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In this activity, students pose several hypotheses for what will happen if you continue heating or supplying energy to the hot and cold planet models (Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Earth) and then test their hypotheses using a spreadsheet based... (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)

This is a presentation to be used by educators to teach about the Sun and its effects on Earth's magnetosphere, including characteristics of coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, the aurora, and solar wind. A web link to a PDF or PowerPoint presentation... (View More)

Audience: High school, Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson to introduce the Kp index, a common numerical indicator of magnetic storminess. Learners will access and analyze Kp index plots of magnetic storm strength and determine the relative frequency of stronger versus weaker magnetic... (View More)

Audience: High school, Higher education
Materials Cost: Free

In this kinesthetic activity, the concept of energy budget is strengthened as students conduct three simulations using play money as units of energy, and students serve as parts of a planetary radiation balance model. Students will determine the... (View More)

In this activity, students simulate the interaction of variables, including carbon dioxide, in a radiation balance exercise using a spreadsheet-based radiation balance model. Through a series of experiments, students attempt to mimic the surface... (View More)

In this activity, the student will be able to assess their understanding of what makes up the universe, by filling in a concept map with the following terms: Planetary Systems, Galaxies, Planets, Sun, Venus, Moon, Stars, Sirius, Solar System, Comet,... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an annotated children's story about the Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres in the asteroid belt. Learners will dissect the story for real and fictional objects and places in the solar system, and for those scientific concepts or processes that... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the periodicity of the solar cycle. Learners will calculate the number of M-class solar flares as a percentage of the total number of X-ray solar flares and graph these results as a function of time. When compared to a... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

This activity features real images of comets and challenges students to identify the different types of comet tails shown. It is an assessment activity that is based upon what students observed about comet tails in the activity Make A Comet.... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free