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Geologic processes  
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This lesson plan teaches how to select the landing site for a planetary surface investigation, using the 5E learning cycle. Students will be able to determine a landing site for their Mars rover; work with their team to summarize information and... (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)

Unit one of the "Carbon Connections: The Carbon Cycle and the Science of Climate" curriculum introduces the role of carbon (as carbon dioxide) as an atmospheric indicator. Students examine the impact of geologic and climatic history on current... (View More)

This model demonstrates convection currents and uses water, food coloring, a cup of very hot water and a votive candle as heat sources. Movie clips of demonstration setup and convection in action are provided. This activity is supported by a... (View More)

In this engineering challenge, student teams are introduced to the engineering design process, and then construct and test an earthquake-resistant structure. The lesson plan includes teacher support, student worksheets, multimedia assets, and links... (View More)

Sea floor spreading is demonstrated using a model consisting of two classroom desks and an 8-foot strip of paper. Changes in polarity are indicated using a felt marker. The investigation supports material presented in chapter 3, "What Heats the... (View More)

This is a lesson about the Phoenix Mars Lander's science mission to use robotic technology to uncover water on Mars. Learners will be introduced to the mission and conduct some simple experiments to learn about the important properties of water and... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

The effects of volcanoes on both the environment and people are the focus of this investigation. Students are introduced to the term "buffer" and are tasked with creating a possible buffer zone around Mount St. Helens. Students begin by assigning 32... (View More)

Satellite images of Mercury and Mars are used to illustrate craters and generate a discussion about their cause. After comparing those images with one of Earth, students explore the reason for the lack of visible craters on our planet. The abundance... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1 per student

The impacts of natural disasters are described in imaginary pen pal letters from peers who reside in the pathways of four authentic natural disasters: a volcanic lava flow in Hawaii, a volcanic ash cloud in Russia, a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: 1 cent - $1