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Educational Level:
Grade 4  
Instructional Strategies:
Hands-on learning  
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This multi-phased learning package progresses from guided engineering to an open mission-design challenge. Each step is scaffolded and includes easy-to-implement teaching tools, lessons and art activities. Learners, working in collaborative teams,... (View More)

Acting as the ICESat-2 satellite, students investigate the reflection of light photons off Earth's surface by catching and recording a number of photons. Using bouncy balls to represent the photons, students drop, let bounce once and try to catch in... (View More)

Students participate in a series of activities to discover how astronomers use computers to create images and understand data. No programming experience is required; students will use pencilcode.net to complete such activities as creating a color,... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about image resolution. Learners will recreate a solar image taken by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using various sizes of building bricks, and discuss how their recreations relate to image resolution. Learners will also... (View More)

After researching cloud formations online or in the library, students create and share a PowerPoint presentation that describes and illustrates 12 kinds of clouds. A rubric for evaluating the PowerPoint is provided. The Students' Cloud Observations... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

After creating a model of multiple volcanic lava flows, students analyze the layers, sequence the flows, and interpret the stratigraphy. Students use that same volcanic layering model to investigate relative dating and geologic mapping principles-... (View More)

Emphasis is placed on preparing for severe weather events such as thunderstorms, tornadoes and blizzards. Following classroom discussion and internet research, students prepare and present a product (brochure, poster, video, etc.) on the... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity about the Sun's influence on plant growth, learners will create a plant box and observe that a plant will grow towards the Sun, its primary source of energy. By periodically collecting data on the growth of the plant, they can come... (View More)

In this hands-on activity, learners will build a solar cooker by lining a box with reflective material and adding a translucent cover. The cooker can be used to make food products. This activity recommends use of empty (clean) pizza boxes. This... (View More)

Cloud cover is a fundamental observation in the S'COOL project. The ability to reasonably estimate the percentage of cloud cover is introduced and practiced in this activity. The Students' Cloud Observations On-Line (S'COOL) project engages students... (View More)

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