Faculty and their graduate students work with the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL) to develop inquiry-based science 'modules' related to their research. Ideally, these modules are 1-2 hours in length and incorporate hands-on activities. Training through DCAL is available on the development of effective inquiry-based modules. Once a module is developed it is published on the Dartmouth Outreach website and Nancy Serrell, Director of Outreach, will connect researchers with K-12 teachers in the area who might be interested in adopting the module or having a graduate student or faculty member visit their classroom to present the module.
Overview: During an earthquake, buildings move – or oscillate. If the frequency of this oscillation is close to the natural frequency of the building, resonance may cause severe damage. This lesson encourages students to observe how the mass, stiffness, and height of buildings affect their motion and how buildings respond to resonant motions.
Overview: About 90% of flowering plants rely on bees and other animals for reproduction through pollination. Pollinators, in turn, benefit from plants by receiving food in the form of nectar and pollen. This "win-win" relationship between plants and pollinators is called a mutualism. This lesson encourages students to understand mutualisms from the POV of both plants and pollinators, and gain an intuition for the effects that human disturbance can have on plant- pollinator interactions.
Overview: Mental operations can come into conflict with each other. For example, it is exceedingly difficult to both remember a list of 15 words and count backwards from 500 in multiples of 7. This is because distinct mental processes (remembering, computing a number) can share mental resources. This lesson explores a similar kind of mental conflict directly, by replicating a famous psychological effect discovered by John Ridley Stroop.
Supporting materials: Worksheet for From DNA to Protein
Overview: In this lesson students will become more familiar with the processes of transcription and translation by performing these tasks with puzzle-like pieces that represent DNA, RNA, tRNA, and amino acid molecules.
Supporting materials: Pasta-Bone Model Worksheet
Overview: This lesson includes a hands-‐on exploration of the structure and function of bone.
Overview: Students will use a slinky and a microwave to explore the properties of waves (frequency and wavelength) and have a general understanding of electromagnetic radiation.
Overview: Our brains are essential for everything that we do, from seeing, to moving, to thinking. This exercise was developed to help students differentiate between the main regions of the brain, and use group- collaboration and critical thinking to discover what kinds of functions these regions are responsible for.
Overview: Astronomers can't go out and do experiments on the stars; the only tool we have to learn about the universe is light. Through this activity, students will discover how astronomers use light to determine what astronomical objects are made of.
Last Updated: 7/24/12