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Topics/Subjects:
Engineering and technology  
Earth processes  
Learning Time:
1 to 4 weeks  
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In this introductory textbook chapter, students become familiar with how scientists view planet Earth. This is the first chapter in the unit, A New World View, which introduces global systems science, emphasizing the concepts of environmental... (View More)

Keywords: Sustainability
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a 15-day unit of inquiry-based lessons about the surface features of the Moon and the Earth and how these two worlds formed and continue to evolve. Students participate in real science as they help lunar scientists map the surface of the... (View More)

Since the Industrial Revolution, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has risen from ~280ppm (parts per million by volume) to ~390ppm in 2010. The rate of increase for the last decade (2001-2010) has been 2.04ppm/yr, more than double the rate... (View More)

In this problem-based learning unit, learners analyze the role of condensation trails from jets, or contrails, and their role in climate change. Contrails are thin ice clouds that form from the burning of jet fuel and release of water vapor. The... (View More)

In this problem-based learning unit, learners examine the causes and impacts of dust transported through the atmosphere. An estimated two billion tons of dust is emitted by the Earth annually. Scientists are becoming increasingly interested in the... (View More)

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)

In this problem-based learning unit, learners explore the possibilities of sustainable energy, and engage in a project to provide electricity for their city using alternative energy sources. Instructions to access NASA data are provided along with... (View More)

Temperature increases associated with global climate change have led to concerns that infectious diseases common in warmer tropical and subtropical climates may become more common in warming middle altitudes. In this problem-based learning module,... (View More)

In this problem-based learning module, learners study phytoplankton blooms along the U.S. coast. Phytoplankton form the basis of the marine food web, regulate carbon in the atmosphere, and are responsible for half of the photosynthesis that takes... (View More)

In this problem-based learning unit, students learn about the causes and impacts of urban heat islands. Numerous studies have shown how concrete pavements and buildings retain heat in cities, making cities several degrees warmer than the surrounding... (View More)

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