Middle School: OpenSciEd Unit 6.5: Where Do Natural Hazards Happen and How Do We Prepare for Them?
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.
Rating: Example of High Quality NGSS Design
Awarded the NGSS Design Badge
Science Discipline: Earth and Space Science, Engineering
Year Reviewed: 2021
This unit begins with students experiencing, through text and video, a devastating natural event that caused major flooding in coastal towns of Japan. This event was the 2011 Great Sendai or Tōhoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami that caused major loss of life and property in Japan. Through this anchoring phenomenon, students think about ways to detect tsunamis, warn people, and reduce damage from the wave. As students design solutions to solve this problem, they begin to wonder about the natural hazard itself: what causes it, where it happens, and how it causes damage.
The first part of the unit focuses on identifying where tsunamis occur, how they form, how they move across the ocean, and what happens as they approach shore. The second part of the unit transitions students to consider combinations of engineering design solutions and technologies to mitigate the effects of tsunamis. Finally, students apply their understanding to consider how to communicate about another natural hazard to stakeholders in a community.
Link to Materials
The following link will direct you to OpenSciEd’s Unit 6.5 Unit Overview Page: OpenSciEd Unit 6.5: Where Do Natural Hazards Happen and How Do We Prepare for Them?
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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