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In this unit, students investigate temperature cycles, tree rings, CO2 records, and the effects of CO2 on temperature, precipitation and cloud cover to determine the impacts of changing climate on forests. After gathering and analyzing local data,... (View More) students examine regional impacts and differences. The unit is one of four under the Chicago Botanic Garden curriculum entitled, "Climate Change in My Backyard." (View Less)
This unit focuses on local plant species; students learn to identify common species and will examine their life cycle characteristics as evidence of climate change. Through the use of the national citizen science project titled Project BudBurst,... (View More) students explore the impacts of climate variation on plant species distribution. The unit is one of four under the Chicago Botanic Garden curriculum entitled, "Climate Change in My Backyard." (View Less)
This activity is a short engineering design challenge to be completed by individual students or small teams. A real-world problem is presented, designing buildings for hurricane-prone areas, but in a simulated way that works in a classroom, after... (View More) school club, or informal education setting. Students are given simple materials and design requirements, and must plan and build a tower as tall as possible that will hold up a tennis ball while resisting the force of wind from a fan. After the towers are built, the group comes together to test them. If there is time after testing, which can be observational or framed as a contest between teams, students can redesign their towers to improve their performance, or simply discuss what worked well and what didn’t in their designs. (View Less)
This is a lesson about the shape of objects in space. Learners will observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers use variations in reflective brightness to determine the shape of asteroids.
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) about angular size to predict the diameter and distance of one object that can be eclipsed by another. They will also complete three journal assignments to record observations and conceptual understanding. This activity derives from those demonstrated in the NASA CONNECT television series episode, titled Path of Totality. (View Less)