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In this unit, students investigate temperature cycles, tree rings, CO2 records, and the effects of CO2 on temperature, precipitation and cloud cover to determine the impacts of changing climate on forests. After gathering and analyzing local data,... (View More)

This unit focuses on local plant species; students learn to identify common species and will examine their life cycle characteristics as evidence of climate change. Through the use of the national citizen science project titled Project BudBurst,... (View More)

Students are introduced to the carbon cycle through discussion, modeling and a game. Students then complete activities and investigations on Greenhouse gasses, photosynthesis, cellular respiration and ecosystem services (functions and values of... (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)

Students will use the law of reflection to reflect a laser beam off multiple mirrors to hit a sticker in a shoebox. Since X-ray telescopes must use grazing angles to collect X-rays, students will design layouts with the largest possible angles of... (View More)

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 image from the Hubble Space Telescope reveals a panorama of turbulent star birth, located close enough to Earth that Hubble can resolve individual stars. The star factory resides 170,000 light-years away in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small... (View More)

Keywords: Star formation
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will explore Earth's magnetic field using a dipole magnet and compass, and then build a model of Earth's ring current and use it to observe a magnetic field’s response to a fluctuating electric current in this hands-on investigation of... (View More)

Keywords: Magnetism
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $5 - $10 per group of students

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 lesson plan teaches how to select the landing site for a planetary surface investigation, using the 5E learning cycle. Students will be able to determine a landing site for their Mars rover; work with their team to summarize information and... (View More)