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Topics/Subjects:
Heat and thermodynamics  
Educational Level:
High school  
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In this introductory textbook chapter, energy is defined and its sources, forms, and flow are introduced. Students are introduced to the first law of thermodynamics, conservation of energy. The resource includes links to current news articles, and a... (View More)

Through an analysis of data sets on four parameters - sea ice totals, sea surface temperatures, near surface temperatures and surface type - students must decide whether the Arctic is experiencing climate change and predict any potential effects on... (View More)

Correlations between sea surface temperatures and the frequency and intensity of hurricanes are investigated in this lesson. The activity focuses on six named hurricanes that occurred between 1999 and 2009. Satellite data on those hurricanes, along... (View More)

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)

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 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)

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

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