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Physical sciences  
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Informal education  
High school  
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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)

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)

Learners will use a spectrograph to gather data about light sources. Using the data they’ve collected, students are able to make comparisons between different light sources and make conjectures about the composition of a mystery light source. The... (View More)

Learners will look at various light sources (including glow sticks and Christmas lights) and make conjectures about their composition. The activity is part of Project Spectra, a science and engineering program for middle-high school students,... (View More)

In this lesson, students explore a discrepant event when they design an experiment to measure the rate that ice melts when in pure water versus salt water. It is designed to help students realize that a carefully-designed experiment may yield... (View More)

In this lesson, students observe the surface of rotating potatoes to help them understand how astronomers can sometimes determine the shape of asteroids from variations in reflective brightness.

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)

This is a hands-on lab activity about the chemical composition and conductivity of water. Working in groups, learners will: conduct an experiment involving the process of electrolysis, prepare an experiment to better understand the process of ion... (View More)

Keywords: Electrolytes; Salinity
Audience: High school
Materials Cost: $1 - $5 per group of students

This is a hands-on lab activity about the composition of salt. Learners will explain the general relationship between an element's Periodic Table Group Number and its tendency to gain or lose electron(s), and explain the difference between molecular... (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)

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