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Light and optics  
The nature of science  
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Unit three of the "Carbon Connections: The Carbon Cycle and the Science of Climate" curriculum examines the role of carbon and the carbon cycle in future climate. Students discover how scientists determine Earth's average temperature and the role of... (View More)

Learners model how an ocean of molten rock "magma" produced the Moon's oldest rocks. Dense materials in the molten mixture sank, while the least dense materials floated to the top and cooled to form the light-colored areas we see on the Moon today.... (View More)

Learners will use a spectrograph to gather data about light sources. Using the data they’ve collected, students are able to make comparisons between different light sources and make conjectures about the composition of a mystery light source. The... (View More)

Learners will look at various light sources (including glow sticks and Christmas lights) and make conjectures about their composition. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students,... (View More)

This is a lesson about the phenomenon of ice and about scientific inquiry. Learners will ask scientific questions about ice, will delve into the nature of science, embark upon scientific inquiry, and will practice scientific enterprise. Activities... (View More)

In this activity, students quantitatively evaluate the accuracy of a classification and understand a simple difference/error matrix. Students sort birds into three possible classes based on each bird’s beak: carnivores (meat eaters), herbivores... (View More)

Learners will design and conduct experiments to answer the question, "how does distance and inclination affect the amount of heat received from a heat source?" They will measure heat change as a function of distance or viewing angle. From that... (View More)

This is a design challenge about heat transfer and insulation. Learners will apply the scientific method to design and build a container that will keep items cool when placed in boiling water. They will practice collaboration in team-building and in... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Over $20 per group of students

This is a lesson about infrared radiation. Learners will investigate invisible forms of light as they conduct William Herschel's experiment and subsequent discovery of infrared radiation. They will construct a device to measure the presence of... (View More)

This is a lesson about radiation and the use of the scientific method to solve problems of too much radiation. Learners will build snow goggles similar to those used by the Inuit (designed to block unwanted light, while increasing the viewer's... (View More)

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