Physical Science STEM Challenge & Podcast: Ion Collider! (distance learning)

Grade Levels
6th - 8th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
10 pages
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Make your own Ion Collider! 

In this activity students will listen to an online podcast where a physicist, Dr. Gene Van Buren, explains his work with an Ion Collider and how he uses it to understand the universe. Students complete guided questions to understand the science behind Dr. Van Buren’s work, directly connected with NGSS MS-PS3-3. Students then explore online resources to enhance understanding and make real life connections. Students apply everything they learn from Dr. Van Buren to build their own Ion Collider model! The activity concludes with ‘next step’ resources to explore emerging physical science discoveries and careers in physics. 

This activity is designed for distance learning, and can be completed independently by middle school students. Will take students approximately 2 hours to complete. Provided as an editable WORD document to accommodate a wide variety of distance learning models.

New to podcasts? Watch this video with your students first: What is a podcast?

Total Pages
10 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 hours
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
Apply scientific principles to design, construct, and test a device that either minimizes or maximizes thermal energy transfer. Examples of devices could include an insulated box, a solar cooker, and a Styrofoam cup. Assessment does not include calculating the total amount of thermal energy transferred.
Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures. Emphasis is on developing models of molecules that vary in complexity. Examples of simple molecules could include ammonia and methanol. Examples of extended structures could include sodium chloride or diamonds. Examples of molecular-level models could include drawings, 3D ball and stick structures, or computer representations showing different molecules with different types of atoms. Assessment does not include valence electrons and bonding energy, discussing the ionic nature of subunits of complex structures, or a complete depiction of all individual atoms in a complex molecule or extended structure.


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