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2024 Summer Middle School Teachers

Exploring Our Universe

Wednesdays - virtual - 1 pm to 3 pm EDT


June 5th

Unraveling Earth's Secrets with Radiometric Dating   

Did you know that scientists can tell how long a rock has been exposed to the sun? We will look into ways of teaching radioactive dating, half-life, and isotopes in our quest to understand Earth's 4.6 billion-year-old history. 

Lessons covered in this session:

Geologic Time Scale

Introduction to Radioactivity

Virtual Lab: The Effects of Distance and Shielding on Exposure to Radiation

What is Half-life?

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June 12th

Spectroscopy: Using Wavelengths to Discover our Universe 

We teach the basics about waves, but this lesson takes waves out of this world. We will explore wavelengths like the ones used by the Perseverance Rover and try to decode secret messages. Several hands-on and virtual activities related to waves are included in this unit. 

Lessons covered in this session:

An Investigation in Earth Systems

Virtual Lab: How can we measure visible light?

Remote Sensing

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June 26th

Landing on the Moon with Block Code 

Join us in learning how to create a lunar landing game in Scratch and enhance it with Vernier force and acceleration sensors. In this session, you'll master Scratch game development basics and integrate real-world sensor inputs for an interactive experience. The sensor is an optional addition to the lesson.

Lessons covered in this session:

Landing on the Moon

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July 10th

Remote Sensing 

In this experiment, students are given the challenge of designing and constructing an imaginary planetary terrain. Using the Vernier Science GDX Motion Detector and the Vernier Graphical Analysis software, they will systematically scan and generate a 3D topographical scale model of their terrain with Excel.

Lessons covered in this session:

Remote Sensing- Mapping Terrains

Mapping Terrain Addendum

Remote Sensing Itinerary

Mapping Terrains PowerPoint

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July 17th

Landing on the Moon with Python 

Take your game development skills to the next level in this advanced workshop! Learn to design a simple space game using Python and the CodeHS sandbox. We'll cover Python syntax, algorithmic thinking, and game development libraries like Pygame. Perfect for those with a basic understanding of Python looking to create engaging educational games.

Unit Plan

July 24th

How to Incorporate CCR in the Science Classroom

How do you teach College and Career Readiness?  We will look at ways to incorporate College and Career Readiness information into your middle school classroom.  We will help you gain knowledge of what is out there so you can share it with your students and excite them to pursue their passion.  


July 31st

Running Classroom on a Shoe-String Budget

We will discuss how to maximize the materials you currently have in your classroom to conduct labs you might not do currently.  How can you order a smaller number of lab set-ups and still get all the students through the labs?  How can you get the students to take more responsibility to complete assignments?  All on a shoestring budget.   Please come and take part in a group discussion to better your science classroom experience.

Previous year's lessons and resources are on our Purdue University HS/MS Learning Experiences page.


Additional Information

For additional program information, contact K12 Outreach.

Purdue University College of Science, 150 N. University St, West Lafayette, IN 47907 • Phone: (765) 494-1729, Fax: (765) 494-1736

Student Advising Office: (765) 494-1771, Fax: (765) 496-3015 • Science IT, (765) 494-4488

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