Middle School: OpenSciEd Unit 7.2: How Can We Use Chemical Reactions to Design a Solution to a Problem?
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: Physical Science, Engineering
Year Reviewed: 2021
In this 21-day unit, students are introduced to the anchoring phenomenon—a flameless heater in a Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) that provides hot food to people by just adding water. In the first lesson set, students explore the inside of an MRE flameless heater, then do investigations to collect evidence to support the idea that this heater and another type of flameless heater (a single-use hand warmer) are undergoing chemical reactions as they get warm. Students have an opportunity to reflect on the engineering design process, defining stakeholders, and refining the criteria and constraints for the design solution.
In the second lesson set, students develop their design solutions by investigating how much food and reactants they should include in their homemade heater designs and go through a series of iterative testing and redesigning. This iterative design cycle includes peer feedback, consideration of design modification consequences, and analysis of impacts on stakeholders. Finally, students optimize their designs and have another team test their homemade heater instructions.
Link to Materials
The following link will direct you to OpenSciEd’s Unit 7.2 Unit Overview Page: OpenSciEd Unit 7.2: How Can We Use Chemical Reactions to Design a Solution to a Problem?
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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