machines — the wedge, wheel and axle, lever, inclined plane, screw, ...
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4 (3-5) Lesson 3846
Building Roller Coasters

Students build their own small-scale model roller coasters using pipe insulation and marbles, and then analyze them using physics principles learned in the associated lesson. They examine conversions ...
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7 (7-9) Activity 3792
Launch into Learning: Catapults!

Students learn about catapults, including the science and math concepts behind them, as they prepare for the associated activity in which they design, build and test their own catapults. They learn about force, accuracy, precision and angles. 5 (5-6) Lesson 3072
Powerful Pulleys

Students continue to explore the story of building a pyramid, learning about the simple machine called a pulley. They learn how a pulley can be used to change the direction of applied forces and move/...
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4 (3-5) Lesson 2941
Just Breathe

Students explore the inhalation/exhalation process that occurs in the lungs during respiration. Using everyday materials, each student team creates a model pair of lungs. 5 (3-5) Activity 2840
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