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Breaking Point


Source Institutions

    Twin Cities Public Television

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Breaking Point

In this activity, learners build penetrometers to test leaf toughness. Biologists measure leaf toughness to study the feeding preferences of insects and bugs.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

Language:
English, Spanish

Materials List (per group of students)


  • materials to test--a variety of leaves or man-made materials that range from weak (tissue paper, coffee filters, plastic wrap) to mid-strength (paper, plastic bags, wax paper) to strong (paper plates, cardstock, manila folders, fabric scraps)
  • large paper cups
  • items to add weight (e.g., pennies, beans, or metal washers) -- use identical weights
  • paper clips
  • a single hole puncher

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Metallurgy and Materials Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Classification
      • Biodiversity
    • Ecology
      • Biodiversity
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
    • Science as a Career

Informal Categories


  • Gardening
  • Nature and Environment

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Culture, ethnicity, and gender

  • Girls

    • Explicity developed for this group
    • Acknowledges this group's contributions to STEM
    • Highlights STEM opportunities for this group
    • Identifies role models or mentors in STEM fields from this group
    • Uses inclusive images of people from this group

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., ©2013

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, DRL-1114739
  • L'Oreal USA For Girls in Science
  • Northrop Grumman Foundation
  • PPG Industries Foundation

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