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Educational Level:
High school  
Topics/Subjects:
Earth's energy budget  
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This textbook chapter traces the historical development of the modern scientific understanding of light, and reviews the electromagnetic spectrum and the Earth's atmospheric shield. The resource includes links to current news articles, and a suite... (View More)

In this kinesthetic activity, students take on roles of either photons or gas molecules. Photons signal a change from visible light to infrared with a piece of folded construction paper, simulating absorption by the Earth's surface and reradiation... (View More)

This experimental activity is designed to develop basic understanding of the relationship between the angle of light rays and the area over which the light rays are distributed, and the potential to affect changes in the temperature of materials.... (View More)

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 activity builds the basic understanding that the heating (indicated by temperature differences) of an object is related to the object’s surface color. Materials required for this investigation include a pair of thermometers, light and dark... (View More)

In this activity, students work in teams to calculate relative air mass and demonstrate how solar elevation angle affects the intensity of light that reaches an observer on the ground. The resource includes a student data sheet. This learning... (View More)

In this demonstration activity, students make structural models of gas molecules using pipe cleaners and polystyrene balls and test their molecules for their resonant frequency. Students shake the models, count vibrations, and compare the resonance... (View More)

In this activity, students build a simple computer model to determine the black body surface temperature of planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Experiments altering the luminosity and... (View More)

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