Teaching Science

grade 10

Washed Away Documentary

In Patricio Henriquez' documentary, he brings us to two very different island communities, one in Alaska and one in the South Pacific, with something in common: their homes are under threat from climate change. As global warming causes ocean levels to rise, these islands may be entirely submerged.

This 52 minute documentary is a look at people who were seeing the effects of climate change in 2003. After viewing this, it is instructive for students to do a bit of research and see what the current situation is, half a generation later.

Linked in the grade 10 climate unit.

Arctic Circle Documentary

Climate change is hitting the Arctic harder and faster than any other region on Earth. Although the North may seem remote from the population centres of the world, sensitive ecosystems are being altered by global warming. Shot in HD, in some of the world's most desolate and stunning locations, Arctic Circle marries dramatic footage with hard science and striking computer graphics.

In Episode One we meet scientists chronicling the effects of climate change on the land and animals. We see huge ice shelves crumbling into the sea, polar bears struggling to survive and torrents of water flowing where there should be only ice.

This 41 minute documentary is a good look at the effects climate change is already having on arctic ecosystems, especially on the polar bear — an apex predator.

Episode Two introduces us to some of the people racing to pump oil and gas from beneath the Arctic seabed. For the engineers constructing ice-breaking tankers and the crew on the world's northernmost oil rig, this race is all about excitement, opportunity and new frontiers.

This 39 minute documentary is a good overview of the economics and politics surrounding high-latitude oil-and-gas exploration and drilling. It concentrates on Norway and Russia, but the same factors apply in the Canadian arctic — and the latest US budget opened up drilling in the US Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Linked in the grade 10 climate unit.

Foldscope: An Origami-Based Microscope

Foldscope is an ultra-affordable field microscope, that you build from common materials such as paper. It is designed to be produced affordably, to be durable, and to give optical quality similar to conventional research microscopes. With magnification of 140X and imaging resolution of 2 micron; Foldscope brings microscopy to new places. Be it your kitchen or a mountain top. Compatible with almost all camera phones.

I backed this project on Kickstarter and just assembled it in the last week. It’s pretty amazing and I’m looking forward to spring when I can bring it along on hikes. I picked up both the deluxe kit for myself and a classroom kit for use at school.

The deluxe individual kit is designed to allow any curious explorer to perform microscopy experiments anywhere at anytime. This kit includes Foldscope (140x, 2um resolution microscope) in a portable and sturdy metal case including a plethora of tools for collecting samples, processing samples, preparing slides and directly collecting data on any cellphone via universal couplers - all possible while working in field settings.

Every deluxe kit includes:
  • One Foldscope Assembly Sheet
  • Two 140X micro-lens (one extra lens)
  • Four magnetic couplers including cellphone attachment module
  • LED illumination module with integrated magnifier for bright-field, dark-field and oblique phase imaging (button cell included)
  • Diffuser stickers for light module
  • Reusable sealable PVC slides with micro-wells and plastic coverslips
  • Calibration/measurement grids
  • Nylon filter sheets (5, 25, 100 micron spacings) for cell separation
  • Stainless steel mesh filters (1mm and 300um mesh size)
  • Custom sample collection ziploc bags
  • Two eppendorf tubes for sample collection
  • Plastic tweezers and plastic pipettes
  • Prepared two test sample slides, three blank slides and slide storage box
  • Field notepad with field guide and pencil
  • Ultra clear roll of tape for making quick slides
  • Complete assembly instruction sheet (English) with folding and usage instructions
  • Sturdy metallic box for storage, field work with integrated instrument tray
  • Small blunt end metal scissors
  • Unique Foldscope Identification sticker code for access to Microcosmos community website (http://microcosmos.foldscope.com)
  • Color stickers for labels

For those looking to get the most for their dollar, we offer the Basic Classroom Kit (BCK), which includes twenty (20) individually packed basic Foldscope kits.

The basic classroom kit is designed to supply a classroom (or other group) of 20 students with a Foldscope for each explorer. Each student receives the essentials (Foldscope, cell-phone coupler, assembly/instruction sheet, carrying pouch, paper and tape slides), and some accessories are provided collectively to be shared amongst the entire class.

  • Foldscope (140x lens) x 20 sheets
  • Cell phone coupler x 20
  • Paper/tape slides x 20
  • Instruction sheet x 20
  • Customizable individual nylon carrying pouch x 20
  • 1 LED/Magnifier with bright field, dark field and oblique phase imaging with magnifier (button cell included)
  • 1 Slide box with two pre-made glass slides and three blank glass slides and storage box
  • 1 Field guide

The biggest weakness of the classroom kit is that the included cell phone couplers need to be stuck to a cell phone with a double-sided sticker. I need to play around and see if there’s a way of temporarily mounting the couplers. (I can also see them disappearing over the years, so it would be nice to be able to reorder them as spare parts — something that is not currently possible.

Linked in the grade 10 biology unit and grade 11 biology page.

Peak Oil Board Game

Welcome to the near future. Welcome to Peak Oil: A game about Crisis and Profit.

You are the top manager at one of the big oil companies, tasked with leading your enterprise into a future without oil. With peak oil looming ahead, you try to squeeze the last drops from oil fields around the world to gather the resources to invest into various oil replacement technologies. While you may try to emerge from the coming crisis by regular means, your competitors will most probably not, forcing you to dirty your hands as well.

Peak Oil is an eurotrash-style game of worker placement, set collection and push your luck for 2 to 5 players of ages 10 and up. Games last around 45 to 60 minutes.

This game isn’t a perfect fit for the curriculum, being more about politics and business than science, but it makes a fun diversion. I would use it as a supplement for interested students. (I backed it on KickStarter and haven’t had a chance to try it in my classroom yet.) If you teach an immersion science class you’ll be pleased to know you can get it in English, French, Spanish, and German versions.

At €45 it’s rather expensive for the classroom, especially when you add shipping from Europe, but the artwork is wonderful.

2 Tomatoes Games is currently making a print-and-play version available for free, which is very generous of them.

Linked in the grade 10 climate unit.

Molecular Compound Worksheets and Quizzes

A set of five worksheets to practice naming molecular compounds from the formula, or writing the formula from the name. Also formatted as quizzes. Answers are provided.

Linked in the grade 10 chemistry unit.

Dissect Yourself! Card Game

A simple card game (based on Go Extinct!) where players try to collect the most complete organ systems.

Ten different systems are included:

  • circulatory system
  • digestive system
  • endocrine system
  • integumentary system
  • lymphatic system
  • musculoskeletal system
  • nervous system
  • reproductive system
  • respiratory system
  • urinary system

Each system has 2-5 organs, and is duplicated (except for the reproductive system which has female and male elements). There are a total of 95 cards.

One game takes 20-30 minutes to play in groups of 3-6 players. For faster games remove some of the systems before starting. After a period of play most students have learnt all the organs.

The file contains two sets of the rules, nine sheets of cards, and sixteen different card back designs. (Different backs make it easy to separate cards if your students mix up several decks.) Print on card stock, cut out the cards, and you’re ready to play.

Linked in the grade 10 biology unit.

Element Bingo

A simple set of bingo cards for the first 20 elements, plus 11 others that we often use (like copper, silver, and iron). Contains 200 bingo cards, element chits to draw from a hat, and a caller’s card to keep track of what you’ve called.

Linked on both the grade 9 and grade 10 chemistry units.

Climate Change Coloring Book

Another project I backed on KickStarter, getting both the book and a PDF version. The idea looked intriguing, and it’s definitely going to be something I use in the classroom.

This book contains guided coloring activities that explore scientific climate data and research. Learn, explore, and reflect on issues related to climate change through act of coloring.

Climate change is one of the most significant issues that uniquely affects everyone around the globe. There currently is a significantly large gap between scientific consensus and public perception of climate change. Since public perception influences government and business policies around environmental issues, it is important to ensure enough unbiased and reliable information about the issues are available to the public.

This book is not political, but a celebration of information, learning, and research.

Why a coloring book?
The act of coloring is slow. A coloring book has a meditative quality. A chart or article about climate change may be good at delivering information quickly. But with a coloring book, there is more time to absorb the information and reflect upon on the underlying issues.

Book details
  • 40 pages with over 20 coloring activities accompanied by written descriptions of the research and sources
  • Coloring activities include the causes and effects of climate change as well as solutions to reduce climate change
  • Printed by a local eco-friendly printing company
  • Heavy, high-quality, 100% recycled paper
  • Vegetable-based, non-toxic ink
  • 8.5 x 11 inches

Linked in the grade 10 climate unit.

The Science of Climate Change: A Hands-On Course (book)

I backed this on KickStarter and it just arrived last week, so I haven”t had a chance to test it in the classroom. At first glance, though, it looks useful as a resource for activities. The intended audience is a bit younger than our students, which makes it about right for applied classes — as does the emphasis on a hands-on activity for every section.

The Science of Climate Change: A Hands-On Course focuses on the science concepts needed to understand why the climate is changing at this time, how humans are responsible, and what can be done to slow or stop the global warming that is causing climate change. Science is most effectively learned when there is a careful pairing of information with an application of that information. For that reason, this illustrated course has sixteen activities woven through it. This course is intended for use with grades ranging from late grade school to early high school. However, as one 12-year-old reviewer said, “There really is no upper age limit, if you do not know this material.”

The product is a 96 page PDF file. It is well-designed and prints nicely double-sided, but it really requires colour printing (the illustrations can be hard-to-understand in grayscale).

Linked in the grade 10 climate unit.

The Hot Topic (book)

Another good, simple overview of climate change. Intended for adults, it also suitable for our students.

Global warming has progressed in the past few years from conjecture, to suspicion, to cold hard fact. We now know for sure that in every inhabited continent on Earth, year by year and decade by decade, the world’s temperature is rising. Should we care? After all, changes like this are nothing new to the ever-evolving Earth.

But this time is different. Human civilization has never before been faced with a climate that is changing this fast, or this furiously. The threat has become urgent. Also, of course, the amount of information about the problem has multiplied uncontrollably: It has become almost impossible to know what really matters.

The Hot Topic offers a concise guide to the whole issue. In this one-stop handbook, we explain the science of the problem, the possible technological solutions, and the politics that will affect our efforts. The book lays out what we can and should do, with no spin, no agenda, and no exaggeration. We are neither activists nor politicians, and we are not offering a generic green call to arms. Instead we propose specific ideas to fix a very specific problem.

We also don’t believe this is a story that has to have an unhappy ending. Global warming is a serious problem, perhaps the most serious that the human race has ever faced. But we can still do something about it. And this book shows how.


Linked in the grade 10 climate unit.

Minute Earth: The Faint Young Sun Paradox!

This short two minute video from MinuteEarth looks at the Faint Young Sun Paradox and gives a brief overview of likely solutions to it. Nicely points out that the greenhouse effect isn’t a bad thing!

Linked in the grade 10 climate unit. and the grade 12 earth and space science course.

Climate Change: The View From Minute Earth

In this short two minute video, the MinuteEarth team briefly explain the effects they have personally observed, and suggest what ordinary people can do about the problem.

Linked in the grade 10 climate unit.

Minute Earth: Why Poor Places Are More Diverse

A short three minute video explaining why poorer soils allow more biodiversity. A good way to spice up a lesson on biodiversity.

Linked in the grade 9 biology unit.

Minute Earth: Is Climate Change Just A Lot Of Hot Air?

A short two minute video explaining why a slight increase in air temperature can have a large effect on extreme weather events. Simple enough for even struggling students.

Linked in the grade 10 climate unit.

Why People Don’t Believe In Climate Science Video

A short video clip that neatly summarizes George Marshall’s book Don’t Even Think About It, about the psychology of climate change denial.

Scientists overwhelmingly agree that our climate is changing, Earth is getting warmer, sea levels are rising, and it’s primarily because of humans putting lots of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Yet 4 in 10 Americans aren’t convinced.

Here’s what psychologists and sociologists have to say about why some people don’t believe in climate science.


Linked in the grade 10 climate unit.

Don't Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired To Ignore Climate Change Book

An interesting look at the psychology behind how we regard the problem of climate change.

Why, despite overwhelming scientific evidence, do we still ignore climate change? And what does it need for us to become fully convinced of what we already know?

George Marshall’s search for the answers brings him face to face with Nobel Prize-winning psychologists and the activists of the Texas Tea Party; the world’s leading climate scientists and the people who denounce them; liberal environmentalists and conservative evangelicals.

Along the way his research raised other intriguing questions:

  • Why do most people never talk about climate change, even people with personal experience of extreme record breaking weather?
  • Why did scientists, normally the most trusted professionals in our society, become distrusted, hated, and the targets for violent abuse?
  • Why do the people who say climate change is too uncertain become more agitated about the threats of cell phones, meteorite strikes or alien invasion?
  • Why does having children make people less concerned about climate change not more?
  • And, why is Shell Oil so much more concerned about the threat posed by its slippery floors than the threats posed by its products?

Don’t Even Think About It argues that the answers to these questions do not lie in the things that make us different and drive us apart, but rather in what we all share: how our human brains are wired, our evolutionary origins, our perceptions of threats, our cognitive blindspots, our love of storytelling, our fear of death, and our deepest instincts to defend our family and tribe.

With witty and engaging stories, drawing on years of his own research, Marshall shows how the scientific facts of climate change can become less important to us than the social facts – the views of the people who surround us. He argues that our values, assumptions, and prejudices can take on lives of their own, gaining authority as they are shared, dividing people in their wake.

He argues that once we understand what excites, threatens, and motivates us, we can rethink and reimagine climate change, for it is not an impossible problem. Rather, it is one we can halt if we can make it our common purpose and common ground.

And so this book does not talk in detail about the impacts of climate change or the things that make us turn away. There are no graphs, data sets, or complex statistics, because, in the end, all of the computer models and scientific predictions are constructed around the most important and uncertain variable of all: whether our collective choice will be to accept or to deny what the science is telling us. And this, says Marshall, is the most engrossing and intriguing question of all.


Linked in the grade 10 climate unit.

Climate Clock

A simple project I found out about at the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanic Society Conference.

Time is the key metric we need to include to make climate change relatable.

We all now know that the global average temperature passing the threshold of 2° above pre-industrial averages is the point where really bad things start to happen… and it becomes much more difficult to slow down the devastating effects of climate change. But if you look online and in the media, it’s very hard to find a good reference for when 2° will actually happen. Presently, the 2° target floats abstractly in the public mind. The Climate Clock acts a public line in the sand and says, this is the date. It is a measuring stick by which we can evaluate our progress.

Every spring, the Climate Clock will be stopped. A group of leading climate scientists from around the world will evaluate the latest data; and then we will restart the Clock with a new time. We will be able to see then how we are doing in relation to 2°. Have we gained time or lost time?

Humanity has the power to add time to the Clock, but only if we work collectivity and measure our progress against defined targets.

The Clock is built to scale. It can be downloaded and embedded on any website as an iframe. For outdoor building projections or at conferences, the Clock can be downloaded as a simple Google Chrome app and played on any computer running the latest version of Chrome (no internet connection is required as the Clock’s date and time is validated by the internal date and time of the computer). We can easily customize the Clock to any language but presently it runs in French and English. Please contact us of you would like to project the Climate Clock and we will send you the instructions for how to do so.

Phase 2 of the Clock will be building an interactive companion website with data visualization all related to time. It will allow the user to manipulate the relevant data points and explore the relationship between the factors that effect the date of 2° through an interactive graphic interface.

This site will allow users to manipulate multi-factor climate data and experience a visual representation of the effects on temperature and time on the Clock. By city, by country, by continent; what does the data really mean in terms of time?

For example, If all countries stick to their Paris Agreement promises how much time does that buy us on the Clock? (Answer, only 6 years). If North America switches to green energy how many years does that add to the Clock? If China goes vegetarian how many years?

The Clock represents a radical new way to measure climate change, by using a metric we understand. This relationship between temperature and time is crucial in the story of climate change but has been largely missing from the narrative.

We don’t measure our lives in degrees. We measure our lives in years.

Next year I’m going to use this as a dramatic introduction to climate change, along with the section from Hot Earth Dreams about agriculture starting to break at around 2° of warming. With a bit of luck Phase 2 will be available by then, so the kids can do some exploration on their own.

Linked in the grade 10 climate unit.

The Great Derangement Book

Possibly a bit advanced for grade ten students, but intriguing — and our best students will get something from it. I had to take Ghosh’s remarks about literary theory as given, as I know little about that subject, but his argument is both plausible and provocative.

Are we deranged? The acclaimed Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that future generations may well think so. How else to explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? In his first major book of nonfiction since In an Antique Land, Ghosh examines our inability—at the level of literature, history, and politics—to grasp the scale and violence of climate change.

The extreme nature of today’s climate events, Ghosh asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to contemporary modes of thinking and imagining. This is particularly true of serious literary fiction: hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the novel; they are automatically consigned to other genres. In the writing of history, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications; Ghosh shows that the history of the carbon economy is a tangled global story with many contradictory and counterintuitive elements.

Ghosh ends by suggesting that politics, much like literature, has become a matter of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit fiction and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence—a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all cultural forms. His book serves as a great writer’s summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.


Linked in the grade 10 climate unit.

Global Weirdness Book

Looking for a good, simple overview of climate change? This book might be what you’re looking for. It’s written at the right level for our students.

There’s a lot of debate about climate change, but not in the scientific community. People who actually study the climate overwhelmingly agree that greenhouse gases generated by human activity are pushing Earth’s climate into a state the world hasn’t seen for many tens of thousands of years. These experts don’t know to the last detail what will happen, but they’ve learned enough to make them very concerned.

This book is an attempt to explain why — to lay out the current state of knowledge about climate change, including what we know, how we know it, and what’s left to figure out. We’ve done our best to explain the underlying science given in clear and simple language, and without the melodrama that characterizes much of the conversation about climate change — “we’re all doomed,” on the one hand, and “it’s just a hoax” on the other. We aren’t interested in preaching. We believe that the facts, presented in a straightforward way, are convincing enough.

We’ve also taken great care to avoid bias. We acknowledge that some aspects of the problem can’t yet be addressed with certainty. We also make clear what climate scientists are confident about.

To ensure technical accuracy, each chapter has been carefully reviewed by Climate Central scientists. The chapters have then been reviewed again by eminent outside scientists who have particular expertise in the relevant subject areas—and then, if necessary, revised again.

The result, we believe, is an accurate overview of the state of climate science as it exists today.


Linked in the grade 10 climate unit.

Hot Earth Dreams

What will the Earth look like if severe climate change happens, and humans survive?

It is not an easy question to contemplate, let alone answer. If severe climate change happens, the Earth will continue to warm for centuries after we've exhausted our fossil fuels. Civilization will shatter, the great artworks and monuments vanishing as cities fall into rubble and coasts disappear beneath rising seas. There will be a mass extinction, coral reefs and ice sheets will disappear, and the survivors will migrate to new homes and habitats for generations as the climate continually changes. Only after hundreds of thousands of years will the climate to return to what we currently consider as normal.

Right now, this is our most likely future. Scary as it sounds at first, it is a future that is very much worth exploring. It's crazy, then horrible, then tough, and then increasingly strange. This clear-eyed overview weaves together the latest scientific research on climate change, mass extinction, collapse, and evolution, to describe a deep future that is ever-changing but very knowable.

Want to explore it? This is your sourcebook.

It is very difficult to get a good picture of what the world will be like as the climate warms — not just the increasing temperatures and rising sea levels, but the knock-on effects of those. Massive ecological damage, including virtually all of our staple crops… massive supply chain disruptions as ports are flooded and weather becomes unpredictable… not good news for a globalized world.

Not a terribly cheerful book, given the subject matter, but eminently readable. Dr. Landis has kept the chapters short enough that each one could be a single lesson.

I used chapters from this book to help set the scene for students. The reading level is perfect for teenagers: scientifically accurate without being technical.

Frank Landis is a professional botanist and ecologist working in California.

He is interested in putting the life back into science fiction and fantasy, and he likes looking at how humans relate to the natural world, how sustainable societies work, and writing, and (primarily) writing fun stories for people to enjoy. He also writes non-fiction, primarily botanical essays such as the ones posted on his blog.

When not writing, he works on conservation and sustainability issues.


Linked on the grade 10 climate page.

Here Comes Science: Music DVD and CD

Here Comes Science is a DVD/CD set of songs about science. The video for “Meet the Elements” was featured on boingboing.net, while the legendary rock version of “Why Does the Sun Shine? (The Sun is a Mass of Incandescent Gas)” finally gets a fully realized studio reading, and even it’s own answer song. Danny Weinkauf contributes “I Am A Paleontologist” which would be used in the soundtrack to a national television campaign.

TRACK LIST
Science Is Real
Meet The Elements
I Am A Paleontologist w/ Danny Weinkauf
The Bloodmobile
Electric Car w/ Robin Goldwasser
My Brother The Ape
What Is A Shooting Star?
How Many Planets?
Why Does The Sun Shine?
Why Does The Sun Really Shine?
Roy G. Biv
Put It To The Test
Photosynthesis
Cells
Speed And Velocity w/ Marty Beller
Computer Assisted Design
Solid Liquid Gas
Here Comes Science
The Ballad Of Davy Crockett (In Outer Space)

The songs may be silly children’s songs, but the science is real. I show some of the videos while I'm waiting for the class to arrive.

Linked in the grade 9 science, grade 10 science, and grade 11 kinematics pages.

Rare Earth: Chemical Element Card Game

From cute little Hydrogen to heroic Meitnerium to mysterious Ununoctium, chemical element cartoon characters are bonding together, mixing-it-up and raiding each other’s Labs to capture Protons in this exciting card game.

With the
Rare Earth Chemical Element Card Game, every child has fun learning the fundamentals of Chemistry, Great for Science classrooms and entertaining for kids and families, players win by combining chemical element cards.

This game is built around forming binary ionic compounds. Bonding a new compound gets you an energy card, which lets you mix an alloy. Forming a compound or allow also lets you steal a compound or allow from one of your opponents.

An expansion pack is available that adds cards to make a complete periodic table.

The rules include several variants, making it suitable for different grades. For the basic game you don't need to know any chemistry — it’s built into the rules. I would start with the simplest version (intended for children) and add complexity if the class likes the game.

Rare Earth is designed for 2-6 players, so the average classroom would need 5-6 sets. Fortunately, there’s a classroom price: six sets plus an expansion pack for the price of five, with free shipping.

LeapCloud is a Canadian company, which makes shipping a lot more reasonable than it is for many products (and free if you order two products at once).

Linked in the grade 9 chemistry unit and grade 10 chemistry unit.

In Our Time: The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum

In Our Time is a wonderful series on BBC Radio 4.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the high temperatures that marked the end of the Paleocene and start of the Eocene periods, about 50m years ago. Over c1000 years, global temperatures rose more than 5 C on average and stayed that way for c100,000 years more, with the surface of seas in the Arctic being as warm as those in the subtropics. There were widespread extinctions, changes in ocean currents, and there was much less oxygen in the sea depths. The rise has been attributed to an increase of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere, though it is not yet known conclusively what the source of those gases was. One theory is that a rise in carbon dioxide, perhaps from volcanoes, warmed up the globe enough for warm water to reach the bottom of the oceans and so release methane from frozen crystals in the sea bed. The higher the temperature rose and the longer the water was warm, the more methane was released. Scientists have been studying a range of sources from this long period, from ice samples to fossils, to try to understand more about possible causes.

Linked in the grade 10 climate unit.

Optics Matching Quizzes

A set of six quizzes, matching terms with definitions, with two versions of each quiz. Answer keys are included.

Linked in the grade 10 physics page.

ION: A Compound Building Game

ION: A Compound Building Game is a simple card drafting game where players select from a number of available ion cards and noble gas cards, with the objective of forming either neutrally charged compounds or sets of stable noble gases.

How to Play
Each player is initially dealt eight cards. They choose one card and pass the remaining to the player on their left, while they receive the same amount of cards from the player on their right (this is commonly referred to as “card drafting” or “pick and pass”).

Selected cards must be either (1) bonded to another ion or (2) set alone. Players only score points for neutrally balanced cards. So a positive charged Sodium (Na+) bonding with a negatively charge Chloride (Cl-), forming a neutral NaCl compound. would score points.

Points are scored at the end of each round and player may gain additional points for building specific compounds listed on the goal cards for that round. After three rounds the player with the most points wins!

The game comes with multiple expansions including a Transition Metals expansion, a Polyatomic Ion expansion, and a Radioactive Card expansion.

This game take a different approach to my own Ionicompounds game.

Linked in the grade 9 chemistry page and the grade 10 chemistry page.

Penguin House Activity

In this activity students construct simple devices to stop ice cubes melting when exposed to direct sunlight. To do so they need to apply their knowledge of energy transfer and albedo.

The backstory is simple: rising temperatures mean that in South Africa penguins are overheating when they sit on their eggs, and need to visit the nearby ocean to cool off. While they are gone gulls swoop in and eat eggs and chicks. Park rangers constructed simple ‘huts’ on the beach that provide shelter from the sunlight.

To simulate actual penguins this activity uses penguin-shaped ice cubes. Students must design and construct a small hut to shelter their penguin, provide a drawing explaining how to construct the hut, and explain how their design affects energy transfer (specifically absorption, reflection, radiation, convection, and conduction).

This PDF file contains a 2-page student handout, a 2-page teacher’s guide, and a marking rubric (referencing the Ontario curriculum and achievement levels).

Linked in the grade 10 climate page.

Geoengineering 101 Game

Action to stop climate change came too little and too late. Geoengineering, although dangerous and unproven, is now on the table. A world like this has no winners, but can you minimize the hardship your regions face?

This game by Alfred Twu is a good first-order simulation of the possible consequences of geoengineering projects. Available as both a commercial boxed game and a print-and-play version under a Creative Commons license.

Linked in the grade 10 climate page.

Keep Cool Board Game

I haven’t been able to find a copy of this yet, but I’m looking for one. Keep Cool is a German strategy board game about climate change, designed by scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Does global climate politics anger you? Do you want to make a difference? In KEEP COOL you’re a “global player”. You try to advance your own economic interests, while at the same time strong lobby groups like the oil industry or environmental groups affect whether you win or lose. When it’s your turn you decide whether to collaborate in protecting the environment or do what’s best for your own interests. You risk droughts, floods and health pandemics, but could stand to benefit from prosperity and a stable global climate. The winner is the first player to achieve their aim. But, if you’re not careful, all players could lose.

The KEEP COOL board game is bilingual German/English and can be played by children and adults of 12 and above. Supervised sessions work well with younger children.

It's pretty expensive (30€ plus shipping from Germany), but if you have connections it looks like it’s well worth playing. (This is now the third edition, which says something about both the game and the issue.)

Linked in the grade 10 climate page.

Cool It! Card Game

I haven't had a chance to try this one yet, but it looks interesting:

Cool It! is the new card game from UCS that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change—and how policy and technology decisions made today will matter.

The game enables teachers and parents to talk about global warming in a fun and hopeful way. Kids, meanwhile, will learn that all of us make choices that determine whether the world warms a little or a lot, and which of those choices reduce global warming emissions.

The game requires at least three or four players (more can be added with additional decks) and is appropriate for ages eight and up. To win, a player must collect a certain number of "solution" cards in the categories of energy, transportation, and forests; players can slow each others' progress by playing "problem" cards in those same categories.

UCS staff worked with a science educator to refine the game and produce an elementary and middle school teachers' guide. A prototype of the game was tested at several elementary schools.


Play is pretty simple (the game is aimed at ages 8 to adult), but it looks like it might make a good activity to spark discussion about coping with climate change.

Linked in the grade 10 climate page.

Top Female Scientists Card Game

This neat game was designed by Hannah Wakeford and Simon Clark, a couple of post-grads at the University of Exeter.

There are 32 in total across maths, physics, biology, chemistry and geology - where each card has characteristics of Innovation, Impact, Obscurity and Badassery as well as a short biography. We hope that while the public will enjoy playing the game and hopefully learn about the scientists covered, our real goal is for the cards to be used as a classroom tool - specifically to encourage girls to engage with science. Many girls are put off studying science at school because they perceive it to be a very male-dominated subject, and one problem in particular is that they seem unaware of the female heritage in science. Most people can't name more than 5 or 6 famous female scientists, and yet some stellar women have contributed so much to our understanding of science. So we wanted to try and correct that.

I am really proud of these cards and I think that they are a great way to get students of any gender involved in science. There is a huge history of scientists that we are not aware of and this is just scratching the surface of some of the most amazing scientists that have graced our world.

The link takes you to their web site, where you can listen to their podcast, watch a promo video, and download a free copy of the game.

Linked in the grade 9 general science page and grade 10 general science page.

Women in Science Card Game

An original, fun and educational card game.

  • Familiarizes players with remarkable, often unknown, women of science.
  • Offers inspiring role models for kids (girls, but boys too!)
  • 20% of profits are donated to organizations promoting women in science.

The game is composed of 54 beautiful cards in a full color tuck-box. You can play our strategic game based on the card colors or play any standard 52-cards game using the top left logo. The artwork was hand drawn by French illustrator Fran6co (Francis Collie).

This is an amusing game. It doesn't really teach a science subject, but it’s a fun way to pass a few minutes, and does a bit to overcome persistent gender bias. Luanna Games have a free print-and-play version if you want to try it out.

In essence, you try to collect ‘labs’ of four scientists in the same discipline. The first player to get three labs wins. Clones act as wild cards, and special cards let you recruit people from other players’ labs. The disciplines are: engineering/physics/astronomy, biology/medicine, ecology/earth science, math/computer science, and psychoanalysis/social science.

I question some of the design choices, which lend a lot of weight to ‘soft’ fields. There are four psychoanalysts to three physicists, for example. Rather than lump physics in with engineering and astronomy, I would have preferred leaving out psychoanalysis entirely and using the cards to add more women in physics and chemistry.

That said, this is better than nothing. It would be easy enough to kit-bash the print-and-play version to eliminate psychoanalysis and leave room for more interesting people; in fact, that would make a good class project.

Linked in the grade 9 general science page and grade 10 general science page.

soft landing Board Game

soft landing is a boardgame for today. Each player controls a nation or group of nations, and is trying to keep their own people happy in a world of declining resources and escalating calamities.

You can work towards new era tech to help solve the world's various problems, or try to simply have the most stuff when it all falls apart due to Catastrophes. And you can win either way. Political crises, ecological disasters, economic meltdowns, all are things your nation's lifestyle can contribute to. Do you work to solve the problems, or simply shift the blame and hope the cost falls on someone else?

The mix of nations, number of players and personal strategies makes for a lot of replay potential. Backstab, manipulate, cooperate or do all three. soft landing is not a preachy game. You simply make the choices that best move you towards your goals, whatever those goals might be. Your ethics (or lack of them) only matter in the context of everyone else's choices, making it a Prisoner's Dilemma on a global scale.

soft landing is a downloaded boardgame, but it is pretty easy to put together and is as high in graphic quality as any store-bought game. It even has a template for a print-your-own box to store it in. You can get a free, screen-readable version of the rules by clicking here.

This game is too complicated to play in a single class. It can be tweaked to make an asynchronous game suitable for playing over the course of the unit, with students forming teams for each bloc in the game.

Linked in the grade 10 climate page.

Cell Cycle Card Game


A simple card game designed to reinforce the sequence of the cell cycle. Cards are marked to assist players in following the sequence, as they race to be the first player to empty their hand.

This print-and-play game is formatted to be printed on prepunched business card stock, making it fast to print a class set of games.

Linked in the grade 10 biology page.

Updated IoniCompounds Game

Updated Resource


  • Added alternate backs to the IoniCompounds game, linked in the grade 10 chemistry unit.

New In Our Time Episodes

New Resources


  • Added link to the 1816, the Year Without a Summer episode of In Our Time, linked in the grade 10 climate unit.
  • Added link to the Neutron episode of In Our Time, linked in the grade 11 physics energy unit.

New Grade 10 Resource

New Resource


  • Added the Cancer Assignment worksheet, linked in the biology unit.

New Grade 10 Resource

New Resource


  • Added the Disease Assignment worksheet, linked in the biology unit.

Updated Grade 10 Resource

Updated Resource


  • Tweaked the Chemical Equation Practice package, linked in the chemistry unit.

New Grade 10 Resource

New Resource


Updated Grade 10 Resource

Updated Resource


  • Added a section to the Chemical Equation Practice package, linked in the chemistry unit.

Updated Grade 10 Resources

Updated Resources


  • Fixed a small typo in the Ionic Compound Quizzes, linked in the chemistry unit.
  • Fixed a small typo in the Molecular Models Activity, linked in the chemistry unit.

Updated Grade 10 Resource

Updated Resource


  • Fixed a small typo in the Biologist Cards, linked in the biology unit.

Updated Grade 10 Resource

Updated Resource


  • Fixed a couple of typos in the Biography of a Biologist, linked in the biology unit.

New Grade 10 Biology Resource

New Resource


Updated Grade 10 Biology Resource

Updated Resource


  • Fixed a couple of typos in the Animal Systems Matching Quizzes, linked in the biology unit.

New Grade 10 Chemistry Resource

New Resource


New Grade 9 & 10 Chemistry Resources

New Grade 9 Resources


  • Added a link to the BBC documentary Chemistry: A Volatile History, linked in the chemistry unit.

New Grade 10 Resources


  • Added a link to the BBC documentary Chemistry: A Volatile History, linked in the chemistry unit.

New and Updated Grade 10 Chemistry Resources

New Resource


Added the OSSLT Painting Out Pollution quiz, linked in the chemistry unit.

Updated Resource


  • Updated the OSSLT Poisonous Jewelry quiz, linked in the chemistry unit.

New Grade 10 Chemistry Resource

New Resource


Updated Grade 10 Climate Resource

Updated Resource


  • Expanded the Climate Matching Quizzes, linked in the climate unit.

Updated Grade 10 Chemistry Resource

Updated Resource


  • Updated the Model Cards for Balancing Reactions package, linked in the chemistry unit.

Updated Grade 10 Chemistry Resource

Updated Resource


  • Fixed some errors in the Ionic Bonding Practice package, linked in the chemistry unit.

Updated Grade 10 Chemistry Resource

Updated Resource


  • Updated the Model Cards for Balancing Reactions package, linked in the chemistry unit.

New Grade 10 Chemistry Resource

New Resource


  • Added the Model Cards for Balancing Reactions package, linked in the chemistry unit.

Updated Grade 10 Biology Resource

Updated Resources


  • Updated the Organ Matching Game to clarify the rules. Linked in the biology unit.

New Grade 10 Chemistry Resource

New Resource


  • Added the Chemistry Matching Quizzes package, linked in the chemistry unit.

Updated Grade 10 Resource

Updated Resources


  • Updated the Word Puzzle Booklet to include answers, as well as adding page numbers. Linked on the general science page.
  • Updated the Organ Matching Game to include a rule book. Linked in the biology unit.

New Grade 10 Climate Resource

New Resource


  • Added the Eating Carbon: Food Footprint activity package, linked in the climate unit.

New Grade 10 Climate Resource

New Resource


  • Added the Climate Matching Quizzes file, linked in the climate unit.

New Grade 10 Biology Resource

New Resource


  • Added cards for the Organ Systems Matching Game, linked in the biology unit.

New Grade 10 Biology Resource

New Resource


  • Added Animal Systems Matching Quizzes, linked in the biology unit.

New Grade 10 Climate Resource

New Resource


  • Added the OSSLT Geoengineering Quiz, linked in the climate unit.

New Grade 10 Biology Resource

New Resource


  • Added Animal Systems Cloze Exercises, linked in the biology unit.

New Grade 10 Biology Resources

New Resources


  • Added Cell Structure Cloze Exercises, linked in the biology unit.
  • Added Cell Division Cloze Exercises, linked in the biology unit.

New Grade 10 Climate Resources

New Resources


  • Added link to the book Climate Change, Children and Youth, linked in the climate unit.
  • Added the card game Forest Fables, from the above resource, link in the climate unit.

New Resources

New Grade 10 Resources


  • Added link to the Wellcome Collection video Dissecting the Brain, linked in the biology unit.
  • Added link to the At-Bristol Science Centre video Brain Dissection, linked in the biology unit.
  • Added link to the At-Bristol Science Centre video Eyeball Dissection, linked in the biology and physics units.
  • Added link to the At-Bristol Science Centre video Heart Dissection, linked in the biology unit.

New Grade 11 Resource


  • Added link to the Veritasium video explaining the Three Incorrect Laws of Motion, linked in the forces unit.

New Grade 12 Resource


New Grade 10 Resource

New Resource


Updated Grade 10 Resource

Updated Resource


  • Minor changes to the Red Cabbage Experiment file. Linked in the chemistry unit.

New Grade 10 Resource

New Resource


New Grade 10 Resource

New Resource


  • Added link to the In Our Time episode on The Eye, linked in the physics unit.

New Grade 10 Resource

New Resource


New Resources

New Resources


  • Added links to the Structure of the Sun Model and Lunar Globe Model files, linked in the Grade 9 space unit.
  • Added links to the Moving Copernican System & Moving Ptolemaic System Models files, linked in the Grade 9 space unit.
  • Added link to the Planisphere file, linked in the Grade 9 space unit.
  • Added link to NASA’s Universe Spacecraft Paper Models collection, linked in the Grade 9 space unit.
  • Added link to the Subaru Telescope Model file, linked in the Grade 9 space unit.
  • Added links to the Hydroelectric Power Plant Model and Wind Turbine Model files, linked in the Grade 9 physics unit.
  • Added the Lab Safety Tableaux file, linked in the Grade 10 chemistry unit.
  • Added links to the Animal Cell Model and Plant Cell Model files, linked in the Grade 10 biology unit.
  • Added links to the Hydroelectric Power Plant Model and Wind Turbine Model files, linked in the Grade 11 E&M unit.
  • Added links to the Animal Cell Model, Plant Cell Model, and Cyanobacteria Cell Model files, linked in the other science courses page.

New and Updated Grade 10 Resources

New Resource


  • A Cellular Snacks assignment in the biology unit.

Updated Resources


  • Updated animations in the Nature of Light Lessons in the physics unit.
  • Updated animations in the Reflection Lessons in the physics unit.
  • Updated animations in the Refraction Lessons in the physics unit.
  • Updated animations in the Lens Lessons in the physics unit.

New Grade 10 Resources

New Resources


  • Lessons for Acids and Bases in the chemistry unit.
  • Lessons for Refraction in the physics unit.
  • Lessons for Lenses in the physics unit.

New and Updated Grade 10 Resources

New Resources


  • A Safety Poster assignment in the chemistry unit.
  • Lessons for the chemistry unit: Chemical Reactions.
  • A reading exercise on Acid Rain in China in the chemistry unit.
  • Lessons for The Nature of Light in the physics unit.
  • Link to NASA’s Tour of the Electromagnetic Spectrum in the physics unit.
  • A Sources of Light Poster assignment in the physics unit.
  • A quiz (Quiz Empedocles) in the physics unit.
  • Lessons for Reflection in the physics unit.
  • A Mirror Ray Diagram Workbook in the physics unit.

Updated Resources


  • Minor cosmetic update to the Ionic Compound Quizzes package in the chemistry unit.
  • Minor cosmetic update to the Chemical Equation Practice package in the chemistry unit.

New and Updated Grade 10 Resources

New Resources


  • Three sets of lessons for the biology unit: Cell Theory, Cell Structure, and Cell Division.
  • A creative writing assignment Specialized Cell Ad has been added to the biology unit.
  • A Cell Structure Quiz has been added to the biology unit.
  • A Cell Diagram Quiz has been added to the biology unit.
  • A Corporate Organism Assignment has been added to the biology unit.

Updated Resources


The Nelson OSSLT Questions in the grade 10 biology, chemistry, and physics units have been updated to include answers. The files in the climate unit already contained answers, so if you’ve already downloaded them there’s no need to do it again.