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High school  
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Earth structure  
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In this hands-on experiment, students will investigate the basic principle of photosynthesis and learn how light intensity diminishes as a function of distance from the light source. Questions help learners connect these two ideas to determine if... (View More)

This is an activity about how the Sun can affect the Earth's atmosphere, specifically the ionosphere. Learners will use real data from a Sudden Ionosphere Disturbance Monitor, or SID Monitor, to identify the signatures in the graphed data that can... (View More)

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 activity, students experience a demonstration of light scattering that explains the blue colors in the Intersetllar Medium (ISM) nebulae, and the reddening of stars viewed through the ISM. It also explains the blue appearance of the sky on... (View More)

Audience: High school, Higher education
Materials Cost: $1 - $5

This activity demonstrates optical properties of water: that different constituents in water affect the transmission, absorption, and scattering of different colors in the visible light spectrum. Inexpensive, off-the-shelf components are used to... (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)

In this problem set, learners will analyze a graph of the reflectivity of soil and two kinds of vegetation to understand how scientists use these measures to identify different materials. Answer key is provided. This is part of Earth Math: A Brief... (View More)

Audience: Middle school, High school
Materials Cost: Free

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)

In this activity, student teams will create a controlled experiment by building ecosystems in two 2-liter bottles. Teams determine the control conditions of both bottles, identify a test variable, and run the experiment for several weeks to... (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. It is part of the... (View More)

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