Each of the sections below present the essential (or ‘driving’) questions that students will tackle during each of the four main units. Where/when possible, they are grouped by topic.
UNIT 1: INTRODUCTION (1-2 weeks)
- Coming soon…
UNIT 2: BRINE SHRIMP (14-15 weeks)
1. What are brine shrimp made of?
2. How can using a microscope give us information about the internal structure of brine shrimp?
3. What do brine shrimp (organs) do?
4. What are brine shrimp (organs) like? In other words, when compared to humans, for example, what human organs are equivalent to the brine shrimp’s mandibles, gut, claspers, leafy-legs, brood patch, and so on?
5. How are new brine shrimp organs made?
1. How does the new life of a brine shrimp begin?
2. When can brine shrimp fertilization take place?
3. How is the brine shrimp embryo supported by the parent shrimp as it develops?
4. What do newborn (or ‘juvenile’) brine shrimp need to survive?
5. How do brine shrimp change as they grow?
6. How is brine shrimp reproduction similar to and different from reproduction in other living organisms, such as algae and bacteria?
7C. ENVIRONMENT & FEEDING RELATIONSHIPS
1. How does the environment within the ecocolumn influence the organisms–including the brine shrimp, algae and bacteria–living in the habitat?
2. How does the environment outside of the ecocolumn influence the organisms–including the brine shrimp, algae and bacteria–living in the habitat?
3. How does the habitat within the ecocolumn change over time?
4. What are the different feeding relationships within the ecocolumn?
5. What general rules (or principles) can we deduce from these feeding relationships?
7D. VARIATION & CLASSIFICATION
1. How do individual brine shrimp differ from each other?
2. What are the causes of this variation between individual brine shrimp?
3. How can we describe brine shrimp?
4. How can we sort brine shrimp into groups?
5. How do scientists classify brine shrimp?
7E. ACIDS & ALKALIS
1. What are acids and alkalis like and where do we use them?
2. How can acids and alkalis be identified and distinguished from each other?
3. Is there a range of acidity and alkalinity?
4. What happens when an acid is added to an alkali?
5. Where is neutralization important?
7F. SIMPLE CHEMICAL REACTIONS
1. What is a chemical reaction?
2. How does water react with metals?
3. How does water react with carbonates?
7G. PARTICLE MODEL
1. How can we explain evidence from experiments?
2. How are theories created?
3. According to the standard particle model, what are the main differences between solids, liquids and gases?
4. How does the standard particle model explain the differences between solids, liquids and gases?
5. How might the standard particle model explain the observable (and documented) phenomena that we see within our brine shrimp habitats?
1. How can we tell whether or not a liquid is a mixture?
2. How much salt can we get from rock salt?
3. What happens to the salt when a salt solution is made?
4. How can we separate salt from salt solutions?
5. Is there a limit to the amount of salt that will dissolve in distilled water?
6. What else affects solubility?
8D. ECOLOGICAL RELATIONSHIPS
1. How can brine shrimp, algae and bacteria be classified?
2. How do brine shrimp, algae, bacteria and environmental conditions interact in the ecocolumn habitat?
3. How do the organisms living within the ecocolumn depend on each other?
8E. ATOMS & ELEMENTS
1. How many different materials are there inside of the ecocolumn?
2. How many different materials are there outside of the ecocolumn?
3. What are elements made from?
4. What are elements like?
5. How do we get new materials beyond the elements themselves?
6. How can we represent the changes when these new materials are made?
8F. COMPOUNDS & MIXTURES
1. How are elements and compounds different?
2. How do compounds differ from the elements from which they are made?
3. Do compounds react chemically?
4. Are there other sorts of material besides elements and compounds?
1. How does light travel?
2. What happens when light meets an object?
3. What is a spectrum?
5. How can we change color?
9A. INHERITANCE & SELECTION
1. What brine shrimp characteristics can be inherited?
2. Why are brine shrimp offspring of the same parents similar but not identical?
3. How do differences between offspring with the same brine shrimp parents compare with differences between offspring of different brine shrimp parents?
9I. ENERGY (with an emphasis on light and biochemical energies)
1. What is energy?
2. How is energy involved in doing useful things?
3. How do scientists measure the amount of energy present in an object (such as a brine shrimp) or a system (such as an ecocolumn)?
UNIT 3: ENGINEERING & INVENTION (11-12 weeks)
7J. ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS
1. How do electrical circuits work?
2. What happens in a circuit?
3. How can we explain what happens in electrical circuits?
4. What kinds of circuits are useful and what are the hazards?
1. Where do we come across forces?
2. Why do things float?
3. How do different materials stretch?
4. What is weight? What is mass?
5. What does friction do?
6. What affects how quickly a car stops?
8I. HEATING & COOLING
1. What’s the temperature?
2. How do things get hotter or colder?
3. How do materials change when they are heated and cooled?
4. How can we reduce energy waste?
5. How can we explain change of state?
8J. MAGNETS & ELECTROMAGNETS
1. What can a magnet do?
2. Can magnetism be stopped? Can magnets be made?
3. What is a magnetic field?
4. How can electricity make a magnet
5. How can we explain how electromagnets work?
1. What happens when light meets an object?
2. How do mirrors reflect light?
3. Can light be bent?
4. What is a spectrum?
5. How can we change color?
8L. SOUND & HEARING
1. How are different sounds made?
2. How does sound travel through solids, liquids and gases?
3. How do we hear sounds?
4. Can sound be dangerous?
9I. ENERGY & ELECTRICITY (with an emphasis on electrical energy)
1. How is energy involved in doing useful things?
2. How does electricity transfer energy?
3. What are we paying for when we use electricity?
4. Where do we get electricity from?
5. How can we reduce the waste of energy?
1. How fast is it moving?
2. How do forces affect speed?
3. How can we increase speed?
4. How do parachutes work?
9L. PRESSURE & MOVEMENTS
1. What is pressure?
2. What are pneumatics and hydraulics?
3. How do levers work?
4. How do things balance?
UNIT 4: STUDENT INVESTIGATIONS (4-5 weeks)