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Explore lunar phases as viewed from Earth using paper plates. While standing in the appropriate spot in the moon's orbit, students hold paper plates that depict the Moon's phase. This activity can be used to assess understanding of lunar phases or... (View More)

Explore lunar phases as viewed from Earth using a golf ball and an ultraviolet light. With the student's head representing Earth, students hold and move the golf ball to demonstrate the cause of the Moon's phases in their correct order. Related Next... (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)

Twice each day, once during daytime and once at sunset, students observe sky color, visibility, and sky conditions over a one week period. Each observation is recorded on a sky report form (included) for follow-up discussions and comparisons. This... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

Using water to represent the atmosphere and milk droplets to represent aerosols, students make predictions and conduct investigations to discover how different aerosol concentrations affect atmospheric color and visibility. This lesson is one of... (View More)

Keywords: Aerosols

Through the use of prisms and glue sticks, this activity introduces students to a fundamental property of light: white light is made up of colors representing different wavelengths. Students use the results of the activity to explain the variation... (View More)

Working in groups, students use contact paper to make samplers to collect local data on aerosols - the small particles found in the atmosphere. Students then analyze, interpret and make predictions based on their data. Both the instructions for... (View More)

Keywords: Aerosols

In this science-based storybook, students Anita, Simon, and Dennis want to know why the sky isn't always blue. They learn that there's a lot more than air in the atmosphere, which can affect the colors we see in the sky. Four activities accompany... (View More)

This news story describes the search for Pluto which began in the early 1900s and the subsequent discovery of its moon system. The text describes how the Hubble Space Telescope was used to discover Pluto's other moons. Star Witness News is a series... (View More)

Keywords: Reading
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

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)