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Earth's energy budget  
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Middle school  
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This unit consists of two parts, each with several activities which require students to participate in investigations, discussions, computer data analysis, role-playing, and research. In Part 1, students examine the roles of Earth's energy balance... (View More)

This is an activity about the atmospheric conditions (greenhouse strength, atmospheric thickness) Mars needs to maintain surface water. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring the pressure and... (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 are introduced to the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite mission and its role in studying the water cycle. This webquest provides links to eight websites, allowing middle school students to explore the water cycle and its... (View More)

In this lesson, students will learn about the water cycle and how energy from the sun and the force of gravity drive this cycle. The emphasis in this lesson will be on having students understand the processes that take place in moving water through... (View More)

Users explore data, using My World GIS, that characterize the dynamic Greenland Ice Sheet. By examining photographs, map views, and tabular data, users gain an understanding of how and why scientists are monitoring the ice sheet and what they are... (View More)

Students examine CERES radiation data to understand how the Earth's tilt causes seasonal differences in incoming solar energy, and to explore how clouds, deserts and ice modulate the reflection of energy from the Sun. The investigation is conducted... (View More)

Student teams explore atmospheric aerosols, dust, and fires and their impact on the Earth's albedo using NASA Earth Observations (NEO) website. This is an extension activity in the student learning activity guide accompanying the GLOBE Earth System... (View More)

In this activity, student teams explore connections between parts of the Earth system, by examining a time series of environmental data maps. Each team examines a single variable displayed on a global data map, and identify the unit of measure, the... (View More)

In this learning activity, students compare changes in insolation with changes in surface temperature in the polar regions using scientific visualizations of global data sets. Links to readings related to the shrinking ice cap and albedo are... (View More)

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