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Science 7: Structures & Forces

Julia Vandezande
February 26, 2014

Table of Contents
Big Ideas: Page 3 Essential Questions: Page 3 Unit Summary: Page 3 Rationale: Page 4 General and Specific Learner Outcomes: Page 6 Unit Schedule Calendar: Page 7 Daily Unit Schedule: Page 11 Unit Assessment Plan: 15 Teaching Resources List: Page 19

Big Ideas
You can find structures in everyday objects, buildings, plants, and animals, and they come in different materials and forms. There are forces that act within and on structures. Various materials have different structural properties roles in a structures. Structures must be designed, evaluated, and improved to meet human needs safely.

Essential Questions
How do structures stand up under load? What needs to be considered when designing a structure?

Unit Summary
Structures are found all around us, in both natural and man-made environments. This unit will examine the different purposes they serve and the different forms they can take. Students will learn about the properties of materials, and explore how different materials, components, and ways of joining can affect strength and stability. Students will build and test their own structures under different loads and forces, and learn about the relationship between design and function. Students will evaluate the ability of structures built in the past and those built today are developed and improved to meet human needs safely and efficiently.

I will use an interest inventory at the beginning of my unit. This will enable me to get to know my students right from the first day of class, and show the students that I am interested in them as individuals and respect them. This will help me to build relationships with my students. It will also help me to differentiate by planning activities that are directly related to student interests, and therefore have a higher amount of engagement in the classroom. By connecting my teaching with the everyday interests of my students, I will be increasing their level of understanding and interest in learning. Digital Connectivity Culture I will use a broad range of technologies throughout my unit, to increase student engagement by differentiating for various student learning preferences and needs. The traditional methodologies that I have planned to use in my unit are: Images: Students will start the unit by creating a collage of structures from magazines. Ive chosen this because it is a hands on activity that will help them to realize that structures are all around us, in nature and man-made. Since magazines are something students see and use all the time, this will be familiar to them and will engage them. I will also use digital images throughout my powerpoint presentations. Class discussion, group, and partner work: We will use class discussion and group work throughout the unit to have students talk out what theyre thinking, and allow them to build on each others ideas. This will also allow me to see what the general understanding of the students is, and adapt my teaching. Direct Instruction: Direct instruction will be used to teach students difficult concepts and to give instructions. I will generally use other methods during direct instruction, such as powerpoint presentations and demonstrations. Reading: I have included some reading into this unit, because I think it is important for students to practice literacy in all subjects. Since the majority of students are ELL, I will follow up all reading with discussion to ensure all students understand the main concepts. Hands on learning and demonstrations: I have included lots of hands on learning opportunities because students from lower income families generally relate better to experiential knowledge. These methods will engage the students and will help them to understand some of the difficult concepts. The modern technologies that I have planned to use in my unit are: Video: I plan to use videos as a hook at the beginning of some of my lessons, and to illustrate concepts that we are talking about. Powerpoint: I will use powerpoints with text next to images to give students the main point. This will be helpful for ELL students, so they can see an example of what I am talking about. Computer research: The students will complete a small individual research project using the laptops in class. This will help students to increase their digital literacy by learning how to access information on the internet. Students find technology very engaging, and using the laptops in class is a treat for them. Approximately 20-30% of the students in the class do not have internet at home, and therefore all students will be given adequate class time to finish any assignments where a computer is necessary. Case Studies: I will use case studies throughout the unit to help the students connect what they are learning with real life. Gender In science, particularly physics, gender stereotypes are generally that boys will excel above girls. In society, we see the stereotype that engineers are almost always men. I will try to address this stereotype in my teaching by using females and males in my examples (videos and photos of scientists). I will encourage all students to try their hardest, and work to create a classroom environment where all students can succeed.

Ethnicity I have selected an activity where students work in groups to build two types of teepees, to see which structure will withstand wind the best. As teepees are an important cultural symbol for aboriginal people, activities like this will help make the aboriginal people feel that they are welcome in the classroom. The students in my class come from a very wide variety of backgrounds, with the majority being from immigrant families. Since my unit talks about natural and manmade structures, we will spend a class learning about structures from different cultures and talking about their similarities and differences. I will show examples of structures specifically from the cultures represented in my class and also give students the opportunity to share about the structures from their culture, so that each student feels that their background is valued in the classroom. When we are learning about materials, I will talk about how different materials are used for buildings in different cultures and climates and the benefits and reasons for this. This will help all students in the classroom to gain an appreciation and respect for each others cultures. Social Class I have adjusted my unit for the socio-economic class that my students are in, which is lower income families. Since lower income kids are generally very rooted in experiential learning, I have included lots of hands on exploring activities and demonstrations throughout my unit. I will also include theory in my lessons, so that students have a chance to learn concepts in both ways. Learning both ways will benefit them because they will be able to master the material in the best way for them, but also learn how to learn from theoretical information, which will be the form of learning they will need to become more comfortable with as they move into high school. I will be including case studies of recent events where structures have failed, such as the June 2013 flood, which the students will be able to relate to emotionally. My assessments are also balanced between traditional tests and quizzes, and assessments based on lab work and activities. This will differentiate for different student needs in the classroom by giving students the chance to show their mastery of the outcomes in multiple ways. 21st Century Learning In my unit, I will be incorporating 21st century learning skills as much as possible. This unit will put a large focus on innovation, collaboration, and critical thinking. The lab activities are designed so that they are open-ended, and students need to be creative and work together to determine the best way of doing things. This really encourages effective communication within groups, and allows students to take risks in their designs. I will encourage digital literacy through the use of laptops in an online research project, where students will have the chance to develop their computer research skills. I will encourage students to embrace lifelong learning by using case studies that apply to real life, and showing students how they are able to look into the scientific causes behind what is happening in their everyday life. Environmental and social responsibility will also be a large part of this unit, and we will spend time talking about how structures need to be designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible while still performing their purpose safely and effectively.

General and Specific Learner Outcomes

KNOWLEDGE OUTCOMES Describe and interpret different types of structures encountered in everyday objects, buildings, plants and animals; and identify materials from which they are made recognize and classify structural forms and materials used in construction interpret examples of variation in the design of structures that share a common function, and evaluate the effectiveness of the designs describe and compare example structures developed by different cultures and at different times; and interpret differences in functions, materials and aesthetics describe and interpret natural structures, including the structure of living things and structures created by animals identify points of failure and modes of failure in natural and built structures Investigate and analyze forces within structures, and forces applied to them recognize and use units of force and mass, and identify and measure forces and loads identify examples of frictional forces and their use in structures identify tension, compression, shearing and bending forces within a structure; and describe how these forces can cause the structure to fail analyze a design, and identify properties of materials that are important to individual parts of the structure infer how the stability of a model structure will be affected by changes in the distribution of mass within the structure and by changes in the design of its foundation Investigate and analyze the properties of materials used in structures devise and use methods of testing the strength and flexibility of materials used in a structure identify points in a structure where flexible or fixed joints are required, and evaluate the appropriateness of different types of joints for the particular application compare structural properties of different materials, including natural materials and synthetics investigate and describe the role of different materials found in plant and animal structures Demonstrate and describe processes used in developing, evaluating and improving structures that will meet human needs with a margin of safety demonstrate and describe methods to increase the strength of materials through changes in design identify environmental factors that may affect the stability and safety of a structure, and describe how these factors are taken into account analyze and evaluate a technological design or process on the basis of identified criteria, such as costs, benefits, safety and potential impact on the environment SKILL OUTCOMES Initiating & Planning: Ask questions about the relationships between and among observable variables, and plan investigations to address those questions identify practical problems propose alternative solutions to a practical problem, select one, and develop a plan select appropriate methods and tools for collecting data to solve problems formulate operational definitions of major variables and other aspects of their investigations Performing & Recording: Conduct investigations into the relationships between and among observations, and gather and record qualitative and quantitative data research information relevant to a given problem organize data, using a format that is appropriate to the task or experiment carry out procedures, controlling the major variables use tools and apparatus safely Analyzing & Interpreting: Analyze qualitative and quantitative data, and develop and assess possible explanations

K1 K1.1 K1.2 K1.3 K1.4 K1.5 K2 K2.1 K2.2 K2.3 K2.4 K2.5 K3 K3.1 K3.2 K3.3 K3.4 K4 K4.1 K4.2 K4.3

S1 S1.1 S1.2 S1.3 S1.4 S2 S2.1 S2.2 S2.3 S2.4 S3

S3.1 S3.2 S3.3 S3.4 S3.5 S4 S4.1 S4.2

compile and display data, by hand or computer, in a variety of formats, including diagrams, flow charts, tables, bar graphs, line graphs and scatterplots identify and evaluate potential applications of findings test the design of a constructed device or system evaluate designs and prototypes in terms of function, reliability, safety, efficiency, use of materials and impact on the environment identify and correct practical problems in the way a prototype or constructed device functions Communication & Teamwork: Work collaboratively on problems; and use appropriate language and formats to communicate ideas, procedures and results communicate questions, ideas, intentions, plans and results, using lists, notes in point form, sentences, data tables, graphs, drawings, oral language and other means work cooperatively with team members to develop and carry out a plan, and troubleshoot problems as they arise ATTITUDE OUTCOMES Interest in Science: Show interest in science-related questions and issues, and pursue personal interests and career possibilities within science-related fields Mutual Respect: Appreciate that scientific understanding evolves from the interaction of ideas involving people with different views and backgrounds Scientific Inquiry: Seek and apply evidence when evaluating alternative approaches to investigations, problems and issues Collaboration: Work collaboratively in carrying out investigations and in generating and evaluating ideas Stewardship: Demonstrate sensitivity and responsibility in pursuing a balance between the needs of humans and a sustainable environment Safety: Show concern for safety in planning, carrying out and reviewing activities

A1 A2 A3 A4 A5 A6







-teepee activity pg 29 -straw bridge pg 24 -real life bridges in flood

10 Human Built Structures -group work analyzing advantages & disadvantages of a structure -sec 1 review 17 External Forces Bridges -4 types, describe & draw -review for quiz 24 BREAK

Intro to students Get to know you sheets (interest inventory) Intro to Unit & Sec 1 -structures are everywhere -structure collage (natural/manmade) 11 Intro to Sec 2 Forces -stack blocks intro -vocab -partner hand activity predictions


Classifying Structures -vocab (hand demo) -slideshow of types -pop bridge challenge -chart of types with examples

12 External Forces -bridge (straw) demo -weakest point -3 forces (mag/direction/location) -force arrows 19 Egg Drop Activity Hand back quizzes

13 External Forces -mass vs weight Zero gravity video -arm gravity demo -center of gravity & symmetry (ruler) -exit slip 20 Egg Drop Activity final testing Exit slip

Structure & Function -natural & manmade with similar function -aesthetics from different countries (students bring in photos) -exit slip 14 External Forces -teepee activity -static vs dynamic load slideshow ID -quiz study sheet

Amazing bridges: http://www.bbc.com/ travel/slideshow/20131003six-beautiful-and-bizarrebridges?ocid=fbtvl

18 Sec 1 & External Forces Quiz Start Egg Drop Activity






31 BREAK -styrofoam/clay pg 38 -tallest tower pg 42



2 BREAK 9 Review Structure vocab Tallest Tower Activity -design and build 3 BREAK 10

4 BREAK 11


7 Check-in about break Internal Forces -types hand demo -spaghetti demo -styrofoam & clap activity (compl forces)

Designing Structures -walk the plank demo -straw demo -vocab

Tallest Tower Activity -test & evaluate -Sec 2 Review -exit slip


Plant/animal activity: pg 60 -need laptop cart

14 Sec 2 Quiz Sec 3 Intro -ID all materials in room & various uses

15 Materials & Properties -vocab -advantages/ disadvantages of materials create chart -deform/flex: trees in wind video

16 Material strength & stability activity

17 Joining Structural Components -vocab -friction demo w/ board -illustrate examples of joint, find examples in classroom CULMINATION DAY IN LETHBRIDGE 24 Safe Structures -vocab -ice storm 1988 video & discuss -read/make list of environ factors in book 1 Future Building Project

18 Plant/Animal Structure & Materials -video of plants/animals -research plant/animal joints & materials (using laptops) -exit slip


22 -present plant/animal info to groups, hand in -review section 3

23 -section 3 quiz Intro Sec 4 -compare old & new models

25 Material Testing -examples -corrugation/lamination demo -exit slip 2 Future Building Project Review sec 4 quiz Hand out unit study guide -exit slip

-bike case study pg 75

28 Evaluating Designs Sticky note example -bike case study in partners, discuss answers as group

29 Evaluating Designs -what to look for Sec 4 review

30 Sec 4 quiz Intro to Future Building Project





9 Unit Test


Future Building Project Peer review

Future Building Project

Future Building Project due Unit review

Unit review


Day March 4

# 1

Outcomes K1.1, K1.4

March 5

K1.1 S3.3

March 7

K1.2, K1.3, K1.4

March 10

K1.3, K1.5 S3.4, S1.3, S4.1, S4.2 K2.1, K2.2

March 11

March 12

K2.1, K2.2

March 13

K2.1, K2.5

Detailed Daily Schedule with Assessments and Specific Learning Outcomes Title & Strategies Assessments Introduction & Expectations Pre-assess: are they able to pick out structures -get to know you sheets from a magazine -icebreaker game Discussion Intro to Unit and Section 1 Discussion: structures are everywhere Group work: collage of manmade & natural structures Classifying Structures Pre-assess: pop bridge challenge Vocab (direct instruction and hand demo) Slideshow of types Pop Bridge challenge (individual activity) Chart of types with examples Structure and Function Exit slip Slideshow: natural & manmade with questioning different functions Aesthetics from different countries discussion and photos Human built structures Review game Group work (analyze advantages & disadvantages of a structure) Section 1 review game Intro to Section 2: Forces Journal entry observations Stacking blocks demo Vocab direct instruction Partner hand activity and writing predictions and results in journal External Forces Force arrow observations Bridge (straw) demo (weakest point and forces) 3 forces direct instruction (mag/direction/location) Force arrow practice in science journals External Forces: mass, weight, gravity Discussion questioning Zero gravity video clip Exit slip Mass vs weight direct instruction Arm gravity demo Center of gravity and symmetry Exit slip

Materials Get to know you sheets Magazines Icebreaker game Scissors, glue, poster paper

2 stacks of books Pop can 30 pieces of paper Text books

Powerpoint Discussion topics

Review game Structure photos

Blocks Vocab powerpoint

Straw bridge (straws and tape) Spring scale Practice questions

Video clip Ruler Scale Exit slip question


March 14

K2.4, K2.5 S1.4

External Forces: stability, load Teepee activity Static vs dynamic load (slidehow ID activity) Quiz study sheet External Forces: bridges 4 types, describe & draw: brainstorm in pairs Amazing bridges of the world photos Review game for quiz Section 1 & external forces quiz Start Egg drop activity Egg drop activity Design and construct Hand back quizzes

Teepee activity

March 17

K2.4, K2.5

-pre-assessment: observe brainstorm bridges activity -observations during review game

Bamboo skewers, plastic wrap, non skid mat, fan string or wire, scissors, rulers Load slideshow Quiz study sheet Link to bridges webpage Review game

March 18 March 19

10 11 K1.5 S3.3, S4.1, S1.1, S1.2, S2.3, S2.4, S3.5 K1.5 S3.3, S4.1, S1.1, S1.2 S2.3, S2.4, S3.5 K2.3

Section 1 and external forces quiz Observation

Quiz Egg Drop handouts Students bring egg drop supplies Marked quizzes

March 20


Egg drop activity final testing Quizzes corrections due Exit slip

Egg drop testing observation and design Quiz corrections Exit slip

April 7


April 8


K2.3, K2.5

April 9


April 10


K2.4, K2.5 S1.1, S2.4, S3.3, S4.1, S4.2, S3.2, S3.5 K2.4, K2.5 S2.3, S2.4, S3.3, S4.1, S4.2, S3.2, S3.5

Internal Forces Intro Types: hand demo Spaghetti demo Complementary forces: Styrofoam and clay activity in groups, respond to questions individually Designing Structures Walk the plank demo Straw shape demo vocab Structure review and strength/stability structure vocab review in partners tallest tower group activity

Responses to styrofoam and clay activity Observations during activity questioning

Marking sheets Plastic bags to drop eggs on Eggs Exit slip Spaghetti Styrofoam cut into pieces Clay or playdough Text book

Questioning during demos

Wood plank and books Straw shapes (tape) Vocab powerpoint Newspaper, spaghetti, bamboo skewers, tape, straws, marshmallows, golf balls, fans, balances Text books Review game Exit slip

Vocab review observations and questioning Tallest tower observations

Tallest tower activity test and evaluate Section 2 Forces review game exit slip

Observations during review game Tallest tower evaluations Exit slip


April 14



April 15


K3.3, K3.4

April 16



April 17



April 18


K3.4, K3.2, K3.3 S2.1, S2.2, S3.1, S3.2 K3.4, K3.2, K3.3 S4.1, S3.2 K4 S4.1

April 22


April 23


April 24



April 25



Section 2 Quiz Section 3 Intro: Materials and Joints activity: ID materials in room and uses, discuss as a table group then present your material with the most uses to the class Material and properties vocab direct instruction advantages/disadvantages of materials, use text to create chart in partners and discuss as class deformation and flexibility video: trees in wind Material strength and stability activity group work hand back quizzes Joints vocab friction demo with board illustrate joint examples in journals, find examples in classroom quiz corrections due Plant/Animal Structure and Materials video mini research project on laptops (plant/animal joints & materials) exit slip Plant/Animal Structure and Materials present findings to small groups Section 3 review Section 3 Quiz Introduce Section 4: design, evaluate, improve compare examples of old and new in groups of 3 and discuss as class Safe Structures (environment) vocab direct instruction ice storm 1988 video, flood 2013 video and discuss read and make list of environmental factors in book (individual or partner student work) Material Testing corrugation/lamination demo examples of material testing direct

Pre-assess: materials and various uses observe and discuss quiz


Discussion and questioning Observe partner work

Vocab powerpoint Video Text books


Marked quizzes

Observations questioning

Wood board and various items to slide

Observations Exit slip

Laptops Website list Research project handout Exit slip Review game

Research project responses

Quiz Observations and discussion

Discussion Observe lists

Quiz Pictures of and examples of old and new models of things Videos Vocab powerpoint

Questioning Exit slip

Cardboard, construction paper, paper, laminated paper


April 28


K4.3, K4.1 S4.1, S3.4

April 29


K4.3 S1.3, S1.2

April 30


K1, K2, K3, K4, S1, S2, S3, S4.1 K1, K2, K3, K4, S1, S2, S3, S4.1 K1, K2, K3, K4, S1, S2, S3, S4.1

May 1


instruction hand back quizzes exit slip Evaluating Designs sticky note example bike case study read and answer individually, then discuss as a group and can change answers quiz corrections due Evaluating Designs what to look for create evaluation forms as a group, discuss as class section 4 review Section 4 Quiz Intro to Future Building Project brainstorm with partner, switch partners Future Building Project work period (individual) Future Building Project work time (individual) hand back quiz hand out unit study guide exit slip Future Building Project peer review work time (individual) Future Building Project work period (individual) Future Building Project due Unit review: partners Unit review game: jeopardy Unit Test

Case study responses

Powerpoint Marked quizzes Exit slip Sticky notes Text books Case study questions

Observe evaluation form creation discussion

Text books Powerpoint Review game

Quiz Observe brainstorming

Quiz Project handouts

May 2


Conversations with individuals and observations meet with each student Conversations and observations Exit slip

Students bring materials if they chose to do a model laptops Marked quizzes Unit study guide Laptops Exit slip Laptops Peer review forms laptops

May 5


May 6


May 7 May 8 May 9

33 34 35

K1, K2, K3, K4, S1, S2, S3, S4.1 K1, K2, K3, K4, S1, S2, S3, S4.1 K1, K2, K3, K4 K1, K2, K3, K4

Observations and peer reviews

Observations and conversations

Observe partner review Observe review game test

Partner review sheets Review game test


Quiz: external / internal forces Quiz: material and joints Quiz: safety & design Quiz correction s (2.5% for each quiz) Unit Test Performanc e Task: Future building (and peer assessment) Egg Drop Activity Pop bridge challeng e preassess Exit Slips Tallest tower activit y Bike Case study Clay and Styrofoam activity Research plant/ animal joints/ materials


Learning Outcomes

Structures in the environment

(Formative/ Summative)















Weightin g K1: structure form/function, design, stability K2: external/internal forces K3: materials/joints K4: design/evaluate/safety S1:initiate/plan S2:perform/record S3:analyze/interpret S4:communicate/ teamwork













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Assessment Tool Overview

Assessment Tool Brief Description
FOR Learning AS Learning OF Learning

These quizzes will each cover a GLO, and one will be given after Quizzes: Structures in the environment, External/Internal Forces, Materials and joints, Design and safety we have covered each of the four sections of this unit. They will test student knowledge of key vocabulary and concepts for each section. Each quiz will count towards each students final mark, and will also be used to inform my teaching going forward. The results of each quiz will show me if students require extra help on any specific outcomes or if I need to reteach a concept to the entire class. These quizzes will each include short answer, matching, and true/false questions. After each quiz, students will get their tests back with the incorrect questions marked (but not corrected). They will have the opportunity to make corrections to their quiz and hand it back in to receive marks. This is assessment for, as and of learning. It will be used as assessment for learning, because I Quiz corrections will be able to see were students are still having difficulties with and adjust my teaching. It is assessment as learning because students will be able to look at their own tests to see what outcomes they are struggling with and identify where they went wrong, and are given the opportunity to fix these mistakes. Since they will receive marks for this, it is also assessment of learning. The unit test will cover all four knowledge GLOs as well as skill GLO 3 (analyze and interpret). This will be used as summative Unit Test assessment to determine the level of student understanding at the end of the unit. This test will be comprised of short answer, long answer, matching, and true/false. This performance task requires students to design a futuristic Performance Task: Future Building (and peer assessment) building for Vancouver (an earthquake and tsunami zone). Once the students have completed the design phase, they will complete peer assessment forms, and then have the opportunity to make changes before they complete their project. These peer assessment forms will be used as assessment for learning, and are not for marks. The final
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product will be assessed for marks, as it covers all of the skill and knowledge GLOs. This will be assessed using a rubric.

Students will design and test a capsule to protect an egg from breaking after a fall. This will be used as assessment for learning Egg Drop Activity by watching students work and observing their final products to see what concepts they know and what concepts they need further review of. It will be marked for summative assessment as well. Students will complete a pre-assessment in the form of the pop bridge challenge at the beginning of the unit. They will have a Pop Bridge Challenge few minutes to make a sheet of paper that will support a pop can. This will be used only as formative assessment, to see what the students already know about structures and what they still need to learn. Exit slips will be used at the end of one class each week to determine students understanding of key concepts covered that Exit Slips day. These will be used only for formative assessment, to determine if I need to reteach any concepts to all or some of the students. Exits slips will be in the form of short answer questions. Students will have 20min to design a tower that is as tall as possible while still being able to hold a golf ball and withstand wind from a fan for one minute. This activity will be assessed for Tallest Tower Activity marks based on student answers to short answers questions which they will complete after the activity. It will be used as formative assessment (for learning) because the student responses and structures will inform my teaching (if I need to clarify or reteach any concepts to some or all students). Students will read about how a bike company has improved its bike design, and answer questions about how designs are Bike Case Study evaluated. This is assessment for learning because I will use the results to determine the level of student understanding of this concept, and adjust my teaching accordingly. This assignment is also for marks, and so it is also summative.
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Students will use modelling clay and Styrofoam to model internal and complementary forces, and will record their results Clay and Styrofoam Activity and answer short answer questions about their results. This is assessment for learning because I will use student responses to determine the level of student understanding of this concept, and adjust my teaching accordingly. This assignment is also for marks, and so it is also summative. Students will use laptops to research the material composition Research plant/animal joints and materials and joints of a plant or animal of their choice. They will summarize their findings and include a drawing. This is assessment for learning because I will use student responses to determine the level of student understanding of this concept, and adjust my teaching accordingly. This assignment is also for marks, and so it is also summative.
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Teaching Resources
Alberta Assessment Consortium Rubric Builder Alberta Program of Studies, Science 7-9 BBC Beautiful and Bizarre Bridges http://www.bbc.com/travel/slideshow/20131003-six-beautiful-and-bizarrebridges?ocid=fbtvl Science Focus 7 student textbook Science Focus 7 teacher resource binder Tim Mang's Egg drop activity plan Tim Mangs Future Building project plan http://misslwholebrainteaching.blogspot.ca/2013/07/forces-structures-resources.html