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West Ridge Modules

Page history last edited by DustinWindsor 11 years, 10 months ago

West Ridge Middle School currently has 14 instructional modules. 


  1. Applied Physics
  2. CADD
  3. Computer Graphics and Animation
  4. Energy, Power, and Mechanics 
  5. Engineering Bridges
  6. Flight Technology
  7. Forensic Science 
  8. Mission to Mars
  9. Natural Disasters 
  10. Oceanography 
  11. Research and Design
  12. Robots 
  13. Rocketry and Space
  14. Weather 


Applied Physics

In this title, students learn about the wonderful forces of nature that they must control and learn to live with to make their lives more enjoyable. Using an air track, students learn about motion by calculating the velocity and acceleration of air track cars using a photogate timer. Students study data transmission using a laser. Students also learn about radio waves, light, and heat and do experiments using mathematics. 



In CADD, students use computer-aided drafting, or CAD, software to explore the fundamentals of drafting. Students use CAD software to create multiview drawings of a geometric solid and to complete a set of floor plans. The floor plans are based on standards for architectural drawings.


Computer Graphics and Animation

In Computer Graphics & Animation, students learn how the use of computers can enhance products created by professional artists and animators. With the use of a computer and related software, students produce an animated sequence using bendable cartoon figures. Students use a digital camera to capture a picture and create an animated project. Students also explore 3-D animation and create an animated 3-D movie.


Energy, Power, and Mechanics

When students complete Energy, Power & Mechanics, they have a basic understanding of energy sources, the principles of power technology, and the concept of mechanical advantage and machines. Students see how fluids can be used with other simple machines. Using educational instruments, students learn the fundamentals of gears, fluid mechanics, and three classes of levers. Students also use a solar hot dog cooker and experience the concept of wind power. 


Engineering Bridges

In Engineering Bridges, students solve an engineering problem as a team. Their task is to build a balsa wood bridge that will span a space and hold the most weight before breaking. There are certain rules that the students must follow to build their bridges correctly. Students learn the relationships between design, structure, and strength of a bridge. By building a bridge and testing its strength on a structure tester, students learn valuable engineering concepts and principles.


Flight Technology

In Flight Technology, students learn the principles of flight. Students use a computer flight simulator to experience piloting an aircraft. Each student evaluates the other and prepares a written critique of his or her partner’s flight. Students are introduced to navigation and plot a course using angular measurement and mathematical computation.


Forensic Science

In Forensic Science, students determine the prime suspect in a fictitious vandalism of a local high school. Students analyze evidence, which includes fingerprints, hair samples, handwriting, and ink. Students also extract DNA from a sample. Students compare the evidence with samples taken from suspects. Finally, they must put all the evidence together and identify a prime suspect. Teachers may customize suspect samples and evidence, just to keep it interesting!


Mission to Mars

Mission to Mars integrates the concepts of green living into the current research being conducted for a planned mission to the planet Mars. Using a Mars mission as microscale ecosystem, Mission to Mars explores the green topics of water conservation, food availability, energy needs, global warming, and ozone depletion, to name a few. Students will be given the opportunity to identify and solve many of the problems of a mission to Mars and see how those solutions can also apply to many of the environmental challenges that are faced here on Earth.


Natural Disasters

In Natural Disasters, students briefly explore various categories of natural disasters. They learn the scientific concepts underlying the cause and the general effects of each disaster, as well as locations in the U.S. and around the world where each type of disaster is most likely to strike. They do activities to demonstrate both scientific concepts and methods of measuring and tracking the process. Finally, they develop a school disaster plan based on given conditions.



In Oceanography, students locate oceans and explore the topography of the ocean floor. They do several experiments and activities to understand salinity, density, conductivity, and pressure changes in the oceans, and to explore the actions of waves and currents. They survey the organisms found in several ocean habitats, and consider the ways in which humans use and abuse the oceans. They do several types of mathematical calculations related to ocean properties


Research and Deaign

In Research & Design, students design, manufacture, and race a model CO2-powered dragster car. Students design their car to meet certain specifications and limitations so that it qualifies as a legal car on race day. They learn the concepts and terms in the design process as well as gain an understanding of lift and drag on an object. After they finish their car, students test it in several ways and predict its performance.



In Robots, students learn about the fascinating role that robots play in our lives. More and more, this technology is helping to improve the way we live and manufacture items. Students learn how to operate, program, and use robots in different environments. Initially, each student learns to manipulate the robot and program it to conduct repeatable tasks. Students learn about each of the sensors and how to program them to control a self directed robot.  Ultimately, they program and operate a robot to operate using the sensors as inputs to solve a challenge.


Rocket Science

In Rocket Science, students learn about the scientific principles of flight, propulsion, and aerodynamics. Newton’s laws of motion are introduced and explained in practical terms. The history of rocket science is an important concept in understanding the development of rockets and is presented during this title. Students construct a water-fueled Stratoblaster® rocket and launch it as a culminating activity.


Rocketry and Space

In Rocketry & Space, students learn about the development of rocketry and the United States space program and its history. The principles of rocket design, propulsion, and certain scientific principles that are fundamental to successful rocket flight are important concepts in this title. Students construct and launch a model rocket as a means of bringing application to the scientific concepts presented.



Weather begins from a global perspective by explaining circulation and weather patterns and moves to local weather system investigation. Students see the relevance of this title daily as their local weather changes. They learn how their local weather is predicted or forecasted on the news and how global weather patterns can influence their everyday lives. They use a computerized weather station to monitor daily weather data such as temperature, pressure, and wind direction.

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