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Educational Level:
Informal education  
Elementary school  
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Problem-based learning/solving real-world problems  
Identifying similarities and differences  
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Colored beads and string are used to create a model of the solar system in order to explore size and distance relationships among planets. A second model for comparing planetary sizes uses common types of fruits and seeds(either actual fruits or the... (View More)

This is an activity about seasons. Learners compare the seasons though identifying seasonal activities and drawing scenes in each season. Then, they compare the temperature on thermometers left under a lamp for different lengths of time to explore... (View More)

After examining variations and trends in short- and long-term air temperature data, students build an understanding of the differences between weather and climate. The lesson includes three activities with worksheets. An appendix also provides... (View More)

Students are introduced to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system, which is used to identify world climate types based on annual and seasonal differences in temperature and precipitation. The lesson includes two activities with worksheets... (View More)

This is an activity about perspective. Learners will examine pictures of objects up close and far away to try and figure out what they are. Then, given an image of a star and the Sun and through discussion about the differences and similarities of... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

In this hands-on activity, learners begin by estimating the size of each planet in our Solar System and Pluto and making each out of playdough or a similar material. Then, learners follow specific instructions to divide a mass of playdough into the... (View More)

This is an activity involving observations of the Sun. Learners use pinhole cameras, solar telescopes, and/or solar viewing glasses to make solar observations, draw what they see, and identify sunspots, if they are present. Then, learners go online... (View More)

This is a building-wide enrichment program consisting of a series of posters and accompanying questions designed to pique student interest in science concepts and their application to the world in which we live. Accompanying each poster is a series... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free per group of students

This is an activity about the period of the Sun’s rotation. Learners will select images of the Sun from the SOHO spacecraft image archive. Next, they will calculate an image scale for the selected solar images. Then, they will use it to help... (View More)

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

In this lesson, learners will discover how certain snakes (pit-vipers) can find prey using a natural infrared sensor and will extend their understandings by exploring infrared technology applications. The lesson features background information for... (View More)