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This unit focuses on local plant species; students learn to identify common species and will examine their life cycle characteristics as evidence of climate change. Through the use of the national citizen science project titled Project BudBurst,... (View More)

This curriculum uses an inquiry-based Earth system science approach, and leverages Project BudBurst, a citizen science phenology project, to engage students in authentic research on plant and ecosystem responses to climate change. Students collect... (View More)

Tree ring analysis and satellite data observations are combined in this investigative lesson on past climate. Students will compare the width of tree rings from a real or virtual tree x-section with precipitation levels from authentic satellite... (View More)

Audience: Middle school
Materials Cost: Free

This is an activity about the discovery of water ice on Mars. Learners will create physical models using Earth samples to answer the question, "is it more likely that high altitude regions of Mars are composed of icy dirt (with ice filling the pore... (View More)

Keywords: Mars
Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

In this activity, student teams design small-scale physical models of hot and cold planets, (Venus and Mars), and learn that small scale models allow researchers to determine how much larger systems function. There is both a team challenge and... (View More)

In this activity, student teams learn about research design and design a controlled experiment exploring the relationship between a hypothetical planet, an energy source, and distance. They analyze the data and derive an equation to describe the... (View More)

In this activity, students quantitatively evaluate the accuracy of a classification and understand a simple difference/error matrix. Students sort birds into three possible classes based on each bird’s beak: carnivores (meat eaters), herbivores... (View More)

In this activity, students pose several hypotheses for what will happen if you continue heating or supplying energy to the hot and cold planet models (Mercury, Mars, Venus, and Earth) and then test their hypotheses using a spreadsheet based... (View More)

Highly productive commercial agriculture, known as industrial agriculture, is the focus of this investigation. Students will analyze and compare the inputs and outputs of industrial agriculture after reading background information, examining photos... (View More)

Keywords: Farming

Water supply in the Southwestern United States depends on snow. Students discover its importance through analysis and evaluation of data, satellite images, space shuttle photos, and ground-based observations, and then apply their findings in a... (View More)

Keywords: Snowpack
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