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A Multifaceted Unit on Cells, Scale, and Nanotechnology

This unit is intended for students in Grade 7 and will be scheduled to occur over a three to four month period. The unit is designed using several activities that can stand-alone, but are intended to build, reinforce, and enrich student learning. In this curriculum unit a selection of objectives and activities are combined to provide students with multiple opportunities to acquire relevant information and synthesize learned content using strategies similar to the problem-based approach. Students in grade seven (7th graders) will be introduced to what a cell is, some of the first leading contributors to theories about cells, and the components that comprise a cell. Here the concept of surface area-to- volume ratio is introduced. Students will learn and make a model of cell organelles and how animals take in nutrients and expel waste products, along with the accompanying terminologies. The metric system will be covered providing a framework of size of ordinary objects and extremely small-sized material. Students will then integrate and apply learned content to nanotechnology and the real world. Finally, through the production of a culminating project, students will visually demonstrate why surface area to volume is related.

Rosalind Williams
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