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Add the Micro to Gravity!

Education Standards

National Science Education Standards
A. As a result of activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop

  • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
  • Understandings about scientific inquiry

B. As a result of their activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop an understanding of

  • Motions and forces
  • Transfer of energy

E. As a result of activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop

  • Abilities of technological design
  • Understandings about science and technology

Benchmarks for Science Literacy

3A (3-5)

  • Measuring instruments can be used to gather accurate information for making scientific comparisons of objects and events and for designing and constructing things that will work properly.
  • Technology extends the ability of people to change the world: to cut, shape, or put together materials; to move things from one place to another; and to reach farther with their hands, voices, senses, and minds. The changes may be for survival needs such as food, shelter, and defense, for communication and transportation, or to gain knowledge and express ideas.

3A (6-8)

  • In earlier times, the accumulated information and techniques of each generation of workers were taught on the job directly to the next generation of workers. Today, the knowledge base for technology can be found as well in libraries of print and electronic resources and is often taught in the classroom.
  • Technology is essential to science for such purposes as access to outer space and other remote locations, sample collection and treatment, measurement, data collection and storage, computation, and communication of information.

3B (3-5)

  • There is no perfect design. Designs that are best in one respect (safety or ease of use, for example) may be inferior in other ways (cost or appearance). Usually some features must be sacrificed to get others. How such trade-offs are received depends upon which features are emphasized and which are down-played.
  • Even a good design may fail. Sometimes steps can be taken ahead of time to reduce the likelihood of failure, but it cannot be entirely eliminated.
  • The solution to one problem may create other problems.

3B (6-8)

  • Design usually requires taking constraints into account. Some constraints, such as gravity or the properties of the materials to be used, are unavoidable. Other constraints, including economic, political, social, ethical, and aesthetic ones, limit choices.
  • Almost all control systems have inputs, outputs, and feedback. The essence of control is comparing information about what is happening to what people want to happen and then making appropriate adjustments. This procedure requires sensing information, processing it, and making changes. In almost all modern machines, microprocessors serve as centers of performance control.
  • Systems fail because they have faulty or poorly matched parts, are used in ways that exceed what was intended by the design, or were poorly designed to begin with. The most common ways to prevent failure are pretesting parts and procedures, overdesign, and redundancy.

4F (3-5)

  • Changes in speed or direction of motion are caused by forces. The greater the force is, the greater the change in motion will be. The more massive an object is, the less effect a given force will have.
  • How fast things move differs greatly. Some things are so slow that their journey takes a long time; others move too fast for people to even see them.

4F (6-8)

  • An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both. If the force acts toward a single center, the object's path may curve into an orbit around the center.

4G (3-5)

  • The earth's gravity pulls any object toward it without touching it.

4G, 6-8

  • Every object exerts gravitational force on every other object. The force depends on how much mass the objects have and on how far apart they are. The force is hard to detect unless at least one of the objects has a lot of mass.

9-C (3-5)

  • Scale drawings show shapes and compare locations of things very different in size.

10A (6-8)

  • The motion of an object is always judged with respect to some other object or point and so the idea of absolute motion or rest is misleading.

International Technology Education Association (ITEA) Standards for Technological Literacy

Standard 8: Students will develop an understanding of the attributes of design.

Standard 9: Students will develop an understanding of engineering design.

Standard 10: Students will develop an understanding of the role of troubleshooting, research and development, invention and innovation, and experimentation in problem solving.

Abilities of a Technological World
Standard 11: Students will develop abilities to apply the design process.

The Designed World
Standard 16: Students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and use energy and power technologies.

Standard 17: Students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and use information and communication technologies.

Standard 18: Students will develop an understanding of and be able to select and use transportation technologies.


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