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ClimateBits: Albedo

This video explains albedo - the concept that the brightness of the Earth system (atmosphere, ocean, and land surfaces) determines how much incoming solar energy is immediately reflected back to space. Reflected shortwave energy and land albedo... (View More)

Audience: Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Exploring Remote Sensing

This lesson simulates the process of remote sensing using surface materials of different colors to represent different ground coverings on Earth. Light meters are used as an analog for satellite instruments to record data from surfaces representing... (View More)

Building and Designing a Rocket Car: The Distance Challenge

Using new and recycled materials, learners construct rocket cars that use a balloon and straw “rocket” to move. Learners will “race” the cars to see which can go the farthest before revising their design and “racing” again. This activity... (View More)

Water's Family Tree

The basic chemistry of water, along with a brief glimpse into water's origin on Earth, are discussed in this two page article. The article can be used as a "reading to be informed" activity in a stand-alone fashion or can be incorporated into a... (View More)

Keywords: Water chemistry
Audience: Middle school, High school, Informal education
Materials Cost: Free

Sky Observers

Twice each day, once during daytime and once at sunset, students observe sky color, visibility, and sky conditions over a one week period. Each observation is recorded on a sky report form (included) for follow-up discussions and comparisons. This... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

Why (Not) So Blue?

Using water to represent the atmosphere and milk droplets to represent aerosols, students make predictions and conduct investigations to discover how different aerosol concentrations affect atmospheric color and visibility. This lesson is one of... (View More)

Keywords: Aerosols

See the Light

Through the use of prisms and glue sticks, this activity introduces students to a fundamental property of light: white light is made up of colors representing different wavelengths. Students use the results of the activity to explain the variation... (View More)

What's Up in the Atmosphere? Exploring Colors in the Sky

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)

Building Intuition for In-water Optics and Ocean Color Remote Sensing: Spectrophotometer Activity with littleBits™

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)