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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 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)

In this activity, students build a simple computer model to determine the black body surface temperature of planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Experiments altering the luminosity and... (View More)

Students explore how mathematical descriptions of the physical environment can be fine-tuned through testing using data. In this activity, student teams obtain satellite data measuring the Earth's albedo, and then input this data into a... (View More)

In this activity, students explore the importance of adequate sampling strategies when conducting a scientific investigation. They are tasked with determining the average temperature of the Earth, using data sets easily found on the Internet, and... (View More)

In this activity, student teams learn about research design and design a controlled experiment exploring the relationship between a hypothetical planet, an energy source, and distance. They analyze the data and derive an equation to describe the... (View More)

In this activity, student teams create a knowledge map of the essential characteristics or factors of a planet with a habitable climate, identifying range of inputs, outputs and variables of a planetary environmental system. Identified... (View More)