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Physical sciences  
Earth structure  
Instructional Strategies:
Generating and testing hypotheses  
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This activity is designed to introduce students to planetary geologic features and processes. First, students will use NASA satellite images to identify geologic surface features on the "Blue Marble" (Earth), and will explore the connection between... (View More)

In this data activity, students create maps of the snow cover of each continent, and determine the average global snow cover. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live Access Server (LAS) guide students through selecting a data set,... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: Elementary school, Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, student teams design small-scale physical models of hot and cold planets, (Venus and Mars), and learn that small scale models allow researchers to determine how much larger systems function. There is both a team challenge and... (View More)

In this activity, students build a simple computer model to determine the black body surface temperature of planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Experiments altering the luminosity and... (View More)

Students explore how mathematical descriptions of the physical environment can be fine-tuned through testing using data. In this activity, student teams obtain satellite data measuring the Earth's albedo, and then input this data into a... (View More)

In this activity, student teams learn about research design and design a controlled experiment exploring the relationship between a hypothetical planet, an energy source, and distance. They analyze the data and derive an equation to describe the... (View More)

This lesson is an introduction to the use of a magnetic compass. At a specific location, learners will locate an object using a compass, identify its bearing, and others will attempt to locate the object by only knowing the bearing reading and the... (View More)

In this 2-part inquiry-based lesson, students conduct a literature search to determine the characteristics of the atmospheres of different planets (Venus, Mercury, Mars and Earth). After collecting and analyzing data, student teams design and... (View More)

Learners will use the inquiry process to explore the affect of atmosphere on the temperature of a planet. They create a model of the system to test. They then create a concept map of the planetary temperature system. The lesson models scientific... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

Students observe cloud type and coverage and weather conditions over a five-day period and correlate these observations. Students make and test predictions using these observations. This is a learning activity associated with the Atmosphere chapter... (View More)