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Earth processes  
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In this problem-based learning unit, learners analyze the role of condensation trails from jets, or contrails, and their role in climate change. Contrails are thin ice clouds that form from the burning of jet fuel and release of water vapor. The... (View More)

In this problem-based learning activity, learners explore the significance of sunspots on the Earth's climate. Sunspots are temporary phenomena on the photosphere of the Sun that appear visibly as dark spots compared to surrounding regions. During... (View More)

In this problem-based learning unit, learners explore the possibilities of sustainable energy, and engage in a project to provide electricity for their city using alternative energy sources. Instructions to access NASA data are provided along with... (View More)

Temperature increases associated with global climate change have led to concerns that infectious diseases common in warmer tropical and subtropical climates may become more common in warming middle altitudes. In this problem-based learning module,... (View More)

In this problem-based learning module, learners study phytoplankton blooms along the U.S. coast. Phytoplankton form the basis of the marine food web, regulate carbon in the atmosphere, and are responsible for half of the photosynthesis that takes... (View More)

In this data activity, students explore the relationship between surface radiation and mean surface temperature in several geographic regions. By observing how these parameters change with latitude, students will understand the relationship between... (View More)

In this inquiry exploration, student design an experiment to test the absorption of heat by different earth materials. Materials required include plastic water bottles, soil, sand, water, thermometers, lamp with 60 watt bulb, and stopwatch. This... (View More)

In this problem-based learning unit, students learn about the causes and impacts of urban heat islands. Numerous studies have shown how concrete pavements and buildings retain heat in cities, making cities several degrees warmer than the surrounding... (View More)

In this problem-based learning activity, learners investigate impact of sulfur dioxide on the environment. Sulfur dioxide comes from both human activities and natural sources. Burning coal and other fossil fuels is the largest source of sulfur... (View More)

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)