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This article describes the work being done by scientists to determine the origin of water found in Earth's oceans. A supplemental exploration of the Herschel Space Observatory is included. The article is targeted to children ages 10-12.
This article explains the monthly variations in the Moon's appearance as seen from Earth. Directions for using Oreo cookies to illustrate the four major phases of the Moon are provided. The article is targeted to children ages 10-12.
Instructions are provided for constructing a terrarium. The analogy between the terrarium and Earth is also provided. This activity is part of the Climate Kids website, a NASA education resource featuring articles, videos, images and games focused... (View More) on the science of climate change. (View Less)
This textbook chapter introduces Earth’s external energy source, and the nuclear fusion reactions that power the Sun, space weather and space storms. There is an interview with solar scientist, Dr. Janet Luhmann, UC-Berkeley. The resource includes... (View More) links to current news articles, and a suite of pre- and post-unit assessments. A teacher's guide supports classroom use. This is the fourth chapter in the unit, Energy Flow, exploring the transfer of energy through the atmosphere, oceans, land, and living things over short and long timescales. The resource is part of Global System 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 (View Less)
In this self-paced tutorial, learners analyze data to understand the relative influence of solar variability on today's climate to determine whether changes in incoming solar radiation can explain all or part of the warming trend we have seen in... (View More) Earth's planetary temperatures. The resource supports teacher reflection on how climate change skepticism in the media impacts instruction in the classroom. Multimedia educational resources including video clips and data portals are included. This is the fourth of ten self-paced professional development modules providing opportunities for teachers to learn about climate change through first-hand data exploration. Glossary links to vocabulary are included. (View Less)
In this data analysis activity, students compare near surface temperature at the time of the solstices in two different hemispheres, and see how the tilt of the Earth's axis in relationship to the Sun contributes to temperature differences across... (View More) the planet. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) guide students through selecting a data set, importing the data into a spreadsheet, creating graphs, and analyzing data plots. The lesson provides detailed procedures, related links and sample graphs, follow-up questions, extensions, and teacher notes. Designed for student use, MY NASA DATA LAS samples micro datasets from large scientific data archives, and provides structured investigations engaging students in exploration of real data to answer real world questions. (View Less)
In this problem-based learning activity, learners explore the significance of sunspots on the Earth's climate. Sunspots are temporary phenomena on the photosphere of the Sun that appear visibly as dark spots compared to surrounding regions. During... (View More) periods of low sunspot activity, the sun’s irradiance decreases. Although this decrease is small, it appears that various feedback mechanisms can amplify the impact. Instructions to access NASA data are provided along with additional resources and activities. This module was developed to be used in the Earth System Science Education Alliance (ESSEA) courses for middle and high school teachers and is also available to teachers to adapt for general classroom use. (View Less)
How effective would solar cells be in any particular area of the United States? In this activity, students answer that question by analyzing graphs of incoming solar radiation. Students will download two solar radiation graphs, one based on latitude... (View More) and one based on cloud cover. After transferring that data to the accompanying worksheet, students will determine the areas in the United States best suited for the use of solar cells. Using both an overlay graph and a difference graph, students will determine the practicality of solar cell power for a home in various U.S. locations. This lesson uses student- and citizen science-friendly microsets of authentic NASA Earth system science data from the MY NASA DATA project. It also includes related links, extensions, an online glossary, and a list of related AP Environmental Science topics. (View Less)
This 24 minute planetarium show teaches about meteors, meteorites, asteroids, and comets. The show was created for fulldome theaters, but is also available on DVD to be shown in flat version for TVs and computer monitors, and can be freely viewed... (View More) online. It shows the effects of the Chixulub and Tungusta events, plus the Pallasite impact that resulted in the Brenham meteorite fall, and describes ways that asteroid hunters seek new objects in the solar system, and how ground penetrating radar is used to find meteorites that have survived to the Earth's surface. Narrated by astronaut Tom Jones, it also discusses ways that humans might try to deflect an asteroid or comet that is on a collision course with Earth. The show was created for informal science venues (digital planetariums); it is also useful as supplemental material for middle school science. Impact Earth is available for free if presented directly from the Space Update site (widescreen or fisheye views linked from YouTube). Otherwise, a DVD of the show can be purchased for $10. (View Less)
In this problem set, learners will analyze an altitude graph of the International Space Station to understand its rate of altitude loss as a result of atmospheric drag and solar activity. Answer key is provided. This is part of Earth Math: A Brief... (View More) Mathematical Guide to Earth Science and Climate Change. (View Less)