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Physical sciences  
Instructional Strategies:
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Educational Level:
High school  
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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)

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

This lesson applies the science and math of the rotation of a sphere to water and wind movements on Earth. Students are introduced to convection, the Trade Winds and the Coriolis Force. Using an online visualizer, students generate trajectories and... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This lesson incorporates sea surface data collected by NASA satellites. Data for three surface characteristics- height, temperature and speed- are used for several activities. Students examine the differences in speed of currents relative to... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Navigational tools and methods of early voyagers provide the background and contrast to the satellite images and models used today. Students complete mapping activities based on historical data from Columbus and Blith. Students will also use a... (View More)

Oceans play a significant role in determining and moderating the effects of energy imbalances. Students will begin this lesson by working with temperature data to reinforce the importance of protocols, practice computing statistical measures of data... (View More)

This is a lesson about the design and operation of an ion propulsion engine. Learners will study the essential components and variables of an ion propulsion system. Activities include an on-line ion propulsion engine simulation and design. Included... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This activity has two purposes: challenge the learner to develop a procedure for investigating a research question and to learn more about factors affecting the dynamics of air in motion. It demonstrates that warm air and cold air differ in weight... (View More)

This is a lesson about the science supporting the design and operation of an ion propulsion engine. Learners will study the concepts of formation and discharge of charged particles, attractive and repulsive forces between charged particles, and the... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

This experimental activity is designed to develop an understanding that air has mass. Students conduct an investigation and observe the change in the position of a bar balancing a balloon inflated with air on one end and a uninflated balloon on the... (View More)

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