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Life sciences  
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Integrated instruction  
Hands-on learning  
Educational Level:
Middle school  
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This unit consists of five activities, all of which focus on the response of plant life-cycle events to climate change. Students participate in discussions, field observations, data collection and analyses, plant identification, seed dispersal... (View More)

This curriculum uses an inquiry-based Earth system science approach, and leverages Project BudBurst, a citizen science phenology project, to engage students in authentic research on plant and ecosystem responses to climate change. Students collect... (View More)

This unit consists of two parts, each with several activities which require students to participate in investigations, discussions, computer data analysis, role-playing, and research. In Part 1, students examine the roles of Earth's energy balance... (View More)

Using the 5-E model, these lessons introduce planets, planetary systems, star types, exoplanets, transits, light curves, and the Planet Hunters citizen science project. Supplemental materials include data/image sheets. Next Generation Science... (View More)

This activity demonstrates optical properties of water: that different constituents in water affect the transmission, absorption, and scattering of different colors in the visible light spectrum. Inexpensive, off-the-shelf components are used to... (View More)

Students combine science and systems engineering to develop a mission to search for life in our solar system. The mission must meet budgetary, mass and power constraints while still producing significant science. An extensive set of "equipment... (View More)

Designed as a five-lesson curriculum to introduce students to limnology, this program explores the structure, history and biology of lakes. Students analyze models, images, and a core sample from a lake case study before engineering a device for... (View More)

This is a lesson about how to answer a scientific or engineering question. Learners will refine the scientific question they generated in Lesson 5 so that it can be answered by data and/or modeling, brainstorm possible solutions for the scientific... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

Tree ring analysis and satellite data observations are combined in this investigative lesson on past climate. Students will compare the width of tree rings from a real or virtual tree x-section with precipitation levels from authentic satellite... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students identify habitats in Arizona, define and illustrate a food web in a kinesthetic exercise, and explain the importance of biodiversity in a writing assignment. Required materials include a ball of yarn or string. The... (View More)

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