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In this lesson students investigate the effects of black carbon on arctic warming and are introduced to a mechanism of arctic warming that is not directly dependent on greenhouse gases in the atmosphere: black carbon deposition on Arctic snow and... (View More)

This lesson uses a simple discrepant event to demonstrate the underlying cause for early miscalculation of the size of the Milky Way galaxy. By standardizing the Cepheid period-luminosity relationship without recognizing there were two types of... (View More)

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

This is a lesson about discovering distant planets using an Earth-based observing technique called stellar occultation. Learners will explore how a stellar occultation occurs, how planetary atmospheres can be discovered, and how planetary diameters... (View More)

This is an activity about measuring angular size and understanding the solar and lunar proportions that result in solar eclipses. Learners will use triangles and proportions to create a shoebox eclipse simulator. They will then apply what they learn... (View More)

Students will learn about magnification and how a magnifying lens works. They will examine a variety of different objects, first without a magnifier and then with a magnifier, and compare what they observe. They will practice observing details of... (View More)

Keywords: Hydrosphere

Students will use various objects in the classroom to experiment with nonstandard measurement. They will make estimates and test them out. Then, working in pairs or small groups, students will use a ruler or a measuring tape to become familiar with... (View More)

Keywords: Water; Scale; Size

This experimental activity is designed to develop a basic understanding of the relationship between temperature and pressure and that a barometer can be constructed to detect this relationship. Resources needed to build a simple barometer include a... (View More)

This activity lets students measure distances in the classroom using parallax. The exercise can be done either at a high school level using trigonometric functions, or at a middle school level using simple arithmetic approximations to the... (View More)

Keywords: Parallax
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free per student

In this inquiry investigation, students conclude that the motion of the Earth is linked to the changes we observe such as the length of the day. Students learn about the reason behind the Earth's time zones. An optional water clock and sand clock... (View More)

In this inquiry investigation, students conclude that the motion of the Earth is linked to the changes we observe such as the length of the day. Students learn about the reason behind the Earth's time zones. An optional water clock and sand clock... (View More)

Keywords: Time; Orbit; Time zones
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