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Topics/Subjects:
The nature of science  
Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours  
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This chapter provides teachers with instructions to install a school weather station, and to build simple instruments to monitor weather conditions. Materials need to create a homemade weathervane include a two-liter soft drink bottle, a shallow... (View More)

Students will use various objects in the classroom to experiment with nonstandard measurement. They will make estimates and test them out. Then, working in pairs or small groups, students will use a ruler or a measuring tape to become familiar with... (View More)

Keywords: Water; Scale; Size

This is a lesson about society and space exploration. Learners will survey the public about their different opinions about space exploration and the use of robotics in space exploration. Then they will represent and analyze the results. This is... (View More)

This is a lesson about solar system exploration. Learners will understand that combining information gathered by a variety of robots gives us a more comprehensive understanding of our solar system. Learners will explore a planet made up of a... (View More)

Learners will research a past, present, or future mission to Mars and share their findings with the group. The group will then create an overall Mars exploration timeline. A script, links for background sources and suggested materials are available.... (View More)

Audience: Elementary school
Materials Cost: Free

This is a lesson about the path of one xenon ion through an ion propulsion engine. Learners will focus on what a single xenon ion sees and does as it goes through the reactions and processes that provide the ion jet propulsion engine's thrust. They... (View More)

Audience: High school
Materials Cost: Free

Students explore how mathematical descriptions of the physical environment can be fine-tuned through testing using data. In this activity, student teams obtain satellite data measuring the Earth's albedo, and then input this data into a... (View More)

This activity enables students to better understand the motion of the Sun and how we use it to measure time. Students create a "horizon calendar" at their school by carefully observing and recording the horizon and the Sun at sunset (or sunrise, for... (View More)

This activity explores how ancient Sun observers made use of natural and built structures to mark solar alignments observed at different times of the year, particularly around the solstices and equinoxes. In Part 1, the teacher prepares a horizon... (View More)

In this activity, student teams create a knowledge map of the essential characteristics or factors of a planet with a habitable climate, identifying range of inputs, outputs and variables of a planetary environmental system. Identified... (View More)