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RET Developed Lesson Plans

These lesson plans were developed by individual teachers, as part of the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program run by CPIMA.

RET 2007

A Model of a Scanning Tunneling Microscope
Level: High School Physics, (9th grade)
Description: Through this activity, students will have a better understanding of how an STM works in an atomic model. Students will also be able to manipulate working atomic models and understand the electrostatic forces holding atoms together in a crystal.
Developed by:
Jonathan Rockman (science teacher - Castilleja School, Palo Alto, CA)

Lesson on Proteins
Level: High School Chemistry
Description: The following is a game designed to help engage students in their understanding of protein importance, function, synthesis, structure, and molecular make-up.
Developed by:
David Paynter (science teacher - Civic Center High School, San Francisco, CA)

Natural Resonance and Frequency Labs
Level: High School Chemistry
Description: This series of lessons is a series of mini-labs to explain natural resonance and frequency. The students use measures of known masses to try to determine the mass of an unknown.
Developed by:
Marc (Zeke) Kossover (science teacher - Jewish Community High School of the Bay Area, San Francisco, CA)

Scientific Method-Lesson Plan
Level:
High School Chemistry
Description: This lesson plan compares how Stanford Graduate students and high school students use the Scientific Method and how they adapt it over time to meet their research needs.
Developed by:
Regina Petersen (science teacher - Piedmont Hills High School, San Jose, CA)

RET 2006

Metals and Hydrogen Cars
Level: High School Chemistry, 10th-12th grade
Description:
The chemistry content that is used in this lesson concerns heats of reaction, activation energy diagrams, and Gibbs Free Energy. The students will use and study these concepts in the context of the use of hydrogen in vehicles.
Developed by: Katrina Rotter (science teacher - Lowell High School, San Francisco, CA)

Seeing Imaginary Numbers
Level: High School Algebra (9th-12th grade)
Description: After finishing this unit, students will be able to explain the need for our various types of numbers, research a given topic through computer-aided resources, present a complex idea in a simplistic, organized “poster”, and state examples of imaginary and/or complex numbers used in the real world.
Developed by: Laura Robeck (science teacher - Carlmont High School, San Mateo, CA)

Simple Harmonic Motion With Dr DAQ
Level: High School Science
Description: The first objective of this lesson is to teach students about the fundamentals of modern science, wherein careful observations of natural phenomena lead to testable theories that quantitatively explain and predict these phenomena. The second objective of this lesson is to show students how modern technology allows us to collect data that is both more accurate and faster than is possible by human observation alone.
Developed by: Lily Min (science teacher - Etiwanda High School, Etiwanda, CA)

RET 2005

Safety First, Fun Second
Level: High School Chemistry, 10th-12th grade
Description: This lesson gives students a visual and friendly introduction to safety in a high school chemistry classroom. The goal is to make the students aware of the importance of conducting safe science experiments.
Developed by: Alfonso Garcia (science teacher - Latino College Preparatory Academy, San Jose, CA)

Hydrogen-Powered Cars
Level: High School Chemistry, 10th-12th grade
Description: This series of lessons extends student understanding of electrochemistry and the photoelectric effect, demonstrate a practical application of electrochemistry and the photoelectric effect, and introduce students to a proposed alternate energy source.
Developed by: Travis Hambleton (science teacher - Monta Vista High School, Cupertino, CA)

RET 2004

Watching Crystals Grow
Level: 4th-6th grade
Description: Students will observe crystal growth of Epsom salts and observe the variables that aide or inhibit their nucleation and growth. Students will record their observations by drawing a series of pictures as the crystals grow and will be encouraged to focus on the shape and growth patterns. Students will then compare the Epsom salts crystals to other common crystals such as salt and sugar. This lesson is designed to generate a number of questions and to trigger discussion.
Developed by: Melissa Doezma (science teacher - D.J. Meyer Elementary School, San Jose, CA)

RET 2003

An Introduction to Carbon Nanotubes
Level: High School Chemistry, 10th-12th grade
Description: Students learn about carbon nanotubes by reading background information. They then demonstrate hands-on learning by using manipulatives. Next, they are asked to search for examples of the different types of carbon nanotube geometries by using the internet. This exercise will introduce students to some of the unique characteristics of this area of polymer chemistry
Developed by: Tom Grace (science teacher - Arroyo High School, San Lorenzo, CA)

RET 2002

A Simple Viscosity Test
Level: 4th Grade Science
Description: Students observe the viscosity of a liquid by dropping a steel ball in a column of the liquid and seeing how long it takes the ball to sink to the bottom of the container.
Developed by: Giresh Ghooray (4th grade physical science teacher - Harker School, San Jose, CA)

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Hot Wire Chemical Vapor Deposition,
But Were Afraid To Ask

Level: High School Chemistry, 10th-12th grade
Description: With given background information on hot wire chemical vapor deposition (HWCVD), student teams answer questions and demonstrate hands on learning through the use of manipulatives. This unit should be used as an end of semester project/lesson to evaluate students’ knowledge and understanding of chemical nomenclature, the periodic table, chemical bonding, the mole, gas laws, stoichiometry and their relationship to some basic concepts of hot wire chemical vapor deposition. The exercise will broaden their understanding of some of the current and potential applications of this area of chemistry and how it relates to consumer applications, and at the same time better prepare them for the chemistry portion of the STAR 9 test. (26 pages)
Developed by: Tom Grace (science teacher - Arroyo High School, San Lorenzo, CA)

Folding@home
Level: High School Chemistry, 10th-12th grade
Description: A unique opportunity for students to participate in Stanford University research in the study of the folding of proteins through a screen saver on their computer. Standards relating to organic chemistry and biochemistry are taught in a real research environment and through accompanying web pages.
Developed by: Tug Sezen (science teacher - Freedom High School, Oakley, CA)

RET 2001

Probing the Unknown
Level: 6th Grade Science
Description: Students explore the concept of characterization and the development of scientific tools through five hands-on activities included. Students get the chance to solve design problems that promote critical thinking.
Developed by: Beth Rajan Sockman (6th grade science teacher - Stroudsburg Intermediate School, Stroudsburg, PA)

RET 2000

What’s That Flapping in the Breeze?
Level: High School Science
Description: This lesson plan was developed to help students understand the operation
of a QCM (quartz crystal microbalance) by way of analogy to an inertial balance.
Developed by: Larry Johnson (chemistry teacher - Aptos High School, Aptos, CA)

The Long and Short of Elastomers
Level: High School Science
Description: This lesson plan establishes how the effect of temperature on elastomers differs from that of most other materials (including other polymers) and explains why these differences occur in terms of polymer behavior.
Developed by: Larry Johnson (chemistry teacher - Aptos High School, Aptos, CA)

What’s That Smell? - A Lesson on Polymer Out-gassing
Level: High School Science
Description: This lesson plan makes students more aware of polymers and the chemical make-up of polymers in our lives. It also introduces them to the phenomenon of out-gassing and shows how that phenomenon can be both hazardous and helpful.
Developed by: Larry Johnson (chemistry teacher - Aptos High School, Aptos, CA)