Great Minds® began as a small group of K–12 advocates with a passion for knowledge and has grown into teams of hundreds of teacher–writers on a mission to elevate education in every classroom. Their teams include former teachers and content experts who apply their experience to create knowledge-building, high-quality curricula for math, English language arts, and science.
The Great Minds team created PhD Science® to appeal to students’ curiosity about their world. By grounding deep science content in compelling, knowledge-rich phenomena and engaging experiences, PhD Science inspires students to wonder about the world and empowers them to make sense of it.
Science Discipline: Physical Science, Engineering
Year Reviewed: 2022
How do tugboats maneuver massive ships through crowded harbors? This phenomenon inspires an exploration of forces and interactions. Students use a variety of models, from balls and toy cars to wooden block boats, to investigate the effects of stronger and weaker pushes and pulls. They determine that pushes and pulls can cause objects to start moving, change speed, turn, or stop. Students then draw on their new knowledge to explore how to prevent a tugboat from bouncing too far from its dock. They design, test, and improve a dock cushion to do the job.
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