Oil Spill Cleanup Assessment

Contributor
Stanford NGSS Assessment Project
Type Category
Assessment Materials
Types
Assessment Item
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 short performance task from the Stanford NGSS Assessment Project (SNAP) has students apply their understanding of magnetic forces and designing problems to solving the real world problem of oil spills.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Grade 3
Language
English
Access Restrictions

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

Performance Expectations

3-PS2-4 Define a simple design problem that can be solved by applying scientific ideas about magnets.

Clarification Statement: Examples of problems could include constructing a latch to keep a door shut and creating a device to keep two moving objects from touching each other.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Question #2 of this task asks students to write a research question that the researcher could use to investigate how the researcher might use magnets to collect more oil. Question #3 requires students to provide reasoning about the relationship between the properties of magnets (cause) and the size of the magnetic forces (effect.) Practice by the students in writing research questions (i.e., How does a affect b? or What is the effect of a on b?) is suggested to support students in successfully responding to these task items.

3-PS2-3 Ask questions to determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other.

Clarification Statement: Examples of an electric force could include the force on hair from an electrically charged balloon and the electrical forces between a charged rod and pieces of paper; examples of a magnetic force could include the force between two permanent magnets, the force between an electromagnet and steel paperclips, and the force exerted by one magnet versus the force exerted by two magnets. Examples of cause and effect relationships could include how the distance between objects affects strength of the force and how the orientation of magnets affects the direction of the magnetic force.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to forces produced by objects that can be manipulated by students, and electrical interactions are limited to static electricity.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Question #2 of this task asks students to write a research question that the researcher could use to investigate how the researcher might use magnets to collect more oil. Question #3 requires students to provide reasoning about the relationship between the properties of magnets (cause) and the size of the magnetic forces (effect.) Practice by the students in writing research questions (i.e., How does a affect b? or What is the effect of a on b?) is suggested to support students in successfully responding to these task items.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Based on the outcome of an investigation, students are asked to agree or disagree whether the reason that the procedure failed was because the magnet needed to be touching the powder and explain why. Their response will define the problem that can be solved through the development of a new procedure.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
In this assessment, students will write a research question that could be investigated to determine how magnets can be used to collect more oil. This would be followed by an explanation of how their question will help Dr. Warner figure out whether magnets can be used to collect even more oil.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Students will need to have strong understanding of this Disciplinary Core Idea in order to successfully respond to the challenges faced by the researcher in this oil spill cleanup. Providing students with multiple experiences investigating the effects of magnetic properties and their distances apart will support their understanding of this core idea.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Cause and effect relationships are explored in every question of this short performance assessment. These relationships need to be made explicit as students explore the effects of magnetic properties and their distances apart in their investigations. Multiple opportunities to identify and explain cause and effect relationships are recommended.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This task engages students in a rigorous assessment of their learning. It requires students to integrate elements of the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts to demonstrate their understanding. More specifically, students must be able to ask questions and define problems that are relevant to the challenge. They must also be able to rigorously apply their understanding the relationships between properties of magnets and the size of magnetic forces to define the problem and redesign the investigation.

  • Instructional Supports: This Short Performance Assessment engages students in an authentic challenge that reflects the practice of science and engineering as experienced in the real world. It provides multiple opportunities for students to express their understanding of magnetic forces and their interactions with reasoning and evidence. Differentiation strategies for struggling students are not provided. This video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYM324yDH-Q which is recommended that students view before taking the assessment, may need to be paused and reviewed to support them. Providing first hand experiences through engagement in this investigation is also recommended: https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/EnvEng_p036/environmental-engineering/can-nanotechnology-help-clean-up-ocean-oil-spills. Given the nature of ferrofluids and the age of the students, the teacher may want to conduct this investigation with small groups of students. This will enable students to make close observations as the procedure is conducted.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Given the nature of ferrofluids and the age of the students, the teacher may want to conduct this investigation with small groups of students. This will enable students to make close observations as the procedure is conducted.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: This resource does not include a technologically interactive component.