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The projects you will find here have been curated by BIE and were gathered from online project libraries. If any of the links don't work go directly to the organization's website. These projects are meant to inspire your own ideas or may be adapted to fit the needs of your classroom.

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204 results found in "Science, Middle School".

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Project Subjects Summary

A Green Light for CFLs?
National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
Experienced

Science

In this problem-based learning case, three housemates in an environmentally-themed college house debate the pros and cons of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) over incandescent lamps. The students raise issues of the cost difference between the lamps (both in the short and long term), energy use and greenhouse gas production in the manufacture and use of the lamps, and the mercury content in CFLs and the risks that poses to people and the environment. Students are asked to identify the information needed to evaluate the choice between the two lamp types, and then use a published life-cycle analysis to find and evaluate that information. To conclude, they make a decision and argue for it using quantitative evidence and reasoning. The case was developed for an intermediate-level course designed to help environmental studies students understand the role of scientific information and scientific thinking in resolving complex environmental problems.

A Home for Everyone
BIE National Faculty
Beginner

Science

This unit opens with a field trip to the local zoo.  In this Project-based Learning experience, students explore their local environment and describe conditions within a habitat that are beneficial for living things and those that are not good for living things.  Individually, students will formulate and write a Habitat Report in which they introduce their chosen zoo animal, their opinion for the best habitat, and supply reasons that support the opinion, and provide a concluding statement or section.  As teams, students will create and present their Habitat Plan “Sales Pitch” to zookeepers and local zoology students/professors as a team.  Students will collaborate with local recycling agents, local zookeepers, and local zoology students to perform research to help support their opinions.

Common Core Standards

A Typical Cold?
National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
Experienced

Science

In this problem-based learning case, a couple who has adopted a three-year-old toddler is concerned about the child’s health, in particular the fact that the boy wheezes when he breathes. Students work in groups to analyze a variety of information and formulate a diagnosis. The case was developed for a two-semester anatomy and physiology class for undergraduates to teach them about cell physiology and tissue anatomy.

AIDS and the Duesberg Phenomenon
Experienced

Science

Renowned virologist and member of the prestigious National Academy of Science, Peter Duesberg has argued that AIDS is not caused by HIV, but is the result of recreational and anti-HIV drugs.  In this PBL case, students read Duesberg’s 1999 article in Science magazine titled “HIV is Not the Cause of AIDS” as well as a response to it titled “HIV Causes AIDS” by medical researchers Dr. William A. Blattner and colleagues.  Students work in groups to identify the issues as well as any terms or concepts they don’t understand, then research these out of class to pool their information as they learn about AIDS and HIV.

Am I Freezing?
West Virginia DOE
Beginner

Science

Students will prepare a presentation demonstrating the transfer of energy from ice cream mix to ice.

Amber’s Secret
National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
Experienced

Science

This problem-based case focuses on the female menstrual cycle and early stages of pregnancy of an unwed teenager. Working in small groups, students identify the learning issues for each part of the story and research answers to their questions. They are then given more of the case to evaluate. The cycle of analysis, information seeking, and sharing is repeated for each stage of the case. The case can be used in numerous settings including general health, biology, and sociology classes or in more specialized courses such as physiology, endocrinology, nursing, medicine, human development, social services, or counseling.

Analog Flash for Windows
High Tech High
Expert

Arts
Math
Science

Students will create an interactive, museum-quality exhibit that fit in a window frame and illustrated a principle of math or physics. Analog: most of the projects were mechanical.  The products were made not for PCs, but for the actual 24” x 24” x 5” interior windows of the school.

Common Core Standards

Ancient Machines
High Tech High
Experienced

English Language Arts
Science

Working from a machine or invention in present-day use, each student chooses and researches one integral part that existed before 1400 C.E.  Students produce original videos documenting their findings.

Common Core Standards

Ancient Sailing and Seafarers
High Tech High
Experienced

English Language Arts
Science

Students will examine the technology and physics of sailing while building their own sail cars that can move upwind. They will consider how different societies solved problems common to water travel: stability, buoyancy, movement, and direction.

Common Core Standards

Angle Management
High Tech High
Beginner

Arts
Math
Science

Students will apply, meaning to form, intellect to object, and the ideals of balance, harmony & symmetry.  They will be create a potter’s wheel and spinning art pieces to evoke all angles of human emotion.

Common Core Standards

Are We Identical Twins, Too?
West Virginia DOE
Beginner

Science

Students will predict the genetic variability of two cousins whose parents are both identical twins. Parts of their research will include making observations and analyzing the probability of offspring’s genotype after completing various Punnett squares and applying the Mendelian Genetic Laws.

Bee Detective
The Nature Conservancy
Beginner

Science

Use an interactive in the associated presentation that includes features of a honeybee colony. The interactive includes potential causes of colony collapse disorder (CCD). Students explore the interactive and “report” back to the queen bee (teacher) with possible causes of CCD.

Biome Adventures for the World Traveler
West Virginia DOE
Beginner

Science

Students will develop an understanding of various biomes of the world and apply that knowledge in a multimedia presentation.

Blake’s Illness
National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
Experienced

Science

Blake is sick.  With his background in the sciences and a little help from the Internet, he should be able to do a self-diagnosis.  Or can he?  As the case unfolds, students follow the course of Blake’s illness.  Part I of the case details the initial signs of Blake’s illness and his attempts at self-diagnosis.  Students are asked to identify a potential list of disorders based on the limited symptoms presented.  Part II describes the results of the doctors’ physical exam and initial laboratory tests.  At this point, students should be able to narrow the list of possibilities.  Part III reveals the cause of the illness and the course of treatment.  The case works well as an interrupted case that can be assigned to individual students or student teams.  It was written for a School of Pharmacy microbiology course, but could easily be used in a medical microbiology or infectious diseases course.

Blocking Sound
West Virginia DOE
Beginner

Science

Students will be given a job posting from a construction company looking for innovative ideas for building soundproof walls in an apartment complex.  They will create a multimedia presentation on the different types of materials and technology used to block sound from traveling through a barrier.

Bridges Project
Virtual Schoolhouse
Beginner

English Language Arts
Math
Science

Students explore principles of physics and math, and hone English skills through the development of bridge proposals and working scale models.

Common Core Standards

Calendar of Forest Park
Expeditionary Learning
Beginner

Arts
English Language Arts
Science

This project uses a calendar format for combining written description and visual depiction of a local resource, in which students investigated a neighborhood resource while also learning about the function and layout of calendars.

Common Core Standards

California, Who Are You?
Envision Schools
Beginner

Science

Students explored different issues affecting California’s geology and environment through a group inquiry project. In lieu of writing an essay, students translated the essay format into a script for a Public Service Announcement (PSA), and then students worked to find and create images for the PSA after a discussion around persuasive tactics.

Can You Trust the Water?
BIE National Faculty
Beginner

Science

Since the local lake (10 miles from school) is a source of much income and many jobs, the quality of the water running into the lake is extremely important. Working in teams of 3 or 4, students will determine the components of surface water that can enhance or hinder water quality. They will then investigate our local watershed and select “interesting” places they think might introduce some of those components (point sources) and will regularly sample and test those places for the various components. Data will be compiled and communicated to the Lake Improvement Association at the end of one year of study. Teams will also contribute to a class book on how to test for the various components and what those components do, as well as a class video on running the various tests.

Common Core Standards

Catch the Fever
ConnectEd
Experienced

English Language Arts
Health
Math
Science
Social Studies
World Languages

Students investigate the role of microorganisms in causing disease. They also study the impact of a public health infrastructure, along with medical and pharmaceutical advances, on the evolution of microorganisms.

Common Core Standards

Chemical Identity Masks
High Tech High
Beginner

Arts
Science

Student created a two-sided identity mask. On one side they represented their personal identity, as it has been formed through their socialization by family, friends, and the media. On the other side they represented a chemical element that they felt best symbolized their personality.

Chemistry and Conflict
High Tech High
Beginner

Arts
English Language Arts
Science

Students created copper etchings, conducted library research, wrote lengthy history chapters, and developed their own mini-projects related to a contemporary conflict.

Common Core Standards

Climate Change
Envision Schools
Beginner

Science
Social Studies

Students study energy transfer and biomes in science, and look at the history of industrialization in specific developed and developing countries.  This project is an exploration of climate and weather, the factors that lead to climate change, how industrialization has affected climate, and how countries are responding to climate concerns and industrial development.

Closing the Gap
National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
Experienced

Science

In this problem-based learning/role playing case, students apply their knowledge of the biology of HIV/AIDS and antiretroviral therapy to developing foreign aid policy for the HIV/AIDS crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. The case was created for a non-majors course in human biology taken mostly by juniors or seniors. It has also been used in a microbiology course for pre-nursing students and in an upper-level microbiology course for biology majors.

Community Activity Guide: Living Systems
The Nature Conservancy
Beginner

Science

Many elements are interconnected and function together to create the natural and productive living system that is your garden. The purpose of this activity guide is to teach students the ecological functions found in any natural system and model how these functions are performed by a natural area like a garden.

This guide can be used on its own or as a foundation for participating in the Nature Works Everywhere: Gardens program. While all of the other Gardens Activity Guides require a garden or some type of natural area to use as an outdoor classroom, this Activity Guide can be used as a traditional lesson plan in the classroom that uses a virtual garden to model the same principles and concepts. If you have no natural space or garden, this is the perfect guide for you!

In Part 1 of the guide, students learn about and model natural systems that function to filter rainwater, provide habitat, reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, improve soil and produce food. In Part 2, students use the garden design tool at www.NatureWorksEverywhere.org to map a natural area and create a virtual garden that performs and models the ecological functions they have learned about.

Conservation Forensics: Bushmeat
High Tech High
Expert

Science

Students are exposed to important theoretical and practical exercises in bioinformatics, molecular biology, forensics, international policy and conservation biology.  The goals of the program involve developing methods to identify dried meat and fur samples using DNA isolation, amplification, sequencing and alignment techniques.

Corn Ethanol: Using Corn to Make Fuel?
National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
Experienced

Science

This problem-based case study guides students through a systematic exploration of the scientific issues surrounding the production and development of bio-fuels. A PowerPoint presentation introduces a New York Times article outlining the impact current Federal renewable-fuel standards have on the allocation of our annual corn crop. The article argues that our current policy, which diverts approximately 40 percent of the annual corn crop towards ethanol production, is based on unfounded claims that such a practice will decrease our reliance on fossil fuels, decrease the cost of gasoline, decrease carbon dioxide emissions and increase the overall supply of gasoline. Students are next given two primary literature articles that address relevant scientific and technical considerations. The case study is designed to illustrate the direct application of chemical kinetics and catalysis to a timely issue with important political and economic ramifications. This case study is designed for a second semester/second quarter general chemistry course, and is generally presented after the units on chemical kinetics and rate laws have been covered.

Courtyard Re-Design
Beginner

Arts
Math
Science

Students from Schenk Elementary School present their finished designs to a group of school architects, planners, & designers. The video also demonstrates teacher planning.

Common Core Standards

Cow of the Future
National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science
Experienced

Science

In this case developed for an introductory general microbiology course, students consider concepts of bacterial genetics as they act as consultants to a foundation interested in funding innovative products. Students take the role of advising “the baroness” who provides the funds for the foundation. The Baroness has no expertise in bacterial genetics and is trying to understand a proposal for the development of a microbial product that would impact the amount of methane emitted to the atmosphere by cattle.  Students must consider the role of rumen bacteria and how genetic modification may alter the potential of these bacteria. The case engages students in learning basic principles of bacterial genetics and biotechnology as they consider how microbes and microbial processes impact the environment. The case could also be used in an introductory genetics or biotechnology course.

Crime Scene Investigation
ConnectEd
Experienced

English Language Arts
Health
Math
Science
Social Studies

Students take on the role of crime scene investigators to solve a murder that has occurred at the school.

Common Core Standards


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