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Exploring Systems - for teachers

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Earth and Space Sciences +6 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old)

Systems can be vast or miniscule. They can be man-made or occur in nature. A system can be simple or complex but all systems are have various parts. Each of the parts have functions within the system and each system has its own function (what a part or system is used for is called its function)

In this collection, students investigate a variety of systems by viewing and reading about them. 

This collection can be used in the classroom as students explore the crosscutting concept of systems and system models across a variety of science disciplines. The collection can also be used in a design thinking course or unit or as students undertake engineering projects and explore processes and systems.

This collection is designed for students to use independently either in class or on their own. The collection can also be used as a small group or whole class activity driven by discussion instead of writing.

The task is provided in the first slide in the collection. Extension activities can be applied to the task. One extension is included in the task slide and prompts students to use the Learning Lab to seek out their own example of a system and explain its parts and functions. A more interactive class based extension might be for students to circulate and look for a partner/partners who chose the same system or can find a way to make connections between two or more different systems that they chose. Partnerships/teams can then compare the parts/functions that they have identified and prepare to share with the larger class community.



Assessment Resource

sara gottlieb

Writing chair

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Communications Satellite, Telstar

National Air and Space Museum

Aerial Machine

National Air and Space Museum

Ornithopter

National Air and Space Museum

Leafwing Butterfly

NMNH - Education & Outreach

Landsat 1 (Erts-A, Erts-1). [photograph]

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Connecting Earth and Sky

National Museum of the American Indian

Dynamic Earth Official Trailer

Smithsonian Institution

Mellow the Earth

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Nintendo Entertainment System Video Game Console

National Museum of American History

Satellite photos of Earth

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

"Rollback" operational stool

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Golden Sampler

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Dust Bowl

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Communications Satellite, Telstar

National Air and Space Museum

Headset, Micro System, Cosmos Phase II

National Air and Space Museum

Compupro Systems

National Museum of American History

Henderson N. White Co. Boehm System Clarinet

National Museum of American History

Walking Stick System (Coral)

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Autonomous Drone Delivery System

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Lunchbox, The Exciting World of Metrics

National Museum of American History

Why Design Now?: Z-20 Concentrated Solar-Power System

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Solar Home Lighting System

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

SafeWander Bed-Exit Alarm Sensor System

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Office 30

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Brompton

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Writing kit

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum