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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) those features and the geologic processes that created them. Using that information, students will then compare and discuss similar features on images from other planets. Included are the following materials: teacher's guide (with reference and resource information), student's guide (with activity sheets), and multiple cards of planetary images. Note that the range of targeted grade levels is quite broad; however, explicit adaptations for younger students are highlighted throughout the teacher's guide. This lesson is part of the Expedition Earth and Beyond Education Program. (View Less)
This is a lesson about phase changes. Learners will observe ice melting and freezing under a variety of conditions and relate that to the Messenger mission. This is lesson 1 of 12 in Exploring Ice in the Solar System.
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) conduct a controlled physical experiment using a lab apparatus to learn about the interaction of becomes CO², air, and temperature. The resource includes student worksheets, a design proposal, and student questions. Connections to contemporary climate change are addressed. This lesson is the first of four in Topic 4, "How do Atmospheres Affect Planetary Temperatures?" within the resource, Earth Climate Course: What Determines a Planet's Climate? (View Less)
In this problem-based learning (PBL) module, students take on the role of Captain aboard the fictional good ship Low Bid, the first manned spacecraft to orbit Mars. Their challenge: to choose a safe, interesting landing spot, using old Viking images... (View More) taken in the 1970s to guide them. Students download and analyze digital images using NIH image software. This module is part of exploring the environment. (View Less)
This is a series of three activities about light and spectra. First, learners will construct their own spectroscope, observe common light sources, record the observed spectra, and compare their findings. Next, learners will use their spectroscopes... (View More) to observe the spectra from different gas tubes and compare each observed spectrum to known spectra. Finally, they will observe a solar spectrum created by a prism, view a solar spectrum on paper, and attempt to determine the elements present in the Sun. This activity requires spectroscope posters and gratings available from the Stanford Solar Center (http://solar-center.stanford.edu/posters/), fluorescent and incandescent light sources, and emission lamps and power sources. This activity is from the Stanford Solar Center's All About the Sun: Sun and Stars activity guide for Grades 5-8 and can also accompany the Stanford Solar Center's Build Your Own Spectroscope activity. (View Less)
This is an activity about the differences in thermal behavior between similar materials having different physical properties. Learners will measure temperature of two different surfaces; sand and stone; on a sunny day, make a series of temperature... (View More) measurements, and plot the results. Extensions include experimenting with different materials, using temperature sensors and noncontact infrared thermometers. The activity is analogous with remote sensing of thermal properties in the Saturn system measured by Cassini. (Note: a separate version of this activity was developed in 2008 for PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science). (View Less)