TOPS Learning Modules

Now you can order the superb TOPS Learning Modules without the hassle of importing them from the U.S.! Science Is... is a Canadian distributor of the TOPS series of science and math lessons, and our prices are (of course) in Canadian dollars!

Hands-on science with simple things. TOPS Learning Modules are a tremendous boon for teachers, home-schoolers and youth group leaders who may be stretched for funds to buy hands-on science resources. The TOPS books were developed by Ron Marsen, who spent 3 years as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching science and math in Africa with no science equipment. (And you think your school board is pressed for funding!) Having to make do with limited resources, he taught science and math using mostly kitchen utensils and office supplies. Simple, easily-found materials like paper clips, thread, clothes pins, masking tape, aluminum foil, straws, pins, etc. were transformed into tools for real science and math lessons. Some of the TOPS modules need a minimum amount of "real" equipment, but you may already have an inexpensive thermometer, magnet or magnifying lens readily available in your classroom or home. If not, Science Is... would be happy to supply them. All TOPS Modules are soft cover books, 8 " X 11".

The hands-on activities are arranged so that the instructor basically sets out the materials, distributes the activity cards or sheets, and instructs the students to read the activity and proceed. The activities are quite logically laid out, so as long as the students are willing to read the instructions (a very useful life skill), they should be able to carry on with a minimum of supervision. The first activities in each book are fairly easy, and the students build on their acquired knowledge step by step.

The main difference between SET "A" and SET "B" books is that activities in SET "A" are presented as 4" X 6" index card size units, with more open-ended activities encouraging independent study. The SET "B" activities are full page size, with more structure to the activity (i.e. a definite beginning, middle & end). Humorously illustrated with TOPS "peoplets" showing the way, the activities will appeal to those students who don’t like science. All TOPS Student Worksheets can be reproduced for classroom use.

The "Teaching Notes" section of each book contains a reproduction of each task card or sheet that the student received, with all the answers/diagrams filled in, background science you need to know, common questions students might ask, extension activities for enrichment, evaluation questions/answers and a materials list for that particular activity. A master materials list at the beginning of each book will assist you in gathering all the materials you need to complete the entire book. Homeschoolers find these TOPS modules particularly appealing, as they use easily-found materials and allow an individualized approach to the subjects that allow students to proceed at their own pace.

 

TOPS Modules SET "A":

(suitable mostly for middle school to high school)
Modules #01 to #23 use open-ended task cards. *Note: Grade levels indicated are provided as guides or suggestions only. Your students may find the activities easier or harder, depending on their previous experience.

TOPS Module #01 - Pendulums
A washer swings on a thread, sweeping the face of a cereal box. This box is covered with a grid that measures length and amplitude. It is, in short, a classically simple TOPS learning system. Armed with a stopwatch and calculator, your students will graph length vs. frequency into a beautiful curve; they’ll stand this curve on its head by plotting the period, then straighten it back out by squaring the period. This straight line leads directly to a simple pendulum equation with powerful applications. Reinforce all this great learning with other simple things that oscillate, from bouncing springs to chains of paper clips. Math lab teachers, don’t miss this one! Book of 20 lessons for grades 8 to 12*.
TOPS.01 Pendulums $18.95

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TOPS Module #02 - Measuring Length
Your students will discover that measuring length in centimetres is no different than using thumb widths or paper clips. Centimetres are just easier to use, are the same all over the world, and conveniently converted by multiples of 10 into other metric forms. Measuring Length teaches students to stretch a ruler to its limit of accuracy, to estimate the last digit and to report plus/minus uncertainty. Every lesson is high interest and hands-on. Your students will estimate the height of tall buildings and reinvent the measuring wheel. They’ll improvise metre tapes, then design nut-and-bolt Vernier calipers than are 100 times more accurate.  Book of 16 lessons for grades 6 to 10*.
TOPS.02 Measuring Length $18.95

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TOPS Module #03 - Graphing
In this unit, your students will measure variables, generate data tables and plot graphs. As they continue to experiment, they will begin to understand how the slope of a straight line or the direction of a curve corresponds to a more concrete reality - the stretch of a rubber band or the curve of a flask. Your students will study unusual co-ordinate systems as well, that will amaze and delight them. They’ll map normal images onto a circular graph paper to create a distorted projection. Then they’ll reflect the projection with a piece of shiny chrome tubing (or aluminized mylar - available from Science Is...), and find the normal image restored. Book of 20 lessons for grades 6 to 10*.
TOPS.03 Graphing $18.95

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TOPS Module #04 - Balancing
Press the side of your foot against the wall. Can you balance on that foot alone? No way: the wall prevents you from shifting your centre of gravity inside your base of support. Can you balance an index card on the point of a pin? It’s easy: curve the card so the pin point remains above the card’s centre of gravity. To practice balancing is to understand the science of balancing. To move pennies along the length of a metre stick that pivots this way and that is to discover the mathematics of balancing. To construct mobiles and cantilevers is to apply concepts of balancing to art and engineering. Have you been wanting to try a multidisciplinary approach? Try Balancing. Book of 16 lessons for grades 6 to 11*.
TOPS.04 Balancing $18.95

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TOPS Module #05 - Weighing
Using metal cans and cardboard beams, your students will construct lab balances accurate to 0.01 grams. That’s good enough to support all TOPS activities requiring mass measure throughout your entire school year! The physics of balances - trueness, sensitivity, reproducibility and restoring forces - are easy to understand on instruments that students have built themselves. Early experiments use a paper clip mass standard. Later on, your class will develop a gram standard derived from a 10 mL water mass. Finally, they’ll construct rubber band spring balances that measure weight in Newtons, providing the conceptual framework for distinguishing mass from weight. Book of 20 lessons for grades 5 to 10*.
TOPS.05 Weighing $18.95

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TOPS Module #06 - Metric Measure
This book is a perfect sequel to Measuring Length. It continues with the study of area, volume and mass and the metric units that measure these quantities. Your students will investigate metric relationships by building metric models and fitting them together. On an improvised microbalance they’ll discover that their cubic centimetre model holds 1 mL of water and has a mass of 1 gram. They’ll extend this idea a thousand fold by balancing a litre of water opposite a kilogram of gravel on a metre stick. They’ll estimate the number of rice grains that fill a baby food jar and the volume of water wasted by a dripping faucet. It’s all so simple, so elegant, so TOPS. Book of 20 lessons for grades 8 to 12*.
TOPS.06 Metric Measure $18.95

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TOPS Module #07 - Math Lab
The easiest way to wrap your mind around a math concept is to first wrap your hands around it. In Math Lab your students will do just that: they’ll build number sequences with pennies, create works of art based on the Fibonacci sequence, draw ellipses guided by thread and pins, outline parabolas with folded notebook paper, trace heart-shaped cardioids with drinking cups and explore the one-sided topography of Mobius strips - all hands-on. Your students will crack bar codes, solve puzzles and learn to generalize in a cautious, responsible manner. From limits to logarithms, Math Lab builds math confidence while teaching math skills in a totally enjoyable way. Book of 20 lessons for grades 7 to 12*.
TOPS.07 Math Lab $18.95

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TOPS Module #08 - Probability
This book is just what you need to involve your class in the mathematics of chance and the science of analysis. Your students will flip a coin in a marathon basketball tournament: Is Heads or Tails really the better team? They’ll spin an alphabet wheel until they spell a three-letter word: if you spelled "cat" the first time, are you as likely to spell it again? They’ll turn a cereal box into a penny pinball machine based on Pascal’s Triangle: what is the probability of hitting each pin? Your students will count permutations, tally combinations and plot frequency distributions; apply the rules of "and" "or" and "not" to paper clip spinners; even toss a pi without creating a mess! Book of 28 lessons, gr. 6 to 10*.
TOPS.08 Probability $21.95

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TOPS Module #09 - Floating & Sinking
Baby oil floats on rubbing alcohol, which then floats on corn oil, which then floats on water. Why do they float in that order? A candle sinks through these layers until it floats on corn oil. Why won’t it sink further? Your students will discover the physics behind these phenomena by measuring mass, displacing volumes and calculating densities. They’ll measure weight and buoyancy on spring balances they build themselves. In time they’ll experience, like Archimedes, that flash of understanding: Eureka! Floaters float and sinkers sink because they both are buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the water they displace. Book of 24 lessons for grades 7 to 12*.
TOPS.09 Floating & Sinking $19.95

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TOPS Module #10 - Analysis
This book is an excellent introduction to simple chemical analysis, especially for students who have had no previous background in chemistry. Your students will quantitatively separate salt and sand mixtures by following simple flowchart procedures. They’ll observe common household substances interacting, then use these characteristic reactions to qualitatively analyze unknown substances. They’ll investigate acids and bases, both with traditional litmus paper and cabbage water. By titrating with an eye dropper, your students will compare the strengths of common kitchen substances, and match colour changes to estimate pH. Book of 16 lessons for grades 5 to 10*.
TOPS.10 Analysis $18.95

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TOPS Module #11 - Oxidation
How is a burning candle like a breathing person? Both use fuel to produce heat; both consume oxygen; both produce carbon dioxide and water vapour. Oxidation enables your students to discover underlying chemical unity among physical phenomena that appear quite different - between things that burn, things that breathe - and things that rust. They’ll balance chemical equations, determine by experiment the percentage of oxygen in room air, even burn iron. Do your students need a chemistry lab to perform wonderful experiments like these? Not with TOPS. Beyond test tubes, everything runs on common household items and kitchen chemicals. Book of 16 lessons for grades 6 to 10*.
TOPS.11 Oxidation $18.95

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TOPS Module #12 - Solutions
This unit begins with corn starch. Mixed cold, it forms a coarse suspension that clears by filtering or settling. When boiled it forms both a cloudy colloidal suspension and true clear solution. Concepts and vocabulary learned here are then applied to a series of tasks that clean muddy water. Alum coagulates the clay, chlorination bleaches all traces of food colouring, but only distillation makes it pure. Students then use rock salt, baking soda, Epsom salt and copper sulfate to study about crystals, concentration and saturation, plus variables that influence rates of dissolving and limits of solubility. Book of 28 lessons for grades 6 to 10*.
TOPS.12 Solutions $21.95

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TOPS Module #13 - Cohesion/Adhesion
Begin with soapy water, fresh water, corn oil and rubbing alcohol. The way these simple liquids heap together, roll down wax paper, creep up glass and soak through paper towels says much about cohesion, adhesion, surface tension and capillary action. To understand the origin of these forces, your students will assemble a paper model cleverly mimicking the behaviour of hydrogen bonds that hold water together. They’ll extend these ideas to explain how colours separate by ink spot chromatography; to understand why oil slicks disperse on water with the addition of soap; to account for the elegant geometry of soap films coloured by glorious interference patterns. Book of 24 lessons for grades 6 to 10*.
TOPS.13 Cohesion/Adhesion $18.95

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TOPS Module #14 - Kinetic Model
How do scientists know what they know? This unit is all about gathering evidence to determine the nature of things we can’t see. Students begin by making inferences about the contents of sealed milk cartons and model what’s inside. They apply these reasoning skills to investigate the nature of solids, liquids and gases. Your class will learn to view their world as a collection of atoms and molecules in constant thermal motion. Not because they are told this is so. Rather, a wide variety of phenomena - diffusion, expansion, contraction, evaporation, condensation, melting, freezing and boiling all suggest that this is the best predictive model. Book of 24 lessons for grades 7 to 12*.
TOPS.14 Kinetic Model $20.95

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TOPS Module #15 - Heat
Your students will study heat in all its forms: how it conducts through metals and nonmetals; how it convects through water and air; how it radiates through space. Test tubes of water wrapped in shiny foil or dull black paper lead students to conclusions about heat absorbers and emitters; cooling curves reveal the best insulator and the best conductor; a jar of moist sand demonstrates the greenhouse effect. Whether heat is supplied by their own hands or a burning peanut, your students will discover that mass and temperature both count when computing calories. Book of 20 lessons for grades 8 to 12*.
TOPS.15 Heat $20.95

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TOPS Module #16 - Pressure
Teaching about pressure is usually a matter of locating the right rubber stopper, with the correct number of holes, to fit a flask of the proper diameter, to accommodate glass tubing cut to the desired length. No wonder experiments on pressure usually end up as teacher demonstrations! This unit eliminates all the hassle and hazard by using canning jars, rings and lids: 1/4 inch diameter rubber tubes fit perfectly through 1/4 inch lid holes backed by 1/4 inch washers. Your students will construct all manner of airtight and watertight systems that measure pressure, expand balloons, pump, siphon and more, simply by interconnecting and reconnecting tubes and jars. Book of 32 lessons for grades 7 - 12*.
TOPS.16 Pressure $24.95

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TOPS Module #17 - Light
Light is magic unless you can see through the illusions. If you understand its particle and wave nature - how it reflects off mirrors and refracts through water, how it magnifies and shrinks whole worlds through lenses and pinholes and turns them upside down, how it adds and subtracts colour and splits itself into rainbows, then, better than magic, light becomes a predictable, trusted friend. Traditional lab equipment - optical benches, ray tables, prisms, curved lenses and mirrors - normally cost big bucks. But Light achieves even better results using little more than 2 ordinary hand lenses. Throw in an extra penny-sized lens and your students will even build microscopes & telescopes! Book of 36 lessons, grades 6 to 11*.
TOPS.17 Light      $26.95

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TOPS Module #18 - Sound
Move a pencil back and forth while smoothly pulling a piece of paper under the oscillating point. This generates a train of waves across your paper with measurable amplitudes and wave lengths. Time the frequency of these vibrations to determine wave speed. Masking tape that is stuck to a vibrating tuning fork and swept across greased glass makes a similar wave train. Relationships between intensity and amplitude, pitch and frequency, follow as naturally as listening. Your students will generate both longitudinal and transverse waves by cutting an index card "slinky". They’ll study resonance and beats, even build a musical instrument. Book of 20 lessons for grades 7 to 12*.
TOPS.18 Sound $18.95

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TOPS Module #19 - Electricity
This book begins with task cards that investigate the nature of like and unlike charges, establishing the reason why current flows through wire. Students then improvise bulb and battery holders and build a variety of different switches. They’ll then configure them in parallel and series arrangements, using Ohm’s Law to predict how the current will flow. Your class will construct all manner of wonderful inventions: galvanometers, variable resistors, fuses, electroscopes, wet cells, storage cells, ammeters and more. They’ll even split water and recombine the gasses in a safe mini-explosion. Book of 36 lessons, gr. 8 to 12*.
TOPS.19 Electricity $26.95

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TOPS Module #20 - Magnetism
Magnets are fascinating. They provoke our curiosity. By touching one to a straight pin, you create an instant compass. Use it to map magnetic fields around a small magnet or a whole planet. What else can you do with this pin? Remagnetize it, chop it into pieces, heat the attracting fragments in a candle flame. These experiments reveal much about the nature of magnetic domains. Add coiled wire and dry cell batteries to your inexpensive "refrigerator" magnets to create a surprising array of wonderful inventions: electromagnets, solenoids, telegraphs, buzzers, motors, generators and relay switches. Magnetism is great science and great fun. Book of 28 lessons for grades 8 to 12*.
TOPS.20 Magnetism $26.95

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TOPS Module #21 - Motion
In this unit your students will observe, analyze and graph all kinds of motion: the acceleration of marbles down an incline; the herky-jerky motion of classmates doing the heel-toe shuffle; collisions of marbles with equal and unequal masses; paper clips orbiting on string; floor tappers in free fall; jet straws, catapults and much more. Thanks to Newton, all these varied motions can be understood in terms of the same basic laws. His ideas about mass, inertia, balanced and unbalanced forces, acceleration, action and reaction, all make good sense. Students grasp the abstract because they have experienced the concrete. Book of 36 lessons for grades 7 to 12*.
TOPS.21 Motion $26.95

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TOPS Module #22 - Machines
Your students will construct levers from a metre stick and a rubber stopper; pulleys from paper clips and thread; inclined planes from pieces of cardboard. They will use spring scales to weigh loads, measure effort, and thereby calculate efficiency. (Scales with a 2 N capacity, 200 g, work best.) In each case they will find machines save effort but never reduce work. They’ll build a wheel and axle machine, examine gear ratios, even calculate the horsepower generated in climbing a flight of stairs. Imagine the smallest kid in your class winning a pulley tug-of-war against the strongest. Machines is great fun that your students will not easily forget. Book of 16 lessons, grades 7 to 12*.
TOPS.22 Machines $18.95

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TOPS Module #23
Rocks & Minerals You don’t need exotic rocks and expensive minerals to teach Rocks and Minerals. Granite and basalt, plus coarse sand with flecks of mica are your most exotic requirements. Your students will learn from these samples, then extend this knowledge to common rocks they find in their own back yards. They will identify the 3 basic rock types - igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic - and further subdivide these into 12 distinct groups based on geological formation. An egg carton organizes everything into a unique collection of personal discovery & learning experience. Book of 36 lessons, gr. 6 to 12*.
TOPS.23 Rocks & Minerals $26.95

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TOPS Modules SET "B":
(suitable mostly for elementary to middle school)

Modules #31 to #45 use structured, illustrated activity pages. *Note: Grade levels indicated are provided as guides or suggestions only. Your students may find the activities easier or harder, depending on their previous experience.

TOPS Module #31 - Balancing
Never has a sheet of paper been used with such creativity! By folding and cutting a premarked activity sheet, your students can make math balances that provide hours of learning enjoyment. They add weight to the beam simply by hanging paper clips from the prenumbered tabs. In a similar manner, by suspending folded index cards from the end of another folded beam, your students can construct their own equal-arm balances. Imagine the enthusiasm as each student interacts with his or her own instrument: Do 12 rice grains weigh more than 3 popcorn? How many paper clips does a penny weigh? Book of 20 lessons for grades 3 to 7*.
TOPS.31 Balancing $26.95

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TOPS Module #32 - Electricity
Circuits are fun to build. But poor contact points or loose connections can often make it a frustrating experience, especially for younger students. Not to worry! Using no more than paper clips, rubber bands, clothespins and pennies, your students will build bulb holders, battery holders and switches that are virtually goof-proof. Gone is the tangle of copper wire that must be twisted and untwisted. It is replaced by flexible, tangle-proof ribbon - aluminum foil backed by masking tape. Because they are flat, these ribbons can be joined into electrically secure connections with paper clips. Simple, inexpensive, easy to do - you and your class will love Electricity. Book of 20 lessons for grades 3 to 8*.
TOPS.32 Electricity $26.95

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TOPS Module #33 - Magnetism
This unit uses small rectangular ceramic magnets about the size of postage stamps (size not critical). You may have them at home, holding messages to your refrigerator door, or you can purchase them from Science Is.... Your students will put these to very good use. With a thread and pin they will map a magnetic field. With masking tape and paper clips they will graph how the strength of the magnet changes with distance. Compasses, electromagnets, telegraphs, buzzers and motors - Magnetism is filled with wonderful inventions that run on simple materials. So incredibly little teaches so much! Book of 20 lessons, gr. 3 to 8*.
TOPS.33 Magnetism $26.95

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TOPS Module #34 - Pendulums
Activity sheets in this book run on little more than thread, paper clips, pennies and masking tape. Now you can teach science on less than a shoestring and your students will love it: they’ll time pendulums, count cycles, measure lengths, graph data, predict frequency, calculate ratios and even discover the square root of two. Couple pendulums with a rubber band and watch the energy flow between them. Join four pendulums with a raft of heavy books and watch the complex harmonic motion draw a seashell pattern. It’s science, math and art. It’s all in Pendulums. It’s all so simple. Book of 20 lessons for grades 4 to 9*.
TOPS.34 Pendulums $26.95

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TOPS Module #35 - Metric Measuring
All metric units - metres, litres and grams - are tied to the same physical reference: a water cube that measures 1 cm on each side. We want your students to appreciate this elegant simplicity. So TOPS has developed a parallel measuring system based on sugar cubes. (Purchase cube shapes, not bricks, equivalent to 1 teaspoon.) Your students will use them to develop a concrete understanding of length, area, volume and mass. Ten lessons later they will substitute the idea of water cubes and slip painlessly into metrics. Metres, litres and grams all become old friends as your students make rulers, calibrate measuring cups and improvise gram balances. Book of 20 lessons for grades 6 to 10*.
TOPS.35 Metric Measuring $26.95

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TOPS Module #36 - More Metrics
How much is a hectolitre? Who cares? This book teaches only those metric units that are important. - metres, grams and litres - plus 6 useful derivatives. Learn these by cutting and sorting the TOPS Metric Squares. Match triplets: one millimetre = thin as a dime = .1 cm. Score Metric Rummy! Our activities and games reinforce metric relationships naturally, without drudgery. Then we teach how to measure. No rounding off in these activity sheets. Your students will learn to measure accurately, estimating the last digits like real scientists. They’ll weigh water drops and seeds on improvised microbalances, sensitive to just 1 milligram! Book of 20 lessons for grades 6 to 10*.
TOPS.36 More Metrics $26.95

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TOPS Module #37 - Animal Survival
How to survive? Do you hop, crawl, swim, fly? Will you claw and chew your way through life, or hide and blend in? Do you carry heavy armour, sport quills, sting or just smell bad? Animal Survival is a wonderful blend of science, art and imagination. Make a tiny tempera paint kit improvised from aluminum foil. Finger paint a desert-scape, then create a lizard to blend right in. Camouflage paper moths so perfectly that not even big bird (the school principal) can see them. Create a cornflake to mimic the real thing. This module helps every student enjoy and appreciate the wit and wonder of nature. Book of 20 lessons, for grades 3-8*.
TOPS.37 Animal Survival $26.95

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TOPS Module #38 - Green Thumbs: Radishes
Radishes aren't fussy. Provide them with a warm, moist environment (a wet paper towel in an egg carton works just fine) and away they grow. In just a day the seeds will sprout. By the end of the week you'll get plants that are as tall as 5 cm. Because radishes grow so fast, tropisms are easy to observe. See how the roots grow toward water; how the leaves tilt toward light; how the stems bend against gravity. Graph growth rates on a sigma curve. Eat a salad direct from the sun. Radishes are a great hands-on introduction to plants and how they grow. Book of 20 lessons for grades 3-8*.
TOPS.38 Green Thumbs: Radishes $26.95

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TOPS Module #39 - Green Thumbs: Corn & Beans
This module blends science, math, language and art into a single grand learning experience. There is much to observe, to calculate, to write and to draw. Your students will grow popcorn and pinto beans, then track plant development in their personal daily journals. Over 5 weeks your class construct their own lab equipment, compile a complete written and visual record of growth; graph daily height and weight gains; study how leaves photosynthesize; examine the role of cotyledons in plant development; learn to distinguish monocots from dicots in flowering plants, and much more. 20 lessons for grades 4 to 12*.
TOPS.39 Green Thumbs: Corn/Beans $26.95

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TOPS Module #40 - Earth, Sun & Moon
This book explores our heavenly neighbours in a most remarkable way. Your students will construct floating-pin compasses and paper clip quadrants, then use them to track the sun and moon across a graph paper sky. They’ll cover a beat-up tennis ball in a beautiful earth wrapper complete with continents, oceans and lines of demarcation. They’ll mount this earth on a pop bottle pedestal, properly tilted toward a tennis ball sun. Add a ping pong ball moon, half wrapped in black tape to model its phases, and this TOPS learning system is complete: night follows day; the moon waxes and wanes through its monthly cycle; season follows season; year follows year. Book of 20 lessons for grades 7 to 12*.
TOPS.40 Earth, Moon & Sun $26.95

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TOPS Module #41 - Planets & Stars
TOPS accomplishes a near miracle - the study of our night sky in the daytime classroom. Fashioning clever astronomical models from straws and cereal boxes, your students will accurately track the sun and stars across the classroom ceiling. They'll watch constellations rise and set on a water horizon in a baby-food jar. They'll pace off astonishing distances between our "tennis ball" sun and its "pepper and pebble" planets. They’ll map the Big Dipper with pinheads in 3-dimensional space and model the Milky Way in wisps of cotton. A logarithmic time line holds all models in perspective, stretching young minds (and your own) to the limits of the universe. Book of 20 lessons for grades 7 to 12*.
TOPS.41 Planets & Stars $26.95

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TOPS Module #42 - Focus Pocus
The title of this book sounds like magic. Just gather simple materials, sprinkle with water and shout "Focus Pocus!" You’ll get a canning-ring projector, a washer-lens reducer, a beverage-bottle magnifier and microscope, and a soda-straw superscope. Keep stirring with hand lenses (available from Science Is...) and you’ll brew up a lens platform that traces the bent path of refracting light rays, and a working mechanical eye. A metre-stick protractor connects these marvelous learning systems to solid math as your students measure angular size, graph visual acuity, and explore the inverse relationship between distance and apparent size. Book of 20 lessons for grades 5 to 10*.
TOPS.42 Focus Pocus $26.95

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TOPS Module #43 - Far Out Math
This is the first of three books TOPS has produced for NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (formerly GLAST: Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope), launched in 2008. The Activity Sheet lessons in this program launch algebra students (grades 9-12) into a study of logarithms. Why logarithms? Logs help astronomers gather vast ranges of astronomical data, collected by instruments like GLAST/Fermi, and interpret the results in meaningful ways. Those of us over 50 probably used log tables in high school to multiply and divide big numbers. If we studied physics, we also learned to use slide rules. Today digital calculators allow us to calculate with greater convenience, but often at the expense of understanding. Slide rules are still important in helping us understand (and remember in concrete, memorable ways), that logs are simply exponents: we add them to multiply and subtract them to divide.  In this module students will build ingenious slide rules from folded paper. They'll solve exponential equations by applying base-ten and base-two logarithms, and transform higher order equations into straight lines on log-log graphs.   Along the way, they'll learn intriguing bits of astronomical lore. Book of 14 lessons for grades 9 to 12*.
TOPS.43 Far Out Math $26.95

 

TOPS Module #44 - Scale The Universe
This, the second book TOPS has produced for NASA, is versatile and beautifully integrated, helping your students understand their place in the world. Give kids in grades 5-12 original, hands-on experiences with orders of magnitude and unit analysis. They can take a hike along an imaginary LongTape to get a feel for logarithmic measurement: they can order tabs representing the astonishing scope of distance and time, then arrange these on a log scale. As a magnificent finale, each student constructs a Book of Scale and explores, through the awesome Power of 10, the relative size of things big and small, from protons to the limits of our visible universe, from gamma ray periods to the lifespans of stars. We are in between: our bodies measured in metres, our respiration in seconds. Beginning with what we know, we reach both ways toward infinity, measuring, ordering, plotting, converting, scaling, and drawing everything imaginable in clever Books of Scale that frame both space and time. Discover wonderful enrichment activities for biology and math students. This wonderful new book will get even the artists and poets in your classes applying their skills and doing fabulous science. We predict that this program will knock your socks off and stir your students' sense of wonder and curiosity! Book of 9 lessons for grades 5 to 12*.
TOPS.44 Scale The Universe $26.95

 

TOPS Module #45 - Pi in the Sky
This is our third book in the TOPS NASA series, and the most flexible yet. Arranged as a "smorgasbord" of six "buffet tables," each table is arrayed with a variety of creative science and math labs and supplemental tools. If you've ever wanted to scrap one-size-fits-all lessons to meet individual needs, here's your chance to experience student-directed flexibility. Or you can choose to pre-select labs in a more traditional mode. Either way, these activities speak directly to students, with you presenting our targeted demonstrations and background information, providing simple materials, and acting as a resource person. Watch students discover for themselves how astronomers determine the size and distance of heavenly objects. Begin with a creative review of pi (a superb math unit on its own!), then go on to investigate angular size relationships, test visual acuity, construct and use an ancient navigational instrument, study parallax, and more! Pi in the Sky is a stellar publication, overflowing with extraordinary math and science, all using ordinary, cheap materials. Your students use their hands, bodies and minds to grasp elusive mathematical concepts in practical, concrete ways. Book of 37 student labs for grades 5 to 12*.
TOPS.45 Pi in the Sky $26.95

 

TOPS Special Offer # 1
Order the collection of SET "A" TOPS units as listed above (mostly for middle school and high school), and save over $63.00. It’s like getting 2 or 3 units for free! All 23 units of SET "A" (#01 to #23):
TOPS.0123 Collection of SET "A" TOPS Modules $425.00

TOPS Special Offer # 2
Order the collection of SET "B" TOPS units as listed above (mostly for elementary to middle school), and save over $54.00. It’s like getting 2 units for free! All 15 units of SET "B" (#31 to #45):
TOPS.3145 Collection of SET "B" TOPS Modules $350.00

TOPS Super Special Offer
Order the entire collection of SET "A" and SET "B" TOPS units as listed above, and save $143.00 over individual prices. All 38 TOPS Modules available at time of printing (#01 to #23 inclusive, plus #31 to #45 inclusive):
TOPS.0145 SET "A" and SET "B" TOPS Modules $750.00

 

*Note: Grade levels indicated are provided as guides or suggestions only. Your students may find the activities easier or harder, depending on their previous experience.

 

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