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Educational Level:
Middle school  
Topics/Subjects:
Physical sciences  
Materials Cost:
$1 - $5  
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In this activity, students face an engineering challenge based on real-world applications. They are tasked with developing a tool they can use to measure the amount of rain that falls each day. Students will find out why freshwater is important,... (View More)

This is a lesson about geologic history. Learners will work together to create models of volcanic lava flows and analyze the layers that form on a planet's surface. They will sequence lava flows produced by multiple eruptions. Students will be asked... (View More)

In this activity, students learn that light carries information. Students also discover that infrared (IR) radiation is a form of light that in some cases behaves like visible light and in other cases behaves very differently. For example, some... (View More)

This is an activity about sunlight as an energy source. Learners will create a plant box and observe that a plant will grow toward the Sun, its primary source of energy. This hands-on activity is an additional lesson as part of the book, The Day... (View More)

This is a lesson about the electromagnetic spectrum. Learners begin by arranging a set of picture cards; in the discussion afterwards, this activity is related to the electromagnetic spectrum as an arrangement of energy waves. Next, using a... (View More)

In this lesson, students will explore the density of substances as a model for understanding the mass to light ratio as a predictor of dark matter. They will measure and calculate mass and volume to calculate the density of a foam ball. Students... (View More)

In this lesson, students explore how eclipses happen and why Einstein needed a total eclipse to image stars near the Sun in order to demonstrate how the Sun's mass bends the light from a far away star. Using a foam ball and a lamp, learners create a... (View More)

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

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)

In this multi-day activity, students use infrared and visible images of animals and sort them into broad categories based upon the learner's own reasoning and observations of the images. Further explorations reveal that warm and cold-blooded animals... (View More)

In this introductory activity, learners investigate and discuss infrared images of various everyday objects, such as toasters, hairdryers, and running water, to learn about infrared imaging. Student questions about the false-color images help guide... (View More)

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