OpenSciEd Releases Latest Free Middle School Science Unit

Nonprofit OpenSciEd has released new hands-on learning content for eighth-grade science. The latest unit covers "forces at distance" with 12 lessons for 30 days of classes. Among the inquiries covered are:

  • What causes a speaker to vibrate?

  • What can a magnet pull or push without touching?

  • How does energy transfer between things that aren't touching?

The activities primarily require ordinary materials (such as a screwdriver and scissors, cardboard and foil) and a few more specialized resources (a couple of four-inch speakers to be dismantled, small disk magnets, alligator wires and clips and "tiny compasses").

Each unit developed by the organization includes a set of professional learning resources, with instructional agendas, slides and videos.

The latest one builds toward three Next Generation Science Standards: Middle School (MS) PS2-3 and PS2-5, "Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions"; and MS-PS3-2, "Energy."

OpenSciEd was launched to create high-quality open-source science instructional materials, specifically for middle schools. The lessons are available for science teachers to access and download freely. All align with NGSS and are developed by educators and tested by teachers. The organization expects to be finished with middle school lesson by February 2022. Then it hopes to expand its efforts into elementary and high school science.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.