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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Credit Recovery Science (8), or Science (8)
Title: Big Science of the Small World of Atom
Description: This module provides 8th grade middle school students a basic understanding of the atomic structure. With the knowledge evolution of the atom structure, modern sciences and technologies, particularly nanoscience and nanotechnology, have been revolutionarily advanced. In this module development the structure of an atom and its constituents will be demonstrated with the help of the 3D visualization and hands-on activities.


Subject: Credit Recovery Science (8)
Title: Sports Drinks and Nanotechnology
Description: The Sports Drinks and Nanotechnology module includes hands-on inquiry-based activities. This module introduces students to the concept of nanotechnology and its application in real world events.  Through a simple experiment  using a nanogold colloid as a biosensor, students compare various concentration levels of electrolytes in sports drinks.


Subject: Mathematics (8 - 12), or Credit Recovery Science (8)
Title: Exploring Monticello: Symmetry in Math and Science
Description: Lesson created by Melinda Defee, Tammy Goss, and Nicole Kimbril This lesson teaches students math and science principles of dimension, symmetry and reflection through drawing various buildings.   The lesson is part of a larger interdisciplinary unit that explores art, math, science, language arts, and social studies through the study of the architecture of Monticello to illustrate symmetry and the cultural influences on modern society.   This lesson plan was created through a collection of the participants of ArtBridges 2014 workshop and the Johnson Center for the Arts.


Subject: Credit Recovery Science (8)
Title: Alternative Energy Conversion: Photo Effect of Titanium Oxide in Aqueous Solution and Electrical Energy Production Using Solar Energy 
Description: We present the photovoltaic effect of oxidized titanium (Ti) under laser excitation. This lesson is designed to demonstrate how sunlight can be used to produce voltage.  This light to electrical energy conversion system is also referred as photovoltaic effect. The idea of the lesson is to produce electrical energy using a light absorbing semiconducting material, in this case TiO2, which can be made by either coating a conductive electrode with TiO2 nanoparticles or oxidizing a planer Ti plate in air.  This setup can also be used to split water molecules into clean energy fuel (hydrogen). Two chemical reactions will be involved in this water splitting reaction. One  oxidizes water into oxygen and the other reduces water into hydrogen. This lesson explores the effect of surface oxidation of Ti as well as the effect of a TiO2 coated glass on photovoltaic output.  The lesson demonstrates how the top layer of oxide coating is critical for photovoltaic effect. Concepts of producing electric energy, chemical energy, and maximizing efficiency of photovoltaic effect will be introduced.      


Subject: Mathematics (8), or Credit Recovery Science (8), or Science (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: The Need for Speed
Description: After viewing an introductory illustrated podcast on speed, distance, time, and velocity, students explore distance-time graphs using interactive websites. Working in cooperative learning groups, students will investigate the motion of toy pull-back racers and collect data to analyze the speed of the cars between various positions marked on the race track. Students will use the data to create graphs, analyze data and present findings to the class.


Subject: Mathematics (9 - 12), or Credit Recovery Science (8 - 12), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Bloodstain Pattern Doesn't Lie......
Description: Students will formulate a hypothesis about the relationship (linear, direct, indirect, etc.) between the distance a drop of blood falls and the diameter of the splatter it makes. To test their hypothesis, the students will work collaboratively to make blood droplets, on paper, from different heights. After graphing droplet diameter and height using a spreadsheet program, individual students will evaluate their hypothesis. Students will use their graphed data to: 1) write an equation for the mathematical relationship of droplet diameter and height. 2) interpolate the height from which a blood droplet made by someone else was dropped. The students will compare data from different groups to determine possible sources for differences.


Subject: Credit Recovery Science (8 - 12), or Science (9 - 12)
Title: Mentos, Soda, and Nucleation
Description: In this lesson, Mentos candy and different types of soda are used to show examples of nucleation, surface tension, surface area, polar attractions, and supersaturated materials. A video will be used to show the examples and the students will then work in groups to determine what their hypothesis is about what is happening and why. The students will be given a chance to debate with other students about why their hypothesis is correct. This lesson could be used in eighth grade physical science, physical science, chemistry, and/or physics.


Subject: Credit Recovery Science (8 - 12)
Title: The Legend of the Mummy’s Curse- Fact or Fiction?
Description: This is a technology-based, hands-on Biology lesson used to introduce the scientific method to students. Students will make a prediction on whether they think the curse is true or false. Students will listen to a podcast describing a scientific investigation of the curse. Students will then research the Mummy’s curse using the internet and answer questions about the investigation.


Subject: Credit Recovery Science (7 - 8), or Science (7)
Title: Genetic Babies  
Description: Students will explore Gregor Mendel's laws of genetics in this lesson. Students will be paired in male and female groups. If girls and boys can't be evenly divided, same sex students can be paired to represent research scientists. Different candy will represent alleles for various characteristics. Students will combine dominant and recessive traits to determine the phenotype and genotype of their genetic babies. The genetic baby will be designed and displayed for peers to view.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science University, GEMS-U Project.


Subject: Mathematics (7 - 8), or Credit Recovery Science (8)
Title: Transverse Waves
Description: Students will classify waves as mechanical or electromagnetic. Students will describe longitudinal and transverse waves. Students will show a transverse wave using a slinky.This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.


Subject: Credit Recovery Science (8)
Title: Teaching the Scientific Method
Description: Life is one project after another, no matter what career field one chooses. The responsibility of planning a project is a valuable lesson for students that applies to most career fields. This method requires students to answer a question or solve a problem, make observations and collect data, and draw a conclusion as to the answer to the question or problem.


Subject: Mathematics (5 - 6), or Credit Recovery Science (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Watch That Plant Grow
Description: This lesson allows students to explore horticulture within a controlled environment, a greenhouse. Students engage in hands-on activities as they grow their own plants and chart data concerning the conditions related to plant growth in a greenhouse. The data collected is recorded on a spreadsheet to aid in growth prediction over a specified amount of time. This lesson should precede other lessons regarding research on plants grown in a greenhouse.


Subject: Credit Recovery Science (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Is my Water Safe?
Description: After a discussion of what makes water safe or unsafe, students will visit a local tributary, test the water, and complete tasks concerning the water. This lesson is designed for a 6th, 7th, and 8th grade gifted education enrichment classes.


Subject: Credit Recovery Science (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Wet Heads
Description: The lesson will enable students to complete a lesson of scientific inquiry and use the steps in the scientific method to solve a problem. Students will determine the amount of water drops needed to cover the heads of various coins, including a penny, nickel, dime, and quarter.


Subject: Credit Recovery Science (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: What burns when a candle burns? An Introduction to Using the Scientific Method
Description: In this hands-on lesson, the class is divided into small groups and required to use the scientific method to discover what burns in a candle and why. The steps reinforce this methodical approach to solving what initially appears to be a simple question. In this exercise, students will use the scientific method to discover the purpose of a candle's wick and how radiation allows candle wax to change from solid to liquid to gas, thus allowing the wicking action necessary for combustion to occur.


Subject: Credit Recovery Science (8), or Technology Education (6 - 8)
Title: Sonar Mapping of the Ocean Floor
Description: Mapping the ocean floor must be done by indirect observation. One method involves bouncing a sonar signal off of the ocean floor and measuring the length of time this signal takes to return. This length can be translated into distance: Distance=Speed of Sound X Time/2. In this lab, students will be making indirect observations using a wooden rod as the "sonar signal."


Subject: Mathematics (7), or Credit Recovery Science (7 - 12), or Technology Education (9 - 12)
Title: How Big Can a Bee Be?
Description: Students will study the relationship between surface area and volume. Math, science, and technology components are included.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Mathematics
Title: Exploring Linear Data      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Illuminations, students model linear data in a variety of settings. Students can work alone or in small groups to construct scatterplots, interpret data points and trends, and investigate the notion of line of best fit.
Thinkfinity Partner: Illuminations
Grade Span: 6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Mathematics
Title: What's in a Graph?      Add Bookmark
Description: The purpose of this Science NetLinks lesson is to help students understand data tables and graphs. They explore the guidelines for making tables and graphs and learn how to interpret graphs and determine which graph is best suited for the data.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science
Title: Exploring Pendulums       Add Bookmark
Description: In this Science NetLinks lesson, students explore Web sites with simulations of pendulums, where they are able to change the length and angle of the bob and observe its effects. They then construct and test their own controlled-falling systems, or pendulums, to further observe and verify these theories. This lesson helps students understand concepts related to how gravitational forces act on objects by exploring the motion of pendulums.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science - Physical Sciences - Social Studies - Geography
Title: Liquid Density and Oil Spills      Add Bookmark
Description: In this lesson, from Xpeditions, students conduct a simple experiment demonstrating the variable densities of corn syrup, water, glycerin, and vegetable oil. Students then transfer this concept to an examination of cleanup methods used in the Exxon Valdez oil spill. They conclude by writing paragraphs hypothesizing what would happen during an oil spill if oil and water were the same density and therefore mixed together easily.
Thinkfinity Partner: National Geographic Education
Grade Span: 6,7,8



Subject: Science
Title: Snow Goggles      Add Bookmark
Description: The aim of this lesson, from Science NetLinks, is to illustrate how the scientific method can be used to solve different kinds of problems. As part of this lesson, students build snow goggles similar to those used by the Inuit peoples. Students also create their own version of the goggles to improve upon existing designs and compare the process used to invent snow goggles with that employed by designers of the MESSENGER spacecraft.
Thinkfinity Partner: Science NetLinks
Grade Span: 6,7,8



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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
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