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A Tasty Experiment

cat sniffing appleStudent teams in grades 3 to 7 learn the key role that smell plays in being able to recognize foods by conducting taste tests while holding and not holding their noses. They then create bar graphs comparing the number of correct identifications.

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Berry Organic Solar Energy

Raspberries on vineHigh school students working in teams of four learn how a device made with dye from berries can be used to convert light energy into electrical energy by building their own organic solar cells and measuring performance based on power output.

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Wizardly Wands

sparklersIn this activity, high school juniors and seniors learn such core chemistry concepts as reaction rates and thermodynamics by making and demonstrating their own Harry Potter-style “magic wands” (sparklers). The lab, which also can serve as a fun Advanced Placement course review, concludes with a class duel between wands of two different chemical compositions.

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Digest This!

multicolor pills Student teams in grades 6-8 reinforce their knowledge of the digestive system and explore the concepts of simulation and the engineering design process by developing a pill coating that can withstand the churning and acidic environment of the stomach. They test the coating’s durability using a clear soda to simulate gastric acid.

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Resource: Nanooze

nanoozeNanooze, a science magazine for students in upper elementary through high school, explores the exciting world of nanotechnology – and the “cool things that happen when you make things really, really small.” It’s distributed free to schools, in classroom packs of 30.

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Lesson: Guilt-Free Chocolate

Making ChocolateIn this hands-on activity designed to teach chemical-engineering principles to freshman engineering students at Rowan University, teams of high school students will melt chocolate and coat commercially available cookies, then perform several measurements and calculations. They then will write a lab report that includes nutritional labeling and recommendations for improving the chocolate-coating process.

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Lesson: Chemical Wonders

chemistryIn this lesson, students in grades 3-5 are introduced to chemical engineering and learn about its many different applications. They are provided with a basic introduction to matter and its different properties and states. An associated hands-on activity gives students a chance to test their knowledge of the states of matter and how to make observations.

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Research Collaborators Encounter Mystery

ZebrafishHigh School biology students in Valders, Wis. are raising zebra fish as part of a research project being conducted by students at the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc. Or at least they’re trying. But the grant-funded project, intended to interest high schoolers in STEM, has encountered a problem: dying fish.

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Website: Gas Hydrates and Crystallography Resources

Gas Hydrates in Solid FormThis website on gas hydrates and crystallography from the University of California-Irvine provides resources, information, and class materials for teachers. It offers information, documents, presentations, photos, and data from past programs and projects, as well as lab activities, experiments, lesson plans, software, and an online tutorial.

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