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Educational Level:
Middle school  
Instructional Strategies:
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Life sciences  
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This unit consists of five activities, all of which focus on the response of plant life-cycle events to climate change. Students participate in discussions, field observations, data collection and analyses, plant identification, seed dispersal... (View More)

This curriculum uses an inquiry-based Earth system science approach, and leverages Project BudBurst, a citizen science phenology project, to engage students in authentic research on plant and ecosystem responses to climate change. Students collect... (View More)

This unit consists of two parts, each with several activities which require students to participate in investigations, discussions, computer data analysis, role-playing, and research. In Part 1, students examine the roles of Earth's energy balance... (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)

This is a lesson about how to answer a scientific or engineering question. Learners will refine the scientific question they generated in Lesson 5 so that it can be answered by data and/or modeling, brainstorm possible solutions for the scientific... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

Tree ring analysis and satellite data observations are combined in this investigative lesson on past climate. Students will compare the width of tree rings from a real or virtual tree x-section with precipitation levels from authentic satellite... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students identify habitats in Arizona, define and illustrate a food web in a kinesthetic exercise, and explain the importance of biodiversity in a writing assignment. Required materials include a ball of yarn or string. The... (View More)

This is an activity about the discovery of water ice on Mars. Learners will create physical models using Earth samples to answer the question, "is it more likely that high altitude regions of Mars are composed of icy dirt (with ice filling the pore... (View More)

Keywords: Mars
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about extremophiles and using DNA sequences to classify them. Learners will describe the characteristics of a newly discoverd thermophyllic organism and use the DNA sequence to place that organism in the phylogenetic tree of life.... (View More)

This is a lesson about the evidence for life on other planets. Learners will play a game to examine processes in cellular metabolism and explore both direct and indirect evidence for fingerprints of life. Includes teacher notes, learning objectives,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
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