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The Art of Approximation in Science and Engineering: How to Whip Out Answers Quickly
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

The purpose of this learning video is to show students how to think more freely about math and science problems. Sometimes getting an approximate answer in a much shorter period of time is well worth the time saved. This video explores techniques for making quick, back-of-the-envelope approximations that are not only surprisingly accurate, but are also illuminating for building intuition in understanding science. This video touches upon 10th-grade level Algebra I and first-year high school physics, but the concepts covered (velocity, distance, mass, etc) are basic enough that science-oriented younger students would understand. If desired, teachers may bring in pendula of various lengths, weights to hang, and a stopwatch to measure period. Examples of in- class exercises for between the video segments include: asking students to estimate 29 x 31 without a calculator or paper and pencil; and asking students how close they can get to a black hole without getting sucked in.

Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT Blossoms
Author:
Stephen M. Hou
Date Added:
06/02/2015
The Art of Approximation in Science and Engineering: How to Whip Out Answers Quickly
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

The purpose of this learning video is to show students how to think more freely about math and science problems. Sometimes getting an approximate answer in a much shorter period of time is well worth the time saved. This video explores techniques for making quick, back-of-the-envelope approximations that are not only surprisingly accurate, but are also illuminating for building intuition in understanding science. This video touches upon 10th-grade level Algebra I and first-year high school physics, but the concepts covered (velocity, distance, mass, etc) are basic enough that science-oriented younger students would understand. If desired, teachers may bring in pendula of various lengths, weights to hang, and a stopwatch to measure period. Examples of in- class exercises for between the video segments include: asking students to estimate 29 x 31 without a calculator or paper and pencil; and asking students how close they can get to a black hole without getting sucked in.

Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT Learning International Networks Consortium
Provider Set:
M.I.T. Blossoms
Author:
Stephen M. Hou
Date Added:
06/02/2012
Battery-Resistor Circuit
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Look inside a resistor to see how it works. Increase the battery voltage to make more electrons flow though the resistor. Increase the resistance to block the flow of electrons. Watch the current and resistor temperature change.

Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Carl Wieman
Sam Reid
Date Added:
11/20/2008
Battleships
Only Sharing Permitted
CC BY-NC-ND
Rating

This activity explores the main algorithms that are used as the basis for searching on computers, using different variations on the game of battleships. This activity demonstrates three search methods for finding information in data: linear searching, binary searching and hashing. It also includes an optional introductory activity as well as a video showing a fun demonstration related to the same content.

Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Lesson Plan
Simulation
Provider:
Computer Science Unplugged
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
Computer Science Unplugged
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Brian Mason Scientific and Technical Trust
Computer Science Unplugged
Google Inc.
Ian Witten
Jane McKenzie
Mike Fellows
Robyn Adams
Tim Bell
Date Added:
01/02/2002
Circuit Construction Kit (AC+DC), Virtual Lab
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Build circuits with capacitors, inductors, resistors and AC or DC voltage sources, and inspect them using lab instruments such as voltmeters and ammeters.

Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Carl Wieman
Kathy Perkins
Michael Dubson
Sam Reid
Date Added:
07/01/2006
Circuit Construction Kit (DC Only)
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

An electronics kit in your computer! Build circuits with resistors, light bulbs, batteries, and switches. Take measurements with the realistic ammeter and voltmeter. View the circuit as a schematic diagram, or switch to a life-like view.

Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Carl Wieman
Kathy Perkins
Michael Dubson
Sam Reid
Wendy Adams
Date Added:
06/15/2005
Exploring Size - StretchAbility
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

In this game, learners explore the different sizes of things in the world. In this Twister-like game, learners must place a hand or foot on a circle of the right scale - macro, micro, or nano. This activity is a fun way for learners to investigate the sizes of different objects.

Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Game
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Nanoscience Informal Science Education
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
NISE Network
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network
National Science Foundation
NISE Network
Sciencenter
Date Added:
01/02/2010
Faraday's Electromagnetic Lab
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Play with a bar magnet and coils to learn about Faraday's law. Move a bar magnet near one or two coils to make a light bulb glow. View the magnetic field lines. A meter shows the direction and magnitude of the current. View the magnetic field lines or use a meter to show the direction and magnitude of the current. You can also play with electromagnets, generators and transformers!

Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Archie Paulson
Carl Wieman
Chris Malley
Danielle Harlow
Kathy Perkins
Michael Dubson
Date Added:
10/22/2006
Gas Properties
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Pump gas molecules to a box and see what happens as you change the volume, add or remove heat, change gravity, and more. Measure the temperature and pressure, and discover how the properties of the gas vary in relation to each other.

Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Carl Wieman
Danielle Harlow
Jack Barbera
Kathy Perkins
Linda Koch
Michael Dubson
Ron LeMaster
Date Added:
10/05/2006
I Spy Nano!
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

In this game, learners try to find nano-related objects on a game board. Learners investigate the different ways nano is in the world around us.

Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Game
Reading
Provider:
Nanoscience Informal Science Education
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
NISE Network
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network
National Science Foundation
NISE Network
Date Added:
01/02/2011
Lunar Lander
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Can you avoid the boulder field and land safely, just before your fuel runs out, as Neil Armstrong did in 1969? Our version of this classic video game accurately simulates the real motion of the lunar lander with the correct mass, thrust, fuel consumption rate, and lunar gravity. The real lunar lander is very hard to control.

Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Michael Dubson
Date Added:
01/26/2007
Magnets and Electromagnets
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Explore the interactions between a compass and bar magnet. Discover how you can use a battery and wire to make a magnet! Can you make it a stronger magnet? Can you make the magnetic field reverse?

Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Archie Paulson
Carl Wieman
Chris Malley
Danielle Harlow
Kathy Perkins
Michael Dubson
Date Added:
12/02/2010
Modeling and Simulation for High School Teachers: Principles, Problems, and Lesson Plans
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

A collaboration between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the CK-12 Foundation, this book provides high school mathematics and physics teachers with an introduction to the main principles of modeling and simulation used in science and engineering. An appendix of lesson plans is included.

Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Textbook
Provider:
CK-12 Foundation
Provider Set:
CK-12 FlexBook
Date Added:
10/24/2012
My Solar System
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

Build your own system of heavenly bodies and watch the gravitational ballet. With this orbit simulator, you can set initial positions, velocities, and masses of 2, 3, or 4 bodies, and then see them orbit each other.

Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Danielle Harlow
Michael Dubson
Mindy Gratny
Date Added:
11/15/2007
Navigating by the Numbers
Read the Fine Print
Educational Use
Rating

In this lesson, students will learn that math is important in navigation and engineering. Ancient land and sea navigators started with the most basic of navigation equations (Speed x Time = Distance). Today, navigational satellites use equations that take into account the relative effects of space and time. However, even these high-tech wonders cannot be built without pure and simple math concepts basic geometry and trigonometry that have been used for thousands of years. In this lesson, these basic concepts are discussed and illustrated in the associated activities.

Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Janet Yowell
Jeff White
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Penny Axelrad
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Ohm's Law
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
Rating

See how the equation form of Ohm's law relates to a simple circuit. Adjust the voltage and resistance, and see the current change according to Ohm's law. The sizes of the symbols in the equation change to match the circuit diagram.

Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Michael Dubson
Mindy Gratny
Date Added:
11/16/2007
Phylogenetics
Only Sharing Permitted
CC BY-NC-ND
Rating

This activity lets learners participate in the process of reconstructing a phylogenetic tree and introduces them to several core bioinformatics concepts, particularly in relation to evolution. Groups of learners (at least 10) repeat a secret message (five to seven similar-sounding words) like the game "Telephone". In this version of the game, however, learners write and then code what they hear, creating a model of a phylogenetic tree and using a species distance matrix. This resource includes background information about phylogenetic trees, maximum parsimony, and matrix theory (see page 6-7 of PDF).

Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Game
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Computer Science Unplugged
Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE)
Provider Set:
Computer Science Unplugged
SMILE Pathway: Science and Math Activities in One Search
Author:
Brian Mason Scientific and Technical Trust
Computer Science Unplugged
Google Inc.
Jim Becker
Katrin Becker
Truman State University
Date Added:
01/02/2005