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Topics/Subjects:
Heat and thermodynamics  
Educational Level:
High school  
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This activity provides a visual example of convection in fluids. Students will record their predictions and observations on diagrams of the experimental set-up showing convection currents. Materials required include hot and cold colored water,... (View More)

In this inquiry exploration, student design an experiment to test the absorption of heat by different earth materials. Materials required include plastic water bottles, soil, sand, water, thermometers, lamp with 60 watt bulb, and stopwatch. This... (View More)

How effective would solar cells be in any particular area of the United States? In this activity, students answer that question by analyzing graphs of incoming solar radiation. Students will download two solar radiation graphs, one based on latitude... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Hurricane Katrina serves as the focus for this lesson on the relationship between sea surface temperatures and hurricane intensity. Students assume the roles of Senior Science Advisors for the Louisiana Environmental Agency to research and plot the... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this experiment, students create a "lava lamp" - a beaker on a hotplate, and investigate buoyancy, convection and other fluid and thermodynamic properties using ink, water, vegetable oil and Alka-Seltzer tablets. The activity is from PUMAS -... (View More)

Satellite data analysis of both ocean currents and sea surface temperatures will allow students to discover the link that exists between them. Students will download data-based maps on which they will determine and then draw directional movement of... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, students devise ways to demonstrate that energy can change from one form to another in accord with the law of conservation of energy. Small appliances, toys, marbles, vinegar and baking soda, simple electrical supplies available... (View More)

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

The strength of the historic 1997-1999 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event was captured and recorded by NASA Earth observing satellites. By downloading and plotting that satellite data, students will observe and analyze El Niño's effect on... (View More)

Keywords: Water cycle; ENSO
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this data analysis activity, students explore how hurricanes extract heat energy from the ocean surface by tracking Hurricane Rita and sampling sea surface temperatures along its path. Step-by-step instructions for use of the MY NASA DATA Live... (View More)

Keywords: Authentic data use
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

Students use a calorimeter made of common materials to demonstrate that energy can be measured and converted from one form to another. Hydrocarbons, such as paraffin, contain stored chemical energy; food contains stored chemical energy. The activity... (View More)