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Educational Level:
Upper elementary  
Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes  
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In this activity, students engage in long-term systematic observation to learn about the apparent annual motion of the Sun caused by the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Students put a dot on a window where sunlight enters the classroom (or any room... (View More)

In this activity, students learn about the motion of the Sun in relation to the Earth, and how geographic directions are defined. Students use a tetherball pole (or an alternative) as a gnomon and the shadow the Sun casts to determine the exact... (View More)

Students become aware of the changes in visibility and sky color due to particles suspended in the air, called aerosols. They observe, document and classify changes in visibility and sky color over several days and understand the relationship... (View More)

In this activity, students learn the basics of the horizon, direction and the rising and settings of the Sun and stars by making a schoolyard "medicine wheel" with sidewalk chalk on playground asphalt. Medicine wheels are stone rings constructed by... (View More)

This picture book is designed to introduce children to the Earth's atmosphere and its importance to life on Earth. It also introduces how the addition of new gases (e.g., ozone) contributes to changing the quality of air we breathe. With an... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

In this short demo/activity, a balloon with baking soda in it is stretched over the mouth of a flask or bottle containing vinegar. The balloon is tipped so that the baking soda falls into the vinegar, and the reaction creates carbon dioxide, which... (View More)

In this interactive module, students can vary the comet's angle of approach to see the effect of gravity on its trajectory towards Jupiter. The speed and masses of the two bodies are held constant. The goal is for the students to understand the... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

The purpose of this kinesthetic activity is for students to learn the relative motions of the Earth, Sun and Moon. Awareness of these different motions is needed to develop an understanding of the causes of the day/night cycle, the seasons and the... (View More)

This tutorial on cloud types was designed for participants in the S'COOL project (Student Cloud Observations On-Line). S'COOL engages students in making and reporting ground truth observations of clouds then comparing those observations with data... (View More)

This is an activity about electromagnetism. Using a battery and a length of wire, learners will construct an electromagnet and investigate the number of paperclips the electromagnet can hold for an electromagnet with twenty loops of wire versus one... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school