the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
the International Business Machines
This is an inquiry-based lesson plan that explores how nanostructures can influence surface area, as students work in teams to grow crystals from sugars of different grades of coarseness. The driving question of the lesson: If you dissolve sugars of different coarseness (granulated, powdered, cubes) in water and then grow sugar crystals, will the resulting crystals appear the same under a microscope, or will there still be a difference in appearance based on the initial coarseness of the sugar?
The lesson follows a module format that includes objectives and learner outcomes, problem sets, student guides, recommended reading, illustrated procedures, worksheets, and background information about the engineering connections.
This collection is part of TryEngineering.org, a website maintained by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
Editor's Note:Although this lesson was developed for grades 6-12, the student text material is written at the level of Grade 11. For high school classrooms, it is a turn-key resource, but will require scaffolding for use in middle school.
Metadata instance created
July 27, 2012
by Gnana Subramaniam
August 14, 2016
by Lyle Barbato
Last Update when Cataloged:
December 4, 2010
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
1. The Nature of Science
1B. Scientific Inquiry
6-8: 1B/M1b. Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.
9-12: 1B/H2. Hypotheses are widely used in science for choosing what data to pay attention to and what additional data to seek, and for guiding the interpretation of the data (both new and previously available).
4. The Physical Setting
4D. The Structure of Matter
6-8: 4D/M1cd. Atoms may link together in well-defined molecules, or may be packed together in crystal patterns. Different arrangements of atoms into groups compose all substances and determine the characteristic properties of substances.
6-8: 4D/M10. A substance has characteristic properties such as density, a boiling point, and solubility, all of which are independent of the amount of the substance and can be used to identify it.
9-12: 4D/H7a. Atoms often join with one another in various combinations in distinct molecules or in repeating three-dimensional crystal patterns.
11. Common Themes
11C. Constancy and Change
6-8: 11C/M9. Small differences in how things start out can sometimes produce large differences in how they end up. Some events are so sensitive to small differences in initial conditions that their outcomes cannot be predicted.
9-12: 11C/H13. Symmetry (or a lack of it) may determine properties of many objects, from molecules and crystals to organisms and designed structures.
12. Habits of Mind
12D. Communication Skills
6-8: 12D/M6. Present a brief scientific explanation orally or in writing that includes a claim and the evidence and reasoning that supports the claim.
6-8: 12D/M9. Prepare a visual presentation to aid in explaining procedures or ideas.
12E. Critical-Response Skills
9-12: 12E/H4. Insist that the key assumptions and reasoning in any argument—whether one's own or that of others—be made explicit; analyze the arguments for flawed assumptions, flawed reasoning, or both; and be critical of the claims if any flaws in the argument are found.
<a href="http://www.thephysicsfront.org/items/detail.cfm?ID=12298">International Business Machines. TryEngineering: Sugar Crystal Challenge. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, December 4, 2010.</a>
TryEngineering: Sugar Crystal Challenge. (2010, December 4). Retrieved October 22, 2016, from Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers: http://tryengineering.org/lesson-plans/sugar-crystal-challenge
International Business Machines. TryEngineering: Sugar Crystal Challenge. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, December 4, 2010. http://tryengineering.org/lesson-plans/sugar-crystal-challenge (accessed 22 October 2016).
TryEngineering: Sugar Crystal Challenge. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2010. 4 Dec. 2010. International Business Machines. 22 Oct. 2016 <http://tryengineering.org/lesson-plans/sugar-crystal-challenge>.
%0 Electronic Source %D December 4, 2010 %T TryEngineering: Sugar Crystal Challenge %I Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers %V 2016 %N 22 October 2016 %8 December 4, 2010 %9 application/pdf %U http://tryengineering.org/lesson-plans/sugar-crystal-challenge
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