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# Texas - Science: Physics

## Essential Knowledge and Skills | Adopted: 2017

### P.1: : Scientific processes. The student conducts investigations, for at least 40% of instructional time, using safe, environmentally appropriate, and ethical practices. These investigations must involve actively obtaining and analyzing data with physical equipment but may also involve experimentation in a simulated environment as well as field observations that extend beyond the classroom.

P.1.A: : The student is expected to: demonstrate safe practices during laboratory and field investigations; and

Diffusion

Explore the motion of particles as they bounce around from one side of a room to the other through an adjustable gap or partition. The mass of the particles can be adjusted, as well as the temperature of the room and the initial number of particles. In a real-world context, this can be used to learn about how odors travel, fluids move through gaps, the thermodynamics of gases, and statistical probability. 5 Minute Preview

### P.2: : Scientific processes. The student uses a systematic approach to answer scientific laboratory and field investigative questions.

P.2.B: : The student is expected to: know that scientific hypotheses are tentative and testable statements that must be capable of being supported or not supported by observational evidence;

Temperature and Sex Determination - Metric

Observe the sex ratios of birds and geckos as they hatch in an incubator. Vary the temperature of the incubator and measure the percentages of male and female hatchlings to determine if temperature has an effect on sex. 5 Minute Preview

P.2.D: : The student is expected to: design and implement investigative procedures, including making observations, asking well defined questions, formulating testable hypotheses, identifying variables, selecting appropriate equipment and technology, evaluating numerical answers for reasonableness, and identifying causes and effects of uncertainties in measured data;

Diffusion

Explore the motion of particles as they bounce around from one side of a room to the other through an adjustable gap or partition. The mass of the particles can be adjusted, as well as the temperature of the room and the initial number of particles. In a real-world context, this can be used to learn about how odors travel, fluids move through gaps, the thermodynamics of gases, and statistical probability. 5 Minute Preview

Effect of Environment on New Life Form

Using the scientific method, control the environmental conditions for a fictional alien organism in order to learn how the organism responds to changes in conditions. Sunlight, water, and temperature can be varied to determine their effects on the shape of the aliens. 5 Minute Preview

Electromagnetic Induction

Explore how a changing magnetic field can induce an electric current. A magnet can be moved up or down at a constant velocity below a loop of wire, or the loop of wire may be dragged in any direction or rotated. The magnetic and electric fields can be displayed, as well as the magnetic flux and the current in the wire. 5 Minute Preview

Pendulum Clock

Find the effect of length, mass, and angle on the period of a pendulum. The pendulum is attached to a clock that can be adjusted to tell time accurately. The clock can be located on Earth or Jupiter to determine the effect of gravity. 5 Minute Preview

Real-Time Histogram

Try to click your mouse once every 2 seconds. The time interval between each click is recorded, as well as the error and percent error. Data can be displayed in a table, histogram, or scatter plot. Observe and measure the characteristics of the resulting distribution when large amounts of data are collected. 5 Minute Preview

Sight vs. Sound Reactions

Measure your reaction time by clicking your mouse as quickly as possible when visual or auditory stimuli are presented. The individual response times are recorded, as well as the mean and standard deviation for each test. A histogram of data shows overall trends in sight and sound response times. The type of test as well as the symbols and sounds used are chosen by the user. 5 Minute Preview

P.2.E: : The student is expected to: demonstrate the use of course apparatus, equipment, techniques, and procedures, including multimeters (current, voltage, resistance), balances, batteries, dynamics demonstration equipment, collision apparatus, lab masses, magnets, plane mirrors, convex lenses, stopwatches, trajectory apparatus, graph paper, magnetic compasses, protractors, metric rulers, spring scales, thermometers, slinky springs, and/or other equipment and materials that will produce the same results;

Triple Beam Balance

Learn how to determine the mass of an object using a triple beam balance. The mass of a variety of objects can be determined using this simulated version of a common real-world laboratory tool for measurement. 5 Minute Preview

P.2.G: : The student is expected to: make measurements with accuracy and precision and record data using scientific notation and International System (SI) units;

Unit Conversions 2 - Scientific Notation and Significant Digits

Use the Unit Conversions Gizmo to explore the concepts of scientific notation and significant digits. Convert numbers to and from scientific notation. Determine the number of significant digits in a measured value and in a calculation. 5 Minute Preview

P.2.H: : The student is expected to: organize, evaluate, and make inferences from data, including the use of tables, charts, and graphs;

Distance-Time Graphs - Metric

Create a graph of a runner's position versus time and watch the runner complete a 40-meter dash based on the graph you made. Notice the connection between the slope of the line and the speed of the runner. What will the runner do if the slope of the line is zero? What if the slope is negative? Add a second runner (a second graph) and connect real-world meaning to the intersection of two graphs. 5 Minute Preview

Earthquakes 1 - Recording Station

Using an earthquake recording station, learn how to determine the distance between the station and an earthquake based on the time difference between the arrival of the primary and secondary seismic waves. Use this data to find the epicenter in the Earthquakes 2 - Location of Epicenter Gizmo. 5 Minute Preview

Effect of Environment on New Life Form

Using the scientific method, control the environmental conditions for a fictional alien organism in order to learn how the organism responds to changes in conditions. Sunlight, water, and temperature can be varied to determine their effects on the shape of the aliens. 5 Minute Preview

Identifying Nutrients

Use a variety of real-world lab tests to analyze common food samples in order to determine if the food is a carbohydrate, a protein, or a lipid. Tests that can be performed include: Benedict, Lugol, Biuret, and Sudan Red. 5 Minute Preview

Pendulum Clock

Find the effect of length, mass, and angle on the period of a pendulum. The pendulum is attached to a clock that can be adjusted to tell time accurately. The clock can be located on Earth or Jupiter to determine the effect of gravity. 5 Minute Preview

Seasons Around the World

Use a three dimensional view of the Earth, Moon and Sun to explore seasonal changes at a variety of locations. Strengthen your knowledge of global climate patterns by comparing solar energy input at the Poles to the Equator. Manipulate Earth's axis to increase or diminish seasonal changes. 5 Minute Preview

Temperature and Sex Determination - Metric

Observe the sex ratios of birds and geckos as they hatch in an incubator. Vary the temperature of the incubator and measure the percentages of male and female hatchlings to determine if temperature has an effect on sex. 5 Minute Preview

P.2.J: : The student is expected to: express relationships among physical variables quantitatively, including the use of graphs, charts, and equations.

Determining a Spring Constant

Place a pan on the end of a hanging spring. Measure how much the spring stretches when various masses are added to the pan. Create a graph of displacement vs. mass to determine the spring constant of the spring. 5 Minute Preview

Pendulum Clock

Find the effect of length, mass, and angle on the period of a pendulum. The pendulum is attached to a clock that can be adjusted to tell time accurately. The clock can be located on Earth or Jupiter to determine the effect of gravity. 5 Minute Preview

### P.3: : Scientific processes. The student uses critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem solving to make informed decisions within and outside the classroom.

P.3.E: : The student is expected to: express, manipulate, and interpret relationships symbolically in accordance with accepted theories to make predictions and solve problems mathematically.

Determining a Spring Constant

Place a pan on the end of a hanging spring. Measure how much the spring stretches when various masses are added to the pan. Create a graph of displacement vs. mass to determine the spring constant of the spring. 5 Minute Preview

Pendulum Clock

### P.4: : Science concepts. The student knows and applies the laws governing motion in a variety of situations.

P.4.A: : The student is expected to: generate and interpret graphs and charts describing different types of motion, including investigations using real-time technology such as motion detectors or photogates;

Distance-Time Graphs - Metric

Create a graph of a runner's position versus time and watch the runner complete a 40-meter dash based on the graph you made. Notice the connection between the slope of the line and the speed of the runner. What will the runner do if the slope of the line is zero? What if the slope is negative? Add a second runner (a second graph) and connect real-world meaning to the intersection of two graphs. 5 Minute Preview

Distance-Time and Velocity-Time Graphs - Metric

Create a graph of a runner's position versus time and watch the runner run a 40-meter dash based on the graph you made. Notice the connection between the slope of the line and the velocity of the runner. Add a second runner (a second graph) and connect real-world meaning to the intersection of two graphs. Also experiment with a graph of velocity versus time for the runners, and also distance traveled versus time. 5 Minute Preview

P.4.B: : The student is expected to: describe and analyze motion in one dimension using equations and graphical vector addition with the concepts of distance, displacement, speed, average velocity, instantaneous velocity, frames of reference, and acceleration;

Distance-Time Graphs - Metric

Create a graph of a runner's position versus time and watch the runner complete a 40-meter dash based on the graph you made. Notice the connection between the slope of the line and the speed of the runner. What will the runner do if the slope of the line is zero? What if the slope is negative? Add a second runner (a second graph) and connect real-world meaning to the intersection of two graphs. 5 Minute Preview

Distance-Time and Velocity-Time Graphs - Metric

Create a graph of a runner's position versus time and watch the runner run a 40-meter dash based on the graph you made. Notice the connection between the slope of the line and the velocity of the runner. Add a second runner (a second graph) and connect real-world meaning to the intersection of two graphs. Also experiment with a graph of velocity versus time for the runners, and also distance traveled versus time. 5 Minute Preview

Fan Cart Physics

Gain an understanding of Newton's Laws by experimenting with a cart (on which up to three fans are placed) on a linear track. The cart has a mass, as does each fan. The fans exert a constant force when switched on, and the direction of the fans can be altered as the position, velocity, and acceleration of the cart are measured. 5 Minute Preview

Free-Fall Laboratory

Investigate the motion of an object as it falls to the ground. A variety of objects can be compared, and their motion can be observed in a vacuum, in normal air, and in denser air. The position, velocity, and acceleration are measured over time, and the forces on the object can be displayed. Using the manual settings, the mass, radius, height, and initial velocity of the object can be adjusted, as can the air density and wind. 5 Minute Preview

P.4.C: : The student is expected to: analyze and describe accelerated motion in two dimensions, including using equations, graphical vector addition, and projectile and circular examples; and

Feed the Monkey (Projectile Motion)

Fire a banana cannon at a monkey in a tree. The monkey drops from the tree at the moment the banana is fired from the cannon. Determine where to aim the cannon so the monkey catches the banana. The position of the cannon, launch angle and initial velocity of the banana can be varied. Students can observe the velocity vectors and the paths of the monkey and banana. 5 Minute Preview

Golf Range

Try to get a hole in one by adjusting the velocity and launch angle of a golf ball. Explore the physics of projectile motion in a frictional or ideal setting. Horizontal and vertical velocity vectors can be displayed, as well as the path of the ball. The height of the golfer and the force of gravity are also adjustable. 5 Minute Preview

Uniform Circular Motion

Measure the position, velocity, and acceleration (both components and magnitude) of an object undergoing circular motion. The radius and velocity of the object can be controlled, along with the mass of the object. The forces acting on the object also can be recorded. 5 Minute Preview

P.4.D: : The student is expected to: calculate the effect of forces on objects, including the law of inertia, the relationship between force and acceleration, and the nature of force pairs between objects using methods, including free-body force diagrams.

Atwood Machine

Measure the height and velocity of two objects connected by a massless rope over a pulley. Observe the forces acting on each mass throughout the simulation. Calculate the acceleration of the objects, and relate these calculations to Newton's Laws of Motion. The mass of each object can be manipulated, as well as the mass and radius of the pulley. 5 Minute Preview

Crumple Zones

Design a car to protect a test dummy in a collision. Adjust the length and stiffness of the crumple zone and the rigidity of the safety cell to determine how the car will deform during the crash. Add seat belts and/or airbags to prevent the dummy from hitting the steering wheel. Three different body types (sedan, SUV, and subcompact) are available and a wide range of crash speeds can be used. 5 Minute Preview

Fan Cart Physics

Gain an understanding of Newton's Laws by experimenting with a cart (on which up to three fans are placed) on a linear track. The cart has a mass, as does each fan. The fans exert a constant force when switched on, and the direction of the fans can be altered as the position, velocity, and acceleration of the cart are measured. 5 Minute Preview

### P.5: : Science concepts. The student knows the nature of forces in the physical world.

P.5.A: : The student is expected to: describe the concepts of gravitational, electromagnetic, weak nuclear, and strong nuclear forces;

Electromagnetic Induction

Explore how a changing magnetic field can induce an electric current. A magnet can be moved up or down at a constant velocity below a loop of wire, or the loop of wire may be dragged in any direction or rotated. The magnetic and electric fields can be displayed, as well as the magnetic flux and the current in the wire. 5 Minute Preview

P.5.D: : The student is expected to: identify and describe examples of electric and magnetic forces and fields in everyday life such as generators, motors, and transformers;

Electromagnetic Induction

Explore how a changing magnetic field can induce an electric current. A magnet can be moved up or down at a constant velocity below a loop of wire, or the loop of wire may be dragged in any direction or rotated. The magnetic and electric fields can be displayed, as well as the magnetic flux and the current in the wire. 5 Minute Preview

P.5.E: : The student is expected to: characterize materials as conductors or insulators based on their electric properties; and

Circuit Builder

Create circuits using batteries, light bulbs, switches, fuses, and a variety of materials. Examine series and parallel circuits, conductors and insulators, and the effects of battery voltage. Thousands of different circuits can be built with this Gizmo. 5 Minute Preview

P.5.F: : The student is expected to: investigate and calculate current through, potential difference across, resistance of, and power used by electric circuit elements connected in both series and parallel combinations.

Circuit Builder

Create circuits using batteries, light bulbs, switches, fuses, and a variety of materials. Examine series and parallel circuits, conductors and insulators, and the effects of battery voltage. Thousands of different circuits can be built with this Gizmo. 5 Minute Preview

### P.6: : Science concepts. The student knows that changes occur within a physical system and applies the laws of conservation of energy and momentum.

P.6.A: : The student is expected to: investigate and calculate quantities using the work-energy theorem in various situations;

Pulley Lab

Use a pulley system to lift a heavy weight to a certain height. Measure the force required to lift the weight using up to three fixed and three movable pulleys. The weight to be lifted and the efficiency of the pulley system can be adjusted, and the height of the weight and the total input distance are reported. 5 Minute Preview

P.6.B: : The student is expected to: investigate examples of kinetic and potential energy and their transformations;

Air Track

Adjust the mass and velocity of two gliders on a frictionless air track. Measure the velocity, momentum, and kinetic energy of each glider as they approach each other and collide. Collisions can be elastic or inelastic. 5 Minute Preview

Energy Conversion in a System

A falling cylinder is attached to a rotating propeller that stirs and heats the water in a beaker. The mass and height of the cylinder, as well as the quantity and initial temperature of water can be adjusted. The temperature of the water is measured as energy is converted from one form to another. 5 Minute Preview

Energy of a Pendulum

Perform experiments with a pendulum to gain an understanding of energy conservation in simple harmonic motion. The mass, length, and gravitational acceleration of the pendulum can be adjusted, as well as the initial angle. The potential energy, kinetic energy, and total energy of the oscillating pendulum can be displayed on a table, bar chart or graph. 5 Minute Preview

Inclined Plane - Sliding Objects

Investigate the energy and motion of a block sliding down an inclined plane, with or without friction. The ramp angle can be varied and a variety of materials for the block and ramp can be used. Potential and kinetic energy are reported as the block slides down the ramp. Two experiments can be run simultaneously to compare results as factors are varied. 5 Minute Preview

Roller Coaster Physics

Adjust the hills on a toy-car roller coaster and watch what happens as the car careens toward an egg (that can be broken) at the end of the track. The heights of three hills can be manipulated, along with the mass of the car and the friction of the track. A graph of various variables of motion can be viewed as the car travels, including position, speed, acceleration, potential energy, kinetic energy, and total energy. 5 Minute Preview

Trebuchet

Design your own trebuchet to fling a projectile at a castle wall. All of the dimensions of the trebuchet can be adjusted, as well as the masses of the counterweight and payload. Select a target on the Launch tab, or just see how far your projectile will go. 5 Minute Preview

P.6.C: : The student is expected to: calculate the mechanical energy of, power generated within, impulse applied to, and momentum of a physical system;

Air Track

Adjust the mass and velocity of two gliders on a frictionless air track. Measure the velocity, momentum, and kinetic energy of each glider as they approach each other and collide. Collisions can be elastic or inelastic. 5 Minute Preview

Inclined Plane - Sliding Objects

Investigate the energy and motion of a block sliding down an inclined plane, with or without friction. The ramp angle can be varied and a variety of materials for the block and ramp can be used. Potential and kinetic energy are reported as the block slides down the ramp. Two experiments can be run simultaneously to compare results as factors are varied. 5 Minute Preview

P.6.D: : The student is expected to: demonstrate and apply the laws of conservation of energy and conservation of momentum in one dimension; and

Air Track

Adjust the mass and velocity of two gliders on a frictionless air track. Measure the velocity, momentum, and kinetic energy of each glider as they approach each other and collide. Collisions can be elastic or inelastic. 5 Minute Preview

Inclined Plane - Sliding Objects

Investigate the energy and motion of a block sliding down an inclined plane, with or without friction. The ramp angle can be varied and a variety of materials for the block and ramp can be used. Potential and kinetic energy are reported as the block slides down the ramp. Two experiments can be run simultaneously to compare results as factors are varied. 5 Minute Preview

### P.7: : Science concepts. The student knows the characteristics and behavior of waves.

P.7.A: : The student is expected to: examine and describe oscillatory motion and wave propagation in various types of media;

Longitudinal Waves

Observe the propagation of longitudinal (compression) waves in a closed or open tube with evenly-spaced dividers. The strength and frequency of the waves can be manipulated, or waves can be observed as individual pulses. Compare the movement of dividers to graphs of displacement, velocity, acceleration and pressure. 5 Minute Preview

Refraction

Determine the angle of refraction for a light beam moving from one medium to another. The angle of incidence and each index of refraction can be varied. Using the tools provided, the angle of refraction can be measured, and the wavelength and frequency of the waves in each substance can be compared as well. 5 Minute Preview

Ripple Tank

Study wave motion, diffraction, interference, and refraction in a simulated ripple tank. A wide variety of scenarios can be chosen, including barriers with one or two gaps, multiple wave sources, reflecting barriers, or submerged rocks. The wavelength and strength of waves can be adjusted, as well as the amount of damping in the tank. 5 Minute Preview

P.7.B: : The student is expected to: investigate and analyze characteristics of waves, including velocity, frequency, amplitude, and wavelength, and calculate using the relationship between wavespeed, frequency, and wavelength;

Ripple Tank

Study wave motion, diffraction, interference, and refraction in a simulated ripple tank. A wide variety of scenarios can be chosen, including barriers with one or two gaps, multiple wave sources, reflecting barriers, or submerged rocks. The wavelength and strength of waves can be adjusted, as well as the amount of damping in the tank. 5 Minute Preview

Waves

Observe and measure transverse, longitudinal, and combined waves on a model of a spring moved by a hand. Adjust the amplitude and frequency of the hand, and the tension and density of the spring. The speed and power of the waves is reported, and the wavelength and amplitude can be measured. 5 Minute Preview

P.7.C: : The student is expected to: compare characteristics and behaviors of transverse waves, including electromagnetic waves and the electromagnetic spectrum, and characteristics and behaviors of longitudinal waves, including sound waves;

Ripple Tank

Study wave motion, diffraction, interference, and refraction in a simulated ripple tank. A wide variety of scenarios can be chosen, including barriers with one or two gaps, multiple wave sources, reflecting barriers, or submerged rocks. The wavelength and strength of waves can be adjusted, as well as the amount of damping in the tank. 5 Minute Preview

P.7.D: : The student is expected to: investigate behaviors of waves, including reflection, refraction, diffraction, interference, resonance, and the Doppler effect; and

Basic Prism

Shine white light or a single-color beam through a prism. Explore how a prism refracts light and investigate the factors that affect the amount of refraction. The index of refraction of the prism, width of the prism, prism angle, light angle, and light wavelength can be adjusted. 5 Minute Preview

Ripple Tank

P.7.E: : The student is expected to: describe and predict image formation as a consequence of reflection from a plane mirror and refraction through a thin convex lens.

Ray Tracing (Mirrors)

Observe light rays that reflect from a convex or concave mirror. Manipulate the position of an object and the focal length of the mirror and measure the distance and size of the resulting image. 5 Minute Preview

### P.8: : Science concepts. The student knows simple examples of atomic, nuclear, and quantum phenomena.

P.8.A: : The student is expected to: describe the photoelectric effect and the dual nature of light;

Photoelectric Effect

Shoot a beam of light at a metal plate in a virtual lab and observe the effect on surface electrons. The type of metal as well as the wavelength and amount of light can be adjusted. An electric field can be created to resist the electrons and measure their initial energies. 5 Minute Preview

P.8.D: : The student is expected to: give examples of applications of atomic and nuclear phenomena using the standard model such as nuclear stability, fission and fusion, radiation therapy, diagnostic imaging, semiconductors, superconductors, solar cells, and nuclear power and examples of applications of quantum phenomena.

Nuclear Reactions

Explore examples of nuclear fusion and fission reactions. Follow the steps of the proton-proton chain, CNO cycle, and fission of uranium-235. Write balanced nuclear equations for each step, and compare the energy produced in each process. 5 Minute Preview

Correlation last revised: 9/16/2020

About STEM Cases

Students assume the role of a scientist trying to solve a real world problem. They use scientific practices to collect and analyze data, and form and test a hypothesis as they solve the problems.

Each STEM Case uses realtime reporting to show live student results.

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STEM Cases take between 30-90 minutes for students to complete, depending on the case.

Student progress is automatically saved so that STEM Cases can be completed over multiple sessions.

Multiple grade-appropriate versions, or levels, exist for each STEM Case.

Each STEM Case level has an associated Handbook. These are interactive guides that focus on the science concepts underlying the case.

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