Teaching Science

grade 11

Perimeter Inspirations: A Deeper Understanding of Energy

A Deeper Understanding of Energy is an inquiry-based educational resource. Hands-on activities focused on energy explore energy transformations in everything from everyday technology to stellar dynamics and the expanding universe. Students model energy transformations using energy flow diagrams and work-energy bar charts, as well as algebraic methods.

Opportunities are provided throughout the resource for students to explore the role of energy in the nucleus as they consider nuclear transformations, ionizing radiation, and mass-energy equivalence. The power of conservation laws is illustrated as students work through a series of experiments that expands their understanding of how scientific models evolve.

This digital resource is designed to excite learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), with an emphasis on global competencies—including critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, and communication.

As usual with Perimeter Institute products, this free downloadable resource comes in both PDF and Microsoft Word versions, so you can customize it if you want to.

I used the draft version of this last year, trying most of the activities. I think they are worthwhile. I did find the time estimates a bit optimistic — allow for up to 50% more time to complete an activity than the lesson plan suggests.

Linked in the grade 11 energy unit.

Perimeter Inspirations: Wave Model Applications

Wave Model Applications is an inquiry-based educational resource. Hands-on activities focused on waves explore the far-reaching extent of the wave model for understanding and manipulating natural phenomena. Students are introduced to the basic properties of waves and how they are used to solve problems.

Opportunities are provided throughout the resource for students to explore the breadth of technologies that use wave phenomena to reduce noise, image ship wrecks, study earthquakes, and detect gravitational waves. The fundamental properties of sound are also explored to build a deeper understanding of how the human ear functions.

This digital resource is designed to excite learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), with an emphasis on global competencies—including critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, and communication.

As usual with Perimeter Institute products, this free downloadable resource comes in both PDF and Microsoft Word versions, so you can customize it if you want to.

I used the draft version of this last year, trying most of the activities. I think they are worthwhile. I did find the time estimates a bit optimistic — allow for up to 50% more time to complete an activity than the lesson plan suggests.

Linked in the grade 11 waves unit.

In Our Time: Echolocation

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

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss how some bats, dolphins and other animals emit sounds at high frequencies to explore their environments, rather than sight. This was such an unlikely possibility, to natural historians from C18th onwards, that discoveries were met with disbelief even into the C20th; it was assumed that bats found their way in the dark by touch. Not all bats use echolocation, but those that do have a range of frequencies for different purposes and techniques for preventing themselves becoming deafened by their own sounds. Some prey have evolved ways of detecting when bats are emitting high frequencies in their direction, and some fish have adapted to detect the sounds dolphins use to find them.

Linked in the grade 11 physics and grade 11 biology pages.

Ecosystem Computer Game

Grow and modify an ecosystem, with simulated evolution by natural selection creating the lifeforms that inhabit it. Ecosystem is a game about life and its interactions. At its heart are evolving virtual lifeforms, who grow from synthetic DNA and live in a physically-simulated ocean.

This synthetic DNA encodes everything about a creature, from skeletal structure to skin, from joint-types to mental processes. The genetic code of a creature can mutate, combine, be spliced with other species, and be directly modified by the player.

To swim, creatures don't just play an animation. They move like real sea-life, applying torque at their joints to push against the water in a way coordinated to propel themselves forward. Working within this physical simulation, evolution can produce an enormous variety of body shapes and swimming styles.

Creature brains are also encoded in DNA and subject to evolution. The neurology of a virtual lifeform is a pipeline computer where, every moment, data from sense organs is passed through a network of neurons and finally contracts a muscle in a specific body part.

A wide variety of different creature populations share a single environment, where they swim, graze, prey on each other, and have children. The fittest creatures pass their genes along to their children, and over time a world of strange and unique creatures is born.

This is another Kickstarter project that I’m backing. It looks interesting, and at $15 for the digital game tier it’s eminently affordable.

Linked in the grade 11 biology page.

In Our Time: Fungi

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

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss fungi. These organisms are not plants or animals but a kingdom of their own. Millions of species of fungi live on the Earth and they play a crucial role in ecosystems, enabling plants to obtain nutrients and causing material to decay. Without fungi, life as we know it simply would not exist. They are also a significant part of our daily life, making possible the production of bread, wine and certain antibiotics. Although fungi brought about the colonisation of the planet by plants about 450 million years ago, some species can kill humans and devastate trees.

Linked in the grade 11 biology page.

Gene Rummy Card Game

The bunny-themed card game that helps teach the basic principles of Mendelian inheritance.

We’ve all heard the idiom: “breeding like rabbits”.

Well, here is a card game that brings it to life!

No smell, no fuss, no need for cages!

Here’s a visual way to learn the jargon and the basic principles of Mendelian inheritance while playing a fast-paced card game.

Gene Rummy is a variation of Gin Rummy, which is one of the most popular card games of the mid-20th century, and still popular today. Here at Mink Hollow Media, we’ve been looking for a way to combine our expertise in teaching and science with our decades of first-hand experience playing around with coat colors in rabbits. We think you will enjoy our take on this classic card game, and invite you to learn about the principles of Mendelian Genetics and Inheritance along the way.

Through playing the game and matching phenotypes w/ genotypes as well as determining what can be produced given a specific phenotype, players will learn basic principles of genetics:

  • Familiarity with the standard genotype notation.
  • Terminology: homozygous, heterozygous, gene, allele, locus, genotype, phenotype, dominant, recessive
  • Gene pairs code for specific traits
  • Separate alleles on different loci can interact
  • Genes combine to produce more complex effects
  • Phenotype vs. genotype
  • Homo- vs heterozygous effects

This looks like a fun little game. You can buy a novice version, the full version, or a combination novice+full version. I haven’t tried it in glass yet (I don’t teach grade 11 biology) but the novice version is fast and easy to pick up. When you buy the game you also get lesson plans giving suggestions for how to use it in class.

Linked on the grade 11 biology page.

In Our Time: Cephalopods

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

The octopus, the squid, the nautilus and the cuttlefish are some of the most extraordinary creatures on this planet, intelligent and yet apparently unlike other life forms. They are cephalopods and are part of the mollusc family like snails and clams, and they have some characteristics in common with those. What sets them apart is the way members of their group can change colour, camouflage themselves, recognise people, solve problems, squirt ink, power themselves with jet propulsion and survive both on land, briefly, and in the deepest, coldest oceans. And, without bones or shells, they grow so rapidly they can outstrip their rivals when habitats change, making them the great survivors and adaptors of the animal world.

Linked in the grade 11 biology course.

Bios:Megafauna (game)

Mutate, Speciate, Populate

You are a phylum of life — mollusks, insects, vertebrates, or plant-fungus hybrids — starting at the invasion of land 450 million years ago. Your goal is to dominate the planet, mutating your nervous, circulatory, digestive or reproductive systems and speciating into flying, burrowing, swimming, and armored species. This allows your species to become the apex carnivore or herbivore as the forests and swamps fill with tentacled squirrels, cud-chewing slugs, zombie flies and other chimeras. Through an optional climate model of carbon, water, and oxygen cycles, as well as drifting continents, you battle the climate as well as other players. Maps for Venus or Mars are included, back when they still had oceans and possibly life.

Bios:Megafauna comes with 8 "continents" that can drift around, 160 mutation cards, 140 wooden laser-cut creeples of flying, burrowing, swimming, and armored creatures, various tokens of fossils and monsters, 110 wooden cubes, 42 climate disks, and 20 dice (mainly to track creature size). For the full game, there are 3 latitude strips and a climate board that tracks oxygen, clouds, and greenhouse gases. The game is the second game of the "Bios" trilogy, which can be played together or separately.

Players: 1-4
Age: 12+
Playing Time: 2 hours
Complexity: high

I picked this one up because I liked Phil Eklund’s original American Megafauna game from the last century (literally: it was published in 1997). This is a very different game on the same theme, presented with gorgeous Euro-style components.

Like Bios:Genesis I wouldn't use this in the classroom, but as a supplement for interested students. Playing a few games and using the results to discuss contingent evolution would be fascinating!

Linked on the grade 11 biology page.

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.

Snowbirds Card Game

Winter is coming, and your flock of snow geese must make their annual migration south. Your objective is to guide your flock from North to South, along a series of randomly constructed journeys. At each location, you will need to make the best use of your limited actions to keep your flock healthy, well-fed, and always on the move. Success depends on balancing the resources available against the risks of the journey.

Action cards may be played for one of several purposes, but as single-use resources, must be balanced against competing needs. Will you forage for food, or fly on an empty belly? Each flight brings a roll of the dice, and a risk of exhaustion, which you can offset by sacrificing future flights. Exhaustion and hunger always loom. Your goal is to reach the South before running out of actions, before your flock is too worn out to continue.

Can you fly them all home?

This interesting little game by Brian Garthwaite is a free print-and-play card game made available under a Creative Commons license. It seems simple: fly your flock of geese south, but you have a limited number of action cards and, like real geese, must make trade-offs to reach your destination. There is one expansion currently available with more in the works.

There are a number of computer simulations out there, but I confess I have a weakness for old-fashioned paper simulations, as they often promote a deeper understanding. This little game is worth a look. A cool class project might be adding specific map cards representing actual locations near your school.

The basic game is a solitaire game. The first expansion, Sunset Skies, adds rules for a two-player game in which players must cooperate and compete to finish their migration.

The game is currently hosted on Board Game Geek, a web site devoted to non-computer games. You will have to create an account to download the files, but it’s free — and while you’re there you might find other free print-and-play games to enjoy!

Linked in the grade 9 biology unit and grade 11 biology page.

Unit Conversions Practice

A simple four-page package to give students practice converting units.

Linked in the grade 11 physics general resources 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.

In Our Time: Parasitism

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

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the relationship between parasites and hosts, where one species lives on or in another to the benefit of the parasite but at a cost to the host, potentially leading to disease or death of the host. Typical examples are mistletoe and trees, hookworms and vertebrates, cuckoos and other birds. In many cases the parasite species do so well in or on a particular host that they reproduce much faster and can adapt to changes more efficiently, and it is thought that almost half of all animal species have a parasitic stage in their lifetime. What techniques do hosts have to counter the parasites, and what impact do parasites have on the evolution of their hosts?

Linked in the grade 11 biology page.

Pandemic Board Game

Can you save humanity in this cooperative game where deadly viruses are spreading across the globe? Together, you will treat diseases, share knowledge, and fly all over the world to prevent outbreaks and slow down the epidemic. The fate of humanity is in your hands!

  • Easy to learn and teach.
  • Adjust the difficulty for a more, or less, challenging game.
  • Multiple roles and variable setup make every game different.

This classic from Z-Man Games is more game than simulation, but it manages to get across some of the aspects of combatting a global pandemic.

Linked in the grade 11 biology page.

Black Death Board Game

Black Death is a humorous and macabre little board game about life in the Middle Ages, circa 1400AD, during the height of the Plague. Each player takes the role of a different disease, and whoever wipes out most of Europe wins! Loads of fun for 1 to 30 million people, though 3-4 players gives best results.

Black Death includes a 4 page rulebook, a four-color map, player aid cards and a bunch of die cut counters. It requires two six-sided dice, and a slightly twisted sense of humor, which you have to procure on your own. The map represents 14th century Europe, major cities and the trade routes between them. Each player chooses a disease of a given virulence and mortality, and tries to spread as fast and wide as possible before the people carrying their disease either recover or die. The more of your counters on the map, the more you can score, but scoring means that some of your population dies, removing those counters from the map, making it a self-balancing situation. Players can also use action cards based on historical events to modify diseases or alter travel patterns. All in all, it is educational, tacky and fun.

Black Death is an exceptionally nice print-and-play game from BTRC. I’ve run it as a long-term game, one turn per class, with the board and counters magnetically attached to the whiteboard.

Warning: Do not play this game near rats, fleas, or anyone who has recently returned from Central Asia.

Linked in the grade 11 biology page.

Motion Graph Matching Exercises

Using the same graphs as the KineCards set, this eight page booklet can be used as a standalone activity, or as a reinforcement after using KineCards.

Solutions are included, so students can check their work.

Linked in the grade 11 kinematics page.

Pterosaurs: The Card Game

Not birds! Not even dinosaurs! Pterosaurs were flying reptiles, and the first and largest vertebrates to fly under their own power.

Challenge your friends to this pterosaurs card game. Along the way, explore animals and plants that lived during the Mesozoic Era.

Pterosaurs: The Card Game uses images and information from the vast collections of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, especially the 2014 special exhibition Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs (amnh.org/pterosaurs). The game was co-designed with teenagers in the Museum’s #scienceFTW program and with game designer Nick Fortugno, based on an existing biodiversity card game, Phylo (phylogame.org).

A pre-built Phylo deck with excellent production values.

Linked in the grade 11 biology page.

Go Extinct! Card Game

From the Kickstarter page:

Go Extinct! is a revolutionary evolutionary card game for humans aged 8 and up. The game set includes a deck of 54 beautifully-illustrated animal cards and a simplified, yet accurate, evolutionary tree board used for reference during play. Teaches humans 8 and up how to read evolutionary trees with gorgeous original artwork.

Just like Go Fish, gameplay involves asking other players for cards in order to complete sets of animal groups. When the player has the card requested, the card must be handed over. When the player does not, however, they say…

GO EXTINCT!

At the end of the game, all of the cards are organized into scientific clades, or sets of animals that share a common ancestor. By playing a strategically engaging, yet familiar style of card game, players learn about evolutionary trees and the evidence used to classify land vertebrates. See? You can compete with your friends AND have fun learning science AT THE SAME TIME.

Steam Galaxy has educational pricing, but even cooler one of the Kickstarter stretch goals was a free educational print-and-play version! It’s gorgeous, and gives you explicit permission to make and modify your own versions for classroom use.

This is a fun little game. Check it out.

Linked in the grade 11 biology page.

Gutsy Card Game

From the American Museum of Natural History:

A game about the microbes that make you... you!

Each of us has a community of microbes that lives in our digestive system. Scientists call this community our gut microbiome. It plays many important roles in our bodies, like helping to digest food, regulating our immune system, preventing diseases, and even affecting our appetites and our emotions.

Many things, like what we eat and drink, who we interact with, and the medicines that we take, influence the kinds of microbes that live in our gut. A diverse microbiome is good for our health!

A simple print-and-play game that reinforces the diversity of our microbiome.

The 54 card deck can be printed on card stock and cut out. A card back is provided as a full-bleed page, which means that you don't have to worry about registration problems when making the deck. Playing time is 15-30 minutes.

Linked in the grade 11 biology page.

Phylo Card Game

Why?

Phylo is a project that began as a reaction to the following nugget of information: Kids know more about Pokemon creatures than they do about real creatures*. We think there’s something wrong with that. Apparently, so do many others.

What?

Phylo is: (1) a card game that makes use of the wonderful, complex, and inspiring things that inform the notion of biodiversity; (2) an exercise in crowd sourcing, open access, and open game development; and (3) FREAKIN’ AWESOME!

Who?

The phylo project is the product of the kind and (frankly) amazing contributions of many many individuals who have given art, science expertise, gaming advice, programming chops, and more. A card usually begins its life by someone submitting art to a Flickr pool, but you can also develop new games, help out with programming, or providing general feedback by leaving comments on the blog or forum.

How?

You can start quickly by printing yourself a deck and checking out a set of rules. Alternatively, you can just collect and print the cards by going to the card section and “select”ing the ones you like. We’re starting to amass a wide variety of different decks, some of which are high quality and available for purchase!

This is a really cool-looking project, spearheaded by David Ng at the UBC Office of Learning Technologies. Check out the web site (http://phylogame.org) for a history of the project, printable card decks, and more information on the project.

Linked in the grade 9 biology page and grade 11 biology page.

New Grade 11 Biology Resource

New Grade 11 Biology Resource


Updated Grade 11 Kinematics Resource

Updated Resource


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 11 Kinematics Resources

New Grade 11 Physics Resources


New Grade 11 Kinematics Resource

New Grade 11 Physics Resource


New Grade 11 Physics Resource

New Grade 11 Resource


  • Added link to the In Our Time program Fusion on BBC, linked in the energy 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 11 & 12 Physics Resources

New Grade 11 Resource


  • Added link to the In Our Time program States of Matter on BBC, linked in the energy unit.

New Grade 12 Resource


  • Added link to the In Our Time program Gravitational Waves on BBC, linked in the modern physics unit.

New Grade 11 Resource

New Resource


  • Added link to the BBC series Shock and Awe on TVO, linked in the E&M unit.

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 Physics 11 Resource

New Resource


  • A set of Motion Graph Quizzes in the kinematics unit.