Teacher Resources for Simply the Best

Applicable Standards Teacher Notes Sample Letter To Parents Simple Machine Labs Resources Interactive Quiz - Under construction

Applicable Standards

Simply the Best is a standards based unit aligned to the NEW STANDARDS Performance Standards. The particular standards include both Physical Science and Problem Solving Concepts:

S1c. The student produces evidence that demonstrates understanding of transfer of energy, such as transformatin of energy as heat; light, mechanical motion, and sound; and the nature of a chemical reaction.

A1a. The student designs and creates a product, service or system to meet an identified need; that is, the student:

  • develops a range of ideas for design of the product, service, or system;
  • selects one design option to pursue and justifies the choice with reference, for example, to functional, aesthetic, social, economic, or environmental considerations;
  • establishes criteria for judging the success of the design;
  • uses appropriate conventions to represent the design;
  • plans and carries out the steps neeeded to create the product, service, or system;
  • makes adjustments as needed to conform with specified standards or regulations regarding quality and safety;
  • evaluates the quality of the design in terms of the criteria for success and by comparison with similar products, services or systems.

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Teacher Notes for Simply the Best

1. Only assign one or two groups of questions from Task One at a time. Be sure to correct work before assigning additional questions.

2. Be sure to intersperse laboratory exercise with pen/paper work. The sites listed below offer interesting hands-on labs.

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Sample Letter to Parents:

Dear Parents,

For the next several weeks, we will be studying simple machines in science. As part of this unit, students will be constructing a compound machine consisting of a member of the inclined plane family and a member of the pulley family. The machine must accomplish a task such as breaking an egg in a Rube Goldberg-like fashion.

Students may choose to work in pairs or alone. Although some of the work will be done during class time, a significant portion of the work must be accomplished at home. I've encouraged students to choose partners that live near them. The final due date for the project, both machine and commerical, is __________________ . We will be inviting you to an "Open House" to view the projects at a later date.

Detailed information on the project can be obtained by accessing: http://www.mrsscienceteacher.com. The webquest is listed under Featured Projects.


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Simple Machine Labs

Toting the log and lifting the bale: A workshop on simple machines This site contains many labs on simple machines. Unfortunately, there are no pictures of the setups making it difficult to duplicate some of the experiments.

Even though Marvelous Machines claims to be aimed at third graders, the experiments on levers, inclined planes and pulleys can be easily modified to challenge middle school students

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Following is a list of web sites contained in Simply the Best

Boston Museum of Science - Gadget Anatomy

Canada Science and Technology Museum - Background Information

Center of Science and Industry.

HowStuffWorks - How a Block and Tackle Works

Physics Classroom - Which Path requires the most energy?

Physics Classroom - Work, Energy and Power

Enchanted Learning - Levers

Franklin Museum - Levers

Lever Principle

Lever the Obelisk!

Franklin Museum - Inclined plane

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