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Just a Minute: A Lesson on Measuring Time

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Portable Document Format
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Description Middle school students will design and construct a mechanism that measures the passage of one minute of time. This lesson should be taught as a review of basic measurement skills and an application of laboratory safety. The students should have prior knowledge of the scientific method. Upon completion of this activity, students will be able to understand the advances and necessity of standardized measurement, and apply reasoning, problem solving, trouble shooting, constructing, and designing a device that indicates when a minute has passed.
This teaching resource was developed by a K-12 science teacher in the American Physiological Society’s 2006 Frontiers in Physiology Program. For more information on this program, please visit www.frontiersinphys.org.
Type of Resource Laboratory or Hands-On Activity
Format Portable Document Format - PDF
Rebecca Evans, Granville Intermediate School
Development Date August 1, 2006
Grade/Age Level Middle School (Grades 6-8)
National Science
Educational Standards
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry (K-12), History of science (5-8), Motions and forces (5-12), Science and technology in society (5-8), Science as a human endeavor (K-12), Transfer of energy (5-8), Understanding about science and technology (K-12), Understandings about scientific inquiry (K-12)
Learning Time 4-6 hours
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed By LifeSciTRC Board
Review Date November 30, 2010
Suggested Use
An outstanding activity that allows students to explore standards of measurement while working to design, construct, trouble shoot, and fine tune their machine. A great lab for the new Framework for K-12 Science Education.
Margaret Stieben, APS

This is an excellent activity to help students learn about design and testing as well as understanding how measurement tools were developed in the past.
Marsha Matyas, APS


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