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KET STEM Learning Objects

Resources for science, technology, engineering and math
Grade Levels:
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KET, in partnership with four public television organizations across the country, has produced a set of open media resources for K-12 audiences in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This collection is funded through the Hewlett Foundation. KET, along with the other partners, created these “Learning Objects” for distribution on Teachers Domain and other public television educational portals such as KET EncycloMedia.

KY Program of Studies:
Physical Science: Motion and Forces
Earth/Space Science: The Earth and the Universe
Biological Science: Biological Change
Unifying Concepts: Energy Transformations, Interdependence
Mathematics: Measurement, Geometry, Data Analysis and Probability

Resources include:

    Making Electricity at a Coal Burning Plant — Visit a coal burning power plant in rural Kentucky to see how electricity is produced in much of the United States. Follow coal’s path from bulldozer to furnace and then trace the energy transformations that make electricity available to homes, schools and businesses.

    What is a Watershed — Even if you live, work, or play far from a river, your actions could have an impact on the quality of the water in an area. Runoff from fields, lawns, and pavement could carry potentially harmful materials from our watersheds to our rivers. These effects could be felt far from the point of origin. This video from KET’s Raindrops to Rivers shows how smaller watersheds flow into larger ones.

    Pixels and Pigments — This original animation from KET demonstrates how primary colors are sets of colors that can be combined to make a useful range of colors. The two basic ways to produce colors are: (1) using the primary colors of pigments (magenta, cyan, and yellow) to absorb or subtract wavelengths of light, as in mixing dyes, or in printing; or (2) adding various strengths of the primary colors of light (red, green, and blue), as in computer screen pixels.

    Quantus — This original animation from KET introduces Pythagoras’ belief that “all is number.” Everything that we observe can potentially be described with numbers, or quantified. The computer creates objects, movement, lighting and color all by means of numbers, representing locations in space. Digital modeling constructs a simple mesh of polygons and gradually moves and adds vertices, until the model takes shape. Changing all 3 values (x, y, z) together produce the motion of the model through 3-D space.

    The Falls of the Ohio and the Devonian Period — Stroll along the Falls of the Ohio River, one of the largest exposed fossil beds in the world, and imagine what this part of the Midwest looked like during the Devonian Period 387 million years ago. Fossil evidence of corals and other marine organisms indicate the region was located in the tropics and was covered by a warm, shallow sea.

    Karst Topography and Mammoth Cave — In this video from KET, take a trip into Mammoth Cave to see a large cavern, and ride an airplane to view sinkholes in the land above the Mammoth Cave system. Watch as animation describes how both caverns and sinkholes are created by water seeping through and dissolving limestone. Discover that much of Earth’s land surface is karst similar to that in the Mammoth Cave region and thus shares the water quality issues prevalent there.

    Points of Origin — This animation illustrates how an origin is used for positive and negative measurement along a straight line and on a flat plane. It also shows how an origin, latitude, and longitude identify locations on Earth and explores how measuring temperature differs from measuring height or weight.

    Vehicle Stopping Distance — If you are traveling 20 mph, how far would your car go before stopping? This KET video explores the two parts of the stopping process, reaction time, how long it takes your brain to respond, and stopping distance, the area covered between putting on the brake and coming to a stop.

    Cumberland Gap Tunnel — Once a portal to the west, the Cumberland Gap has an historic distinction. Today automobiles are the preferred method of travel through this break in the Appalachian Mountains. This KET video is an account of the engineering marvel that moved a road under a mountain, the Cumberland Gap Tunnel.

    Histogrameter — Any discussion of statistical methods has underlying assumptions about the samples and properties of data used for analysis, but the assumptions are sometimes difficult to understand. This KET interactive is an easy tool for inquiry-based learning by providing a means to collect data from a variety of samples and interpret the resulting distributions, helping build a foundation for understanding and utilizing statistical methods. It also is a good tool to illustrate the differences between a histogram and a bar graph.

    Indiana Bats of Carter Caves — In this video segment from Kentucky Life, explore Bat Cave to find out how endangered Indiana bats are being protected. Learn about the efforts to help the endangered bats from naturalist Sam Plummer who explains why the bats are important and the role humans play in their habitat destruction and protection.

    Restoration of the American Chestnut Tree — In this video segment from Kentucky Life, learn how a majestic old chestnut tree that miraculously survived the blight is being preserved, studied, and pollinated under the watchful eye of scientists. See the precise process the scientists use to control the pollination of the flowers in order to study the offspring for resistance to blight. Watch as the scientists return four months later to harvest the nuts.

    American Chestnut Tree — See the devastating impact of blight on the American chestnut tree in this annotated slideshow adapted from KET’s Electronic Field Trip to the Forest. Learn the scientific processes scientists use to identify the remaining trees, document their locations, and cross-pollinate them with other varieties of chestnut trees to create hybrids that are blight-resistant.

    Farm Solutions to Water Pollution — Farming has always meant more than cultivating crops and raising animals. In this video from Common Ground and Cleaner Water, learn from a third generation farmer what it means to protect the land for future generations by caring about water quality on his farm and on his neighbors’ farms down stream. See how building a containment pond helps prevent animal waste from polluting streams and helps fertilize crops.

    Urban Solutions to Water Pollution — In this video segment from Louisville Life, learn how a rain garden in an urban community helps prevent storm water runoff from contaminating an urban watershed. Students describe how building a rain garden helps improve their community, prevents storm water runoff, and provides a personal sense of accomplishment and pride.

    The Inverse Square Law — This animation, originally created for a KET Distance Learning Physics course, explains the mathematical formula for the Inverse Square Law by demonstrating how the brightness of light changes with the distance from a source in one, two, and three dimensions. This animation can be viewed in segments or as a whole.

    Glacier Movement in the Formation of the Ohio River — This video segment, adapted from Where the River Bends, a KET documentary, shows how climate change and glacier movement during the Ice Ages caused the now-vanished Teays River to move to the south and become the Deep Stage Ohio River. Listen to a local historian describe how the advance and retreat of the Wisconsin Glacier about 100,000 years ago caused the path of the Deep Stage Ohio River to change, creating the course of the modern Ohio River that impacted the growth and development of the region.

    Unique Species in Kentucky’s Green River — In this video from Kentucky’s Last Great Places, take a trip on the pristine Green River to find out why it has remained so clean despite the widespread pollution of the modern age. Scientists demonstrate how the health of the river can be measured by indicator species such as mussels and crayfish, and showcase some of the global endemics, species that exist nowhere else, that are found in the Green River, such as the Orangefin Darter.

    Habitat and Diet in Racehorse Development — Watch this animated segment from KET’s Electronic Field Trip to a Horse Farm to learn why Kentucky is known as one of the best places to develop strong, fast horses. See a brief demonstration of a horse’s digestive process to learn how naturally calcium-rich grass is broken down into carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, and vitamins, and how calcium is then absorbed into the bones.

    Dragonflies in Kentucky — In this video segment from Kentucky Life, learn about dragonflies and damselflies. See these beautiful insects in flight, and learn about their habitats from a biologist.

Kentucky schools may tape and retain programs according to the rights listed above. For further information, contact the KET Education Division.

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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28-Sep-2016 03:20:10 Eastern Daylight Time