Teaching Science

In Our Time: Free Radicals

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

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the properties of atoms or molecules with a single unpaired electron, which tend to be more reactive, keen to seize an electron to make it a pair. In the atmosphere, they are linked to reactions such as rusting. Free radicals came to prominence in the 1950s with the discovery that radiation poisoning operates through free radicals, as it splits water molecules and produces a very reactive hydroxyl radical which damages DNA and other molecules in the cell. There is also an argument that free radicals are a byproduct of normal respiration and over time they cause an accumulation of damage that is effectively the process of ageing. For all their negative associations, free radicals play an important role in signalling and are also linked with driving cell division, both cancer and normal cell division, even if they tend to become damaging when there are too many of them.

Linked in the grade 12 chemistry page.

Perimeter Inspirations: Figuring Outer Space

Figuring Outer Space is an inquiry-based educational resource. Hands-on activities focused on stars, exoplanets, the Milky Way, and Crab Nebula stimulate learning for students using this resource. Students explore the life cycle of stars, sequence images, model a method for detecting exoplanets, learn about key features of our home galaxy—and more. Math topics include using ratio and proportion, exponents, percent and proportion, and mathematical modelling—as well as graphing data and evaluating algebraic expressions. This digital resource is designed to excite learning in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) with an emphasis on 21st century skills—including collaboration, problem solving, and critical thinking.

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

Linked in the grade 9 space unit.

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.

Perimeter Inspirations: Evidence of Change

Evidence for Climate Change is an inquiry-based educational resource. Hands-on activities focused on heat, carbon dioxide, and thermal expansion explore the essential science behind climate change. Students are introduced to the observational data for climate change and the climate models that describe the principal factors involved. Opportunities are provided throughout the resource for students to consider how they contribute to both the problem and the solution.

Math topics include using trigonometry and geometry to calculate the carbon stored in trees, using algebraic equations to calculate carbon footprints, and solving linear relations to make better decisions.

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 almost all the activities. I think they are worthwhile, especially if your math department will cooperate by doing the math connections in math class. 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 10 climate unit.