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This model demonstrates convection currents and uses water, food coloring, a cup of very hot water and a votive candle as heat sources. Movie clips of demonstration setup and convection in action are provided. This activity is supported by a... (View More) textbook chapter, What Heats the Earth's Interior?, part of the unit, Energy Flow, in Global Systems Science (GSS), an interdisciplinary course for high school students that emphasizes how scientists from a wide variety of fields work together to understand significant problems of global impact. (View Less)
This activity presents a digital interactive where students identify anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide and their relative contribution to carbon enrichment of the atmosphere. Students then obtain a photograph pair of a scene in their... (View More) community, and identify sources of atmospheric carbon dioxide that did not exist in the earlier photograph. Alternatively, they can interview community members to obtain the same information. This activity is supported by a textbook chapter, How is the Atmosphere Changing?, part of the unit, Climate Change, in Global Systems Science (GSS), an interdisciplinary course for high school students that emphasizes how scientists from a wide variety of fields work together to understand significant problems of global impact. (View Less)
This is a lesson about using the light from the star during an occultation event to identify the atmosphere of a planet. Learners will add and subtract light curves (presented as a series of geometrical shapes) to understand how this could occur.... (View More) The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This is a game about planning what to take on a space trip to Mars. Learners will decide on the appropriateness of items to take on a long trip to Mars and take into consideration the effects of zero gravity, limited electrical power, etc.
This collection of 103 individual sets of math problems derives from images and data generated by NASA remote sensing technology. Whether used as a challenge activity, enrichment activity and/or a formative assessment, the problems allow students to... (View More) engage in authentic applications of math. Each set consists of one page of math problems (one to six problems per page) and an accompanying answer key. Based on complexity, the problem sets are designated for two grade level groups: 6-8 and 9-12. Also included is an introduction to remote sensing, a matrix aligning the problem sets to specific math topics, and four problems for beginners (grades 3-5). (View Less)
This is a lesson about visual spectra. Learners will explore different ways of displaying visual spectra, including colored "barcode" spectra, like those produced by a diffraction grating, and line plots displaying intensity versus color, or... (View More) wavelength. Students learn that a diffraction grating acts like a prism, bending light into its component colors. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students, focusing on how light is used to explore the Solar System. (View Less)
This activity provides a visual example of convection in fluids. Students will record their predictions and observations on diagrams of the experimental set-up showing convection currents. Materials required include hot and cold colored water,... (View More) thermometers, stopwatch, and index cards. This activity is part of the MY NASA DATA Scientist Tracking Network unit, designed to provide practice in accessing and using authentic satellite data. (View Less)
In this lesson plan students use temperature data to look at the measures of central tendency. By using mean, median, and mode, students will gain a better understanding about weather patterns from several locales throughout Virginia.
In this inquiry exploration, student design an experiment to test the absorption of heat by different earth materials. Materials required include plastic water bottles, soil, sand, water, thermometers, lamp with 60 watt bulb, and stopwatch. This... (View More) activity is part of the MY NASA DATA Scientist Tracking Network unit, designed to provide practice in accessing and using authentic satellite data. (View Less)
In this lesson, students explore the cosmic microwave background to understand why it permeates the universe and why it peaks as microwave radiation. Students should be able to explain that the origin of the background radiation is the uniform... (View More) thermal radiation of the big bang and that the radiation produced was evenly distributed around the small early universe, causing it to permeate today's universe. This activity is part of the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1965 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)