NSDL teaching resources related to “flow”

In this activity, students construct a model that will allow them to experiment with thermal convection, illustrating how thermal energy can generate a flowing motion in a fluid. The thermal convection in this model is similar to the convection that is inferred for the Earth’s mantle and can produce horizontal flow that can cause or is related to plate motions.

Thermal Convection and Viscosity of a Fluid

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At this Science at NASA site, you’ll learn about the physics of sand movement and the research done to understand mechanisms of dune migration. The physics and the landforms are interesting because granular materials like sand show properties of both solids and fluids, including saltation, sheet flow, and avalanches. This site provides a summary of the physics involved along with photographs of sand dunes on Mars, close-ups of sand particles, and a sand dune advancing on a town.

City-swallowing Sand Dunes

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This item is an introductory tutorial on generators and motors. It explains how current flows through a conductor and how motors change electric energy into mechanical energy. The latter half of the tutorial illustrates both AC and DC current generators and motors, with graphs to show the current wave cycles of both. This resource is part of the Molecular Expressions project at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University.

Molecular Expressions: Electricity and Magnetism – Generators and Motors

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This PBS site contains hands-on activities that model obstructed blood vessels. Materials are simple–straws, clay, and water–and the experiments are easy to do. You’ll model how blood pressure changes when a blood vessel is obstructed and also how elevated blood pressure can damage a weakened artery. This site contains links to related PBS videos.

Affairs of the Heart: Exploring Vessel Physics

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Students use STELLA to create a model of heatflow in permafrost to attempt to replicate the findings of Lachenbruch and Marshall (1986), who used inflections in the geothermal gradient of Alaskan permafrost to search for evidence of climatic change.

Temperature Profiles in Permafrost

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This lesson, provided by Science NetLinks, is the fourth of a sequence of five lessons, teaching students that most of the materials and energy used by a city come from outside the city boundaries. Students will need to have at least a general working understanding of the concepts of flow (as in energy flow) and cycles (as in nutrient cycles) in order to get the most out of this lesson. The class will use various websites to investigate these processes and then create dramatic or musical skits demonstrating their understanding of the “actors” in the urban metabolism.

Urban Ecosystems 4: Metabolism of Urban Ecosystems

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This python program simulates heat flow within an iron bar. The physical context is the heating of iron in a blacksmith’s shop. The simulation is intended to accompany the preprint.

Blacksmithing, Introductory Physics, and Computer Programming – Slides and Code Supplement

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This activity uses Jell-O(R) to introduce learners to microfluidics, the flow of fluids through microscopic channels. Using wooden coffee stirrers, learners create patterns to be cast in Jell-O(R), then mix Jell-O(R() and pour it over the pattern, letting it set overnight (or over a weekend if possible). Once cured, the stirrers are removed, and water with food coloring is forced through the fluid channels. Multiple variations are shown, including one that uses pH paper as sensors, as well as suggestions and examples for different age groups.

Jell-O Model of Microfluidics

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This map and summary describe the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC), which is the most important current in the Southern Ocean and the only current that flows completely around the globe. The ACC, as it encircles the Antarctic continent, flows eastward through the southern portions of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Links are provided to summary text detailing velocity and hydrographic observations, plots such as average current speed, drifting buoy positions, sea surface temperature maps, and HYbrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM) simulations. References are also included.

The Antarctic Circumpolar Current

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This is the home site for LMNO Engineering, Research, and Software, Ltd. The main features of this site are on-line calculations for fluid flow, flow measurement, and unit conversions. There are over forty equations grouped by the following categories: Hydrology, Groundwater/Porous Bed, Volume, Open Channels, Pipe Flow, and More Programs. Some equations are available for free, while others require a user-fee. A few of the familiar equations are the ideal gas, Manning equation, Colebrook equation, Darcy-Weisbach equation, Hazen-Williams equation, and Bernoulli Equation.

The Fluid Flow Calculations Website

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