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Science and Technology/Engineering
Curriculum Framework - Spring 2001

Physical Sciences (Chemistry and Physics),
Grades 3-5

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Additional Ideas for Developing Investigations and Learning Experiences and Suggested Extensions to Learning in Technology/Engineering are in Appendix III.

Learning Standard Ideas For Developing Investigations And Learning Experiences Suggested Extensions To Learning In Technology/Engineering
Properties of Objects and Materials
  1. Differentiate between properties of objects (e.g., size, shape, weight) and properties of materials (e.g., color, texture, hardness).
  • Gather a variety of solid objects. Collect data on properties of these objects such as origin (manmade or natural), weight (heavy, medium, light), length, odor, color, hardness, and flexibility.
  • Given a variety of objects made of different materials, ask questions and make predictions about their hardness, flexibility, and strength. Test to see if your predictions were correct. (T/E 1.1)
States of Matter
  1. Compare and contrast solids, liquids, and gases based on the basic properties of each of these states of matter.
  • Design several stations, each of which demonstrates a state of matter, e.g., water table, balloon and fan table, sand and block table, etc.
  • Design one container for each of the states of matter, taking into account what material properties are important, e.g., size, shape, flexibility. (T/E 1.1, 2.3)
  1. Describe how water can be changed from one state to another by adding or taking away heat.
  • Do simple investigations with evaporation, condensation, freezing, and melting. Confirm that water expands upon freezing.
  • Using given insulating materials, try to keep an ice cube from melting. (T/E 1.1)
Forms of Energy
  1. Identify the basic forms of energy (light, sound, heat, electrical, and magnetic). Recognize that energy is the ability to cause motion or create change.
  • Play music through a speaker with and without a grill cover. Discuss the difference in sound.
  • Design and construct a candle wheel that demonstrates how heat can cause a propeller to spin (a very popular craft toy). (T/E 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 2.3)
  1. Give examples of how energy can be transferred from one form to another.
  • Rub two pieces of wood together (mechanical energy) and observe the change in temperature of the wood.
  • Design and build a simple roller coaster for a marble or toy car to demonstrate how energy changes from one form to another. (T/E 2.2, 2.3)
Electrical Energy
  1. Recognize that electricity in circuits requires a complete loop through which an electrical current can pass, and that electricity can produce light, heat, and sound.
  • Using graphic symbols, draw and label a simple electric circuit. (T/E 2.2)
  • Using batteries, bulbs, and wires, build a series circuit. (T/E 1.2, 2.2)
  1. Identify and classify objects and materials that conduct electricity and objects and materials that are insulators of electricity.
  • Provide a collection of materials that are good conductors and good insulators. Have students determine each material's electrical conductivity by testing the materials with a simple battery/bulb circuit.
  • Select from a variety of materials (e.g., cloth, cardboard, Styrofoam, plastic, etc.) to design and construct a simple device (prototype) that could be used as an insulator. Do a simple test of its effectiveness. (T/E 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 2.3)
  1. Explain how electromagnets can be made, and give examples of how they can be used.
  • Make an electromagnet with a six-volt battery, insulated wire, and a large nail. (T/E 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3)
Magnetic Energy
  1. Recognize that magnets have poles that repel and attract each other.
  • Balance ring magnets on a pencil. Note: The shape of a ring magnet obscures the locations of its poles.
  1. Identify and classify objects and materials that a magnet will attract and objects and materials that a magnet will not attract.
  • Test a variety of materials with assorted magnets. Include samples of pure iron and magnetic steel. Include samples of non-magnetic metals. Mention the two other magnetic metals: pure cobalt and pure nickel. Test a U.S. five-cent coin. Is a U.S. nickel coin made of pure nickel?
Sound Energy
  1. Recognize that sound is produced by vibrating objects and requires a medium through which to travel. Relate the rate of vibration to the pitch of the sound.
  • Use tuning forks to demonstrate the relationship between vibration and sound.
  • Design and construct a simple telephone (prototype) using a variety of materials, e.g., paper cups, string, tin cans, and wire. Determine which prototype works best and why. (T/E 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 2.3)
Light Energy
  1. Recognize that light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object or travels from one medium to another, and that light can be reflected, refracted, and absorbed.
  • Use a flashlight, mirrors, and water to demonstrate reflection and refraction.
  • Design and build a prototype to inhibit solar heating of a car, e.g., windshield reflector, window tinting. (T/E 1.2, 2.1, 2.3)

Last Updated: May 1, 2001
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