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Physical sciences  
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Middle school  
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Students will design, build and then test a rain gauge to measure precipitation. By sharing their results, students will recognize the need for standardization and precision in scientific tools. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model. All... (View More)

Students will explore how energy from the sun is absorbed, reflected and radiated back into space by Earth. By completing three short labs investigating the effects of surface color, type of material, or cloud cover on temperature change, students... (View More)

Students will be introduced to the causes, locations, and hazards of landslides, as well as the role of satellite observations in predicting and studying them. To begin, students investigate the amount of precipitation sufficient to cause a... (View More)

The total amount of water on Earth, the places in which it is found and the percentages of fresh vs. salt are examined in this lesson. A short demonstration allows students to visualize the percentage differences and a coloring exercise illustrates... (View More)

Through an analysis of data sets on four parameters - sea ice totals, sea surface temperatures, near surface temperatures and surface type - students must decide whether the Arctic is experiencing climate change and predict any potential effects on... (View More)

With this lesson plan, students observe a demonstration of cloud formation that uses a 2L plastic beverage bottle and other simple ingredients to learn the three factors required for cloud formation. A test and a control experiment are conducted.... (View More)

In this activity, students engage in an ongoing investigation to find patterns of sunlight and shadow in a classroom (or any room that gets sunlight) at different times of the day and different times of the year. Students look for repeating... (View More)

In this activity, students produce a land cover map of a 15 km x 15 km GLOBE study site from hard copies of Landsat satellite images. Students place clear transparencies over the Landsat TM images and use markers to outline and classify areas of... (View More)

This activity enables students to better understand the motion of the Sun and how we use it to measure time. Students create a "horizon calendar" at their school by carefully observing and recording the horizon and the Sun at sunset (or sunrise, for... (View More)

In this activity, students work in teams to calculate relative air mass and demonstrate how solar elevation angle affects the intensity of light that reaches an observer on the ground. The resource includes a student data sheet. It is part of the... (View More)

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