Community School for Social Justice, Bronx
Summer Research Program for Science Teachers
Subject: General Science
Grade Level: 6-12
Overview: This lesson will encourage students to think creatively about collecting data on materials and substances they canít directly see. Much of science happens at the microscopic, or sub-microscopic level and canít be directly observed. Other means of observation and measurement, other than our sense of sight, need to be employed in order to collect data in a wide variety of situations.
∑ Develop methods to record information about materials they cannot directly see
∑ Apply appropriate labels to their measurements and identify the appropriate measurement tool to use to take the measurement
∑ Properly use the metic system
Before scientists had the technology to look at the tiny things that make up our world, how do you think they were able to run experiments and collect data? Do Now Worksheet
Several closed/opaque containers to contain various samples for containers to hold various samples
A variety of materials with differing textures, sizes, temperatures, densities, in differing states of matter, etc.
Ideas for containers:
o Shoe box
o Film containers
o Plastic (opaque) containers
o Dark plastic bags
Ideas for contents:
o Chewed Gum
o Heat pad/ ice packs
Instruments for measurement:
o Tub of water
1.) Determine how many containers each group should examine. A set of containers can be given to each group or a class set of containers can be created for all groups to share.
2.) Materials should be placed into containers that are sealed to prevent peaking
3.) Each container should be labeled to make them easy to differentiate.
1.) Give students five minutes to complete Do Now. If students finish early encourage them to be more specific with their answers.
2.) Discuss the Do Now. Have students volunteer answers and create a list on the board of student ideas.
3.) Explain that as a class students will act as these early Ďblindí scientists did. They will be given materials they cannot see that they will need to collect data about. Discuss what kind of information you would probably need to collect. As a class create a data table.
4.) Explain the rules of the activity:
a. No opening containers
b. Collect as much data as you can about these objects in 20-30 minutes (depending on time available)
Activity can be made into a competition to award
o Most data collected
o Most creative type of data collected
5.) Share back different types of data groups/students thought to collect
6.) Compare this list to the list students came up with from the Do Now. See what similarities and differences there are.
Not all data we collect requires us to directly see the object weíre measuring. Name one type of data you collected today and think of a type of experiment where you would collect this kind of data.
Provide outline of data table.
Provide outline of data table with word bank to use to fill in table.
Group students in groups of mixed abilities and learning styles.
New York State Science Standards:
S6. a. Uses technology and tools to observe and measure objects, organisms, and phenomena, directly, indirectly, and remotely, with appropriate consideration of accuracy and precision.
S6. b. Records and stores data using a variety of formats.
S6. d. Acquires information from multiple sources.