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This is an activity about modeling the effect of wind on a sandy surface. Learners will use trays of sand and straws to recreate surface features of images of Mars. Participants test their ideas about how some of the features on Mars might have been... (View More) produced. This is activity 4 of 9 in Mars and Earth: Science Learning Activities for After School. (View Less)
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) spreadsheet-based radiation balance model, GEEBITT. They validate their results against published the published albedo value of the Earth, and conduct similar comparisons Mercury, Venus and Mars. The resource includes an Excel spreadsheet tutorial, an investigation, student data sheets and a teacher's guide. Students apply their understanding to the real life problem of urban heat islands and deforestation. The activity links builds on student outcomes from activities A and B: "Finding a Mathematical Description of a Physical Relationship," and "Making a Simple Mathematical Model." This is Activity C in module 3, Using Mathematical Models to Investigate Planetary Habitability, of the resource, Earth Climate Course: What Determines a Planet's Climate? The course aims to help students to develop an understanding of our environment as a system of human and natural processes that result in changes that occur over various space and time scales. (View Less)
Learners will use trays of sand and cups of water to recreate surface features seen in images of Mars. This is activity 5 of 9 in Mars and Earth: Science Learning Activities for After School.
This is a lesson about the survival of humans in space. Learners will predict how human survival requirements are met by characteristics of our solar system and planet. They engage in an online Astronomy Training module in which they make changes to... (View More) the astronomical conditions of our solar system and observe the effects of these changes on Earth. They then draw conclusions about which astronomical conditions are necessary to support human survival. The lesson models scientific inquiry using the 5E instructional model and includes teacher notes, prerequisite concepts, common misconceptions, student journal and reading. This is lesson 2 in the Astro-Venture Astronomy Unit. The lessons are designed for educators to use in conjunction with the Astro-Venture multimedia modules. (View Less)
This activity introduces the importance of meteorites to the understanding of the origin of the Solar System. Learners will use a key to determine if samples are meteorites. Finding meteorites can be difficult because most meteorites look like Earth... (View More) rocks to the casual or untrained eye. Even to the trained eye, recognizing meteorites can be difficult. Since scientists believe that some meteorites are pieces of the asteroid Vesta, they may be very old remnants of the solar system in its earliest stages. This activity provides information and insight that allows participants to share scientists' expectations, based on meteoritic samples, of what we will find when the NASA's Dawn Mission visits Vesta and Ceres. (View Less)
This is a lesson about phase changes. Learners will observe ice melting and freezing under a variety of conditions and relate that to the Messenger mission. This is lesson 1 of 12 in Exploring Ice in the Solar System.
This is a lesson about the amount of atmosphere a planet is likely to have. Learners will look for the relationship between atmospheric mass and other characteristics of the planet. When the results are not completely conclusive, the students... (View More) explore possible causes of discrepancies in the data. They conclude that gravity, mass and diameter all have a role in determining atmospheric mass. The lesson models scientific inquiry using the 5E instructional model and includes teacher notes, prerequisite concepts, common misconceptions, student journal and reading. This is lesson 11 in the Astro-Venture Astronomy Unit. The lessons are designed for educators to use in conjunction with the Astro-Venture multimedia modules. (View Less)
This lesson is an introduction to the use of a magnetic compass. At a specific location, learners will locate an object using a compass, identify its bearing, and others will attempt to locate the object by only knowing the bearing reading and the... (View More) corresponding location where the bearing was obtained. Next, learners will develop a method for determining if a magnetic storm is occurring, and they will test this method using online information and a compass. This activity requires compasses and access to the Internet. This is Activity 5 in the Exploring Magnetism on Earth teachers guide. (View Less)
In this 2-part inquiry-based lesson, students conduct a literature search to determine the characteristics of the atmospheres of different planets (Venus, Mercury, Mars and Earth). After collecting and analyzing data, student teams design and... (View More) conduct a controlled physical experiment using a lab apparatus to learn about the interaction of becomes CO², air, and temperature. The resource includes student worksheets, a design proposal, and student questions. Connections to contemporary climate change are addressed. This lesson is the first of four in Topic 4, "How do Atmospheres Affect Planetary Temperatures?" within the resource, Earth Climate Course: What Determines a Planet's Climate? (View Less)