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Topics/Subjects:
Physical sciences  
Educational Level:
Middle school  
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Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours  
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This is an activity about the atmospheric conditions (greenhouse strength, atmospheric thickness) Mars needs to maintain surface water. Learners will use a computer interactive to learn about Mars past and present before exploring the pressure and... (View More)

This is an activity about albedo, which is a measurement of the reflectance of a planetary surface. Learners will classify areas on an image in terms of albedo values and then sketch their own portion of an image from space. These sketches are... (View More)

This is a lesson that applys occultations to Saturn's Moon Enceladus. Learners will establish whether Saturn’s small moon, Enceladus, has an atmosphere, whether that atmosphere is over the entire planet, and what creates Saturn’s E-ring. The... (View More)

This is a lesson about detecting atmospheres of planets. Learners will explore stellar occultation events (by interpreting light curves) to determine if an imaginary dwarf planet “Snorkzat” has an atmosphere. The activity is part of Project... (View More)

This is an activity about detecting elements by using light. Learners will develop and apply methods to identify and interpret patterns to the identification of fingerprints. They look at fingerprints of their classmates, snowflakes, and finally... (View More)

This is a lesson about determining planetary composition. Learners will use a reflectometer to determine which minerals are present (from a set of knowns) in a sample of Mars soil simulant. Requires the use of ALTA II spectrometers (which may be... (View More)

This is a book about the importance of the Sun's energy as it relates to its impact on the Earth’s environment. Learners will read or listen to a story about a young boy, Joshua, who finds out that the Sun provides the Earth with energy in the... (View More)

This is a lesson about the electromagnetic spectrum. Learners begin by arranging a set of picture cards; in the discussion afterwards, this activity is related to the electromagnetic spectrum as an arrangement of energy waves. Next, using a... (View More)

These two hands-on labs are about the role of temperature and salinity in governing the density of seawater, a major factor controlling the ocean's vertical movements and layered circulation. In the first activity students work in groups to... (View More)

In this lesson, students are introduced to the electromagnetic spectrum. They observe a demonstration of the visible light spectrum created by a flashlight and a prism, complete an activity sheet where they identify the wavelength that is involved... (View More)

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