Transformations in Matter and Energy Carbon TIME is an NSF-funded partnership led by Michigan State University
Activity 2.1 - Powers of Ten Video and Discussion (30 min)
Target Student Performance
Students discuss how all systems can be analyzed by “zooming in” and “zooming out” through a hierarchy of systems at different scales.
Students view the Powers of Ten video and discuss the idea that all systems exist at multiple scales from atomic scale to the scale of the Universe.
- Learning Tracking Tool for Systems and Scale (1 per student)
- Assessing the Learning Tracking Tool for Systems and Scale
Print one copy of Powers of Ten 11 x 17 Poster display on your classroom wall. Prepare a computer with an Internet connection and a projector to watch the Powers of Ten video .
Assessment takes place in Step 5 of the activity when students share ideas about what ethanol and water might look like at the atomic-molecular scale. Although many students will be familiar with the molecular formula for water, fewer students will understand what that means - that a water molecule has two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Very few students will know the formula for ethanol (C2H5OH). Even students who know the meaning of the formulas may not be able to connect atomic-molecular scale formulas with macroscopic-scale phenomena. For example, they may have trouble drawing what water molecules look like in a drop of water or as water vapor in the air.