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

Fossil Formation

Have you ever seen a fossil? A fossil is any evidence of past life preserved in sediments or rocks. Do you think you could have dinosaur fossils in your family car’s gas tank? Did you ever hear that oil and natural gas are “fossil fuels”? Do you think oil and natural gas can be made from fossils? How long do you think it takes fossil fuel to form?

Freddy the Fish

Human activities can have a detrimental effect on animal habitats. Young students can witness the effect of water pollution on river habitats.

Geologic Age

This activity will have students collect data, graph it, and compare the information to what they already know about radioactive elements and dating the planet's age.

Glacier Slide

Glaciers can create lakes, valleys and areas known as kettle marshes. Their weight and movement are the tools a glacier uses to shape the landscape. Use this experiment to look at small "glaciers" and how they shape the landscape around them.

Global Change: Where Land, Air and Water Meet

The atmosphere is a mixture of gases. Similarly, the world's oceans and fresh waters contain dissolved chemicals. Many substances dispersed in air or water are measured in parts per million. Some of these substances are colorless, odorless, and tasteless, yet even in small quantities they can be toxic. To develop an understanding of parts per million as a concept, teams of students will create successive dilutions of a solution to reach a parts-per-million concentration.

Groundwater Movement

Water that accumulates beneath the surface of the Earth is called groundwater. Contrary to popular belief, groundwater does not form underground "rivers," but is actually found in the small spaces and cracks between rocks and other material such as sand and gravel. The following activity involves learning how water moves through rock materials such as sand, gravel, and clay.

Hands-On Experiments to Test for Acid-Mine Drainage

 Click on the link below for the .pdf file of this classroom activity.

PDF icon Acid Mine Drainage

How Can You Test Your Soil?

As a citizen scientist, you can use a soil test kit to find out how much of each type of chemical is in your soil.

How Dangerous Are Tsunamis?

Imagine playing beside the ocean, when suddenly, the water drops. Where the water used to be, there are wriggling fish and ribbons of seaweed. What do you do?

Identifying Your Watershed

The goal of this activity is to identify the watershed you live in, the source of water you use at home and the pathway of surface water runoff in your watershed.


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