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Mythbusters


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Keywords: Science, Algebra, English, Digital Photography, DVD, PowerPoint, Photoshop, Printing
Subject(s): Math, English/Language Arts, Science, Technology, Social Skills, Journalism, Photography, Special Needs, Information Skills
Grade 8
School: John Liechty Middle School, Los Angeles, CA
Planned By: Solis
Original Author: Solis, Los Angeles
Teacher's Note: This is just one lesson plan in a series about scientific method. The lesson below includes the "culminating performance task" after the entire lesson series has been explored.

Stage 1
Established Goal:

Understandings:
1. Students will understand that scientific discovery and progress are made by asking meaningful questions and conducting investigations.
2. Students will understand that scientists revise models and explanations based on new information/evidence.
3. Students will understand that scientific investigation can be used to create meaningful questions and solve them in an every day context.

Essential Questions:
1. What is the purpose of scientific investigation?
2. What is the significance of testable questions?
3. How does measuring affect our scientific outcome?
4. What are the characteristics of a valid/good experiments?
5. How does scientific investigation apply to real life?

Knowledge:
1. Students will know the essentials of a hypothesis.
2. Students will know the meaning behind the steps of the
scientific investigation.
3. Students will know the significance of measuring in experiments.
4. Students will know the importance of repeating their experiments to validate their findings.
5. Students will know the difference between testable and non-testable questions.

Skills:
1. Students will be able to evaluate, read, and record an accurate and productive data and lab report, as well as charting and or graphing data.
2. Students will be able to write a hypothesis.
3. Students will be able to analyze data.
4. Students will be able to measure distances using a ruler.
5. Students will be able to use certain skills and tools in a scientific investigation.
6. Students will be able to formulate testable questions.

Introduction:
1. Students will watch the episode of "Mythbusters - Cell Phone Destruction." In this episode, they explore the myth that using a cell phone while pumping gas causes enough static electricity where a the gas pump can ignite and ultimately explode.
2. Students will utilize a note-taking guide where they will identify how the hosts Jamie and Adam use the six steps of the scientific method to challenge the validity of an urban legend.

Performance Task:
1. Students will work in groups of three.
2. Students will identify an urban legend or "old wives tale" of their own choosing, i.e. swimming after eating will give you cramps or eating Pop Rocks and drinking soda will cause an explosion in your mouth.
3. Students will use all six steps of the scientific method to test the urban legend.
4. Students will use digital cameras to document their research and experiments.
5. Students will write a five page report of how they used the scientific method to help them solve their problem.
6. Students will build a poster presentation or a PowerPoint slide show utilizing the digital pictures.
7. Students will explain their findings and present their results/conclusions to the class.

Materials: Point and Shoot, Digital SLR, Mobile Labs, Science, Math, Camera Bags, Flash/USB Drives, Batteries
Other Items: 1 Adobe Photoshop, $765 each, total of $765.00
3 Mac Laptops, $4356 each, total of $13068.00
3 Epson Color Printers, $555 each, total of $1665.00
10 Epson Ink Cartridges, $200 each, total of $2000.00
4 Photo Paper, $80 each, total of $320.00
30 Digital Cameras, $4500 each, total of $135000.00