A Stakeholder Debate: Do Robots Improve Society?

With the evolution of technology, what was once deemed as impossible can now become the possible; this can be seen with the advancement of robots. Often when people think about robots, the first image that pops into their minds are of R2D2 and C-3P0 from Star Wars. While these two robots played pivotal roles in the Star Wars series, they were initially created to serve humans. Even animated movies, such as WALL-E, featured robots that were responsible for all activities that took place on the spacecraft, while humans enjoyed their leisure time.

While robots today may not be as sophisticated as R2D2 or C-3PO, there have been advancements in the field. Robots can now accomplish tasks that can be done by humans such as microwaving a meal. Professionals in the robotics field say that eventually robots will be so advanced that they will be able to replace humans in some jobs. This will drastically shift how society functions and soon robots will become a fixture in our world.

Yoshi’s Digestive System

This lesson provides the foundations for a unit on the digestive system. Students learn about the key digestive organs and enzymes present in their favorite ever-hungry dinosaur, Yoshi!

Using Wikipedia Effectively: Researching Superstars and Other Topics

In this lesson, students will use Wikipedia as a research tool from a critical perspective: they will review the contents of Wikipedia entries on their favorite musicians; they will access and verify information supporting the Wikipedia entry; and they will think about the benefits, drawbacks and additional resources of online research tools.

Eminem Vs. Shakespeare: A Poetry Lesson Part 1

The goal of this lesson is for students to engage with Shakespeare’s poetry by comparing it to the lyrics of Hip-Hop artist Eminem. Teachers can also introduce or review literary devices, rhyme scheme, meter, and poetic structure within the context of this lesson.

“Vulcan?!?” What Would YOU Name Pluto’s Newly Discovered Moon?

In this lesson, students use facts about Pluto’s newly discovered moon to develop a name that they believe best suits this new space discovery. The name “Vulcan” won a recent online poll conducted by the astronomer who discovered the moon to become the moon’s new name. The name has not been officially adopted, however, so students are asked to come up with their own pop culture-related names that might better suit the moon based on facts students learn about it. Clips of Star Trek are used to teach about the name Vulcan and segue way into the lesson’s main activity.

Law & Order, Evidence, and Persuasive Essay Writing

This lesson uses scenes of closing arguments from the popular television show Law & Order to help students understand the importance of using evidence to support stances and arguments in their writing. Students then participate in mock court case to better understand the significance of using evidence to support arguments in writing.

Spring Break and Beyond: A Look at Different Cultures’ Spring-Time Traditions

In this lesson, students will research spring traditions that expand beyond the American teenager’s concept of “spring break” and analyze how they represent “rebirth.” Each student will pick a tradition from a different culture to research and present her/his findings in a brief oral presentation and PowerPoint.