Science Games For Kids: Properties of Materials

Contributor
Science for Kids
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Simulation
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

This resource is an interactive simulation designed to have students test various materials for different properties including flexibility, strength, waterproof, and transparency. The simulation includes a workshop where students can select different materials to see if the selected property matches the intended use. 

Intended Audience

Learner
Educational Level
  • Early Elementary
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

2-PS1-2 Analyze data obtained from testing different materials to determine which materials have the properties that are best suited for an intended purpose.

Clarification Statement: Examples of properties could include, strength, flexibility, hardness, texture, and absorbency.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment of quantitative measurements is limited to length.

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
The performance expectation is met through the interaction. Students analyze the data within the simulation, but this could be supported in a whole group activity on an overhead or chart. In addition, the intended use of the material (and the property that would be critical for that use) could be discussed whole group and then tested on the simulation to support dialogue. The teacher would be able to press students for the evidence that they used to support claims about properties of materials.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The simulation does not include a method for recording data collected or for the students to explain the reasons for selecting the materials they chose. Although this is not explicitly mentioned in the Performance Expectation, it makes it difficult for a teacher to figure out the level at which a student is engaging with the Performance Expectation. The teacher could provide data charts for the students to record the results of the tests, and also students could record the reasons for selecting materials in journals.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
This Core Idea is aligned to the resource. As mentioned earlier, it would be hard for a teacher to ascertain the extent a student is engaging with the Performance Expectation. It is equally hard with this simulation to keep students from reverting to trial and error for making decisions in the workshop instead of making informed decisions. Perhaps the resource would be strengthened by having two students discuss and decide together what materials to use. They then record the selected materials in a science journal.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
The simulation addresses the Crosscutting Concept, but without interaction with a teacher, it would be hard to underscore the important idea of cause and effect.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The resource would need to be reinforced with more hands-on activities, investigations, and discussions in order to adequately meet the Performance Expectation. The alignment would be achieved through added support from the teacher (i.e., going through the simulation as a whole group activity, adding data charts and probing questions, and including investigations that mirror the simulation).

  • Instructional Supports: The game does not differentiate for students with special considerations for learning. However, it is interactive and students would be able to succeed without a high level of English proficiency.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: There is no simple way for a teacher to monitor student progress or development of three-dimensional learning within the simulation. As mentioned earlier, the teacher could record and monitor progress through the use of whole class discussion, think-pair-share, and the use of data sheets or journal prompts.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: The resource moves quickly and all the interactions work smoothly.