The Science of Sustainability

 

The Physics Education Collection has been created to help educators find the best QUEST resources for the classroom.  For each of the grade-level California Science Content Standards (listed below), you will find three sections: a list of all of the resources that are referenced for that standard, information about what students should already know about the content standard and what possible misconceptions they might hold, and a suggested sequence for using the various resources.  Each resource has a reference to the applicable substandard(s).

Standard 1, Motion and Forces

QUEST Resources

Note: An asterisk (*) next to the resource signifies that there is an associated QUEST Educator Guide.

QUEST Lab: Newton's Laws of Motion(video)
Asteroid Hunters(video)
Out of the Park: The Physics of Baseball(video)
Make it at Home: Tabletop Linear Accelerator (video)
The Physics of Sailing(video)

Additional Resources

Science of Baseball, Exploratorium (interactive website)

Background:

  • Students should already know that the motion of any object is judged with respect to another object or another point.  Students should also already know that if a force is applied to an object, the object will change its speed or direction (or both).
  • Teachers should be sure to review the examples of force and motion that students already know from their everyday experiences.

Sequence of Use

There are many QUEST resources for this set of standards.  Teachers may want students to watch the QUEST video, QUEST Lab: Newton's Laws of Motion.  In this resource, students can see how scientists can have fun while coming up with interesting ways to illustrate Newton’s Laws (1a,b,d).  Another QUEST video, Out of the Park: The Physics of Baseball, provides information about the practical applications of Newton’s Laws in baseball (1d,i,j).  In the QUEST video Asteroid Hunters, students can learn how scientists could use the concepts of force and motion as well as gravity to try to offset the motion of rogue asteroids (1d,e,f).  Make it at Home: Tabletop Linear Accelerator is a QUEST video that describes how to use principles of magnetism to amplify the forward movement and momentum of objects in a homemade version of this type of technology (1c,d).  As a general connection to this standard, teachers may also want to view QUEST video, The Physics of Sailing, which explains how sails harness the energy of wind to propel sailboats forward (1).

The Exploratorium's Science of Baseball website is a great companion to the QUEST resources on the The Physics of Baseball with a lot of great resources for teachers and students alike (1d,f,i,j)!

For more information on other aspects of this standard, go to PBS LearningMedia.

Standard 2, Conservation of Energy and Momentum

QUEST Resources

Note: An asterisk (*) next to the resource signifies that there is an associated QUEST Educator Guide.

QUEST Lab: Newton's Laws of Motion(video)
Asteroid Hunters(video)
Out of the Park: The Physics of Baseball(video)
Make it at Home: Tabletop Linear Accelerator (video)
The Physics of Sailing(video)

Additional Resources

Science of Baseball, Exploratorium (interactive website)

Background:

  • Students should already know that the motion of any object is judged with respect to another object or another point.  Students should also already know that if a force is applied to an object, the object will change its speed or direction (or both).
  • Teachers should be sure to review the examples of force and motion that students already know from their everyday experiences.

Sequence of Use

There are many QUEST resources for this set of standards.  In the QUEST video, Out of the Park: The Physics of Baseball, students will learn about the practical applications of the conservation of energy and momentum in baseball (2a,b,c,d,g).  Next, teachers may want students to watch, or re-watch, the QUEST video, QUEST Lab: Newton's Laws of Motion.  In this resource, students can see how scientists can have fun while coming up with interesting ways to test the conservation of momentum (2f).  In the QUEST video Asteroid Hunters, students can learn how scientists could use forces to offset the motion of rogue asteroids (2f). Make it at Home: Tabletop Linear Accelerator is a QUEST video that describes how to use principles of magnetism to amplify the forward movement and momentum of objects in a homemade version of this type of technology (2a,d,f,g).  As a general connection to this standard, teachers may also want to view QUEST video, The Physics of Sailing, which explains how sails harness the energy of wind to propel sailboats forward (2).
The Exploratorium's Science of Baseball website is a great companion to the QUEST resources on the The Physics of Baseball with a lot of great resources for teachers and students alike (2a,b,c,d,f,g)!

For more information on other aspects of this standard, go to PBS LearningMedia.

Standard 3, Heat and Thermodynamics

QUEST Resources

Note: An asterisk (*) next to the resource signifies that there is an associated QUEST Educator Guide.

QUEST Lab: Bridge Thermometer (video)

Super Laser at the National Ignition Facility(video)
QUEST Lab: Inside an Explosion (video)

Background:

  • Students should already know that energy that appears in one place must have come from another. Often, the system that that gains or loses energy is so large that changes in energy are not easily observed.  Students should already know that energy comes in many forms – including chemical, light, thermal, gravitational, kinetic, potential and elastic.
  • Teachers should be sure to review the types of energy transformations that are typically observed on Earth or in space.  Also, teachers may want to emphasize why energy is typically transferred to the environment as heat.

Sequence of Use

There are many QUEST resources for this set of standards.  Teachers may want to start with the QUEST video, QUEST Lab: Bridge Thermometer.  This resources illustrates how the heating and cooling of the Golden Gate bridge results in changes that can be observed in its height at different points (3).  Another QUEST video that teachers may want students to watch is Super Laser at the National Ignition Facility.  In this QUEST resource, students can see how energy is transferred from one type of energy to another in order to create incredibly high temperatures for scientific experiments (3).  Finally, teachers may want to show the QUEST Lab: Inside an Explosion since this resource illustrates how energy can be transferred into the energy of explosions (3).

For more information on other aspects of this standard, go to PBS LearningMedia.

Standard 4, Waves

QUEST Resources

Note: An asterisk (*) next to the resource signifies that there is an associated QUEST Educator Guide.

Scary Tsunamis(video)
Earthquakes – Breaking New Ground(video)
The Hayward Fault: Predictable Peril(video)
The Science of Big Waves(video)
How Edison Got His Groove Back(video)
Web Extra: Music of the Sun (video)
Science on the Spot:  Sound Waves – Listening to Orcas (video)
QUEST Lab:  Speed of Sound (video)
Dark Energy(video)

Background:

  • Students should already know that energy can travel in waves from one place to another and that waves can be found in many different media on Earth.
  • Teachers should be sure to review the various types of waves and emphasize that not all waves need a medium through which to travel.  Students may also believe that the size of a wave allows the wave to travel faster or slower.  In light, students may have a variety of misconceptions such as light being a mixture of particles and waves as well as the idea that the speed of light never changes.

Sequence of Use

In talking about waves, teachers may want to have students watch three QUEST videos about earthquakes – Earthquakes – Breaking New Ground, The Hayward Fault: Predictable Peril and Scary Tsunamis.  In all of these QUEST videos, scientists describe the energy that is released as earthquakes as continental plates move past one another (4a,b).    In the QUEST video The Science of Big Waves, students can learn about how energy from the atmosphere in the form of storms and winds can be transferred into the energy of large ocean waves (4a).  To learn more about sound waves, teachers have many options to share with students.  First, teachers may want to show the QUEST video, QUEST Lab:  Speed of Sound. In this short video, students can see the effects of the differences between the speed of sound waves and the speed of light waves (4d,f).  The QUEST video, Dark Energy, also includes a section about the effect of changing locations on the way that light waves and sound waves are perceived (4f).  Next, teachers can show the QUEST video Science on the Spot:  Sound Waves – Listening to Orcas.  In this resource, students can learn about how sound travels through water to enable Orcas to communicate – and some of the challenges that these animals are having in a sound polluted environment (4a).  Another QUEST video resource, How Edison Got His Groove Back, illustrates how sound works with respect to human hearing and illustrates some of the historical and current technologies used in listening to recorded sound (4d).  Teachers may also want to show students the QUEST video Web Extra: Music of the Sun.  This resource ties together many aspects of energy and sound by allowing students to “hear” the sounds that are generated on the surface of the sun (4d,e).

For more information on other aspects of this standard, go to PBS LearningMedia.

Standard 5, Electric and Magnetic Phenomena

QUEST Resources

Note: An asterisk (*) next to the resource signifies that there is an associated QUEST Educator Guide.

QUEST Lab – Five Cent Battery(video)
Is the Sun Pulling a Rip Van Winkle? (blog)
Make it at Home: Tabletop Linear Accelerator (video)
UCSF Scientists Bio-Hack Bacteria (blog)
Computer Memory Poised to Get Shock Therapy? (blog)

Background:

  • Students should already know that objects can be charged two ways – negatively and positively (or they can have no charge).  Students should also already know that two objects that are charged in the same way will repel each other and oppositely charged objects will be attracted to each other.  Students should also already know that electrical currents need to complete a loop through which electrical currents can pass.  Students should also already know that not all metals or objects are magnetic – these objects don't allow magnets to stick to them.
  • Teachers should be sure to review the ideas that not all metals are magnetic and that magnetic fields are made by things other than metal magnets.  Teachers may need to be clear that objects do not become positive because they have gained protons.  Students may have other misconceptions around how electricity travels through wires – for example, conceiving of this as water moving through a hose.

Sequence of Use

Teachers may want to start this set of standards by sharing the QUEST blog UCSF Scientists Bio-Hack Bacteria.  In this resource, students will learn about how scientists are using bacteria create the hardware for electrical circuits (5).  Teachers can then show the QUEST Lab – Five Cent Battery.  In this video resource, students will find out how to make a battery using some easily obtainable supplies (5a).  Next, teachers may want to provide students with the blog Is the Sun Pulling a Rip Van Winkle? In this blog, students can review the connections between electric currents and magnetic fields (5e,f,h,i).  Finally, in the QUEST video, Make it at Home: Tabletop Linear Accelerator, students will see how magnetic fields are used to increase the energy is steel balls in the same manner that particle accelerators do this in large scale colliders (5j)

For more information on other aspects of this standard, go to PBS LearningMedia.