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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) ice. It can also be used to introduce the concept of albedo. Prerequisite knowledge: students understand the concepts of absorption and reflection of light energy. This lesson is designed to be used with either an Earth/environmental science or chemistry curriculum. It may also be used as an enrichment activity in physics or physical science during a unit on energy. Includes suggested modifications for students with special needs and low technology option. Requires advance preparation, including freezing ice samples overnight. (View Less)

In this demonstration activity, students make structural models of gas molecules using pipe cleaners and polystyrene balls and test their molecules for their resonant frequency. Students shake the models, count vibrations, and compare the resonance... (View More) frequencies of different gases. Students learn that photons of infrared energy vibrate at the right frequency to transfer their energy to carbon dioxide and methane, which in turn causes those molecules to vibrate, which is experienced in the real world as heat. The teacher's guide includes illustrative videos for this resource. This activity is supported by a textbook chapter, What's So Special about CO²?, part of the unit, Climate Change, in Global Systems Science (GSS), an interdisciplinary course for high school students that emphasizes how scientists from a wide variety of fields work together to understand significant problems of global impact. (View Less)

This model demonstrates convection currents and uses water, food coloring, a cup of very hot water and a votive candle as heat sources. Movie clips of demonstration setup and convection in action are provided. This activity is supported by a... (View More) textbook chapter, What Heats the Earth's Interior?, part of the unit, Energy Flow, in Global Systems Science (GSS), an interdisciplinary course for high school students that emphasizes how scientists from a wide variety of fields work together to understand significant problems of global impact. (View Less)

In this activity, students use mathematics to understand tides and gravitation and how gravity works across astronomical distances, using an apparatus made from a slinky, meter stick, and a hook. A description of the mathematical relationships seen... (View More) in the demonstration is included. The resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

The purpose of this lesson is to model for students gravitational waves and how they are created. Students will build a simple "Gravitational Wave Demonstrator" using inexpensive materials (plastic wrap, plastic cups, water, food coloring, and... (View More) rubber bands, marbles). Students should have a basic understanding of waves and be familiar with Einstein's theory of general relativity. The activity can be done either as a teacher demonstration or student activity. This lesson is part of the Cosmic Times teachers guide and is intended to be used in conjunction with the 1993 Cosmic Times Poster. (View Less)

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) Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

This is a set of materials about spectroscopy, including a downloadable PowerPoint presentation and two demonstrations or activities. Learners will read and/or hear about the science of spectroscopy, what a spectrum is, and how spectroscopy is... (View More) important to the study of our Sun. These resources can also accompany the Stanford Solar Center's Build Your Own Spectroscope activity. (View Less)

This demonstration allows students to visualize inversion in a fluid, explain it in terms of density, and apply the concept to weather systems and convection. Materials required include four Ehrlenmeyer flasks, two thin glass plates, a heat source,... (View More) and food coloring. The investigation supports material presented in chapter 7, What Causes Thunderstorms and Tornadoes?, in the textbook Energy flow, part of Global System Science, an interdisciplinary course for high school students that emphasizes how scientists from a wide variety of fields work together to understand significant problems of global impact. (View Less)

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) can be determined using actual light curves from stellar occultation events. Includes adaptations for younger students and those with visual impairments. (View Less)

In this demonstration, a plastic soft drink bottle is used to demonstrate properties of gases and liquids with respect to temperature and pressure. Calculations using the formula for the Ideal Gas Law are included. The resource is from PUMAS -... (View More) Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)