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STC My Generation™: Electricity, Waves, and Information Transfer

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Grades 6–8. During the Electricity, Waves, and Information Transfer unit, students design and test real-world technologies, excellent contexts for investigating electricity, information transfer, and waves characteristics. Additionally, electric circuits make excellent models for studying the role of electricity in an animal’s ability to sense and respond to the environment. This unit addresses the 3 dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for grades 6 through 8.

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Grades 6–8. Electrical and communications technologies abound in modern life. In homes, schools, and community centers, students utilize everything from lightbulbs and toasters to smartphones and tablets. All of these technologies, from simple to complex, provide excellent contexts for investigating key science concepts, including energy transfer and conservation, electromagnetic forces, current and static electricity, and wave characteristics. Designing and testing real-world technologies is an appealing, motivating way to develop science and engineering skills. Additionally, electric circuits make excellent models for studying the role of electricity in an animal’s ability to sense and respond to the environment.

STC My Generation™: Electricity, Waves, and Information Transfer supports students’ growth in science and engineering through engagement in these types of investigations and activities. The unit addresses Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) performance expectations, disciplinary core ideas, associated science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts for grades 6 through 8. It allows students to develop an understanding of concepts, test ideas, and gain engineering skills through experimentation with electric circuit components and optical fibers. By completing the unit, students will develop a better understanding of electrical and information technologies they interact with daily.

To structure and scaffold the development of students’ knowledge, skills, and cognitive reasoning, the unit includes a sequence of 4 primary lesson types: Skills and Knowledge Building lessons, an Exploration Activity, Systems lessons, and Applications lessons. In addition, the unit begins with a pre-assessment, allowing educators to assess students’ preconceptions, misconceptions, and skills that relate to the practices, and each ends with an assessment lesson that comprises performance and written assessment activities.

The Electricity, Waves, and Information Transfer unit addresses the following standards:
Alignment to Next Generation Science Standards
Performance Expectations

  • MS-PS2-3
  • MS-PS3-3
  • MS-PS3-5
  • MS-PS4-1
  • MS-PS4-2
  • MS-PS4-3
  • MS-LS1-8
  • MS-ETS1-1
  • MS-ETS1-2
  • MS-ETS1-3
  • MS-ETS1-4

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Asking questions and defining problems
  • Developing and using models
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions
  • Engaging in argument from evidence
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Using mathematics and computational thinking
  • Connections to nature of science: Scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Energy and matter
  • Structure and function
  • Patterns
  • Cause and effect
  • Connections to engineering, technology, and applications of science: Influence of science, engineering, and technology on society and the natural world
  • Connections to the nature of science: Science is a human endeavor

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • PS2.B: Types of interactions
  • PS3.A: Definitions of energy
  • PS3.B: Conservation of energy and energy transfer
  • PS4.A: Wave properties
  • PS4.B: Electromagnetic radiation
  • PS4.C: Information technologies and instrumentation
  • LS1.D: Information processing

Connections to Common Core English Language Arts

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.4
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.7
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1.c
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1.d
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.3
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.4
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.5
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.6-8.1.b
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.6-8.2

Connections to Common Core Mathematics

  • CCSS.Math.Content.8.F.B.5

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