Dominant vs. Recessive Traits

As Mendel discovered in his pea plant experiments, some human traits are controlled by dominant and recessive genes. Parents pass the genes that control these traits to their offspring. Which inherited traits do you have?


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Credit, Then and Now

The 1920s saw the birth of consumer credit, with charge accounts at stores, credit cards, and installment loans. Today it’s hard to imagine modern life without these kinds of credit. Yet in both eras, families often found themselves in severe financial hardship due to overusing easy credit and then not being able to pay their bills.


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Blood Spatter Patterns

Blood spatter is a collection of blood spots, which may be different sizes and shapes depending on how they were formed. Blood spatter differs depending on the amount of blood, the speed of the drop, the angle at which it hits the ground, and the distance the drop travels.


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Warbling Wineglasses

Ben Franklin was an inventor, composer, and musician who lived from 1706 to 1790. He created the glass armonica, which was a popular musical instrument of the time made of glasses mounted on a revolving spindle, played with a moistened fingertip. Where did Franklin find the inspiration for the glass armonica? At a musical performance in London, the performer’s instruments were wineglasses of. . . MORE


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Skateboard Ramp Design

Your town is looking to design a skateboard park and they have asked for suggestions. You and a group of your friends have some ideas for ramps and would like to submit them to the committee.


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Sending Signals

Neurons send signals by releasing chemical neurotransmitters across a synapse, the space between neurons. The axon terminal releases the neurotransmitter, which moves across the synapse and attaches to receptors on the dendrites of a nearby neuron. This generates an electrical signal that goes to the neuron’s cell body. If enough input signals are received, the cell body produces an. . . MORE


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Who's In Charge?

What would your life be like if you were ruled by someone who didn’t follow the rules or made up their own rules? Here’s your chance to find out!


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What is Religion?

Defining religion can be a difficult task. Often, our definition of religion is shaped by our family, experiences, traditions, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and many other factors. Understanding these influences in your life can be helpful as you compare and contrast the five major religions in this book. Ask a group of friends or classmates to help you explore the definition of religion and. . . MORE


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Compare the Decades

In 2008, a recession took place in the United States that seemed to echo the Great Depression of the 1930s. Called the Great Recession, it was a time when unemployment spiked in 2008 and 2009 and many people lost their homes. How was this recession similar to the Great Depression?


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Converting Units

Chemistry uses many types of measurements. Some of the most common include distance, mass, time, temperature, volume, density, pressure, amount, concentration, energy, velocity, molarity, viscosity, and electric charge. Each of these can be measured in different ways. For example, mass can be measured in pounds, ounces, grams, and kilograms. Because of these differences, chemists must know how. . . MORE


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Talking Trash

The trash people throw out reveals a lot about human behavior. Prehistoric garbage dumps, called middens, are gold mines of information for archaeologists. Trash can reveal when people from a culture lived, what technology the people used, what the environment was like, and how the people obtained their food. In this activity you will examine a bag of garbage to see what your trash has to say. . . MORE


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Extract Your Own DNA

In the movie Jurassic Park, biologists extract dinosaur DNA from mosquito-like bugs that were preserved for millions of years in amber. Today’s scientists have not yet turned this fiction into fact, but you can easily see your own DNA in your own home.


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Create a Shakespearean Timeline

Every writer, artist, musician, or other cultural visionary is at least partly a product of their time. What might the history of Shakespeare’s era have contributed to the poems and plays he wrote that we enjoy today?


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Build a Model of the Arm

The arm is made of three main bones: the humerus, ulna, and radius. These bones support the arm and provide attachment points for the muscles that move the arm. Joints at the shoulder and elbow give the arm a wide range of motion and flexibility. In this project, you will build a model of an arm and recreate its movement.


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Microscopes

Microscopes have come a long way since the Dutch first created compound and simple microscopes. A microscope is simply an optical device that magnifies objects. Many standard microscopes have built-in light sources to improve the view. We call them light microscopes. These compound microscopes have a lens in the eyepiece and more lenses closer to the specimen.


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Use Art to Show Life and Death During the Holocaust

During the Holocaust, people created art while living in ghettos, concentration camps, or while in hiding. These pieces of art documented life in these places and showed events from the artist’s perspective. Created by professional artists and everyday people, these works of art provide a lasting snapshot of life and death during Hitler’s rise to power.


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Where Were You When?

Many people in middle school and high school don’t have memories of the 9/11 attacks because the event happened before they were born or when they were too young to form memories of it. You can learn a lot about the personal impact of terrorism by asking people where they were and what they remember about the attacks.


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The Statistics of Slaughter

The casualty rate is a number that refers to military personnel removed from service because of death, wounds, sickness, capture, or because they are missing in action or have deserted. The Civil War had the largest casualty rate of all American wars. Do the math to evaluate the human toll this conflict took on a generation of Americans. 


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Can You Spot Mercury?

Although it’s one of the brightest objects in the sky, seeing the closest planet to the sun isn’t easy. As seen from Earth, it never strays far from the sun’s blinding glare. Many famous astronomers are rumored to have never seen the elusive planet.


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What If?

The Space race ended with a walk on the moon. What might have happened if the Soviet Union had won the race? What might have happened if the U.S. space program had continued? Do some brainstorming and come up with some ideas!


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Conduct an Interview

The Vietnam War ended in 1975, which means that many people from this era are still alive today. Despite the many books and films that have been made about this war, the best way to get a personal understanding of this period is by speaking with someone who remembers it.


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Who Makes It?

Supporters of globalization promise that global trade will expand the wealth of countries by lowering the price of goods, increasing worker wages, and increasing economic growth. In this activity, you will investigate where the products you use come from and evaluate the impact of global trade on these countries.


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The Nuclear Debate

President Truman’s use of nuclear weapons has always generated controversy. There was little public debate at the time, however. Do you think President Truman’s decision to use nuclear weapons was justifiable, either militarily or morally? Stage a debate among your classmates or friends in which you argue for or against Truman’s decision.


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