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Middle School Science

You can make experiments the most fun and engaging part of your science class. Experienced educators and curriculum specialists have developed each of these lessons, and we have tested them in real classrooms. PocketLab middle school lessons span across all the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) disciplines. Browse all the middle school lessons below or use the filters to search for specific content.

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Investigating Thermal Energy and Particle Motion

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Submitted by PocketLab on Sat, 02/09/2019 - 00:28

How does adding thermal energy effect the particle motion of a gas? 

Background Information

Matter makes up everything around us. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the chair we are sitting on, the cells in our body, it is all made up of matter. Matter can exist in different states: Take water for example, it can exist as a solid (an ice cube), liquid (water in a cup for drinking), and gas  (vapor rising from a boiling pot of water). In all three states, water is always made of the same molecules, H20.

Grade Level

Investigating Thermal Energy and Particle Motion

Profile picture for user PocketLab
Submitted by PocketLab on Sat, 02/09/2019 - 00:28

How does adding thermal energy effect the particle motion of a gas? 

Background Information

Matter makes up everything around us. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the chair we are sitting on, the cells in our body, it is all made up of matter. Matter can exist in different states: Take water for example, it can exist as a solid (an ice cube), liquid (water in a cup for drinking), and gas  (vapor rising from a boiling pot of water). In all three states, water is always made of the same molecules, H20.

Grade Level

How to teach NGSS MS-PS2-2: Newton's Second Law

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Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 02/08/2019 - 18:43

Using a Half-Atwood Machine for Newton's Second Law

The Half-Atwood Machine consists of a cart and a weight connected by a string. It can be a perfect tool for tackling NGSS MS-PS2-2, which is centered around planning an investigation into Newton’s Second Law. Specifically, the standard says: 

Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object. 

How to teach NGSS MS-PS2-2: Newton's Second Law

Profile picture for user PocketLab
Submitted by PocketLab on Fri, 02/08/2019 - 18:43

Using a Half-Atwood Machine for Newton's Second Law

The Half-Atwood Machine consists of a cart and a weight connected by a string. It can be a perfect tool for tackling NGSS MS-PS2-2, which is centered around planning an investigation into Newton’s Second Law. Specifically, the standard says: 

Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object. 

Investigating Newton's Third Law with Crash Cushion Engineering

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Submitted by PocketLab on Wed, 02/06/2019 - 18:44

Engineering Crash Cushions to Learn Newton's Third Law

Background Information

Car crashes are a dangerous example of Newton's Third Law. The car exerts a large force on the wall and the wall then exerts a large force back onto the car. Civil engineers are always trying to think of new ways to make highways safer. Building crash cushions along highways that reduce the impact force of the collision will, according to Newton's Third Law, also reduce force experienced by the passengers of the car. This can save lives. But how should these crash cushions be designed? 

Grade Level

Investigating Newton's Third Law with Crash Cushion Engineering

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Submitted by PocketLab on Wed, 02/06/2019 - 18:44

Engineering Crash Cushions to Learn Newton's Third Law

Background Information

Car crashes are a dangerous example of Newton's Third Law. The car exerts a large force on the wall and the wall then exerts a large force back onto the car. Civil engineers are always trying to think of new ways to make highways safer. Building crash cushions along highways that reduce the impact force of the collision will, according to Newton's Third Law, also reduce force experienced by the passengers of the car. This can save lives. But how should these crash cushions be designed? 

Grade Level

How to teach NGSS MS-PS2-1: Newton's Third Law

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Submitted by PocketLab on Wed, 02/06/2019 - 00:19

Using PocketLab to Teach MS-PS2-1: Engineering Design and Newton's Third Law

NGSS Standard MS-PS2-1: What's in the standard?

Teaching NGSS Standard MS-PS2-1 can have challenges. Students need to apply principles in forces and motion to engineer a design that will solve a problem. The performance expectation for the standard states: Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.

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Grade Level