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  • Scientific Enquiry
The Art of Approximation in Science and Engineering: How to Whip Out Answers Quickly
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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
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
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
Can Earthquakes Be Predicted?
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This learning video uses a simple analog setup to explore why earthquakes are so unpredictable. The setup is simple enough that students should be able to assemble and operate it on their own with a teacher's supervision. The teaching approach used in this module is known as the 5E approach, which stands for Engagement, Exploration, Explanation, Elaboration, and Evaluation. Over the course of this lesson, the basic mechanisms that give rise to the behavior of the simple analog system are explained, and further elaboration helps the students to apply their understanding of the analog system to complex fault systems that cause earthquakes

Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT Blossoms
Author:
Zach Adam
Date Added:
06/11/2012
Discovering Medicines, Using Robots and Computers
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Scientists who are working to discover new medicines often use robots to prepare samples of cells, allowing them to test chemicals to identify those that might be used to treat diseases. Students will meet a scientist who works to identify new medicines. She created free software that ''looks'' at images of cells and determines which images show cells that have responded to the potential medicines. Students will learn about how this technology is currently enabling research to identify new antibiotics to treat tuberculosis. Students will complete hands-on activities that demonstrate how new medicines can be discovered using robots and computer software, starring the student as ''the computer.'' In the process, the students learn about experimental design, including positive and negative controls.

Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT Blossoms
Author:
Anne Carpenter
Date Added:
05/07/2015
Flu Math Games
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This video lesson shows students that math can play a role in understanding how an infectious disease spreads and how it can be controlled. During this lesson, students will see and use both deterministic and probabilistic models and will learn by doing through role-playing exercises. The primary exercises between video segments of this lesson are class-intensive simulation games in which members of the class 'infect' each other under alternative math modeling assumptions about disease progression. Also there is an occasional class discussion and local discussion with nearby classmates.

Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT Blossoms
Author:
Mai Perches
Richard C. Larson
Sahar Hashmi
Date Added:
07/12/2014
Flu Math Games
Conditions of Use:
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This video lesson shows students that math can play a role in understanding how an infectious disease spreads and how it can be controlled. During this lesson, students will see and use both deterministic and probabilistic models and will learn by doing through role-playing exercises. The primary exercises between video segments of this lesson are class-intensive simulation games in which members of the class 'infect' each other under alternative math modeling assumptions about disease progression. Also there is an occasional class discussion and local discussion with nearby classmates.

Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT Learning International Networks Consortium
Provider Set:
M.I.T. Blossoms
Author:
Mai Perches
Richard C. Larson
Sahar Hashmi
Date Added:
06/02/2012
Methods for Protein Purification
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This Protein Purification video lesson is intended to give students some insight into the process and tools that scientists and engineers use to explore proteins. It is designed to extend the knowledge of students who are already somewhat sophisticated and who have a good understanding of basic biology. The question that motivates this lesson is, ''what makes two cell types different?'' and this question is posed in several ways. Such scientific reasoning raises the experimental question: how could you study just a subset of specialized proteins that distinguish one cell type from another? Two techniques useful in this regard are considered in the lesson.

Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT Blossoms
Author:
Natalie Kuldell, PhD
Date Added:
06/16/2015
Roots, Shoots, and Wood
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The topic of photosynthesis is a fundamental concept in biology, chemistry, and earth science. Educational studies have found that despite classroom presentations, most students retain their naive idea that a plant's mass is mostly derived from the soil, and not from the air. To call students' attention to this misconception, at the beginning of this lesson we will provide a surprising experimental result so that students will confront their mental mistake. Next, we will help students better envision photosynthesis by modeling where the atoms come from in this important process that produces food for the planet. This lesson can be completed in 50-60 minutes, with the students working on in-class activities during 20-25 minutes of the lesson. As a prerequisite, students need an introductory lesson on photosynthesis, something that includes the overall chemical equation. If students have already studied the intracellular photosynthetic process in detail, this video can still be very helpful because students often miss the big picture about photosynthesis. Materials needed include red, white and black LEGO bricks (described in downloadable hand-out) or strips of red, white and black paper plus paper clips (directions provided in downloadable hand-out). In addition to class discussions, the major in-class activity of this video involves the students' modeling with LEGO bricks or colored paper where the atoms come from in photosynthesis.

Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT Blossoms
Author:
Kathleen M. Vandiver
Date Added:
09/09/2015
Sustainable Energy: Can Water be the Future Fuel?
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The main objective of this video lesson is to bring the students' attention to the importance of basic and natural sciences in our lives. The lesson will introduce a topic (sustainable energy) that is related mainly to chemistry and is not usually covered directly in a high school curriculum. We hope that this lesson will show students how important and useful the natural and basic sciences are not only for our daily lives, but also for sustainable development. The lesson will present creative and challenging ideas on the topic of alternative energies. It is hoped that students will be inspired by the introduction of these ideas, and that they will develop the confidence to come up with creative ideas themselves. Background for this lesson is based on fundamental concepts in chemistry (mainly), biology, physics and environmental science.

Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT Blossoms
Author:
Ahmad Al-Ajlouni
Date Added:
05/07/2015