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Synthetic Materials and Natural Resources Activity BUNDLE with Impact on Society

Grade Levels
7th - 10th
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Zip
  • Webquests
  • Activity
17 pages
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    This bundle was specifically designed for NGSS MS-PS1-3: Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society.

    Bundle Includes:

    Synthetic & Natural Materials Introductory WEBQUEST

    Synthetic Products from Natural Materials WORKSHEET

    Synthetic Materials Impact on Society READING & ANALYSIS

    Materials of the Future RESEARCH PROJECT

    Natural & Synthetic Materials Impact on Society TIMELINE

    Individual Descriptions:

    Synthetic Materials Impact on Society Reading & Questions: In this activity, students will:

    • READ the article "Natural & Synthetic Chemicals: Good Guys & Bad Guys". The reading is specifically designed to support MS-PS1-3, describing natural and synthetic chemicals, how synthetic chemicals can be made from natural resources, and many interesting examples of how chemicals have impacted society in both negative and positive ways.
    • ANSWER analysis questions based on the text and their own ideas about the importance (and future) of chemicals.

    Synthetic Products from Natural Materials Worksheet: This activity has 2 parts:

    • ARTICLE: Students read a handout that describes the process by which crude oil is separated based on the individual boiling points of its components. Students learn how materials such as kerosene, gasoline, and lubrication oils are separated in a fractionating column based solely on their boiling point.
    • WORKSHEET: Students label a diagram of a fractionating column and answer 6 text-dependent review questions.

    Materials of the Future Research Project: This activity includes the following components:

    • CHOICE: Students choose from a provided list of 17 "materials of the future".
    • RESEARCH: Students follow clear instructions to use the internet to find information about their material, including its source, its properties and function, and its potential impact on society in the future. To make the research easier, students are provided a "Research Organizer" that serves as a guide for what questions to research as well as a place to record their findings.
    • PRESENTATION: Students create a presentation (using their or your choice of applications such as Google Slides or Canva) to present what they have learned.

    Natural & Synthetic Materials Impact on Society Timeline Project: JUST PRINT, CUT, ASSEMBLE! Everything you need is included for students to create a Natural and Synthetic Materials Impact on Society Timeline or bulletin board. TWO VERSIONS are provided. Here's the process for students:

    • Tape or glue together the provided timeline templates (4 - 8.5"x11" sheets)
    • Color code the 20 material boxes according to their source
    • Attach information boxes to the timeline
    • Enter the dates
    • Add pictures (provided) to each of the entries.

    Synthetic & Natural Materials Introductory Webquest: This web activity is not based on any particular website, rather students use Google to find the specifically requested information. Therefore, it is best suited to classes that can independently find information online and pull information from text. In this webquest, students will:

    • Define synthetic and natural materials.
    • Research 8 different products, each of which has a natural and synthetic version. List the source of the material, properties, and function of each version (synthetic or natural).
    • Research the advantages and disadvantages of 3 commonly used materials that have both synthetic and natural versions.

    Answer keys included.

    Please note: these PDF resources are not editable.

    We have lots of related resources in the Properties of Matter Section,

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    Total Pages
    17 pages
    Answer Key
    Teaching Duration
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    to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
    Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment. Examples of the design process include examining human environmental impacts, assessing the kinds of solutions that are feasible, and designing and evaluating solutions that could reduce that impact. Examples of human impacts can include water usage (such as the withdrawal of water from streams and aquifers or the construction of dams and levees), land usage (such as urban development, agriculture, or the removal of wetlands), and pollution (such as of the air, water, or land).
    Gather and make sense of information to describe that synthetic materials come from natural resources and impact society. Emphasis is on natural resources that undergo a chemical process to form the synthetic material. Examples of new materials could include new medicine, foods, and alternative fuels. Assessment is limited to qualitative information.
    Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems. Examples of evidence include grade-appropriate databases on human populations and the rates of consumption of food and natural resources (such as freshwater, mineral, and energy). Examples of impacts can include changes to the appearance, composition, and structure of Earth’s systems as well as the rates at which they change. The consequences of increases in human populations and consumption of natural resources are described by science, but science does not make the decisions for the actions society takes.


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