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Life sciences  
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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)

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)

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

This is a lesson about the definition of life. Learners will compare real and fake or live and dead objects and brainstorm ideas about what life is; refine the definition by playing 20 Questions to identify an object or organism; and test the... (View More)

This is a lesson about the evidence for life on other planets. Learners will play a game to examine processes in cellular metabolism and explore both direct and indirect evidence for fingerprints of life. Includes teacher notes, learning objectives,... (View More)

Audience: Middle school

This is a lesson about extremophiles and using DNA sequences to classify them. Learners will describe the characteristics of a newly discoverd thermophyllic organism and use the DNA sequence to place that organism in the phylogenetic tree of life.... (View More)

In this activity, students survey other people to find out their thoughts about life beyond Earth and compare their ideas with visitors to the Cosmic Questions exhibit. Students can also analyze their survey data to see whether there is any... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Students will be introduced to different species of macroinvertebrates. They will hypothesize why each insect looks the way it does. Then students will make observations of macroinvertebrates in an aquarium in their classroom. For an optional... (View More)

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