What Does a Soccer (Football) Player See?

Description:  In this video researchers use eye tracking technology on professional soccer players. The technology is able to track the movements of the participants eyes during different skills and this information is shared with the participants. This technology allows students to see more specifically how information is taken in during sport, and more importantly during life. Students could find patterns in the video or use open source vision tracking software to track their own gaze.

Web Resources:  Pilot Dataset Request Form, TobiiPro Eye Tracking Technology, Eye tracking - Wikipedia, 10 Free Eye Tracking Software Programs [Pros and Cons]


xLabs Eye Gaze Tracking Software

Description:  Using this software students can track their gaze using the web camera in a typical laptop. Software like this is used by companies and marketers to determine how humans track information in a program or browse a website. Students can investigate different images and videos and how the brain takes in information for processing and response.

Web Resources:  xLabs Chrome Extension, xLabs Gaze Website,  10 Free Eye Tracking Software Programs [Pros and Cons]


How to Make a Cloud in Your Mouth

Description:  This phenomenon can be used to show how water moves from the atmosphere to the hydrosphere. The humidity of the air in the mouth is increased by moving the tongue releasing water from the salivary gland. The pressure in the mouth in increased and then rapidly decreased causing small droplets of water to form. The same phenomenon occurs as moist air moves up in the atmosphere eventually forming clouds. A light can be used to make the cloud more visible.

Web Resource:  The Kids Should See This


Why Does Cutting an Onion Make You Cry?

Description:  This phenomenon can be used to illustrate both chemical reactions and the particle nature of matter. Onions gather sulfur from the ground to form large organic compounds. When the cells in an onion are breached (during cutting or eating) they release sulfenic acid which becomes a sulfur containing gas that eventually reaches your eye. Your eyes produce tears to remove the irritant. Students could speculate on how the irritant reaches your eyes and even investigate possible solutions to this problem. This phenomenon was submitted by Brian Babulic.

Web Resource:  Science News for Kids - Informational Text Article


Fire Piston

Description:  Fire pistons have been used for hundreds of years as a fire started. Tinder is place in a seal tube and a piston is rapidly pushed into the tube. The air is compressed increasing the pressure and temperature until the ignition point of the tinder is reached. A diesel engine works in a similar fashion. This phenomenon can be used to introduce the particle model of air and temperature as a measure of the kinetic energy of particles.

Web Resource:  Fire piston - Wikipedia


Ice-cutting Experiment

Description:  In this experiment, by Derek Muller at Veritasium, a copper wire and fishing string are attached to weights and placed over a block of ice. An increase in pressure causes the ices to melt below the wire and freeze after. The difference in behavior of the wire and the string are related to the material since metal is a better thermal conductor of heat. This phenomenon can be used in a unit on the particle model and state change. It can also be used to compare the thermal conductivity of different materials.

Web Resources:  Regelation, Wikipedia,  Thermal conductivity - Wikipedia


Cavendish Experiment

Description:  Henry Cavendish was the first scientist to measure the gravitational force between two objects in the laboratory using a gravitational torsion balance. In this video physics teacher Andrew Bennett attempts to recreate this experiment. Reading the comments section is very interesting. Pseudoscientific flat-earthers attempt to point out errors in the Mr. Bennett's experiment. Students could attempt to recreate the experiment or join in the conversation.

Web Resources:  Cavendish Experiment - Wikipedia, Gravitational Torsion Balance - Pasco


Inflation of Moth Coremata

Description:  This viral video (with added sound effect) shows an entomologist inflating the coremata in a recently deceased male moth. This pheromone-producing organ will normally sit inside the moth but will be used during courtship to attract potential mates. It is inflated with blood or air. This phenomenon could be used as an example of how organisms increase their change of reproduction through internal and external structures.

Web Resources:  Inflatable Moth Butt Featherdusters - Wired, Hair-pencil and coremata - Wikipedia


Seeing the Moon During the Day

Description:  Many students (and teachers) believe that you can only see the moon during the nighttime. You can actually see the moon during the day almost every day. You just need to know where and when to look. This phenomenon can be used to start building an accurate conceptual model of where the Earth is in space. Students should start recording patters of where and when the moon can be seen and then accounting for this evidence using a model.

Web Resource:  Why Do We See the Moon in Daylight - Space.com


Milk and Soap Experiment

Description:  Milk is made up of water, fat, and proteins. Each of these molecules have charges and are held together by intramolecular forces. When the dish soap is added to the plate it quickly disperses across the surface as it is attracted to the water molecules and the food coloring is pulled along. This could be used as an anchoring phenomenon on matter, materials, or intramolecular forces.

Web Resource:  Colors on the Mooooove - ACS


Star Trails

Description:  A star trail is a long exposure photograph that show the movement of stars in the night sky. The stars appear to move in the sky but it is actually the rotation of the Earth that causes the perceived movement. This phenomenon could be used to build a better conceptual model of the Earth place in the solar system, galaxy, or Universe.

Web Resource:  Star trails - Wikipedia

star trails.jpg

Raw or Boiled Egg Experiment

Description:  This is a simple experiment to demonstrate the idea of inertia. Students could be given eggs that are both raw and boiled and they could use evidence to support the identity of the labeled eggs. In the raw egg the yolk and fluid act as independent objects and so they will continue moving when the egg is briefly stopped.

Web Resource:  Newton’s First Law - the Physics Classroom


Desert Beetle Harvests Water

Description:  Certain species of darkling beetles that live in the Namib Desert are able to harvest water vapor using an ingenious series of tips and bumps on their wing scales. The water droplets start to form on the tips and then flow off the waxy bumps to be collected by the beetle. This structure allows the beetle to survive in an incredibly arid environment but could also be used by engineers to develop a similar system for collecting water for humans. Students should use this and other plants and animal phenomenon to start designing their own solutions to human problems.

Web ResourceWater Vapor Harvesting - Ask Nature, Darkling Beetles:  


Mouthbrooding Fish

Description:  Lake Malawi contains a curious species of fish (ciclid) that holds their offspring in their mouth as they grow and develop. The eggs are fertilized and then help in the mouth until the offspring are able to survive on their own. The parents can still feed while they are taking care of the young but they will generally not feed as much. This phenomenon could be used to explore parental care and could be extended to discuss evolution of this interesting adaptation in this lake.

Web Resource:  Mouthbrooding - Wikipedia


Caine’s Arcade

Description:  Caine's Arcade is a short video detailing one summer of 9-year old Caine Monroy as he builds an arcade in his father's auto shop. This video went viral and inspired the Cardboard Challenge through which thousands of students have created arcades of their own. As long as the arcade games created change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull (e.g. a pinball machine) they can be used as an engineering challenge in this unit on pushes and pulls.

Web Resource:  Caine's Arcade: A boy's cardboard arcade that inspired the world


Supercooled Water

Description:  Supercooling occurs when the temperature of a liquid is lowered below the freezing point without forming a solid. In the case of water it needs a seed crystal or a nucleation site to start forming ice. If the water has been filtered through reverse osmosis or chemical demineralization it can be safely cooled below the freezing point. Simple shaking the bottle forms solid ice.

Web Resource:  Supercooling - Wikpedia

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Programmable Droplets from MIT

Description:  Researchers from MIT have developed a technique for moving droplets of fluid around using electric fields. This could allow biological tests and research (which normally use pumps) to combine micro amounts of fluid around more economically. This design solution could be used as an anchoring or supporting phenomenon around electric charge, electromagnetic fields, and Coulomb's Law.

Web Resource:  Programmable droplets - MIT News