Imagining the Invisible

By Tom Young

Subject: Physics
Grade Level: 9-12
Standards:  MA STE & ELA (Common Core)

You are in residency as diagnostic radiologists. When you meet one of your first patients, you find that they are extremely hesitant to undergo any type of medical imaging. Even after telling the patient that you cannot treat them without first taking images, they tell you that they do not know enough about the technology to go on with treatment.

Choose one of the following patients:

●      Charlie – a 5 year old child who fell off of a playset and is complaining to his mother about pain in his forearm, which is very swollen and not very straight.

●      Megan – a 17 year old who got hit playing lacrosse and can no longer stand on her right knee. She has injured her MCL before.

●      Sarania – a woman who is 4 months pregnant presents with consistent abdominal pain.

●      Ronin – a 74 year old man who you strongly suspect to have hyperthyroidism

Determine which type of Medical Imaging Technology is appropriate to diagnose the patient that you chose. Then, you must explain to the patient how the technology works, how safe it is, and why it is necessary to proceed with treatment of their condition.

STE & ELA Standards

HS-PS4-5. Communicate technical information about how some technological devices use the principles of wave behavior and wave interactions with matter to transmit and capture information and energy.*

Practice: Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information


Introduce a topic and organize ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aid comprehension.  

Shakey Cakey Makey Breaky!

Subject: Physics, Art
Grade Level: 11-12
Standards:  MA STE, Art & ELA (Common Core)

By Richard Cohen

Over the weekend, my daughter and I made a cake to take to a family party. It was moist, yummy and looked beautiful. But one problem arose… We lived an hour away from the party and on the ride there, the cake shifted and fell apart. What a mess!

We frantically tried to fix it but all of our efforts were for nothing. It was a disaster. If only we had something that could store a cake and protect it during the stop and go of a car ride. Hmmmmm?

Your task is to design, build and test a device to protect a cake. Well, a cupcake to start with. The test will happen on one of my robots as it journeys around the room. There will be stops and starts, inclines and declines and the winning design will preserve the integrity of the cupcake best.

STE, ELA & Art Standards 

HS-PS2-3. Apply scientific principles of motion and momentum to design, evaluate, and refine a device that minimizes the force on a macroscopic object during a collision.*

HS-PS2-2. Use mathematical representations to show that the total momentum of a system of interacting objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system. 

RCA-ST.9-10.7 Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words. 

Art: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work. Describe how decisions about how a media artwork is presented are connected to what the student wants to express, evoke, or communicate. (F.MA.P.06)