Physical Science (B)

National Science Education Standard: Physical Science

  • K-4
    1. Properties of objects and materials
    2. Position and motion of objects
    3. Light, heat, electricity, and magnetism
  • 5-8
    1. Properties and changes of properties in matter
    2. Motions and forces
    3. Transfer of energy
  • 9-12
    1. Structure of atoms
    2. Structure and properties of matter
    3. Chemical reactions
    4. Motions and forces
    5. Conservation of energy and increase in disorder
    6. Interactions of energy and matter

A Model of Three Faults

One of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature is a severe earthquake and its terrible aftereffects. An earthquake is a sudden movement of the Earth, caused by the abrupt release of strain that has accumulated over a long time. For hundreds of millions of years, the forces of plate tectonics have shaped the Earth as the huge plates that form the Earth's surface slowly move over, under and past each other. Sometimes the movement is gradual. At other times, the plates are locked together, unable to release the accumulating energy. When the accumulated energy grows strong enough, the plates break free. If the earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause many deaths and injuries and extensive property damage.

A Paste with a Taste

To allow students to produce a "marketable" product made from minerals that are used by most people every day. Both the abrasive and cleansing compounds found in toothpaste, calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate, are minerals.

Birdseed Mining

In this activity you will use seeds to model mining valuable materials from rocks.

Burning Issues

Students will become familiar with fire terminology, realize how fire can be used as a management tool, and better understand the factors that need to be considered when planning a prescribed burn.

Chemistry of Burning

Why is CO2 increasing in the atmosphere? Who is doing it? Many people think that CO2 is “pollution,” so that clean burning should be a way to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. In this demonstration, we review basic chemistry (see illustration) to realize that producing CO2 is an inevitable product of burning any fossil fuel.

Chocolate Rock Cycle

How sweet is this activity? It’s an introduction to the rock cycle using chocolate!

Climate and Temperature

Learn how Earth's climate effects soil types all over the planet.

Core Sampling

Drilling is the only way to be sure that oil and gas fields exist and exactly what is present in the formation. Core samples reveal the physical and chemical nature of the rock. In this activity, you will create a model formation and “drill” for samples.

Cupcake Core Sampling

Trying to "see" what is beneath the surface of the Earth is one of the jobs of a geologist. Rather than digging up vast tracts of land to expose an oil field or to find some coal-bearing strata, core samples can be taken and analyzed to determine the likely composition of the Earth's interior. In this activity, students model core sampling techniques to find out what sort of layers are in a cupcake.

Dangerous Atmosphere

How much of a danger does severe weather pose for the area where you live? You can compute the answer yourself in this exercise.


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