ADI Online Elementary Investigations

ELEM-01: Life Cycles

Guiding Question: How are the life cycles of living things similar and how are they different?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to compare structures of different organisms as they go through their life cycles.

Lab Description: Students will compare a series of pictures of the life cycles of different plants and animals to try and draw conclusions about their similarities and differences.

ELEM-02: Inherited Traits

Guiding Question: How similar are offspring to their parents?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to build their understanding of how traits are passed down from parents to offspring.

Lab Description: Students will compare a series of images showing parents and offspring of plants and animals and identify traits that are present in both, or only present in one or the other as well as the ways that the offspring differ from each other.

ELEM-03: Differences in Traits

Guiding Question: How does fur color affect the likelihood that a rabbit will survive?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to use the foundational ideas of natural selection to explore how certain traits help organisms survive in their environments.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow students to observe a population of rabbits with varying traits in different environments in order to see how that affects survival rates.

ELEM-04: Energy in Ecosystems

Guiding Question: What is the best way to show how energy gets into and travels around in an Arctic Ocean ecosystem?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to create their own visual model of how energy flows through an ecosystem.

Lab Description: Students will use fact cards about different organisms to create a model of the energy flowing through the ecosystem using information about what organisms eat.

ELEM-05: Life in Groups

Guiding Question: Why do wolves live in groups?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to interact with behavioral adaptations and how they increase an organism or population's likelihood of survival.

Lab Description: Students will watch eight videos of wolves hunting during this investigation in order to draw conclusions about what the benefits are of living in groups.

ELEM-06: Cell Structure

Guiding Question: Did the unknown cells come from plants or animals?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to analyze the characteristics of plant and animal cells in order to find structural similarities and differences.

Lab Description: Students will look at pictures of plant and animal cells and try to figure out what they have in common. Then the students will be given a set of images with no descriptors to determine if they are plant or animal cells based on what they have figured out.

ELEM-07: Circuits

Guiding Question: How does adding more batteries or bulbs to a closed circuit affect the brightness of a single bulb within that circuit?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to explore the way that energy flows through a circuit when changing its components.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow students to change the arrangement and number of batteries and lightbulbs in a circuit to see how that affects the overall brightness of a bulb within that circuit.

ELEM-08: Patterns in Motion

Guiding Question: Where will the skateboarder be each time they change direction in a half-pipe?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to use what they know about energy and patterns to make predictions about an object within a system.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow the students to change the mass and starting point of a skateboarder on a halfpipe and see how their motion changes over time with and without friction.

ELEM-09: Balanced Forces

Guiding Question: How do balanced and unbalanced forces acting on an object affect the motion of that object?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to develop their understanding of balanced and unbalanced forces to draw conclusions about their effects on an object.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow students to change the mass of an object and then apply different amounts of force to that object with and without friction and see how that affects the object's motion.

ELEM-10: Light and Reflection

Guiding Question: What is the relationship between the location of an object and what we can see in a mirror?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to use the ideas of reflection and patterns to draw conclusions about the behavior of an object in a mirror.

Lab Description: The simulation allows students to change the length of a mirror, the distance an object is away from that mirror, and the height of the object in order to see how the light behaves.

ELEM-11: Speed and Energy

Guiding Question: How does changing the speed of an object affect the energy of that object?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to use the ideas of speed, momentum, and energy to find a relationship between speed and energy.

Lab Description: The simulation allows students to change the mass and initial velocity of two objects in order to find their relationship between speed and energy.

ELEM-12: Chemical Reactions

Guiding Question: Which pairs of the available liquids produce a new substance when they are mixed together?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to reinforce the idea that one sign of a chemical reaction is the formation of a new substance.

Lab Description: Students will observe a set of videos representing four chemicals: sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, calcium chloride, and magnesium sulfate that have been mixed together in different combinations to understand what it looks like when a new substance is formed.

ELEM-14: States of Matter

Guiding Question: How do small particles of water behave when they are in the different states of matter, and what causes them to change states?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to create a model about the behavior of molecules of water in the different states of matter.

Lab Description: The simulation allows students to observe molecules of water in the different states of matter, and to add and remove thermal energy from those molecules and see how that affects their behavior.

ELEM-15: Conductivity

Guiding Question: What types of objects are conductors, and what types of objects are insulators?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to use what they know about energy flow to develop a rule for conductors and insulators.

Lab Description: The simulation allows students to create a simple circuit and use a variety of household objects within that circuit so that they can develop a rule for which objects are and are not conducting electricity.

ELEM-16: Day and Night

Guiding Question: Why is the duration of daylight different for different locations on Earth?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to create a mental or physical model that explains how latitude affects the amount of daylight a location receives.

Lab Description: Students will examine a set of cards with information about the length of day and night in various places around the world, and then use a simulation to try and figure out why this happens. Students can also create a physical model of what is happening using household items.

ELEM-17: Shadows

Guiding Question: How does the location of the sun in the sky affect the direction and length of shadows?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to understand the path that the sun takes in the sky and how that affects shadows throughout the day

Lab Description: Students will create a model using simple household items (stick, playdough, flashlight) and design an experiment that shows a relationship between the sun's height and location in the sky and the length and location of shadows on the ground.

ELEM-18: Production of Waves

Guiding Question: How does changing the mass of an object that is dropped into water affect the height of the resulting wave?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to figure out the relationship between the amount of energy applied to a liquid and the characteristics of the resulting wave.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow students to change the frequency and size of a water droplet being dripped into a container of water and then measure the characteristics of the resulting waves.

ELEM-19: Weather

Guiding Question: What weather conditions can we expect here during each season?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to analyze and interpret real weather data in order to draw conclusions about the characteristics of their location.

Lab Description: Students will use information about the daily weather conditions over the last year and what they know about weather, seasons, and patterns to determine the expected weather in their city during each season.

ELEM-20: Fossils

Guiding Question: What was the ecosystem at Darmstadt like 49 million years ago?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to interpret the adaptations shown in a series of fossils in order to draw conclusions about the characteristics of their ecosystem.

Lab Description: Students will look at several different fossil pictures that were found near a town called Darmstadt, Germany, and then use their understanding of the functions of various bodily structures to determine what the ecosystem was like when the organisms were alive.

ELEM-21: Characteristics of Sound Waves

Guiding Question: How can we use the properties of waves to explain different sounds?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to figure out how the characteristics of the sounds that we are able to hear are related to the properties of a sound wave that we see on an oscilloscope.

Lab Description: Students will focus on two characteristics of a sound during this investigation: pitch, or how high/low the note is, and volume, or how loud the sound is. Students will use a sound wave simulator to generate the tones and a virtual oscilloscope to visualize the waves.

ELEM-22: Transfer of Thermal Energy

Guiding Question: How does energy transfer from one object to another, and how is that different for different substances?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to explore the ways that energy moves within a system.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow students to heat up and cool down different solids and liquids and then place them in proximity to each other and observe the way that energy particles move around during these interactions.

ELEM-23: Classification

Guiding Question: What is the best way to group the provided animals based on their traits?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to use what they know about adaptations and animal characteristics to develop a classification system for a series of organisms.

Lab Description: The students will analyze images and facts about a group of organisms and try to come up with a way to classify them into groups and subgroups.