High School: OpenSciEd Unit C.2 Structure & Properties of Matter

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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. 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.

Score: 8

Awarded the NGSS Design Badge

Science Discipline: Physical Science

Length: Unit

Year Reviewed: 2023

This unit is anchored by students noticing patterns in videos of lightning, lightning stories, and data about lightning strikes. In Lesson Set 1 (Lessons 1-5), students figure out the interactions cause lightning-like phenomena. They learn about the subatomic structure of an atom and initial ideas about charge and electrostatic forces. In Lesson Set 2 (Lessons 6-9), students figure out how the physical science ideas they developed in prior lessons apply to lightning. They develop Coulomb’s law and ideas about induced polarization. In Lesson Set 3 (Lessons 10-11), students explore how so much energy, manifested as thunder and flashes of light, is transferred in lightning. Finally, in Lesson Set 4, students investigate why certain materials and places are safer than others when lightning strikes. They figure out how the molecular structure of matter leads to macroscopic properties of materials, such as the conduction of electricity through metals and the dissolving of salts in water.

Link to Materials

The following link will direct you to the OpenSciEd Unit C.2 Structure & Properties of Matter unit page: C.2 Structure & Properties of Matter


NGSS Design Badge

Awarded: Nov 28, 2023

Awarded To: OpenSciEd Unit C.2 Structure & Properties of Matter


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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