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Fields and Interactions | NGSS

Fields and Interactions | NGSS

~25 40 to 50 minute class periods (5 weeks)

Objects can be observed to interact with other objects even when they are not in contact with one another.
Students explore how objects interact at a distance and how people use fields to design solutions to problems. They also explore static electricity, the behavior of magnets, and the observation that objects fall toward the earth.
PE Assessment Example: Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact.

Fields and Interactions is part of Issues and Science three year middle school program, designed by SEPUP at the Lawrence Hall of Science. This five week unit anchors the lessons around the the socio-science issue: How do different types of force fields help us design transportation? Investigative phenomena within the 15 activities connect back to the issue and storyline. This unit builds towards and assesses PEs PS2-3, PS2-4, PS2-5, PS3-2, ETS1-1, ETS1-2.

View a Sample Fields and Interactions Student Book Selection or Sample Teacher Edition Selection.

Content in Fields and Interactions | NGSS is organized into 15 activities, as follows:

Activity Title Activity Type Activity Overview
1.. Save the Astronaut Problem Solving Students are introduced to the process of engineering with a scenario that engages them in solving a simple problem. The activity elicits and builds on students’ ideas about how to define a problem and develop a successful solution. The process of solving the problem is compared and contrasted with the work of scientists and engineers. Students then generate questions and defne problems in their everyday lives.
2.. The Apollo Missions Reading Students continue to investigate the process of engineering with a historical engineering case. While investigating the Apollo missions, students identify important criteria and constraints faced by NASA during the development of the space program. The activity elicits and builds on students’ ideas about how to define a problem and develop a successful solution. The reading provides examples of how technologies are driven by individual or societal needs, desires, and values.
3.. Gravitational Transporter Design Students begin to investigate gravitational potential energy in a system of interacting objects. Using a system model, students investigate how the release height and/or mass of a cart will affect the amount of kinetic energy transfer in a collision. Through a process of testing, evaluating, and redesigning, students optimize their solutions by controlling the initial amount of gravitational potential energy of the transporter. They use this model to make conceptual connections between their evidence and explanations of gravitational potential energy
4.. Gravitational Force Investigation Students analyze and interpret data to learn about the relationship between the gravitational force between two objects, the mass of those objects, and the distance between them. Students create and analyze graphs that provide evidence that gravitational force is directly proportional to the mass of the objects interacting and inversely proportional to the distances between the objects.
5.. Mapping Magnetic Fields Investigation Students provide evidence that there are other forces besides gravity that can act at a distance. To do this, students conduct an investigation related to the phenomenon of magnetism. In their exploration, they analyze and interpret data related to the direction of magnetic fields at different locations in those fields. They use the effects seen in one magnetic field map to predict another magnetic field map. By mapping different magnetic fields, students are able to provide evidence that fields exist between objects, exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact.
6.. Magnetic Transporter Design Students apply what they have learned on the phenomena of gravity and magnetism to design a magnetic transporter. They define a design problem that can be solved through the development of an object that meets multiple criteria and constraints. They use an iterative testing procedure to optimize the transporter to carry as much weight as possible. This activity provides a formal assessment opportunity for Performance Expectation MS-ETS1-1.
7.. Gravitational and Magnetic Fields Reading Students synthesize their knowledge of gravitational and magnetic fields in a reading that compares and contrasts these two kinds of fields. The reading helps students summarize what influences the magnitude and direction of forces resulting from field interactions. Students also reflect on how energy stored within a system of interacting objects relates to the relative positions of the objects interacting. These relationships are examined through the lens of the crosscutting concept of cause and effect. This activity provides a formal assessment opportunity for Performance Expectation MS-PS2-4.
8.. Static Electricity Investigation Students ask questions about and then investigate how static charge can sometimes cause objects to be attracted to, and at other times repelled by, each other. By rubbing certain materials together to generate static electricity, students are able to observe that these interactions provide evidence for forces that act at a distance, which means that they can be explained by fields that extend through space. Students use a simulation to further investigate cause and effect of static phenomena since charged particles occur at scales too small to observe.
9.. Electrostatic Force Laboratory Students are introduced to a tool—an electroscope— that can show relative strengths of forces resulting from static electricity. Students then plan and conduct their own investigations using the electroscope to see if there is a relationship between the amount of electric charge, the distance between charged objects, and the amount of force. Students are asked to use the results of their investigations as well as evidence from previous activities to verify that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact.
10.. Visualizing an Electric Field Computer Simulation Students use a computer simulation to support their understanding of an electrostatic field. The simulation allows students to visualize the interaction between static charges. The model enables students to ask and then investigate questions about what affects the direction and magnitude of forces in an electric field. Students also investigate the potential energy stored in the system of interacting charges.
11.. Electric Field Transporter Modeling Students apply what they have learned about electric and gravitational fields to design a hovering transporter cart that depends on electrostatic force to move. They develop a model in a computer simulation where they can manipulate the arrangement of charges to design the system. By testing, analyzing data, and redesigning, students combine the best characteristics of each design to make a new solution that better meets the criteria of the transporter. This activity provides a formal assessment opportunity for Performance Expectation MS-PS3-2. It also provides an opportunity for a formative assessment on Performance Expectation MS-ETS1-4.
12.. Electric and Magnetic Fields Investigation Students investigate the induction of electric and magnetic fields through a series of hands-on investigations. Students complete two explorations on the relationship between electricity and magnetism. After observing the effects of electromagnetic induction, students then conduct investigations to determine the factors that affect the strength of magnetic fields from an electromagnetic coil on a test object. Students evaluate the designs of their experiments for the quantity and quality of evidence of what factors affect the strength of electric and magnetic fields. This activity provides a formal assessment opportunity for Performance Expectation MS-PS2-5.
13.. Gyrosphere Rescue Design In this engineering design challenge, students apply their scientific knowledge about what affects the strength of an electromagnetic field to build a device to move steel bearings from one location to another. They collect data, test and redesign several solutions to optimize their designs, and develop the most successful designs for the criteria. Then they evaluate others’ designs and discuss the design trade-offs. Students also consider the scientific investigations they have been conducting and identify what information is needed in order to determine the strength of electric and magnetic forces. This activity provides formal assessment opportunities for Performance Expectations MSETS1-4 and MS-PS2-3.
14.. Electric and Electromagnetic Fields Reading This reading provides a synthesis of the information in the unit on electric and electromagnetic fields. The factors that determine the strength and direction of these fields is presented. Students are given an opportunity to further explore how electric and electromagnetic fields are distinct from gravitational and magnetic fields. Technology that depends on the phenomena of electric and electromagnetic fields are presented in the context of everyday use. The cause-and-effect relationship between the fields and forces allows students to understand how phenomena are used in these designed systems.
15.. Evaluating Transporter Designs Talking It Over Students use the scientific knowledge they have accumulated in this unit to systematically evaluate competing design solutions based on scientific validity and design success. After evaluating four proposals, students combine the best aspects of the proposals into their own designs. This activity provides a formal assessment opportunity for Performance Expectations MSETS1-2 and MS-ETS1-3.

Lab-Aids® provides several useful tools to guide you and your students through the Fields and Interations unit:

Fields and Interactions | NGSS

Student Book

The Student Book guides students in exploring a socio-science issue and connected phemonena through a series of varied activity types. Activity types use one of twelve different instructional strategies to apply Science and Engineering Practices to specific Disciplinary Core Ideas and Cross Cutting Concepts.

SEPUP's integrated literacy strategies help students process new science content, develop their analytical skills, make connections between related concepts, and express their knowledge orally and in writing. The built-in assessment system helps teachers identify students' strengths and weaknesses from the beginning of the unit. This allows them to adjust activities when needed so that all students get the best chance to build their knowledge and appreciation of science. At the back of the Student Book there is an Appendix containing additional resources for students, such as science skills, literacy strategies, and media literacy among others.

Fields and Interactions | NGSS

Lab-Aids® Science Lab Notebook

A science notebook not only models the way scientists work, but it helps to develop and reinforce students’ science learning and literacy skills.

The Lab-Aids Science Lab Notebook is designed to support best practice note-booking strategies. It includes three-hole punched pages in a two-column design for Cornell-style notes. GraphAnywhere pages allow students to both write and easily create data-tables and graphs anywhere on the page. The unique “Lab-Log” column serves as a blank canvas for drawings, connections, and self-reflective notes. 160 pages total.

Fields and Interactions | NGSS

Complete Equipment Package

Lab-Aids programs include high-quality equipment for each activity. This includes innovative lab-ware to be used throughout the year, specific solutions and materials for unique labs, as well as items needed for card sorts, modeling, role-plays, and projects.

Materials for up to 5 classes of 32 students, mobile storage cart, Online Portal for one teacher includes online subscription to Teacher Edition and Resources, Student Book in English/Spanish (E/S), student sheets (E/S), visual aids (E/S), PowerPoints, online assessment system, LABsent, and supplemental resources)

Fields and Interactions | NGSS

Teacher Edition and Resources

The SEPUP Teacher Edition (TE) guides you through each activity in the Student Book and helps you see the development of concepts within the big picture of the unit. It helps you set up the equipment from the kit, organize the classroom, conduct activities, and manage practical details, all of which enhance students’ learning environment.

The Teacher Edition text is broken down into several sections, such as Activity Overview, NGSS Connections and Correlations, Materials and Advanced Prep, Teaching Summary, and Background information to name a few. The Teacher Edition is packaged as a color-printed, loose-leaf binder which allows you to personalize it with highlighting, annotations, rearrangements, and insertions. It provides full support for teaching the program. Additional support resources can also found in the Teacher Resource book.

The Teacher Resource (TR) provides background and suggestions to increase the overall effectiveness of implementing the program across all levels of learners. Some sections include: SEPUP’s Approach to Teaching and Learning, Differentiation Strategies for Diverse Learners, Literacy Strategies for Supporting Reading Comprehension and for Enhancing Students’ Writing, and comprehensive instruction on the SEPUP Assessment System. There is also a section containing unit specific resources, such as overviews, unit storyline and phenomena table, NGSS correlations, assessment blueprints, and item banks

Online Portal for Students

Access to Student online portal for 1 year, which includes: the digital Student Book (Spanish coming soon), additional resources, and LABsent sheets and videos for absent students. Ability to highlight, bookmark and make notes in the Student Book, complete homework and assessments, and communicate with the teacher. Also available as multi-year subscriptions.

Online Portal for Teachers

Access to Teacher online portal for 7 years, which includes: online subscription to the Teacher Edition and Resources, Student Book (Spanish coming soon), LABsent sheets & videos for absent students, Editable PowerPoints for each lesson, and integrated online assessment system. Ability to highlight, bookmark, and make notes in personal Student and Teacher books, create and assign homework and assessments, and communicate with students. Available as multi-year subscriptions. Single Sign-On (SSO) available