OpenSciEd is a nonprofit organization that brings together educators, philanthropic organizations, curriculum developers, and professional development providers to improve science education through the development and implementation of high-quality, freely available science instructional materials. While this work has begun at the middle school level with Grades 6 through 8, the goal of OpenSciEd is to ensure that all educators, from elementary to high school, have access to a free, coherent, rigorous, research-based set of instructional materials that will support all students in meeting the vision for science literacy described in A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards.
Awarded the NGSS Design Badge
Science Discipline: Physical Science
Year Reviewed: 2020
How does a one-way mirror work? Though most everyone knows that one-way mirrors exist, having students model how they work turns out to be a very effective way to develop their thinking about how visible light travels and how we see images. Initial student models reveal a wide variety of ideas and explanations that motivate the unit investigations that help students figure out what is going on and lead them to a deeper understanding of the world around them.
A video of an experience with a one-way mirror gets students to organize and write down their initial ideas and then test those ideas and figure out what is really happening. Students build a scaled box model of what they saw in the video to test out their ideas. Using two boxes combined together with a one-way mirror in between the two, students vary the presence of light in the two boxes to figure out how a one-way mirror works and improve their initial models so they accurately explain how light is reflected and transmitted through materials and the basics of how these behaviors of light result in the images we see.
As the first unit in the OpenSciEd program, during the course of this unit, students also develop the foundation for classroom norms for collaboration that will be important across the whole program.
Link to Materials
The following link will direct you to OpenSciEd’s Unit 6.1 Unit Overview Page: OpenSciEd Unit 6.1: Why Do We Sometimes See Different Things When Looking at the Same Object?
The NGSS Design Badge is awarded only to the version of this unit that was reviewed. If any modifications are made to this unit, the revised version cannot be promoted as having earned the badge.
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