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Educational Level:
Grade 5  
Instructional Strategies:
Hands-on learning  
Topics/Subjects:
Earth structure  
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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)

This activity demonstrates optical properties of water: that different constituents in water affect the transmission, absorption, and scattering of different colors in the visible light spectrum. Inexpensive, off-the-shelf components are used to... (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)

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)

In this lesson bridging art and science, students build understanding of the terms translucent, opaque, and transparent, as they apply to cloud descriptions, and create a collage using materials matching these characteristics, as well as a... (View More)

In this activity, students Identify differences between photography and satellite imagery, and identify the features in true color and false color images. A worksheet, data sheet, answer key, and Web links are included. This is Lesson 5 in the unit... (View More)

In this lesson, students compare different habitats based on satellite imagery and identify land features in the satellite image. This is lesson 3 in a unit on remote sensing that is a companion to an interactive adventure that uses a Landsat mosaic... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this activity, student teams explore connections between parts of the Earth system, by examining a time series of environmental data maps. Each team examines a single variable displayed on a global data map, and identify the unit of measure, the... (View More)

In this learning activity, students compare changes in insolation with changes in surface temperature in the polar regions using scientific visualizations of global data sets. Links to readings related to the shrinking ice cap and albedo are... (View More)

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